Holy Smokes…

Tiger Lodge, Natal

Hey everyone!

My deep apologies for being away for so long. I always say I am extremely busy but this has been ridiculous haha. I am so behind on sleep, but am still alive and well. Currently we have a couple American guys from Tennessee here and they have shot 22 animals in total between the two of them this trip including a lion and a buff. I wish I had time to tell you all more but I have to be awake in 6 hours and I may be driving these clients into Joburg. I’m not looking forward to that 5hr + drive. Normally it’s good to get out but I really dislike driving when you are tired/sleepy.

There are a ton of stories I am behind on but just as a teaser, I was able to recently shoot a Blue Wildebeest and an impala for this one guy who didn’t want to shoot. I have a few pics of the wildebeest and will eventually post them.

I’ll leave you with one other recent pic =)

Tiger Lodge - overlooking the dam

Oh alright-alright! A few more… I’m getting ahead of myself though because these pictures below were from a 4×4 event I went to but it was on a really nice property in Vryheid.

Miller Time...





PS: While I’m here, I guess I should mention something that is kind of a big news. I got my Visa extended!!! It still has to be processed by the Gov here but essentially they said now that I have started the process I will be able to legally overstay my Visa no matter what they decide to do with my extension. The guy who helped me also let me know that it should go through just fine and they should be able to get me another 90 days no problem. Assuming there are no hiccups. What? Here in South Africa??? Naaaah! Never! Haha.



-The Jonny

Buy Me Fireworks…

I am a pyro at heart. I love fire, flame and torch alike. But if you really want to make me smile, don’t buy me tickets to the big sports game or concert, the newest style whatever… Buy me Fireworks!!!


Today was extremely long. I woke up from my nice Bed and Breakfast very close to the ocean in Durban and was back on the road to drive home again by 7am. I spent the better part of the previous day driving the previous clients to Durban International Airport. However, along the way we stopped by their taxidermist in Pongola to check on some of their trophies. Then we went on to a exotic cat rehab center. This was pretty cool because they let you in the big cages with the cats and if you were brave enough you could pet, hug, tackle or whatever you like with the cats (within reason of course lol)… and if they didn’t like it they would be like Hobbes from Calvin & Hobbes and pounce on you violently haha. I have a few pictures but here I sit and it is 12:37am and I am exhausted, but I just wanted to give everyone a tidbit of what has been going on. I feel bad because I realize I haven’t been able to post as much because of how busy I have been.

Anyways, one of the stupid “manly” guys thought he would show off in front of the crowd of people by being way to familiar with one of the cheetahs and started petting it aggressively like it was a normal pet. Well this idiot almost got his face bitten off. The Cheetah turned around and snapped at his face and pawed him. The guy who worked there and was an expert said that usually when they do that they go for and eye and some people did get cut on or around their eyes before in the past. I watched him and I watched the body language of the cat while he was doing this and I knew it was going to go South soon. Sure enough…

Anyways, it was funny to see him all shook-up afterwards haha.

Moving right along here… I thought I was going to have a leisurely morning waking up when I felt like it to the sound of the ocean waves crashing and the gentle sea breeze coming through my window ***Loud Buzzer Sound*** Wrong! Lol. I called Andre later lastnight and he said that he really could use my help with the other clients since he had to go to the airport to pick up some of his own clients. He asked me to try to be home by around noon today. I sighed in my mind and said ok. But I did go out for a nice fresh fish dinner on the coast nearby. I had Durado fish and chips (potato wedges), which was pretty good. I also had a nice tall Black Label beer as well 😉 Afterwards I walked down to the water to touch it. So now I have been in the Indian Ocean =)
It was about 9pm and the water felt like bath water. I felt like I could have jumped in right then and there and not be cold. This was WITH it being rainy outside at the time mind you!

I made it back just before noon today keeping the pedal to the metal at times hitting 150kph in the VW Amarok, manual 6 speed. I think I am starting to get a good feel for the chaos that is driving here in SA haha.
I went on to help one of our clients hunt for his Nyala. We got it within about 30 mins of hunting. He dropped it clean with one shot (we were able to get about 30 yards away for a nice easy shot) and we took all the necessary photos and then took it back to the butchery. After dinner with the new clients I stayed up with Andre to help him finish welding and installing his bull bar and winch. The good news is we FINISHED IT!! WoooHooooo!!! Finally after lots of work it is done. We even tested it out and it works great. Andre is about 50X more excited than even myself. He has been wanting something like this for a long time and I am very happy for him.

So it is now about 1am and I need to get some sleep. Fortunately I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow. I just have to be down at the lapa no later than 9am. I’m driving one of the vehicles to town after breakfast for some repairs. I should end up being in town for the better part of the day just waiting around. So hopefully I can find something fun to do. I wonder if they have a theater? I think I would almost feel normal again if I went to see a movie! lol

***UPDATE: Turns out they do NOT have a theater. Booo! I did however manage to get a much needed haircut. And I almost feel human again! Haha.

I hope all my American friends and family are enjoying our Independence Day. I sure wish I had some fireworks right now, I’m actually a lil bummed that I didn’t get a 4th of July…

So please, for me, light up something that sparkles and fizzes and bangs and pops. And even more importantly, enjoy the friends and family you have around you and know that that is something to be treasured.

