FROM THE DECEMBER 2009 ISSUE OF “THE HUNTING REPORT” - In Mozambique, I promised to tell you more about Kambako Safaris’
operation in the Niassa Reserve. Kambako controls Block B / L8 in
the Reserve, encompassing 204,000 hectares (504,095 acres), plus
an adjoining Coutada of 96,000 hectares (237,221 acres). The concession
in the reserve originally belonged to some Spaniards and continues
to operate under the same name. John “Jumbo” Moore,
from Zimbabwe, is the Managing Director. Since taking over Block
B in 2005, Moore has significantly improved the accommodations and
services available. He moved the main camp to take advantage of
the view and breezes on the Lugenda River. The lodge sits on the
high banks overlooking the river, where you’ll see elephants
winding their way over the sand bars and around the boulders in
the waterway. The main lodge and guest chalets are built to take
advantage of the breeze and keep guests cool. There’s a swimming
pool, generator power, hot running water, plus satellite television
and wireless internet access. I completed the October issue of The
Hunting Report on my laptop from Kambako’s camp and had
better internet access there than I did at the Windhoek Resort in
Namibia. The chalets were roomy, cool and very comfortable. They
even featured ceiling fans. Moore was still completing the upgrades
while I was there, but everything was in place to provide a luxurious
stay – certainly for being in the middle of the wilderness
more than an hour’s flight from Pemba by bush plane. In addition
to this main camp, Moore also has a fly camp made of wall tents,
so clients can hunt deeper into the Block and in the adjoining Coutada
without having a long drive back to the lodge. When I was there,
Moore was figuring out how to bring in air conditioners for that
camp to accommodate his Russian clients, who have difficulty with
the heat in Mozambique. Although I did not hunt during my stay,
I did get a ride around the hunting block just a bit and have to
admit that I did not get to see very much game. A Hunting Report
subscriber was there at the same time, and I was hoping to
have a report from him by now but have not received it. I did, however,
receive a report from subscriber Leon Munyan. You may remember that
Munyan was the hunter who was so unhappy with his experience in
Ethiopia and highly critical of how that hunt was handled for him.
(See the October issue.)
His report on his experience in Mozambique is completely the opposite. “My wife and I hunted with
Jumbo and his outfit and had a fabulous time,” he writes.
He says they saw hundreds of animals in every species listed on
Moore’s trophy list, and with 40 to 60 animals to a herd.
“I have hunted numerous times in Africa, in 10 different countries,
and have not seen the size of herds we saw on this hunt, except
for certain species in Zambia and Tanzania,” says Munyan.
He also was impressed with Moore’s prohibition of shooting
from vehicles and a policy of hunting only lone bulls that have
separated from the herds. The philosophy is that undisturbed herds
will stay in the concession, and so will the old bulls once they
separate from the group. Munyan reports seeing eland over 40 inches
and Cape buffalo over 44 inches, including several in the skinning
shed. He had particularly high praise for his PH, Stu Taylor, whom
he said was the best he’d had in 100 guided hunts. Munyan
says he took a Natal red duiker that may rank number two in the
SCI record book, along with a “huge” Chobe bushbuck,
a Livingstone suni, a Niassa wildebeest and several other species.
I checked The Hunting Report database, and we have only
one other report on this hunt. It’s from subscriber Jim Keeline,
who hunted with Kambako this past August and did not see as much
game as Munyan. He says leopard was his priority, and he managed
to take one along with a wildebeest, a Natal red duiker, impala
and bushpig. “All game was in top shape. Just did not see
a lot,” he says. He gives Kambako an all-excellent rating.
Munyan suggests he and his wife may have seen more game because
they hunted in late October when he says the brush is mostly beaten
down, increasing visibility. The area is covered in thick bush and
trees, which can make visibility more difficult earlier in the year,
especially when it is green. There is a catch, of course. October
as well as November are the hottest months of the year in the Niassa
Reserve. I’m told temperatures can be downright stifling.
