The emphasis at Mankazana Safaris, is on ethical, old-fashioned, walk-and-stalk safaris. We work hard for our trophies, but believe that true appreciation and respect for one's quarry can only come from dedication and hard work. We also believe that the harder we work, the luckier we become!
Our diverse terrain and large game numbers allow us the luxury of being able to walk off the front porch of the lodge, and start hunting straight away. We feel, that during most modern safaris, too much time is spent driving great distances between hunting concessions and camps. As such, we endeavour at all times, to limit any driving to the absolute minimum, thus ensuring you a relaxed, enjoyable safari. Most of our hunting is conducted within a game-rich radius of 30 miles from camp, and only occasionally do we need to utilise outlying concessions and lodges, in order to rest certain core areas and in order to operate within our strict, self-imposed, trophy quotas.
Our daily routine, is to leave camp before first light, either by vehicle, or on foot. Usually, your PH, in consultation with his trackers, would have chosen an area to hunt, the previous evening. These decisions are made with numerous factors in mind, such as animal sightings and movements, weather conditions and group safety.
Upon arriving the hunting party will usually scout for animal signs and then either choose a position for ambush, or decide upon a likely stalk.
Personal fitness is obviously important, so please tell your PH before the hunt starts, what your limitations are, as these may well determine where he decides to hunt with you. One does not necessarily need to walk far or quickly to obtain a trophy in the Mankazana Valley, rather an ability to walk slowly and quietly, is what usually ensures success. Our hilly terrain can seem daunting at first, but as we do not spend all day in our vehicles, we have plenty of time available for slow, methodical stalks along our mountain sides and valleys, at all times hunting within your capabilities. Naturally, not all our terrain is mountainous or steep, and plenty of hunting is conducted in the flatter, savannah areas, south of Adelaide.
Different animals generally also require different hunting styles. Kudu and bushbuck for example, usually require a quite, early morning ambush or stalk, whereas animals such as warthog, springbuck and blesbuck can be hunted at almost any time of the day, by undertaking slow stalks through wooded terrain. Different terrain is also preferred by different species, with kudu for example, being of a more shy and retiring nature, thus preferring thicker, steeper terrain, while mountain reedbuck prefer more open, rocky grass-covered hillsides. Whatever your personal preference, the diversity of our game and terrain, will ensure your hunting abilities are tested to the full.
As far as shooting distances are concerned, we are committed to ensuring every hunter experiences a top quality safari, irrespective of their personal shooting abilities. Those who might be less comfortable with long shots, are treated to careful, stalks to within comfortable shooting distances of their trophies. These stalks can often end in disappointment, although, we believe, one gains a newfound determination to succeed and a greater respect for one's quarry, in such adverse situations. Over the years, we have discovered that individual shooting ability is largely influenced by the conditions the hunter is used to, back home. Some hunters are experienced in hunting in thick coniferous forests, others on the wide open plains of the American mid-west, while others are more comfortable in the steep mountains of Canada and Asia. Some of our clients have hunted in Africa before, usually in the bushveld thickets of Zimbabwe or the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Others again, are taught back home, that shooting at anything over 100 metres, should be discouraged, and as such, never practise longer range shots. Be assured, that whatever your personal ability, we will attempt to get you within your shooting comfort zone.