Terry Blauwkamp is a seasoned hunter, gun-expert and reloader. He has been to Africa more than 20 times. Terry has been a consistent part of DSC Publications through his reloading column.
I’ve just been back from Africa for a couple weeks now, and everybody asks, “How was Africa?”
So far, this one has been a challenge to say the least. I think two years ago, when everything was shut down, it was easier.
Back then ya got a Covid test and just “went.” Now every airline and every country has got a new set of forms for traceability. Last month I went to Brazil to go fishing, and every flight had a set of forms, and most of them had to be filed online 24 hours before departure. At least (for now) we can go to South Africa and Namibia without Covid tests as long as we are fully vaccinated. But, South Africa now wants a Vaccination card with a QR Scan code on it for authenticity as too many people are purchasing counterfeit cards, and by having a QR code on them, it will be much more difficult. Namibia is even working on its own version of Vaccination card that must be digital and online for verification, but nobody tells us how to obtain these cards.
On what is supposed to be a better subject, I hadn’t gotten to the range nearly as much in March and April as usual because of horrible wet and windy cold weather. I think I went more times in February when taking my little propane heater along to warm my toes and fingers and keep shooting. But March was horrible. Just wind every day, and lots of rain. April even had more rain, and the farmers are having a tough time getting started planting.
I must add that when I returned from Brazil into Miami, it was the biggest mess and worst international arrival I’ve ever seen, and I will make every effort NEVER to use Miami International arrivals ever again from anywhere. In Atlanta, the guns come out right by the luggage conveyor and it’s no big hassle getting them checked in at all, and they have a transfer desk right around the corner to get your onward connections checked and luggage put onto your next flight.
My flight on Airlink to Windhoek Namibia and back were just fine, and right on time. Air2000 met me upon both my arrival from Atlanta and when returning from Windhoek and escorted me through like a VIP. They also knew where to go to quickly get a Covid Test at the Johannesburg Airport between flights that I needed to get into the USA. The flight back to Atlanta is “long” (16 hours) but Delta did a fine job, the food was good, and snacks were available at all times. It is hard to believe that we flew over water for almost 12 of the 16 hours of the flight. Now that just shows how big our oceans are. I had great weather the whole trip, usually about 40 deg in the morning to 75 in the afternoon with 99 percent sunshine every day. One does not want to forget sunglasses and sunscreen or you will get really sunburnt.
I took my late wife Jo Ann’s old original 7mm Remington Magnum on its last voyage, just for old times’ sake. I used both some left over ammo of 20+ years old, and some brand new Hornady 150 grain CX Outfitter factory ammo, and found no particular difference in eithers one’s performance. A hole in the lungs is still “a hole in the lungs” regardless of how old the ammo or what bullet made it.
I only retrieved 4 CX bullets in three weeks, as they were from frontal shots and each one was recovered from the back of the animal with at least 30-inch of penetration. To be more specific, the “old” ammo I am referring to is some I loaded back in March of 1991 and had been just tucked away ever since. It was loaded in Virgin R-P Nickel plated brass, with Fed 215 primers, IMR 7828 powder with 175 grain Original (Jack Carter) Trophy Bonded Bear Claws. I only shot 4 animals with the Bear Claws and recovered one perfectly mushroomed bullet.
But after as many trips as I’ve made, there is still “no place like home,” but I can’t wait to go back again soon.
If I can be of any help with your upcoming trip, feel free to write me anytime at BlauwkampT@Gmail.com