The delta of the Zambezi River, in Mozambique, herds of buffaloes sneak up on papyrus, reeds, and water lilies.
And it is precisely here that Luca experienced one of his most beautiful adventures, among the herds of buffaloes and numerous waterbuck, reedbuck, warthogs, and bushpigs. Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in the beauty of Mozambique. Read Luca’s story and his hunting experience in the Zambezi river delta!
A slight rustle of reeds and a slow lapping of water: the voice of the delta. Wet grass folds under light footwear and is submerged by a few centimeters of water. And while the approach continues, with a low back, the water becomes deeper and deeper and just beyond the dense tangle of stems, the dark humps of the buffaloes once again make the hearts of us old hunters leap.
The camp is delightful, located as it is in a grove about an hour and a half from the delta and waking up at four in the morning is not that heavy, since at nine in the evening, usually, you are already in bed afterwards sipping a local drink in front of the fire. The journey to the marshy plains is long but fascinating: woods, more or less dense, follow one another, and green and flat meadows literally infested with warthogs.
You can see herds of beautiful sables and magnificent nyala with a striped coat with exceptional trophies; reedbuck, Lichtestein hartebeest with a golden mantle and even some bushpigs caught in the open: a true paradise on earth.
Arriving in the delta scenario, we change our boots for light canvas shoes: it will be in the water that we will have to walk. Now the eight wheels of the vehicle splash mud everywhere, fold papyrus and reeds and sometimes abandon themselves, like small sailing ships, to the deepest waters. One of the trackers, about a mile and a half away, catches a glimpse of a branch of cattle egrets that rise and fall behind a thicket of papyrus: perhaps there are buffaloes. Coura, our P.H., decides to attempt an approach to see what it is and, after about a kilometer between jolts in the mud, we stop the vehicle at a certain distance from the reeds.
We begin, standing in the water, to get closer and, having reached the papyrus, the water is now in the thighs. We carefully move the stems and reeds and, in the damp meadow beyond our shelter, we discover about fifty bufs lying down enjoying the first rays of the sun. We evaluate the males one by one and we see at least three good ones, all, at that moment, half-covered by others.
Here begins the wait, in the hope that at least one of the trophies will be discovered. After a while, finally the most interesting buffalo gets up and starts walking towards the right of the herd. These are moments of great emotion for us.
As soon as the “caffer” is totally free, the roar shakes the air and the animal blatantly accuses. The rest of the herd disappears in a few seconds, stopping, however, a hundred meters away waiting to be followed by the mighty male who, on the other hand, collapses in the grass.
The animals turn back, as if to recall their mate. The beautiful buffalo gets up but after a few steps collapses again: the shot was perfect. The tension subsides and, after the handshakes, we come out to see the trophy up close. The clear sky, totally clear until a few moments before, is filled with dark spots that become bigger and bigger every second: the vultures have realized that today there will be something to eat.
It was a wonderful experience, the one in the Zambezi delta, in the province of Sofala. Magnificent for hunting but also for the attention with which everything is followed. There is the antipoaching troop that controls the territory by keeping poachers at bay and, above all, monitoring the 24 lions released here a few years ago, which have attracted others like them from more remote areas. Much of the hunted game is distributed to their inhabitants and another part is sold and, with the proceeds, basic necessities are purchased for local populations.
The small plane that takes us back to Beira flies over part of the delta projecting its cross-shaped shadow on the reeds, on the muddy backs of buffaloes and on wild animals as if to bless their presence. In the ears the whispering of the papyrus and on the face still the caress of the wind that has canceled the anxiety of us sailors of the marshes, that anxiety that sailors feel when the breeze is missing.
What else to add? Those who love this bovid hunting cannot fail to experience the charm of approaching the wet meadows of the Zambezi delta.
If Luca’s experience has intrigued you, contact us!