In about two weeks Charles and I will be going to S Africa for one month. That is a long time! I will really miss our pooch Kozmo. A large group of us from the US Development Team are competing in the S. African Nationals. Located in Bloemfontein the match will run two weeks long. Certainly the longest match I have done. Not even Camp Perry is that long. Well unless you are shooting in every category. I was trying to understand why it takes that much time.
Competing in other countries brings a much different format of shooting. In the US we have strings of 15 – 20 rounds. Elsewhere the strings are as few as 7 – 10 rounds and in some cases as much as 15 rounds. Shooting two per mound adds some time to those short round counts. There also is a proper lunch break. We certainly do not offer that luxury in the US. Although, I am not sure if that is a luxury. I’d rather pack a brown bag and be done with the day at a decent hour. The two weeks of shooting combine individual and team events. Ranges are from 300m – 900m. For Charles and I though this is a much bigger trip than just the match.
Charles turns the big 50 while we are there. So of course we had to add a lot more days to the trip to check out more places than the not so lovely Bloemfontein. The best part is we had enough miles to get two first class tickets on Cathay Pacific. I think I am looking forward to that the most! We will arrive several days earlier than the rest of the team. Once we check in our rifles and hand them over to an agent who will “rifle sit” for us we jump on a plane down to Cape Town. (The team hired Adele from Hunter’s Permits Africato take of our rifle permitting and entry. She is also going to keep our rifle and gear while we travel) It is pretty
easy to travel with firearms there. They are quite used to hunters coming in. All of our ammo was shipped ahead of time by Sierra Bullets for the Team. We will have a rental car in Cape Town and explore our way to the coastal areas. And of course we will “explore” a few wineries. We then fly back up to Johannesburg and meet up with the rest of the gang and drive to Bloemfontein together. Hopefully by then we will be acclimated to the time difference.We then shoot for two weeks and at the end we hand over our rifles and gear again to Adele.
The next 9 days will be Safari based north of S Africa. We have to have one day in Johannesburg before we fly up to the north side of Botswana. By the way, the entire fun travel portions of this trip were put together by Gillian of Africa 200 Tours. She has been awesome in organizing this for us at the last minute. I am super excited about her suggestions and itinerary. Our first stop is the Kwando Lagoon Campup in Botswana. Talk about luxury! Only 12 guest in 6 tents each overlooking the Kwando river. Known for large elephant populations, wild dogs and resident hippos. Hmmm… maybe
we do need the hippo repellant. And I will be on the lookout for crocs creeping too closely to our riverfront room. Not sure if they have them there? We will have driving and river cruising safaris and fly fishing. Next we fly to the Zambia side of Victoria Falls and are staying at another sweet lodge called The Islands of Siankaba Lodge. Again only 6 “chalets” with decks hanging over the Zambezi river. Yikes, more crocs? This resort is a bit more active. One can
do just about anything, biking, hiking, river cruises, canoeing fishing, helicopters, you name it. Both of these resorts have all meals, drinks and activities included. I AM SO EXCITED!!!
Let me repeat. I AM SO EXCITED! Of course I am bringing my computer with me to post the trip adventures as we go. But I am not sure how reliable the internet services will be in the hotels. And I highly doubt there will be service at the Safari lodges. I actually look forward to that. So postings may be delayed several days at the end of the trip. Yes, I will take many photos.