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Hunt Africa Journal

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A Family Wonder Around the African Bonfire

A Family Wonder Around the African Bonfire

They say never pass a gas station when the tank is below one quarter. I know this, I’ve heard this – but I always do the math and it usually plays out. But, good ol’ Murphy has a way of sneaking up on you. On our way to, what seemed like a town on Google maps, we realized with a cold shock that fuel is not available anywhere nearby. This is where my meeting with Alex & Johnny from Eland Safaris began – and I immediately knew we were going to have a wonderful time!

The Hunt Africa team low on fuel in the middle of nowhere – only now discovering the “next town” isn’t really a town, and gas is not available!

The Arrival

Ignoring our fuel crisis, we soldiered on figuring we’d make a plan at a later stage, it’s not like we had any other choice. Arriving at Eland Safaris however, we were met by the friendly faces of the Thomson family and our moods shifted immediately. Eland Safaris is a family run operation managed by two brothers, Alex & Johnny, along with their wives and a clean & professional support staff. Before we had the chance to unpack this dynamic duo invited us into the lodge taking us on a mini tour to show us where all the various (excellent, if I may add) facilities are. We were made to be comfortable in our luxurious en suite chalets and immediately invited back to the lodge for lunch. Our fuel fiasco now long forgotten. The stunning dining hall is central to the camp, decorated with many trophies, each with its own story told in short by the brass plaques nailed to them.

After lunch the hunt Africa team stayed behind to do some strategizing: we have two days to show you what this outfit has to offer – and we were in luck: Eland Safaris had clients arriving that same day! This makes life a bit easier for us, as we can observe Alex, Johnny and their team in action. This is what we discovered:

The Hunting

When it comes to hunting, the Thomson brothers & their highly experienced PH’s are top-notch. On your first day, you will be taken to their NHSA accredited shooting range to see if the target is being hit and ensure that you are confident in your abilities with your weapon of choice. From here, the fun begins. The 6000 Acre hunting block has open plains & bushveld habitats carrying good numbers of game. For the species not available on this main block, a short drive to a different area is sure to deliver.

Eland Safaris has brilliant skinners, trackers, and plenty of well-trained tracking dogs. All of this is to ensure that any animal you hit will be recovered. Back at the lodge, extremely clean and well-equipped skinning shed, salt room & cold room awaits your return. Your outfitter watches over the skilled skinners to ensure that your harvest arrives at the taxidermist in perfect condition.

After some exciting hunts with our three new American friends, we had time to just relax. We spent our second evening with the entire Eland team, their families which includes their now-arrived, wonderfully behaved toddlers, and off course the clients in camp. We spoke about everything from politics & the stars, to the hunt & the searching for Kudu. We had so much fun that I got our team to make an extra video. Nothing tells the stories and the fun in camp as good as a video:

The Triple Certification

But not everything can be fun & games. We were here for a reason. To check whether Eland Safaris is worth your time and money. I went to my chalet, got the certification folder, and met up with Alex. It’s time to double check everything on your behalf.

For those of you who don’t know, our certification process is comprised of 101-points, all of which must be passed. The line items are broken into three sections: The quality of the outfitter, the sustainability of the outfitter, and the experience of the outfitter.

No surprise, this outfit passed with flying colours. In the process we also happened to discover that Eland Safari is endorsed by Craig Boddington, a well-respected and well-versed American adventurer from Kansas. Eland Safaris especially impressed us in a couple of standout criteria:

The Skinning Shed & Meat Processing

At Eland Safaris you will find a whole team of skinners working from what is good enough to be deemed a commercial slaughterhouse. Everything is exceptionally clean, well-lit, and absolutely guarantees that the gents taking care of your trophy will make no mistakes on your cape.

Accommodations & Dining

Similarly, to the skinning shed, the kitchen almost seems overkill. In a fantastic way of course. The permanent chef at Eland has more than enough space and appliances to ensure that, as with every meal we had, all the dishes are perfectly timed, perfectly cooked and in abundance.

The rooms and communal areas are also top-notch. I found myself wanting to take a quick nap every time I ran to my chalet for gear – it’s just that welcoming. I deem accommodations incredibly important as, other than your time out hunting, this is what will make or break your Safari. I am pleased to report that you are in great hands at Eland.

The Family Wonder

Eland Safaris is a family run operation – and every sense of what that means is visible everywhere you look. The attention to details and care of the facilities, from the rooms to the kitchen, to the garden speaks of how the Eland team genuinely want this place to be your home away from home in Africa. We also had the pleasure of meeting Alex & Johnny’s mother and children. Grandma told us all about how the family ranch started and the children were absolutely at their best, providing nothing than joy around the camp.

To me, family is a big thing, and I can only describe our experience at Eland as a family wonder.

The Conclusion

We are honoured to welcome and award Eland Safaris with the Hunt Africa Gold Certification. Alex & Johnny has more than 30 year’s combined experience guiding hunts professionally. This outfit is further endorsed by Craig Boddington and is members of PHASA, LHFL, SCI, DSC and life members with the NRA.

Hunt Africa recommends Eland Safaris with the greatest of confidence. Any hunting party who arrives at this outfit will have an African experience to remember.

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