ARTICLES

Camouflage – Not Just Stage Make-Up

When I booked to visit the Imperial War Museum in London with my grandson at the beginning of the year, inadvertently I became a member and now receive their interesting

Knock, Knock – Who’s There?

My school, the South African College School or SACS as it is universally known, is the oldest in the country. When, in the 1950s, it moved from the centre of

The Comfort Crisis

My son gave me a book for Christmas, The Comfort Crisis – Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self, by Michael Easter, published in 2021. This is essentially

The Four Cs – Comfort, Calm, Concentration and Confidence

I have previously written about the importance of the five Ps – Preparation, Practice, Patience, Persistence and the most important P of all, PUP – Performance Under Pressure. Now I

The Benefit of Hunting Books

One of my earliest recollections of my much loved Mom, is of her sitting at the foot of my bed reading to me before I went to sleep. And then

Opportunity Costs

What do I mean by opportunity costs? I mean that, if you choose a particular course of conduct, whether on purpose or by accident, by commission or omission, in all

Hunting Places that Inspire

I have been reading a book by Justin Cartwright, an ex Cape Town boy now living in London, called The Song Before it is Sung, a fictionalized account of one

Be Prepared

Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (1857 to 1941), later first Baron Baden-Powell, collected more honours from his own government and others than many people have had hot breakfasts. He

Dealing with Disappointment

Disappointment. A simple, 14 letter, polysyllabic word hiding mountain ranges of experiences each one of us has had to deal with many, many times. Not so? The first time disappointment

Corruption – The Biggest Threat to African Hunting

As we came into land at Harare back in the 1980s I think it was, the stewardess handed out small squares of brown paper without any explanation. On closer examination,

Fear – Facts and Fiction

I noticed it for the first time after Derek had shot his old, hard bossed, fully mature, 39 inch Cape buffalo bull. Up until then I had become progressively more

Fool me twice, shame on me!

It was 1961. I was 13 years old. We were in Knysna for Christmas and staying at the Beach House Hotel near the Knysna Heads. When the tide came in,

‘If Onlys’

For the last many years, I have tried to limit the ‘If Onlys’ in my life with greater and lesser levels of success but, more’s the pity, never entirely succeeding.

IPSAS – Immediate Post Shot Anxiety Syndrome

Despite hunting since I was a little boy, apart from one self-enforced absence of ten years as a young man, some things have remained constant. For example, after firing a

Nature versus Nurture

Some forty plus years ago, we were hunting on my then partner’s unfenced game ranch, Denstaadt, on the banks of the Limpopo River, out of a very rustic camp –

Wine, Whiskey and Trophy Hunting

A few days ago, a good friend emailed me a photograph of an excellent, 12 year old bottle of cabernet we both enjoyed. He had found it in a village

Rifles, Reflections and Rewards

I remember the only ultimatum my wife ever gave me. I was in my 30s, trying to build a legal practice. We had just had our second child and living

Scottish Roe Deer – Stalking and Conservation

I owe Alison Littlejohn a debt of real gratitude. If she had not ordered my book, Hunting the Spiral Horns – Bongo & Nyala – The Elite African Trophies, for

Mountain Nyala – Third Time Lucky

When you’re in it. Up to your neck. Far from home. Turning back’s not an option. But nothing’s happening. The days start to tick by ever faster. And you can

The Geopolitical Giraffe

A giraffe is a giraffe is a giraffe so you would think. Well, you may want to think again. Up until recently, there was one species of giraffe and nine

First Buffalo

Do you remember your first kiss? I mean a real kiss. Not one of those cheek grazing, lip brushing, air kisses into nothingness and nowhere. Do you remember your first

Conversations with my Son

Last month a friend sent me an email he had received from a United Kingdom visitor in response to the DVD he had sent her entitled, The South African Conservation

Caveat Congo – the Anatomy of a Hunting Disaster

The sweat shiny, black face and dull black uniform of the huge Congolese policeman blocked out most of the weak overhead light from the yellowy street bulb barely illuminating the

What do Bongo and Art have in Common?

When I was researching the chapter on bongo conservation in Kenya for the fifth and final book in the spiral horn series, Hunting the Spiral Horns – Bongo & Nyala

Some Roan I Remember

I like hunting roan, especially in West Africa. I think they are harder to hunt than Lord Derby’s eland, for example, because the big, lone roan bulls seem never to

Zebra – Pyjama Clad Horses?

It is sad but true. We have had a few hunters – or should I say "so-called" hunters – who visited us on our game ranch who had no love

The Five Huntable Hartebeest on Licence in Africa Today

It was my second visit to the 10,000 hectare game and cattle farm near Ellisras in the old Transvaal. The four of us hunters stood with our backs to the

Leopard Lunacy

As told to Peter Flack by Ryan Cliffe I was 27. Been a PH for exactly three years and an appy for five years before that. Why five years? Firstly,

How to Hunt Hard when it’s Hard to Hunt

I am 67 and there are days when I seem to hear the ticking of Father Time’s clock especially loudly. All those things they told me would not be possible

Red Lechwe Ramblings

Well over 30 years ago, I was invited by a friend to acquire a minority stake in a Botswana safari outfitter. We flew up to inspect the main concession in

The Livingstone’s Eland of Mocambique’s Niassa Reserve

If you are a passionate eland hunter, then October in Northern Mozambique’s massive Niassa Reserve is where to be. It is the time and place when the huge – and

Hyenas – The Voice of Africa

I think most hunters would agree that, the more they know about the animal they intend to hunt, the better are their chances of success. For years, however, when it

Second Bull Bandit

A good friend of mine, Peter Kennedy, the king of plus 60 inch kudu hunters, advises that whenever you seek permission to hunt kudu from a landowner, you should always

Ready to Hunt in Africa?

