View Full Version : Hunting the Kilombero for Buff

March 23, 2002, 08:16 PM
I'm going to be hunting for Cape Buffalo in September in the Kilombero region of Tanzania. Any of you guys out there had any experience in this block? How about a word of the wise from all you old African hunters. Any words of wisdom for a Buffalo virgin. I'm taking two rifles Both Stainless Model 70's one in .375H&H(Scoped 1.75X6) the other a Ghost ringed .458 Lott. we are shooting 2 Buffalo Crocs and Hippo.

Rich, I am not bringing my .45/70. Why not you ask? Well on the you may be a redneck if list, check item number 379 under lever guns in Africa.;)

Al Thompson
March 23, 2002, 09:15 PM
Being 42 and have had my first taste of Africa, I may fit in the twin categorys of "old" and "African" but not sure of the combo.

1, buff are like people - shoot till they are off their feet - and keep a wary eye on them. My first was like a whitetail - one shot and flop. The second (who is overhead) was tough. 2, bring extra glass. My bino's and scope went TU. 3, talk to your PH about things you cn bring from the states for him. May be simple. like spark plugs, but he has no resources. IIRC, .22 LR ammo was prized. (pre-liberation SA)

Share what outfit you are using. Sounds like my next hunt!!


Al Thompson
March 24, 2002, 10:27 AM
Thought of a couple of more things to mention.

Spare glasses if you need them. Good walking/running shoes. I wore jungle boots and they worked OK. I'd probably go for a lighter more flexible shoe these days. Don't forget a pair of docksiders or something to wear in camp.

Peter Capstick Hathaway's book on hunting Africa seemed dead on to me.


March 24, 2002, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the GREAT info. I'll be hunting with Mimobo Safaris and the owner is a PH named Michel Mantheakis. Another question I'm bringing both a scoped and and a non scoped rifle which do you foresee being more usefull for Buffalo? The Iron sighted .458 or the scoped .375 (1.75X6) I do have a sighted in spare scope for the .375.

Gizmo are you already booked for your next hunt? If not drop me a line please. I've got some info you may be very interested in.

March 25, 2002, 01:12 PM
I took a couple of buff with a 'scoped .375 several years back in Zimbabwe. My .375 wears a Leupold 6x42, which has 4 1/2" of eye relief and "heavy" crosshairs. Some would question a 6x 'scope on a "close in" rifle, but the rifle fits me *so* well it's not a problem. (I had no difficulty shooting my second buff where I wanted, and he was inside of 10 yards away.)

PHC's book on safari hunting has some good info in it on what to take. I'd suggest a few more things:

1. Light gloves - it may be chilly in the AM.
2. Goggles. I found that driving around dusty roads in a landcruiser with the windshield folded down irritated my eyes - glad I had a set of goggles to wear over my regular glasses.
3. Dark - not camo - clothing. Our "khaki" shows up bright against the bush.
4. Dye your socks and handkerchiefs a dark green.
5. Moleskin - just in case you DO develop a blister.
6. Have your MD prescribe some "broad spectrum" antibiotic like Doxycycline for you in case you fall ill, in addition to an anti-malarial like Lariam.

Hippo are usually brain-shot. Look at a hippo's face, and you'll see a "triangle" shape on his forehead between his eyes. Put your bullet smack through the center of that, and you've got your hippo.

March 25, 2002, 04:34 PM
Thank you, I'm taking note of all this great info! Which PHC book are you guys refering to. Sounds like I'll need to read it before I go. Just about every one I've spoken to has killed their Buff with a .375. I guess you agree that it's an exceptable cartridge for buff?

March 26, 2002, 10:30 AM
Ross Seyfried has written of his contempt for hunters armed with iron sighted .458's. He speaks highly of the .375 for Buff.

In Craig Boddington's book Safari Rifles, I think that he recommended the .375 as the best all around safari rifle.

Your .375 with good 300 grn. solids should do the trick.

March 26, 2002, 02:28 PM
I think the PHC book was "Safari - the Last Adventure."

A .375 is fine. If you shoot your .458 Lott well, that's fine, too. Use good bullets in both, and remember that shot placement is paramount with either. (FWIW, I used Speer AGS Solids in my .375. For softpoints, I loaded Swift A-Frames.)

Make sure your footwear is well broken in. If there are hills and such near you, take extended walks up, down, and across the hills - sometimes a problem won't be noticed if you're just walking on level pavement.

If you take a sweater, be sure you can wear it UNDER your "safari shirt" if you want to. The loose weave of a sweater worn conventionally (outside) can catch and snag on vegetation if you're going through the "thick stuff."

I also brought along some SPF45 sunscreen - look for the kind with "no fragrance added" - a chapstick, and some "UltraThon" insect repellent. You don't want to be sidetracked by sunburn.

And hearing protection.

BTW, I vaguely recall hearing something complimentary about Michel Mantheakis, but it was at least third or fourth hand. You might try contacting Safari Club International for more information - they probably have a file on him with hunt reports from SCI members who had first-hand experience with him. (You'll have to join SCI to get the info. A few bucks balanced against the cost of your safari . . .)

March 26, 2002, 09:09 PM
Thanks Hank,
I have been an SCI member off and on since 1983. I am currently a member. It is a great source of information. Thank you for the additional information as well. Now that you mention the book I actually think that I may have a copy around here somewhere. I believe that I've read it before but it's been a long time.

What type of shoes do you wear in africa?? Hiking boots, those kinda cross trainer shoe deals or something in that catagory? I've read that tennis shoes are the perfered wear. I just can't see that though, no anckle support. I 've got a couple of really worn in softer hiking boots that I wear all the time. I usually walk about 10 to 15 miles a week up here in CO.

March 27, 2002, 12:52 PM
For footwear, I find walking or cross-training shoes work well. The last time I went, I wore black leather "Etonic" cross training shoes, but that brand seems to have fallen by the wayside. It's getting more and more difficult to find good shoes that FIT my feet without going into those trendy neon colors :barf: or mostly white designs, both of which are unsuitable for the bush. :( Rockport has some now that are OK.

BTW, there's a publication called "The Hunting Report" that's published down in Florida somewhere. (I think.) For $60 a year, you'll get 12 issues of their publication with lots of subscriber-written hunt reviews. And, like SCI, they have files on most of the PH's in Africa. I used to subscribe, but with no prospect of getting back to the Dark Continent anytime soon, I let my subscription lapse . . .

Hmmm . . . one more thought. There's a product out called Duranon or Coulston bug spray that is an insect (tick) repellent you spray on your clothes. In some parts of Africa they have a disease called "Tick Fever" so I took a couple cans along and treated my clothing and the mosquito netting over my bed. It helped keep all bugs off - not just ticks.