“We are stewards of a life altering experience you will remember for years to come and at GSS, we take that responsibility seriously”
“The excitement of the hunt, thrill of the chase, the final result of a spectacular trophy, this is why we hunt, and that is why we guide hunts ethically and professionally for other hunters.” – The team at Graham Sales Safaris(GSS).
Whether you are an experienced Cape Buffalo hunter or ready to hunt your first Cape Buffalo, Graham Sales Safaris will professionally guide you to your next magnificent Cape Buffalo trophy.
Hunters looking to experience the thrill of hunting the bewildering Cape Buffalo in Africa, take note.
- Hunting grounds – Where will you be hunting free range Cape Buffalo?
- Tips on preparing for your Cape Buffalo hunt from Graham Sales himself
- Hunt Preview: How your hunt will be conducted and what you can expect. Graham explains.
- Our ethical approach to Cape Buffalo hunting
- Tips on ammunition when hunting the Cape Buffalo
- Get in touch
GSS is extremely selective in trophy quality, guiding our clients to top trophy animals.
Hunting grounds – Where will you be hunting free range Cape Buffalo?
Graham Sales Safaris offers exceptional free range hunts in the pristine Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Experience ethically minded hunting at its best and a professionally conducted hunting safari with experienced hunters.
Both reserves share a common open boundary to the world famous “Greater Park”, which in itself is 4 million acres of rugged beauty, offering an ever-flowing bounty of Cape Buffalo that trek into the Klaserie and Timbavati.
“Hunting in the Klaserie and Timbavati is as free range hunting as you will get in Africa.” – Graham Sales
Your hunt will take place in the free range area known as the Associated Private Nature Reserves (Klaserie & Timbavati) where you will encounter elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah and wild dogs on a day to day basis.
The mere quantity of Buffalo in the Klaserie and Timbavati allows your Professional Hunter, Graham Sales to be very selective in trophy quality.
“While on Safari in 2016 we saw a herd that was at least six hundred animals. The area is known for huge herds of Buffalo, another herd that we are aware of is at least 1000 – 1200 Buffalo strong with a pride of lions that moves along on the outskirts of this specific herd. It is quite something to see, a big herd like that,” Graham recalls.
The thrill of the chase is a big factor for anyone hunting Cape Buffalo, as well as having GSS find your quality trophy for you among hundreds of other Cape Buffalo in the vast expanse of the Klaserie and the Timbavati, which are both in excess of 158 000 acres each.
Through the years Graham has personally witnessed the gratitude of hunters for simply being able to hunt in the magnificent surrounds of the Klaserie and Timbavati. “These are unique areas and I have guys re-book Safaris to experience a true wildlife Safari. When one takes a big Buffalo it’s hard to control the excitement. Hunters who want to have a traditional Safari experience hunts with us,” Graham explains.
If you look at our slogan it says “Mind and heart open to nature”. We see when hunters respect nature, it immediately comes through, that respect that our clients have for the animals.” – Graham Sales.
Tips on preparing for your Cape Buffalo hunt from Graham Sales himself
Working on your shooting skills and getting more comfortable with your rifle is a good idea before your hunt. A lot of guys who book hunting safaris with GSS shoot on the shooting range and off shooting sticks before they come on Safari, which does help.
Here’s what Graham advises: “One of the most important things I think is that hunters know their rifle and to me, safety comes first. Hunters may know how their rifles/actions work, and also how the safety mechanism works, but this might all go flying out the window when one gets close to a big old Cape Buffalo Bull.”
Graham stresses the importance of safety first, that a hunter knows when his rifle is on safe: “I will tell my client when to load his rifle and keep the firearm on safe till he is ready to make the shot and I will instruct him to push the safety off.”
At GSS, we have shooting sticks that we use for practice shots before the hunt and we will make sure that you are comfortable shooting off these sticks before we take any shots at any animals.
Hunt Preview: How your Cape Buffalo hunt will be conducted
As soon as we get to the Klaserie or Timbavati, we will sight or check rifles at 100 yards.
Each morning we will have an early breakfast and we will have the hunting vehicle ready for the day ahead. You and your team, which consists of your Professional Hunter, two trackers and a driver will head out from camp to search for Buffalo or fresh Buffalo tracks.
Graham explains: “When hunting Cape Buffalo in the Klaserie and Timbavati, we will head out until we find fresh Buffalo tracks or an actual herd – some of these big herds don’t really run away when we get close, they actually just move due to the huge numbers of Buffalo in such a herd. We will then move away with the vehicle and pursue on foot, and then the challenge starts, to get close to the herd to be able to identify a big old bull.
Buffalo Bulls which we refer to as ‘duggu bulls’ or bachelor bulls do move in and out of herds, and in general move along the outskirts of herds for a few days and move off on their own again, it is a common misconception that these old bulls never return to herds.
When a large herd is encountered the plan is to get close on foot to determine if there are any trophy Bulls in or on the outskirts of the herd. To do this is a matter of experience and Graham Sales Safaris will provide guidance throughout to the hunter we are guiding.
“From the very first buffalo that we see, I will show my client what a Buffalo with a 36” or 40” outside spread looks like and also ascertain the age. If we see a group of bulls, I will individually go through those bulls if possible and explain to my client what we look at, the bosses, the curl, the width and the body size” says Graham.
