Earlier this year I was given the opportunity to travel to South Africa for a 12-day hunt at Bombazi Wilderness and there was only one catch – I’d be going without my Dad. I was familiar with Bombazi after hunting there two years earlier with my parents, so what better place to go for my first hunt alone.
Looking back two years to my first trip to South Africa, I arrived at Bombazi with my Mom and Dad about to begin my first-ever hunting adventure. Not only was I a first-timer with no idea what I was doing, but my entourage (consisting of my mom and dad, naturally) also had a variety of needs and expectations for their own time at Bombazi. My Mom was there for a relaxing vacation while my Dad wanted to see huge African game and get footage for his TV show - talk about high maintenance clients. By the end of our trip, not only did Bombazi accommodate all of our respective needs, we were amazed by its ability to play the part of hunting lodge, outdoor relaxation getaway, gourmet restaurant and a top-notch accommodation all in one. With its huge valleys of unspoiled bush and high hills crawling with African game, I fell in love with the ranch; it was the ultimate escape. Skip ahead two years to the Spring of 2011, I’m heading back to Bombazi and just like the first trip, from the time I left North America right up until the minute I was greeted by my PH in the East London airport, everything was stress-free and organized. My bags arrived, my gun arrived, my paperwork went smoothly and other than a slightly greasy appearance, I was all smiles.
Lots had changed at Bombazi since my first visit; they set-up wireless Internet, a fabulous cooking staff was hired and best of all, an impressive, brand new lodge had been built by Bryan Greig, one of the two Greig brothers who are my dad’s partners on the ranch. As much as I love being outdoors and getting dirty, I’m also a girl who loves to have a shower and a warm bed at the end of the day, so this was my kind of place. Before I had even set out on my first day of hunting, I knew it was going to be a great two weeks.
A typical day out in the field changed regularly depending on which animals we were after. Some days we hiked for 15 miles, while others we sat and glassed for hours, but each morning I woke up excited to head out hunting and each night I returned to camp with a smile spread from cheek to cheek and another beautiful African trophy. The quantity and quality of animals that we saw on any given day was outstanding and the terrain varied from flat grasslands to steep, rocky hills so every animal presented a new challenge. On the final day of our trip, Bryan even played Tour Guide for the day and drove us into town to visit the markets and experience the East London seaside. What a great way to top-off and already amazing adventure.
Although I left Bombazi 5 lbs heavier (mainly due to the Rice Pudding I kept requesting from the itchen staff), and had a layer of insect bites covering my arms, it was the best experience I’ve ever had as a hunter. If you’re looking to have great accommodations, friendly staff, amazing food and plenty of african game, I couldn’t recommend a better South African destination than Bombazi.