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Nyakasanga Hunt with CMS and Dave Langerman
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A week ago today we returned home from an incredible hunt with Dave Langerman and Charlton McCallum Safaris.
This was our fourth trip and fifth hunt on the continent and was the hunt by which all others past and future will be measured. I have not done one of these reports before so please bear with me.
PH: Dave Langerman
Appy: Davey Mann
Trackers: Thomas and Charity
Hunting: Buffalo, Hippo, plains game for 10 days
Photo Safari for 5 Days
Nyakasanga Safari Area
Kavinga Safari Camp
18 June - 14 July 2022
Gun: Homebuilt 510 Wells Express. Handholds A-frame 535 softs and Northfork solids.

Animals Taken: Buffalo, Warthog, Impala, Hippo, and Eland

Animals Seen: Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Crocodile, Kudu, Impala, Baboon, Bushbuck, Zebra, Eland, Waterbuck, Steenbuck, Warthog, a Python, a Chameleon and around 70 different species of birds.

Travel: Delta to JNB, Airlink to Harare. Arranged by Shawn at Gracy.

The idea for this trip began with a chance meeting with Dave Langerman over ten years ago. Dave immediately struck me as someone I wanted to hunt with. The concept began as a 14 day hunt and photo safari in Niassa, as Cathy and I were looking for something that was off the beaten path. The remnants of the war and the insurgency in Mozambique, Covid, and a dramatic increase in the cost of the trip caused us to look for another venue without changing the team.

Cathy and I had previously had a great safari with Myles and CMS. During that hunt Myles suggested Nyakasanga as an area that we might consider for a future visit. Wild and located beside Mana Pools National Park the area would offer excellent game viewing and a landscape that would approach the rugged beauty of Dande.

The Nyakasanga camp is located feet from the Zambezi river. Described as a Spike camp it can hardly be classified as such when compared to our camps here in the west. Four comfortable tents with attached baths and bucket showers, are served by a well appointed dining tent. CMS’s camp cook Vincent provided ten days of exceptional meals, featuring game meat, garden fresh vegetable dishes, salads, breads, muffins and biscuits from a wood fired cast iron camp stove.

From the perspective of game this area did not disappoint. By eight o’clock on day one we were tracking a group of 5 buffalo. We could see them and they us in the thick Jess. After 2 hours the game was played to a stalemate. Shortly after 10 we bumped a herd of 50 to 60 with two nice bulls. We followed them bumping them numerous times then reconnecting until they moved off. As the day went on we saw numerous herds of impala, at least a dozen Elephant including tuskless cows and a total of a hundred Buffalo, Zebra, and variety of other species.


Day 2 was a repeat of the first day, picking up a herd of buffalo and tracking them for 6 hours and 7.5 miles to find no good bulls. During the walk back to the truck, Davey and the guys spotted a small hippo bull out of the water feeding. He was small but we stalked him to within 50 yards for my experience. We brought Cathy up to get some pictures before backing off undetected.
The remainder of the day was spent checking pans for a hippo bull. Observed a group of Elephant cows and adolescents and gave them a wide birth stopping shortly thereafter to walk in to a secluded pan. Within a few feet of getting out of the truck we were facing a cow and calf who was irritated by our presence. She rushed us stopping at about 20 yards. Dave convinced her that this foolishness would not end well while we retreated to the truck.
On day 3 we left camp at 0530 heading south looking for a Dugga Boy as we were not doing so well with the herds in thick jess, too many eyes and too few bulls. A chance encounter with a herd of Eland yielded our first stalk and shot. I took the 120 yard shot at around 930 and hit the bull a bit too far back. We spent the next 7 hours and 21 Km tracking him before knocking off for the evening. We continued the next morning and found the bull dead less than 1000 meters from where we had stopped the night before. I learned a valuable lesson both about confirming zero on a rifle and specifically about the Aimpoint. One, a 3 minute red dot leaves room for error, and two don’t rush yourself on the range just because there are 5 folks standing around waiting for you. Another trip to the range, and an adjustment and the 510 took the center out of the target. Now I was ready. A rookie mistake and an Eland that was only salvaged by the superhuman abilities of Dave’s trackers reminded me to take the time to do it right.

Day 4 was a replay of day 1 and 2 punctuated by a chance encounter with a lion pride.