Pro tip: On an old buffalo, which has a smaller body, the horns might look deceivingly big.
Our ethical approach to Cape Buffalo hunting
We keep to this code of ethical hunting whenever we undertake a hunt:
- We will never shoot an animal from the back of a vehicle or have a loaded rifle on or in the vehicle.
- To hunt an old animal that has done breeding
- To make the best possible shot at all times
- All hunting is done on foot – this is one of the first aspects one will look at when it comes to ethical hunting.
- Just respect the animal you are hunting. One must always remember that you take an animal’s life. Without hunting as a conservation tool , we wouldn’t be able to hunt these areas.
We hunt only Cape Buffalo bulls of 12 years and older as well as barren Cape Buffalo cows. A lot of people ask how you determine the age of a Buffalo. Well, there are quite a few things to look at to determine the age:
- The face of the animal says a lot, old bulls usually have a lot of #f2f2f2 markings on the face, they will also have a rounded nose (Roman nose) and a well-developed dewlap under the chin.
- Body size is very important. For an unexperienced hunter it is hard to tell if a Buffalo has a really big body especially if the animal is on his own.
- Hard bosses, with horn tips that are not “sharp” anymore. Some Buffalo Bulls have a “gap” between the bosses and some hunters might think the animal is still young, well this varies from animal to animal. Some very old Bulls will never have a “closed” Boss.
“I will not let a client shoot a buffalo if the buffalo is not an old animal, this is where the ethical aspect comes in. A nine or 10-year-old Cape Buffalo bull might have a hard boss, but he is not old,” Graham explains.
TESTIMONIAL: This Cape Buffalo Cow Hunt in South Africa Offers Hair-raising Excitement
“(posted September – 2016 on the Hunting Report)
Subscriber H. Meyers recently filed a report on a South Africa safari with an unusual add-on – cow buffalo hunting. In Report 10582 Meyers says that he hunted the Timbavati and Klaserie reserves with PH Graham Sales of Graham Sales Safaris (www.grahamsalessafaris.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 011-27-82-449-2357) in May.
Meyers writes, “My recent hunt with Graham Sales Safaris was a little different from the usual, in a very fun way. Timbavati and Klaserie adjoin the western edge of Kruger National Park with no fence and are famous areas for big buffalo. I took a great 15-plus-year-old bull, but more intriguing was hunting for old, barren cows. Previously, I wasn’t aware that this kind of hunting was available.
“We went after old cows that were 12 or more years old and that had no calves. This meant sneaking into herds of 300 to 400 head and literally being surrounded by buffalo while trying to find a single cow. I highly recommend this kind of hunting. It is quite affordable (a fraction of the fee for a bull) and offers all the excitement of buffalo hunting. I actually found this style of hunting to be more exciting.
“The ongoing drought didn’t affect our hunt, although conditions could deteriorate if there is no rain in the wet season. On a separate note, rhino poachers are very active in the area. While I was there three poachers were caught and their rifles seized along with a horn of a young cow rhino. Whenever you shoot, the number of shots is radioed to everyone in a 10-mile radius so the patrols know what’s going on. The anti-poaching efforts are impressive, but they are still losing some rhinos.”
Read more here: http://www.huntingreport.com/current_issue.cfm?id=1936&_wcsid=890CCBE9AB782E7083696452C05A6F51
Tips on ammunition when hunting the Cape Buffalo
When booking your Cape Buffalo hunt with Graham Sales Safaris, we will advise you in detail what caliber rifle and what ammunition to bring – but here are a few guidelines:
- By South African regulations the minimum caliber allowed to hunt Cape Buffalo, and any dangerous game animal for that matter, is a .375.
- Shot placement is very important. In short, GSS does not advise a full frontal shot unless the animal is very close. On a broadside shot, the shoulder or just behind the shoulder is preferred.
- The quality of your ammunition is critically important. There are a few makes of ammunition that we prefer so please contact us for more details.
In terms of loading your rifle magazine, the first round should be soft, and in general the rounds after that should be solids. The reason is that the solids will penetrate towards the vital organs of the animal when a follow-up shot is fired and by then the animal is usually running away from the hunter. A soft bullet wouldn’t penetrate sufficiently if the Buffalo is facing away from you or are behind some brush.
As Graham puts it: “One has to be very careful, say there are four or five Cape Buffalo bulls together, I would suggest you only put soft bullets in the rifle magazine. After the initial shot has been fired the animal is generally running away from the hunter, if a follow up shot is fired that shot might not be placed perfectly, so if it goes right through the target animal, or doesn’t hit it exactly where you intended it to hit, it might go through and there is a possibility of that bullet hitting another animal. “This is something one needs to be very careful of and we will make sure that does not happen!”
If the animal is on its own, Graham Sales will make a suggestion on the bullet selection, and very likely make a different suggestion when it’s more than one animal. Every situation dictates a different scenario. “But I am there next to my client, and I will explain exactly what he or she needs to do, no one will have to guess. There will be no guesswork involved,” Graham explains.
Get in touch
Book your cape buffalo hunting Safari with Graham Sales Safaris, two-time winner of the PHASA Professional Hunter of the Year Award and make sure your next shot at a magnificent old trophy bull or barren buffalo cow is made under the guidance of Southern Africa’s top hunting outfitter.