There are only three things you need to know as an amateur hunter about hunting in countries to the north of us – preparation, preparation and preparation. Preparation of your

The Most Special Spiral Horn?

I have often been asked, which do I think is the most special of all the spiral horns. Well, the first question to be asked is probably what constitutes a

First Lion

There are four basic ways to hunt lions and, at one time or another, I have used them all, and more than once. By far the most popular way today

Who Shot the Donkey?

Who shot the Donkey? It reminded me of the nursery rhyme song – "Who shot Cock Robin? I said the sparrow, with my bow and arrow, I shot Cock Robin.

Buffalo Blunders

This story takes me back many, many years. To about 1984 as I remember it. The time of a devastating drought that tortured our South African Lowveld for months on

Omo Valley Venture

Johannesburg to Addis Ababa – seven hours on the efficient Ethiopian Airlines. From there, two hours in a Cessna Caravan to the landing strip at Murulle Camp on the eastern

Natural History Museums and Hunting – is there a Connection?

Growing up in Cape Town in a strictly non-hunting, non-shooting family, my interest in wildlife and hunting began with a trip to what was then called the Cape Town Museum

Barbary Sheep Hunt in Chad

Chad, Tchad or Tjad. A name to conjure with. I knew it was a poor country, torn by civil war, somewhere in the Sahara Desert. But where was it situated

Rain Forest Elephant Hunting in Cameroon

When I awoke to the first ominous signs at midnight, I knew immediately it was something I had eaten or drunk at supper. I also knew it was going to

G.F.H. in the C.A.R.

Early morning. The grey of early dawn is lifting over the two and a half kilometre long glade on either side of the Batou River in the north central region

Crocodiles – Birds Or Lizards?

It all started many, many years ago. There were four of us. Amongst other things, we hunted together and, because I was the anally retentive one, I got the logistics

Cornwallis Harris’s Cameleopard

Last week I was reading the book of the earliest recreational hunter to visit South Africa, Captain (later Sir) William Cornwallis Harris, originally called, Narrative of an expedition into Southern

Hippopotamus – a Curious and Clever Beast

The late Dr. Lucas Potgieter read and commented on many of my articles before they went off to editors or publishers. He was often my litmus test as to whether

The Legend Of Welverdiend

Written by Marinda Groenewald as told to her by Dewald Joubert and translated by Peter Flack with permission of the author If a person wakes in the middle of the

Last Nile Buffalo in Dati

Have you ever had a premonition? I have. The strongest one was on the way to catch a plane to Tanzania – the plane was going to crash! The feeling

“B” is for Big Botswana Bulls

I came to elephant hunting quite late as, for about ten years or so, I was stuck in a rut. Buffalo were my passion – some said obsession – and,

Problem Animal Control in Tunisia or Tackling the Barbary Wild Boar

Many years ago I accompanied a man that was to become my boss on his first buffalo hunt. He was not as fit as he should have been nor as

Geoff Smith’s 100 Pounder

I met Geoff Smith, for the first time, when I returned from Wall Street to take up my position as the youngest and most junior partner at Bowman Gilfillan &

How I Found my Hundred Pounder

Is there an animal that you dream about hunting? Can you see yourself in the dream? There you are, exhausted, sweat stained, unshaven and burnt a rough, raw, reddish brown

“The” African Rifle

I am not a fundi on hunting rifles. I did not have a grandfather, father or older brother to teach me so, on the one hand, most of what I

The Taxonomy of African Game Animals

There are no rules, or so it may appear. That’s right, when it comes to establishing whether an animal is a new species or subspecies, there are no comprehensive, hard

Trackers – The Unsung Heroes

We had been on the tracks for over two hours. Only Martin and I. The rest of the hunting team remained at the salt lick. It hadn’t rained for three

Bongo – the African Hunting Icon

I and four of my friends have hunted with French professional hunter, Christophe Morio, on a number of occasions in both Benin and CAR. In our opinion, he is not

Zambia’s Royal Sable

I stood as still as a statue in the deep, dappled shade of the miombo woodland scarcely daring to breathe. Exactly 174 metres away, through a latticework of thin, brachystegia,

The Unspeakable in Full Pursuit of the Uneatable

October. Suicide month in Tanzania. Especially this year. No rain to speak of last year. No rain at all this year. The big Kigosi River, which joins the Gombe, which

In Foortu’s Footsteps – Hunting in the Umkomaas and Nhlamvini Valleys

Almost everyone knows that a region of KwaZulu/Natal is called The Valley of a Thousand Hills. Some of these hills are so steep even the baboons use walking sticks to

World Record Nyala versus South Africa’s Conservation Revolution

I resigned this month after five years as chairman of Rowland Ward. There are many reasons for my resignation and one of them comes from the first book on management

Of Horses and Rifles

Soon after buying our game ranch 20 years ago, I knew I wanted, no needed, a horse. Although it had been many, many years – 29 to be exact –

Safari Marksmanship

There are at least six separate skills involved in hunting. The fours – shooting, spotting, stalking, survival – flora and fauna knowledge and, finally, game and trophy handling. All of

Sesse Island Sitatunga

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game contains the following reference to Island Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii sylvestris), "Distribution – the Sesse Islands of Lake Victoria (Uganda). The validity of this sub-species

Last Hunt on Bankfontein

I stood in the dining room of our farmhouse, with my arm around the shoulders of my wife as the tears streamed down her face. Our house had been wrecked.

World Record Bongo – Africa’s Top Trophy

I looked at the magnificent, old – no, ancient – animal as it lay stretched out at my feet. I could not speak. I had a huge lump in my