A Cracking Niassa Hunt in the October Heat
October/November 2017 again found me in the Niassa area of Northern Mozambique hunting with Dave Langerman. This was my third trip to Niassa and my second hunt with Dave. Would I hunt in Niassa again, yes, would I hunt with Dave again, most certainly, he is an excellent PH and good company.
I arrived in Niassa on a 10 day Buffalo/Croc hunt but was told that there was a leopard still on quota, so (after winning the toss of a coin with one of my fellow hunters) I upgraded to include Leopard .On a 10 day hunt, I understood that we would be pushed for time but these opportunities don’t come along every day and the fact that I was successful on all three of these species along with some cracking antelope trophies is a reflection not only of Niassa as a superb hunting area but also Dave’s hard work and dedication.
Having hunted with Dave before I knew I would both have an excellent time and be in good hands and I was not disappointed. Dave and his team are dedicated to success and I am very grateful for the massive effort and commitment they put in to making my trip successful. One of the other aspects that I really enjoy about hunting with Dave is that if you are interested he is more than happy to involve you in hunt strategy and tactics and explain in detail exactly what he is doing and why, for me this considerably adds to the enjoyment as I like to be ‘involved’ with the hunt.
I am often told that with leopard hunting there is a degree of luck and I do not dispute that lady luck plays a part in helping a leopard to find your baits. However, we had four Leopards feeding on three baits and it is worth noting that ‘our’ leopard was feeding on a bait that Dave had positioned in an area simply because experience told him that it looked like the sort of place a leopard would be. Although we had seen no sign of leopard in the surrounding area Dave thought about it and thought about it some more before declaring that we should hang a bait and sure enough the next night a Tom hit the bait. Were we lucky, I think not, that cat was a result of Dave’s experience, attention to detail and overall professionalism.
The excitement I felt when a bushbuck barked to the left of our blind signalling the leopard was close and then hearing the leopard walking past the blind to the base of the tree is difficult to explain. This was leopard hunting up close and personal, the distance from the tree to the blind was 24 yards. Dave told me that this distance and closer between hide and bait is normal for Niassa as the leopards are not under the same pressure as in some other countries.
All you Bow hunters who want to hunt cats might want to think about that and consider a trip to Niassa as the cat looked almost close enough to touch.
The hunting was first class and we saw plenty of animals of numerous species every day of my hunt.
We made numerous exciting stalks into buffalo (never herds, always groups of Dugga boys) and passed on numerous bulls until towards the end of the hunt I shot my buffalo of a lifetime. We stalked in to 35yds, the first barrel killed it and the second barrel killed it some more, I then unleased a further 3 shots at the buffalo before it disappeared from view and then a sixth shot as an insurance as we came up to it. The hunting experience is everything to me and that was buffalo hunting at its best.
We baited the crocodile which was a fascinating hunt in itself. There is something quite primitive about watching crocodiles rip a bait to bits and it is certainly impressive for its sheer brutality. We were again up close and personal, this time the blind was 27yds from the bait!
To my mind everything you read about Niassa being one of Africa’s last true wildernesses is true, it is an incredible place and well worth visiting. I enjoyed a fantastic trip, it was a pleasure to hunt with Dave and I really appreciated the effort and expertise which he put into making my trip the success that it was.