Africa - First Night Via iPhone

Africa - First Night Via iPhone
Photo by John Hafner

LOCATION: Kasane, Chobe, North-West, Botswana

I just saw a pride of lions across the river. Somewhere in the distance a hyena calls. It sounds like Friday night at a lady's insane asylum, as Ruark once said, (or something like that).

I instinctively reach for the Kimber .375 h&h stuffed full of federals finest next to my cot. Even in "Modern" Africa where a cell sign woke up. The display of my phone says its 2:24 a.m. Not sure if I woke from jet lag of the lion grunting right behind the tent. In either case I'm awake and not sleeping anytime soon.


The Chobe River is murmuring by 15 yards of the tent. The grunting hippos mingles with the sound of another pal can be had in the middle of the Caprivi Strip. The feel of checkered walnut still feels reassuring.


You carry a gun everywhere here. Go to the bathroom at night - grab a rifle and a flashlight. Step out of the truck to take a look around - grab a rifle and make sure there are solid rounds in the magazine.


Critters are big here and on not too frequent occasions they can and do bite back.

I've been in dozen of camps in Africa from coast to coast and never I have seen a place that matched my boyhood dreams as completely as this camp.

We came up river by boat. Along the way we saw hundreds of Elephants, two massive crocs and the black dots of buffalo that dotted the green grass flood plain that explorers visited with muzzle-loaders.


Lots of outfitters claim a "true" African experience but few provide it. I have been fortunate enough to hunt out with Jamy Traut visiting his newest camp in the Caprivi Strip. It's four days old and has the most amazing spots I have seen in Africa.

Located on the Chobe River on the Namibian side you peer across the water 100 yards to Botswana, specifically the fabled Chobe Game Reserve.

Along with the hide-covered buffalo the cats, lions and leopards follow, feeding at their leisure.


I am here with Dwight Van Brunt of Kimber and Tim Brandt of Federal Ammunition testing their newest Cape Shock Safari Load in Kimbers .458 Lott Caprivi Rifle.

My old friend Mark Kefe from the NRA is also along to provide comic relief as well as keep the elephant population in check. It's a mixed bag hunt.

I could pick between a hippo or buffalo and Dwight has a croc permit. Since I have shot a buffalo and Tim has never been to Africa, I opted for him to take the hunt.

I will go along as well for the hunt. We leave at first light, and likely still be up-watching the sun light as the Eastern African horizon rises somewhere over Mozambique.

(NOTE: This blog was sent via text messages from Africa. It came in about 30 separate messages from Mike.)

Recommended for You

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West. North America

The Best Units for Hunting Elk, Mule Deer & Antelope

Chuck Smock

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West.

Every hunter needs a rimfire workhorse for varmints and predators. Guns

Best Rimfire Rifles for 2019

Keith Wood - April 23, 2019

Every hunter needs a rimfire workhorse for varmints and predators.

Craig Boddington picks his top five over-the-counter hunts to add to your bucket list. Adventure

5 Bucket List DIY Hunts

Craig Boddington

Craig Boddington picks his top five over-the-counter hunts to add to your bucket list.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 16: Cedar Break Bucks

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use case. Ammo

Is the .308 the Perfect North American Big Game Cartridge?

Richard Mann

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use...

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites. Guns

8 Great Youth Guns Designed for Growing Hunters

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 18, 2016

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites.

See More Stories

More Worldwide Big Game

Chasing tahr in the clouds of New Zealand is no small feat. Worldwide Big Game

A Trek for Tahr in New Zealand

Kali Parmley

Chasing tahr in the clouds of New Zealand is no small feat.

Craig Boddington describes what he likes when it comes to choosing the right Nile buffalo to take. Worldwide Big Game

Choosing a Buffalo to Hunt

PHTV Adventures - August 07, 2017

Craig Boddington describes what he likes when it comes to choosing the right Nile buffalo to...

Africa has changed since the time of Roosevelt, but it is still a place of adventure.
 Through the Worldwide Big Game

The Golden Age of Safari in Africa

Craig Boddington - August 27, 2018

Africa has changed since the time of Roosevelt, but it is still a place of adventure. Through...

See More Worldwide Big Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.