Day 5 began with a 2 hour drive before sun up looking for Dugga boys. Checked 4 pans, no joy. One thing is becoming clear as we drive, impala and small game run when they hear a vehicle. It would seem that Zim Parks personnel or someone else may be shooting from trucks. Small game is extraordinarily skittish when compared to similar game in places like Dande or even South African high fence outfits. I am a little disappointed at that as the concession manager requires a 50% non refundable deposit on such small game if you intend to hunt them. Just an observation as today we are looking for buff and hippo and the trackers have found a nice hippo bull in the pan we are approaching. A short stalk brought us to a covered knoll above the pan. A single 70 yard brain shot and the work began. The day finished with an exceptional Eland stew and a very good Nutella mousse for desert.


Day 6 we were on the road again at 530 stopping about an hour later to check a pan for Dugga boys only to discover a nice Warthog and sow. We stalked to 80 yards, he was dead at the shot. I just shot a Warthog with a .50 cal, of course he was dead.



The next day we were on the track of a single buff at around 830. We followed him for 9 k over four hours before spotting him in the open. I didn’t want this to end and actually thought about not taking him. We brought Cathy up to take pictures of the 12 year old bull. She put an end to my hesitation “Shoot him!” I did from around 80 yards the shot knocked him down but he was back up and coming in our direction, Dave’s and I hit him again and he was down 15 yards from the first shot.


Day 8 was an easy day on the river taking crock, hippo, and bird pictures and not catching Tiger fish.

Day 9 we decided it was time to get serious about an Impala. That involved going somewhere and getting off the truck. After about a 1 K walk away from the road we started see Impala that were not running and we spotted a nice ram about 200 yards out. We closed to within 75 yards the last 50 on hands and knees. Impala tenders as an appetizer and a buffalo steak for dinner, what could be better.

We had the pleasure of sharing camp with Alan Shearing and Bill his hunter from Texas for our last two days. Our last day was spent again on the river, buffalo sandwiches for lunch and a game drive shooting Hornbills, Sparrow Weavers, and a great Warthog in the afternoon. Sundowners With Alan, Bill, Dave, and Davey on the island in front of camp. We took a brief cruise to a nearby island to shoot two great old Elephants one with tusks in the mid 40’s. Great old bulls spending their lives in this amazing hunting area. The wind has died and the evening glass off welcomes the oranges and reds of our last sunset on the Zambezi.



Dave arranged for us to spend an additional 5 days at Kavinga Safari Camp for some additional photo opportunities. Kavinga is a a very nice 9 square mile area located at the confluence of two rivers in Mana Pools National park. The relative abundance of water concentrates the animals. For a photographer it does not disappoint. The kitchen turns out some reasonable food but it pales when compared to the excellent fare that Vincent produces on his wood stove. Kavinga’s attraction is its abundance of game, its excellent, friendly staff and comfortable lodging. Kavinga provided a comfortable relaxed environment with an amazing variety of wildlife. It will remain as a go to choice for a post hunt break or as a place to meet with non hunting travelers on future trips to Zim.






In conclusion Buzz and Myles have secured yet another superb choice for a safari destination. It is quite different from the Dande with much higher game concentrations and more even terrain. I like like them both for different reasons. The older I get the more I will like Nyakasanga. Unlike Idaho or Dande, it is flat. Dave Langerman is not only a great PH but a gifted naturalist who can tailor your hunt to suit any situation and achieve the perfect balance of two not necessarily complementary pursuits.
 
Posts: 109 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 12 November 2011Reply With Quote
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Wonderful safari and Cathy must have been delighted with her pictures.


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Posts: 9313 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Russ and Cath- many thanks for coming out with us again and I am so glad that you had such a wonderful safari. I have to say I am not surprised when you have an area like Nyakasanga and a Ph like Dave!!

Caths pictures really are brilliant thankyou for posting them!!!! See you in Dallas- cheers Buzz
 
Posts: 1128 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 22 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Wow!

Nyakasanga truly seems like a place we would want to go.

Thanks for this report.


Mike

Edited on advice of counsel.
 
Posts: 12630 | Location: New England | Registered: 06 June 2003Reply With Quote
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Interesting to note here on the Ele pictures, the matriarch is a tuckless cow. Her get all have tusks. Up to 25% of the Elephant in the Zambezi carry the recessive tuskless gene. Dave pointed out here how much care we must take to assess our target when hunting tuskless. There are quite a few tuskless in the population and taking one like this girl would have negative consequences for the rest of her band. After more than 20 minutes this very orderly swimcall ended quickly on the old cow's command. As quickly as we found them they vanished into the bush.
 
