All of us were looking forward to this week! We went to Cawston Ranch, 60km north of Bulawayo to go hunting! That also meant a couple of hours of precious bonding time with our beloved overlander. I probably won‘t be saying that after our Malawi trip, which is a 2 day ride. 24 boys with mostly questionable personal hygiene locked in a small space for 2 days… lovely:)
Anyway, as we arrived we immediately set camp where we were dropped off… as it turned out that wasn’t our actual campsite – thank God for that – and we had to break camp straight away again. Of course Jabu, our driver, was watching us all with a suspicious grin on his face – he knew exactly what was happening! We eventually camped in the backyard of one of the Cawston staff.
Obviously all of us weren’t hunting at the same time and while the first 3 went out, the rest of us were out in the farm doing manual labour, moving thorn bushes and clearing roads.
I can confidently say that Mr. M did probably 99.9% of the work setting an exceptional example. I would even go as far to say that he was being a little selfish with his great enthusiasm, because he barely left anything for us to do.
But now on to the interesting part: the actual shooting. Cawston has about 2,000 Impala on their property. They overpopulate, limiting other species, so unfortunately they have to be shot. Richard Brebner, the professional hunter that took us out was telling us all about the ethics and discussed the controversial topic with us on our last night.
He was pretty amazing at what he did, but his tracker Muffat was unreal! As we drove around the farm to find Impala, he spotted them, where there was absolutely nothing to see, but thick bush! Because his English wasn‘t that good, his exceptional skill will probably remain a mystery to us. Sometimes the Impala got wind of us and the stalk lead to nothing but the majority of the stalks lead to success. Every single one of my group had an impala in their scope. And everyone hit the target – more or less – perfectly. Except Mitchell. Sorry to expose you mate!
But rumour has it, Mitch hates his flies with a passion! And what some believe, is that a fly was buzzing around the Impalas head. As you can probably guess, Mitch saw red and pulled the trigger! Poor old fly. After all he didn‘t eat that testicle for nothing (some odd African Hunters tradition… you eat your first antelopes testicles raw to show your respect).
On Thursday, we bonded a little more with the overlander to head back. In Bulawayo, we stopped at the ‘bendover’ – a flea market for 2nd hand clothes. That was… interesting for all foreigners. Jermaine couldn‘t stop laughing when he saw our faces!
For the rest of the week, we did the mechanical acumen with Mr Lenton – the new mechanic/facilitator/man in the house at Quest. That was extremely cool in I think everyone’s opinion; being able to check and fix your own car is very useful after all!
We worked until Sunday, which is unusual because we usually have that day off. But that’s all right because we’ll get the whole of next weekend off which is sick! Now we‘re waiting for the rest of the intake to arrive from their Hunting experience and we can‘t wait sharing the stories of the week!