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Scott Perkins
I just finished my third safari with Gordon Stark of Nhoro

Safaris for Cape Buffalo in Mozambique; and every safari keeps

getting better and more exciting every trip over to the African


My first hunt with Gordon was May 2012, with my good friend,

Frank Fowler, accompanying him on his succesful and very exciting

stalk and hunt for lioness hunt in the Kalahari. That hunt

continued from the Kalahari to the Limpopo district for a plains

game hunt. The concession Gordon operates on in the Limpopo has

outstanding hunting opportunites for Kudu, Gemsbok, Eland,

Impala, and Waterbuck. The concession was a former black and

white rhino breeding ranch and there is a healthy population of

both species that was rewarding to see nearly every day in the


The Limpopo concession offers exceptional, mature bulls of most

every plains game species a person has on his bucket list if the

hunter is patient and takes the opportunitty that the track and

animal offers.

I harvested a very nice older, dark brown waterbuck bull, a

terrific nyala and the Jurassic giraffe bull that the concession

managers wanted off the conceesion as he and another similiar

aged bull (both long past their breeding age) had killed 6 mature

breeding bulls. The waterbuck and nyala are both high Silver SCI


My second hunt was November 2013 back in the Kalahari. My hunting

partner, Frank Fowler, and I were after our male lions. This is a

stalk and shoot type hunt and not for the faint of heart. Most

lion hunting in Africa is done from the saftey of a blind over


The Kalahari hunt is spent driving the 3x9 mile blocks with the

Land Cruisers looking for cat tracks (spoor) in the ever blowing

sand and driving the block to see if the cat has moved through

the block or still in the block. If the tracks indicate the cat

has not left the block, the hunt is on.

Frank was first up on his lion hunt and barely 20 minutes out of

camp the first day we hunted, we cut fresh makle lion tracks.

frank and Gordon followed teh trackers and 20 minutes into the

track spotted a magnificant male watching a small herd of

hartebeest from the shade of acacia trees. The stalked to within

22 yds of the lion who by now fully aware that Frank and Gordon

were in his comfort zone. The 416 Rigby barked as Frank cleanly

killed his first male lion. The lion was fully mature, not in the

pride and has a beautiful Tan and Ginger mane. It scored #37 SCI

overall RSA-Namibia.

We spent the next 3 long days searching the vast concession in

the heat and dust for fresh cat tracks. We cut a few smaller

lioness tracks but no males.

The last morning of the schdeuled hunt we pulled out all the

stops stops and had three sets of PH's and trackers drive the

blocks starting at first light. 2-1/2 hours into the tracking

that morning, one of the crews cut fresh tracks and followed to

freshly killed and consumed young Kudu bull. They drove the block

and confirmed that the cat was still in the block. A few minutes

later the stalk was on and we followed the fresh tracks through

open grass/acacia through very thick sickle bush where we could

literally walk up on a bedded lion. All eyes and rfiles were on

full alert as we pressed on in the pressing heat of the mid-


About 2 hours into the track, we came across a small grove of

acacia trees where the lion had scratched up the sand for a cool

spot to lay down and digest his his Kudu breakfast and continued

on another half mile and found where the lion had entered a large

warthog hole to get out of the heat and away from his

pursurers.We took our first water break of the day and pressed on

with the track another few hundred yards.

The just-made tracks in the soft Kalahari sand indicated we were

bumpihg the lion not far ahead of us. We decided to take another

water break and let the lion find his shade and get settled in

before we continued tracking him. With all 5 rifles resting on

acacia trees, waters bottles were brought out and one of the

PH's, Dons Els, went behind a sicklebush to relieve himself.

Before he unzip his shorts, he rushed back saying "he's right

there". The next thing I knew someone handed me my rifle and the

hunt had jumped in hyper-speed.We spread out in a shooting line

rifles at the shoulders, safteys off and fingers resting on the


Not 20 yards away from the 8 of us were taking our water break,

stood the large male lion, tail straight up and watching our

every move. I had no idea where anyopne was in relation to me

other than everyone to my right beyond Juan were a blud in my

peripheral vision. The lion was standing in deep shadow and from

Where I was standing there was a branch that covered his front

chest area. After what seemed an hour, but was only a few

seconds, he wheeled to his righ tand moved out of the sicklebuch

without a sound with Juan and I in pursuit.

We followed to him 50 yards to another set of acacia trees where

huffed, roared and rattled the 416 Rem shells in pocket and just

as he was about to charge the 416 barked in my hands as the 400

grain bullet hit its mark through his left shoulder. He hunched

momentarily and took off without a limp to our left another 45

yards to the nearest group of acacia trees where he circled

roaring and facing us as if to charge three times. He turned to

my right and the 416 barked again as the bullet pierced his right

shoulder. He went down on his front knees, whirled and to my

utter amazement tookl off again anotehr 55 yards to the nearest

acacia tree he could find and climbed high in the tree until his

butt was a full 10 feet off the ground. Juan and I stood there

with rifles ready watching him through our scopes. I asked Juan

if I should drill him theough the shoulder as climbed down, his

broken shoulders not able to hold his weight in the tree.

As the lion's paws raked the barks and slid down the tree trunk

his back feet touched the sand and his body was fully extended 10

feet. Juan told me to wait until he stood broadside and then let

him have it. As his front feet touched the sand he turned 180

degrees to face to my right and I let go with the third 400

grainer from the 416 and over he went, growling and biting at his

fatal wounds. I don't remember filling the magazine as we ran and

followed the lion in between shots; but as I opened the bolt to

check the magazine, there were three rounds ready to go. I jacked

the fourth round into the chamber and adminsitered the coup de

gras. The magnificant, fully maned lion, king of the Kalahari

made his final death throws and my first game species of the Big

Five hunt was over.

Hands reached out to shake mine, pats on the back and bottles of

water were put inmy hand. It was a boyhood dream that I never

thought possible that had just been fullfiled. All those stories

from Bell, Rouark, Capstick had a new chapter with a thrilling

and safe conclusion - no scratches, and plenty of high drama.

After the requisite pictures were taken and with much effort, six

of us loading him into the Land cruiser; the adrenaline hit every

muscle fibre in my body and I couldn't stop shaking until I had 3

stiff scotches and 2 hours of recanting every step, every time

the lion and I made eye contact and me recalling every roar that

literally rattled the 416 rounds in my left pocket.

Its been two years now since that hot dusty morning in the

Kalahari sand I still get a racing eart and pulse writing these

words. I hope I never loose that type of palm sweating memory

until my final moments on this Earth.

YOu'll have to read next year's guest book to erad about my cape

buffalo hunt in the Zambezi swamps of Mozambique!

Scott Perkins 17 Oct 2013
October 17, 2013 14:41

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