Get in a good safari on the Dark Continent this season. –
LEE GRIGSON - If I appear biased, it is because
I am. What you have been putting together these last five years
is just super good. Keep up the good work! Hunting with Stuart Taylor
I saw lots of mature (past breeding age) animals of every kind-
both dangerous (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard) and others (many
antelope of all sizes from the duiker to eland). I booked a buffalo/sable
hunt and am thrilled with the old scarred character animals we took.
Plus, we ran across so many large single lion tracks that I added
a lion hunt. We took a big ten year old male with twenty minutes
of light left in the last day of the hunt. The trip had been an
unqualified success even without the lion. This place is magnificent!
Look at the pictures- I'm the one with the GREAT BIG GRIN!
I had the time of my life and am looking forward to getting back
to Kambako with more family members. Your time will pass too quickly-
book a longer trip because you will hate to leave Jumbo and his
Accommodations are great, be sure to pack a swimsuit even in the
dead of the equatorial "winter". Adam Christo, another
repeat client, has supervised the building of a swimming pool that
overlooks the Lugenda (pronounced lu-gen-da) River where we watched
wildlife (elephant / waterbuck / kudu) crossing at all hours of
the day. If you are looking for adventure with a great group- look
no further, you have found your African home! Jumbo, Johnny and
Stuart- I'll see you soon.
Midland TX USA
Tom Zimmerman - Kambako Safaris donated a buffalo
sable hunt at the 2008 Safari Club Convention. At the urging of
friends I bid on this hunt and was the successful bidder. Kambako
translated means:” one who plows the earth” referring
to overly large elephants who tusks leave marks on the earth. Kambako
turned out to be a truly wild Africa adventure with excellent huntable
populations of game both plains and dangerous. After speaking with
Jumbo Moore, I found myself upgrading to Leopard and numerous other
Being from Alaska I am used to a wilderness experience. I wanted
to live and experience a similar experience in Africa. Kambako Safaris
fit the bill. They have a 1200 square mile concession in which there
are no villages or other occupancy. The nearest village is some
80 kilometers away plus there are no cattle being raised in this
part of Mozambique.
My experience certainly exceeded my expectations. I met Stu Taylor
my PH from Zimbabwe along with Johnnie Johnson also of Zimbabwe
who conducted my friends Mike Samson and my safari. The accommodations
were very comfortable and the staff exceptionally attentive. The
skinning shed was run by Walter who had decades of experience under
the watchful eyes of the PH’s. My PH I am happy to report
was telling base camp repeatedly over the radio system that we were
headed to the skinning shed to put another trophy “in the
salt.” NO effort was spared to get the trophy processed quickly.
For the most part the animals were tracked and taken as events unfolded.
The Niassa reserve has plentiful Leopards and numerous Lions. I
was fortunate to take a very large male leopard after some 10 days
of hunting as a result of selecting the size by its spoor. Numerous
other baits had leopards making the rounds. One of numerous highlights
of the safari occurred when we tracked a very old Dagga boy that
I took after the old boy decide to advance rather than run even
though mortally wounded at the first shot. A surviving veteran of
numerous lion attacks as he showed the scars of the events along
with fresh wounds from Lion encounters. Even, being mortally wounded
he covered the yardage quickly. It was truly an exciting experience.
If an old African experience is in your dreams for dangerous game
then Kambako Safaris is where those dreams can come true.
North Pole , AK 99705
Crawford Williams - Kambako Safaris provide the very best
in hunting and in enjoying the "African" experience that
anyone will ever find. His camps and staff are superb, and his hunting
areas abound with game. I have hunted with Jumbo for 11 years in
a row and sometimes twice a year and intend to continue doing so
in the future. Jumbo does not believe that "bigger is better";
simply put, he personalizes your hunt.
A true testimonial to this man is the number of repeat hunters he
has return to hunt with him year after year. Repeat hunters consistently
constitute 70% of his hunts each year. Any questions about him?