Posts: 109 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 12 November 2011Reply With Quote
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Well done to all on a great safari. I haven’t hunted Nyakasanga yet but it’s definitely high on my list.
I have hunted with Dave in Niassa and he is indeed a great PH. I’m looking forward to chasing some more buffalo with him up there in
Mozambique in a couple of months time!
Bring it on!
 
Posts: 119 | Registered: 22 October 2018Reply With Quote
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Great Pictures! Nyakasanga is a great place to hunt, glad I was able to go there years ago. Thankfully it is now in the hands of CMS and properly managed.

I like hunting with Dave, he is a great person, excellent PH and loves what he does. Many time's we pause for flora or fauna and that has added to the experience.

Charity and Thomas are wonderful men that most likely treated you and Cathy like family. Relied on them many times to look out for my family in the bush while I was crawling through the underbrush.
 
Posts: 386 | Location: Tennessee, North Carolina | Registered: 01 April 2004Reply With Quote
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Thanks for letting us walk in your shoes
 
Posts: 1565 | Location: Vermont | Registered: 27 March 2006Reply With Quote
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tnjohn, I agree. We were driving down a road on the south side of the concession at around 35 MPH. Dave slammed on the brakes and we came to a halt so that we could dismount to observe a chameleon that was crossing. An abrupt pause for a small creature that we didn't see.
Charity and Thomas are an amazing team, one of them always remained close to Cath any time it looked like something out of the ordinary could happen. Something you would never notice unless you needed it. An amazing team, in every respect.
 
Posts: 109 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 12 November 2011Reply With Quote
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Great report Russ!! Awesome photos.

J&J


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Hunt Reports

2015 His & Her Leopards with Derek Littleton of Luwire Safaris - http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/2971090112
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Namibia Sept 2010 - ARUB Safaris http://forums.accuratereloadin...6321043/m/6781076141
 
Posts: 7412 | Location: Alaska | Registered: 05 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Great report!

That pic of the croc is as good as I’ve seen. Very well done.
 
Posts: 2493 | Location: Utah | Registered: 23 February 2011Reply With Quote
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Great Report!


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Posts: 494 | Location: spain | Registered: 01 September 2019Reply With Quote
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.

Thank you for a great report and photographs! And congratulations on your buff and other game taken.

As an observation / question - I have an Aimpoint on a .416 Rigby mounted on the from of the bridge. Just looking where your Aimpoint is mounted on your rifle - seems a long way up the barrel. How easy and quickly can you acquire the aiming dot ?

Again, thanks for the great write up.

Charlie

.


"Up the ladders and down the snakes!"
 
Posts: 2022 | Location: South Africa & Europe | Registered: 10 February 2014Reply With Quote
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Charlie64,Very easy. The stock fits me. When the rifle comes up the dot is there. Eye relief is not an issue.
 
Posts: 109 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 12 November 2011Reply With Quote
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The photo of the croc deserves to be on the cover of a magazine. Excellent! Congratulations on a fine safari.
 
Posts: 54 | Registered: 15 August 2012Reply With Quote
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Excellent report and photos!

Thank you for posting this!
 
Posts: 8735 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Well done! Great report...


On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of ten thousand, who on the dawn of victory lay down their weary heads resting, and there resting, died.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling

Life grows grim without senseless indulgence.
 
Posts: 7293 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Here's another of that Crock.
 
Posts: 109 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 12 November 2011Reply With Quote
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Thanks for your report and the excellent pics!
 
Posts: 2399 | Location: Colorado | Registered: 26 May 2010Reply With Quote
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The photos are excellent and made this report a treat to read. Well done to everyone involved!
 
Posts: 33 | Location: Tanzania | Registered: 08 July 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Paddles10:
Here's another of that Crock.


You better enter this croc pic in some type of photography contest. It’s the best African pic, or at least one of the top pics I’ve seen on AR.
I see you are in Idaho. You better get that pic entered in the state fair!
 
Posts: 2493 | Location: Utah | Registered: 23 February 2011Reply With Quote
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Thanks for a well written report and congratulations on a great safari. That first crocodile picture is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen of a croc. Wonderful composition and lighting.
 
Posts: 3563 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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Thanks for sharing.


Tom Kessel
Hiland Outfitters, LLC (BG-082)
Hiland, Wyoming
www.hilandoutfitters.com
 
Posts: 396 | Location: Central Wyoming | Registered: 14 March 2010Reply With Quote
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