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Victoria Falls, Zambia. Photo from Islands of Siankaba.

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.

Cape Town has penguins? Photo from capetown/travel.com

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

Lagoon Camp – Botswana. Photo from Kwando Lagoon Camp.

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.

Wild Dogs are popular at Kwando. Photo from Kwando Lagoon Camp.

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

Private cabins at Islands of Siankaba, Zambia. Photo from siankaba.net

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

Islands of Siankaba Lodge. Photo from siankaba.net

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.

30CalGal

 

6 Responses to “Preparing for South Africa Bisley Union Rifle Championship”

  1. Curt Wilson

    I’ve been following your posts on The Firearms Blog as well as your own site. Glad to see you on both sites! Congrats on the trip for both of you! I bet that you are totally excited. Tell Charles hello for me and happy birthday. I don’t see you two at the range often and as I’m not really shooting now due to family concerns I really miss seeing the two of you at matches as well. Have fun and safe travels. I’ll follow your updates and see what’s going on down there!

    Reply
  2. D Liu

    Hi Annette, I recently found your blog via a search result for your 2012 post entitled “NRA High Power Competition – What Is Its Future?” As a person who has recently decided to embark on the journey towards competitive rifle shooting, service rifle and High Power in particular, I find myself asking the same question with every purchase I’ve made. With the present furor over gun control having the real potential to damage the sport for years, I am perplexed by the silence from those who I see as having so much at stake, and who have already given so much. I am thinking of people like yourself, whose accomplishments speak for themselves, and I have no doubt refelect the quality of your character and integrity as well.
    I realize that you primarily shoot a bolt gun, but I also see that your icon features what has been, and may soon be considered again, an ‘assault weapon,’ a sweeping designation that may be expanded to include all service rifles and many of the modern semi-autos used by High Power competitors. If a national semi-auto ban goes in to effect, or enough states enact their own bans ala New York and California, do you think that the sport can really survive another two generations? Perhaps another look at the future of the sport is in order, with a view toward what can be done by those of us who cherish it? I personally think that the nation needs to hear from all the sport’s current and past champions, who can perhaps demonstrate that sane, respectable, people of all types can have an interest in the use of firearms, regardless of the outward appearances (of the firearm). Best of luck and safe travels to you in S. Africa.
    David

    Reply
    • 30calgal

      Wow, thank you David,
      You are right in that since my “What is the future of High Power?” article the reasons for possible changes are well, changing. I will think about that and write something. Thank you for your response and support of the gun community. Anette

      Reply
  3. Kendall

    I was in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga South Africa during the summer of 2007. What a beautiful place! Dangerous too, but breathtakingly beautiful. The people are wonderful. I recommend you try to see the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park if you ever go again!!! I wish I had been able to go to Cape Town. Also recommend the Carnivore restaurant (unless you’re a vegetarian lol)! Don’t get in the ocean, lots of sharks. Enjoy!

    Try saying “Howzit” to one of the locals, they’ll love it. And drink tap water with no ice. 🙂

    Reply

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