gD-JeEhSw9IHunting Sitatunga with Uganda Wildlife Safaris Melcom Van Staden 21, April, 2020 Hunting Videos from Africa Sitatunga forms part of the 28 spiral horn species found in Africa of which there are 4 subspecies. Uganda has the East African or Nile subspecies found in the Nile Watershed areas: Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania. There is a small population found in South Sudan as well. A small introduction followed by hunting sitatunga in Uganda. There are 4 subspecies of sitatunga namely: Forest or Western Sitatunga, Nile or East African Sitatunga, Sesse Island Sitatunga and lastly the Zambezi Sitatunga. I have been blessed to be apart of 3 of the 4 sub species to date, all but the Sesse Island… Sitatunga Hunting in Uganda I was pleasantly surprised by Uganda. Kampala and Entebbe are both as rural as you can imagine, it is after all still Africa. But, and there is a big but, the people speak good english because they were a British colony once. This alone makes the overall ease of traveling a breeze. The cell service across the board was noteworthy! The various species are scattered across the country so driving and sightseeing is part of the adventure. The different areas vary in topography and vegetation which makes the overall experience somewhat of a cultural one. (This is why cell service and english speaking locals make such a difference.) Uber Eats is no new thing, welcome to Kampala! There was still room for a few more things actually… Early morning traffic in Kampala. Traffic out here was less, I think… Arriving at camp: Kafu River Basin Camp was a welcome sight. We drove in the rain most of the way (for several hours) so I realised early on that I may have come ill prepared for this one. But more on this later! Green Land Cruiser hunting vehicles in camp. Kafu River Camp – Dinning area Our safari tents during the sitatunga hunt. Our safari tents during the sitatunga hunt. During our Stay at the Kafu River Basin we also hunted Bohor Reedbuck and Nile Bushbuck Bohor Reedbuck taken at the Kafu River Camp. The first Nile Bushbuck we got just before dark. The second, very impressive, very old warrior of a Nile Bushbuck we took. (Notice the torn ears.) Professional hunter: Paul Wellock and client John Ed Stepan with a monster Nile Bushbuck. Me and the client John Ed Stepan with his beautiful trophy. Client: John Ed Stepan with the trackers and game scout. Sitatunga Hunting: Uganda The typical day in a nutshell. Wake up early, have a small bite and head out to the machan before sunrise. We aim to be in the machan, sitting quietly and ready before the dawn breaks. Sitatunga enjoy feeding at first light. First light and cameras, especially video cameras don’t mix particularly well though. The machans overlook the swamp papyrus and big lanes are cut in several directions away from the elevated blind. The lanes make it possible to see the sitatunga while they feed which would otherwise be near impossible. It is very much a waiting game but getting to the blinds can sometimes be somewhat challenging to say the least. A side note on my gear and preparedness With all the rain we experienced up until this point it became more apparent of how ill prepared I really was. Not only did I not bring ANY rain gear for my camera equipment, but I only had a small poncho hidden away in my camera bag. Typically just for an emergency. Well, this turned out to be an emergency and the poncho wasn’t going to cut it. Luckily for me there was a spare raincoat in camp which meant I could use the poncho to wrap around the camera. Note to self, a poncho wrapped around the camera in torrential downpours keep rain away from the camera as much as a fishing net could serve as an umbrella. Now the rain is one thing… Walking in the swamp most of the day is something different all together. No water shoes equals wet boots and socks all day everyday. I should have known this, it’s not like I haven’t been in areas like this before. I guess this just makes it even more of an adventure, right? So, moving on, sitatunga… Crossing a section of water in the swamps heading to a machan on an island early in the morning. Heading out of camp for the afternoon hunting session. Crossing the river to get to the island in the swamp. Paul scouting as he gets into the machan. Paul scouting as he gets into the machan. This is what Sitatunga hunting Uganda is all about. Sitatunga are very shy and skittish to say the least. The move slow and are hard to spot in the thick papyrus since they are so dark in colour. The white facial markings, the chevron on the nose and the movement of an ear is sometimes all you can see if anything. Until they move out in the open of course. John spotted the bull right as he stepped out. Why he came out into the large clearing as he did was unclear but he was very uncomfortable in the open. Feeling very vulnerable he made haste to get into the papyrus on the other side. We were at the right place at the right time when he made his mistake. John was ready and in position to take the shot. The first show wavered a bit back, the second, right behind the shoulder although it didn’t seem that way. As the bull disappeared into the papyrus John sent another round after him to try and bring him down. A magnificent trophy. Sitatunga are such majestic movers! We were very blessed that he came out when he did. It gave us just enough time to get him out of there and across the water as darkness fell. John with his beautiful Nile/East African Sitatunga trophy PH Paul and client John with his Nile/East African Sitatunga trophy Notice the machan (elevated hunting blind) in the background. This is where John shot his sitatunga from. The trackers using a cut pole to carry the sitatunga out of the swamps. It’s heavier than you might think! The rest of our time in Uganda: Hunting Ugandan Kob and Nile Buffalo After the successful sitatunga hunt we continued to a couple of different areas. Species of interest: Ugandan Kob, Nile Buffalo, Lelwel or Jacksons Hartebeest, Gunther’s Dikdik and Defassa Waterbuck. The drive was long but pleasant. It’s always an experience driving through the rural communities, which in this case was always hustling and bustling it seemed. The roads were all in good condition too, which in rural Africa is not very common. We made several stops and stayed at two more camps during this final leg of our safari: Aswa Lolim and Karamoja. To get to Aswa Lolim we had to fairy accross the mighty Nile River. What a unique experience. After crossing the Nile River we had a lovely drive through Murchison Falls National Park. The wildlife was in abundance and the landscape and scenery breathtaking. The “palm forest” is something to see. The colour of the sky felt different and the entire drive was action packed with Nile Buffalo, Ugandan Kob, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Oribi, Bohor Reedbuck, Giraffe, Defassa Waterbuck and too many bird species to count. We were successful in harvesting the Ugandan Kob, Defassa Waterbuck and Nile Buffalo but unfortunately we weren’t able to get the Gunther Dikdik or a Jackson’s Hartebeest this time around. The crew for a picture before we head out to Aswa Lolim. Ready to head to Aswa Lolim. A forest tunnel on our way down to the Nile River. Stopping over at the Hemingway Bar. John on the fairy crossing the Nile River. Paul on the fairy crossing the Nile River. Jackson’s Hartebeest in Murchisons Falls National Park – Uganda Nile Buffalo in Murchisons Falls National Park – Uganda Professional hunter Paul Wellock and client John Ed Stepan with his Ugandan Kob trophy. Ugandan Kob up close. Paul buying pineapples from some local street vendors. A scenic drive all the way. John with his very classic Nile Buffalo trophy. Notice how flat the spread is. This turned out to be a really nice Defassa Waterbuck on our last hunting day. If you have any comments or question about Sitatunga hunting Uganda, drop us a comment below! Outfitter: Uganda Wildlife Safaris If you enjoyed this post or are into sitatunga hunting checkout: Cameroon – Bongo and Western/Forest sitatunga and Dwarf/Forrest Buffalo hunting. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.