There are some stories that must be written. If they are not, they will only be remembered by those who were there in the heat and dust, with thirst on their thick tongues, and their minds wandering far away when they should be concentrating on the task at hand. Stories lost because they were not written.
Having recently completed a free-lance safari for a local hunter/landowner in the Gwaai Valley, I was spending my ‘down time’ with my good friend Stuart Campbell on his Lion Ranch. He asked me to travel to Hwange town to collect some extra groceries, in preparation for the imminent arrival of a small group of South African visitors. Late that afternoon the guests arrived and one of them, an Air Steward with South African Airways expressed his eagerness to ‘shoot something’.
When visiting Humani in the Savé Conservancy, one can be assured of being introduced to the newest member of the Humani clan. This extraordinary new addition is an orphan rhino calf named Jimmy, who is being raised by Anne Whittall. When Jimmy arrived at the Humani homestead, weak and in a generally sorry state, Anne was forced to play the part of foster mother rhino. Many will agree that there could be no one better for the role.
I am often asked what caliber rifle to take on an African plains game hunt. My response is usually, “What do you have in your gun case now”? The reason I ask that is because almost everyone already has a .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, etc.
The recent introduction of new .17 caliber cartridges has brought with it a rebirth of interest in this often misunderstood,…
Edit Text Editor
This story actually started way back in 1960 with an article by Dr. Wendell G. Swank from Michigan State College which was in the Sports Afield Gun Annual. He and a fellow doctor took their old pre-64 Winchester Model 70 .30-06 Springfield rifles with Sierra bullets to Uganda to harvest game for research.
Ever so slowly I inch my way through the scrub, closing in purposefully on the result of what was possibly…
It began over a cup of coffee in a dingy coffee shop in downtown Harare, sometime in 1996. Hardly an inspirational setting, but Mr. McGregor is capable of seizing inspiration in even the most mundane of settings. Such is his adventurous spirit and incisive mind. As with most brilliant ideas, it came out of the blue, without preamble.
‘Imagine…’ said Dean, sipping his coffee with a faraway look in his eyes. ‘Imagine going on an expedition right around the country.’
After numerous delays, we finally left Victoria Falls on July 21st. As it happened, our departure was somewhat uninspiring, given that we left from the goods train station and followed the railway line from town.
Binga was something of a letdown. It was the first ‘real town’ we passed through, and to be honest I wish we had bypassed. We were delayed there for an unreasonably lengthy period (due to various factors but mainly because of bungling bureaucracy), and I found the town to be a dive, as I find all Zimbabwean towns to be these days.