Trophy Game Safaris
Newsletter 1 - 2010 Season
-------- www.tgsafari.co.za -------
2010 Has brought the soccer world cup to South Africa in June/July. This has the nation proud and many advantages for the economy, however it has brought a damper to the hunting safari market in this period due to expensive airfare. We took in extra hunts in other parts of the season to make up for the down time. I am only now getting time to write the first newsletter for the year.
This January was a big trip to the states for the whole family Tino, Amanda, Arno, Ruan and Tianda. Spending six weeks travelling from state to state, we were spoiled by many special friends wherever we stayed and the kids had the time of their lives. Many special memories were made!! A Big thank you goes to everyone who hosted us and went out of their way with their hospitality!
||On the left is a photo of the family, me in the back with Amanda, Arno, Ruan, Jake, Tianda and Jordan. Jake & Jordan Myers were our great guides in Disney!!
|On the right is Arno, David Tenney, Amanda and me in our booth at the NWTF 's National convention.
David Tenney whom many have already met now fills the position of US marketing director for Trophy Game Safaris. David has been a friend of ours for the past 10 years. He has travelled to Africa annually for the past five years and has extensive expertise on our services we offer. Anyone can take the liberty of giving him a call to regard of their safari and they will get first hand responses. David: firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile 423-737-1034.
In general our marketing went fairly well under the current economic circumstance and it showed signs of recovering. I would also like to thank everyone who entrusted us with their deposits and payments for their safaris. On time payments really makes our planning for your safari so much easier. I hope to bring in a bit more of our family experiences from the USA into our other newsletters for the remaining of the season.
I know everyone is anxious to hear how the season has been going to date. We had a very dry season staring us in the face, but were blessed with exceptional good rains in April which is very abnormal.
This has resulted in some great prospects for the season. Let's start giving you more info………
Nathan & Jillian Bergeland were our first clients for the seasons arriving early March. From Minneapolis, MN we received our new friends. This being more of a travel trip, Nate only took a trophy Blue wildebeest, Trophy Impala, a management Blesbuck with two management ostriches including some upland bird hunting.
We had a great time with them and can't wait for their future trip with us. We turned the soft Jillian rough in the bush!! Golden memories were made with special people.
Anders Larsen one of our returning friends & first time Brian Lofgren from Arhus in Denmark visited us with Palle & Birte. The group spent two weeks with us of which we hunted ten days and traveled four days.
Once more great success was achieved on Palle & Birte' safari. Just when you wonder if a 4th trip could be better than the previous. Birte and I shared a very special warthog hunt. Brian had a great trip for his first safari and I am sure we will see him again too as we will with Anders who topped his first safari.
Our Travel day's is a popular add on to the hunting safaris and ideal for the hunter who brings his wife. What a way to wind down at the end of a perfect safari! A Safari with us is very intimate, you spend a lot of time with all of us in the bush and there is no place like this to create new friendships. Nature is such a special creation from our Lord and it speaks in a million ways to us. It is here that you can be free from the buzz of your city job and just relax in the tranquility.
Your guides Tino, Amanda, Arno and Tom all guide you with a passion for what we do and what we are.
APRIL through MID - MAY
Anders Totterman from Finland returned for his third trip with Trophy Game Safaris. He maintains a very loyal friendship with us and was rewarded with this beautiful leopard in late April. Little did we know four years ago when Anders baited another clients leopard just 100 yards away with me that we will hunt one together almost right there!
The hunt was flawless and after eating on our hartebeest bait as you can see on the left top photo early on the hunt we held out for two more days to see if we can pick up another larger tom cat on our other baits. We decided to set up then for this cat for our choice after the two days passed before we lose it of the bait. The construction of the blind can be seen on the top right photo which was about 65 yards to the bait.
It all ended at 930pm that night with a big bang right on the spot with a perfect shot from Anders's 9.3x62.
Well done Anders, a well deserved trophy for a loyal client and friend!
Watch out ……. Here comes PeeWee!
PJ Myers, a great friend I have made in recent years and having shared some great experiences I am very sure this will be one of many years to come. PJ is from Winter Haven in Florida. His first safari with us was two years ago and he took a very large bag under which a magnificent trophy Kudu. We followed up this trip with yet another large bag of 15 animals.
||Here in Africa your skinning is done by skinners, but after two years and a few castles (beers) PJ convinced me to let him gut this kudu Steve Trinklein shot late that afternoon.