Feel free to call me Crawford Williams .
205-933-9176... BIRMINGHAM, AL.
Jeff McCollum - Jumbo runs a professional first
class operation in all aspects of your safari. From arrival to departure
his attention to detail is unmatched as is the quality of his concessions
and service of his staff.
EXTRACT FROM THE NOVEMBER 2009 ISSUE OF “THE HUNTING
REPORT” - When we last covered developments in the
Reserve in 2006 they had just created buffer zones around the perimeter
and were creating and allocating hunting concessions in the interior.
Today the Niassa Reserve
has nine hunting concessions within its borders where full bag safaris
are being conducted under one of the most transparent hunting programs
I have ever seen. That includes a very successful lion management
program that for the first time last season (after only two years
of implementation) produced trophies all more than six years of
age! Also, surveys there show a stable and increasing lion population
of 2,300. At a time when lion hunting is under critical review across
Africa, it’s good to see a management program with such demonstrable
success. Wildlife managers everywhere should be taking a close look
at the Niassa Reserve’s program. It is one to be emulated.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the Niassa Reserve, it is a
vast wilderness covering 42,000 square kilometers, or more than
10 million acres. It lies in northern Mozambique where it borders
Tanzania and straddles Mozambique’s Niassa and Cabo Delgado
provinces. Anabela Rodrigues, who runs the Reserve, took the time
to meet with me and explain not just how their hunting program works,
but also the history and challenges faced by the Reserve. You can
read more about that in an in-depth article on the Niassa Reserve
that I have posted on The Hunting Report web site under Website
Uploads. (If you are not web-ready, call 305- 670-1361 for a copy.)
Although overall quotas are set by the government of Mozambique,
Rodrigues pretty much has autonomy within the Reserve on how
hunting is managed and conducted by operators. All operators are
thoroughly checked out before receiving
a concession and are subject to expulsion if they don’t stick
to the rules. It is the Reserve’s strict requirements and
meticulous record keeping that have allowed them to increase game
numbers and trophy quality. Their lion program, for instance, works
on a points program that rewards operators with an increased quota
if all their lions are over six years old, but reduces their quota
if they take a lion that is
younger than six. All harvested game is also examined by Reserve
managers, who personally inspect capes, horns and skulls, and take
measurements and a lower jaw to age the animals. Operators provide
coordinates where game is taken, and they also keep books on where
and when they spot game. Only trophy class animals may be harvested
in the Niassa Reserve. Roosevelt’s sable taken here range
from 38 to 40 inches and PH’s turn down 50-pound elephants
regularly. Right now elephant trophies from Mozambique are not importable
to the United States, yet the Niassa Reserve is home to the majority
Mozambique’s elephants, with a population of more than 13,000
jumbo. Other species available in
the Reserve include leopard, Cape buffalo, Lichtenstein’s
hartebeest, Niassa wildebeest, suni, Johnson’s
impala and red duiker. Because so much of the Reserve is miombo
forest, you won’t see the densities of game you do elsewhere
in Africa. You will have to work hard for game in the Reserve. But
you can be assured that the animals you take will be of high quality.
During my time in the Niassa Reserve, I stayed with Jumbo Moore
of Kambako Safaris ( www.kambakosafaris.com ), who has a concession
within the Reserve as well as a bordering Coutada. Also in camp
at the time was subscriber Werner Hartmann
from Germany, who had taken a nice sable and was hunting hard for
suni and hartebeest when I left.
He promised me a full report, which I hope to have next month for
my report about Kambako’s operation
and a few other operators from Mozambique. For now, I’ll just
tell you that the Kambako camp overlooks
the Lugenda River and although it was undergoing some enhancements
while I was there, I can tell you it will be quite a luxurious spot
in the middle of the wilderness. The swimming pool, wireless internet
service and satellite TV were my first clues. I’ll tell you
more next month….
If you have hunted with Jumbo and would
like to post your experience, please send us an e-mail.
KAMBAKO SAFARIS E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org