Steve Trinklein. Arno writes….. Better known as the Sandriver hills prankster of the year, always had a trick up his sleeve. Tino calls him Short Grass for turning Sand River Hills wonderful tall grass into dirt! There was never a dull moment with him, in or out of the hunting field. With all his patience he was rewarded with some exceptional trophies and we even managed to get him a workout on the kudu hunt….. I don't know who's heart was beating faster, it may have been the run we had to do to get the shot or just the pure magnificence to make it all happen on such a beautiful trophy. It was always a lot of fun being around this energetic, positive and good hearted person. And we are looking forward to accompany him in the hunting field in the near future.
Michelle Trinklein and Jennifer Myers joined their husbands on safari for a few days and then Amanda took them on a road tour of the parks. The girls had a great time and even got stuck in one of the rivers after some late fall rains. Some great sights were at the order of the day and when they got back to Sand River Hills to join us they wanted nothing of us men. They had a new love in their lives…….not sure who or what it was. Maybe the elephants, lions or cheetah they saw…or maybe just the experience they had. Jen had to leave SA earlier as planned due to obligations with the kids in the states and Michelle stayed back just relaxing while Steve and PJ finished their hunting safari. Thanks for your friendship ladies!
May 2010 Botswana trip to the Okavango
Myself Arno, father & son Curt & Anton West from Finland with intern from Denmark Bjorn Jensen set off on a seven day adventure to explore Botswana as it had been something Curt wanted to do for the past years after nine visits to SA and one to Namibia.
Driving was a big part of the trip as we traveled long distances. As we crossed the Limpopo River between South Africa and Botswana we were met by the hospitality of my girlfriend's family in the Tuli Block and that immediately opened the door for the thought that a great experience laid ahead of us. We spent the night on the banks of the Limpopo were the hippos was vocal all night long.
The next morning we got on the road early to make our way to the Okavango about 1700km /1056 miles Northwards. Just as dusk fell we arrived at our destination, after a couple of beers and soaking up the relaxing atmosphere we went to bed. We were scheduled for an early morning of fishing. We were all very exited to get our lure's wet so we were on the boat early that morning where we saw some breathtaking nature on our way out to the fishing spots. Our targets were set on the tiger fish a real fighter and world famous! It wasn't too long when both Curt and Anton was rewarded for their efforts with two beautiful tiger fish. They were sure it was crocodiles on their hooks in the way these fish were fighting. Bjorn also got a one smaller as a consolation. After two more days of fishing we ended up with some exceptional fish and memories.
Making our way back South we were off to our next adventure, a place called Elephant Sands. Situated in central Botswana were elephants truly rule. On the way we stopped at a crocodile farm, the Crocovango and saw some huge crocs, they also had attacking goats here!
We spent two days at Elephant Sands Lodge and had some close encounters with the majestic giants (elephants) when they came up for an evening drink of water out of the swimming pool were we were sitting around the lead wood fire. The next day we went on a "game flight" in a ultra light aircraft, not so ideal for a gentle giant such as Curt…. But when we touched down again everyone had big smiles on there faces and enjoyed the experience extremely. We left Elephant Sands behind as we were on our journey back to Sandriver Hills in South Africa, that evening we spent one more night on the banks of the Limpopo River and shared our experiences along side the fire. This is where we greeted Botswana as we crawled into bed. The next morning everyone was excited to get HOME to base camp Sandriver Hills in SA where a fantastic Botswana trip came to an end.
What a year of high and lows. I think we have our reputation combined with some wonderful supporting friends all over the world to thank for surviving this down mid season. The soccer world cup has been a great awaited experience for most people, but in the safari hunting industry it has hurt many outfitters in South Africa. What is usually our busiest part of the season left us without serious business for two months.
We have survived with a few photo safaris and some local South African hunters with the odd soccer supporter here and there who needed a bed for a night or two. I end this newsletter on reporting hunts till mid may and will continue from there on when I do the next letter.
We await some big hunts starting end July and look forward to the busy time. Currently we are spending our time on upgrades and long awaited maintenance.
Warm regards from everyone here at the TG Safaris team. We await your future safari with us with great anticipation.
Tino Erasmus - Trophy Game Safaris - Outfitter & Professional Hunter