Happy 4th of July!!!


-The Jonny

Update: Monday, July First, 2013…

What Does The Jonny Miss Most About Home In 3 Days???

These are the answers in order from most correct to correct. If you guessed any of the following, consider yourself a winner.


1) Fireworks
2) Mexican Food
3) Women or the company of a woman (ok-ok, it’s possible this one could be #1 haha)
4) Sleep
5) The Shotgun Range and Saturdays with my Great Uncle & Friends/Family
6) Money/Income
7) IN-N-OUT (for those of you not from America, this is a famous hamburger chain that is in California, Nevada and Arizona)

What does The Jonny miss the least about home? (no particular order)

1) Our Political BS (Do I really need to mention a name(s)?)
2) Ridiculous Taxes
3) Polluted Air (Los Angeles)
4) Unhealthy Food
5) Living and Rotting in a Cubicle
6) Los Angeles Traffic

Ok, so onto a more serious update. I have been given clients of my own as of a few days ago. I had to pick them up all the way down in Durban which is about a 4.5 hr drive from Vryheid. I have been their host and driver/guide for these past few days and tomorrow we are doing a tour of famous battlegrounds nearby. We are going to Rorke’s Drift, Blood River and one other place. Here is the catch. Ooooooh there is always a catch, believe you-me. I have to pick up some tour guide along the way and he has no address. He couldn’t even give coordinates. Thank God he at least has a cell phone so we can try to meet up.

*By the way, side note, just about everyone that is poor here somehow manages to have a cell phone (usually a really nice one like a galaxy 4S or a iphone 5) and be on it texting (or SMS’ing as they call it) and calling constantly YET they don’t have money for anything else and are lucky to eat a bowl of dirt for dinner… If you know why this is, please feel free to email me!

Anyways, so I have to do all of this while making it look like I know what I’m doing in front of the clients… This is where I start laughing insanely LOL, because that is pretty much impossible given the circumstances. However I will do my best and hopefully it turns out well.

We have had non-stop clients in the camp. Several groups of Americans which were all great and just recently we had a group of South Africans who were very cool people as well. I got to party with them a little one night and I would like to think I made some new friends out here. It’s too bad they are from Pretoria but they were really fun and nice people. Many thanks to Marius for the help with the Visa. Thanks Bud!

If you are dying for the buffalo story, well what’s worse then dying? Because guess what? I haven’t had time to finish writing it and uploading all the vids for it (I have to do some editing as well). So it’s going to be a HUGE post once it’s done, but it will take time.

Meanwhile, sadly the ridgeback dogs here got out one night about a week ago and one was slashed by a bushpig. I apologize if my next words sound graphic but this is what happened. They got loose and were running around out in the bush. We had a gut pile that we recently started stocking about 300 yards from where I stay here and the smell sometimes drifted up here (enough for the dogs to pick it up regularly at least). Now most normal people would ask, “Why on Earth would you put piles of guts, bones, animal heads and skins in a pile near to where you are living?” Good question!!! I don’t fully understand the proximity part myself either, but we put an infrared trail camera up by it so we could see what kinds of animals were coming in regularly to the guts so that eventually if we wanted to take (kill) one of those animals with a client, we would know to go there at a certain time of the night to do so.

The trail camera has showed us that bushpig, a BIG male leopard, and a brown hyena have been feeding there fairly regularly. So about a week ago we all went down to have dinner at the Lapa and I guess the dogs got lonely and caught a wiff of this nasty meat and dug their way under the fences to go there. Well somewhere along the way they must have bumped into a bushpig and the one female dog was slashed towards the rear but on the side of her belly. Her intestines were coming out. The dogs managed to run to the lapa and some of the other people found them. At first we thought the dog had been shot and essentially “raised all alarms” and started armed patrols/investigations. Naturally I grabbed the 12 gauge shotgun loaded with SSG shells that has been “issued” to me along with my flashlight. Not too much later we realized it was almost certainly a bushpig that got her. In the end, they had to put her down, the farmer way.

It’s a sad day when you have to shoot your own dog. Especially when it is clearly still alive in front of you, but you know that it won’t survive in the longer run and is suffering. It was a little easier for me because I wasn’t as emotionally attached to the dog as the owners but I still played with them and pet them sometimes and even I felt sad when this all happened.

Sad stories aside… I am regularly hearing that leopard grunting around our developments here on the farm around sunset and well into the dark night when I am sleeping. It’s not normal for them to attack full grown humans but it still makes me think and wonder sometimes. Especially when I ride home late at night on the dirt bike or walk around in the dark I can’t help but be aware of the fact that it is out there and there is a great chance that IT IS watching. A 12 gauge over my shoulder is a comforting friend at night in this place

Well I should be off to bed. There is much more to say but that gives you all a decent bit for now. I am planning on doing a video update in the future because that is a little faster than typing up a whole update. Maybe that will save me some time. I wrote all this as fast as I could, so sorry if it isn’t as well put together as I would like to think some of my other posts have been. But I have already sacrificed just over an hour of precious sleep to bring this to you all so I hope it is enjoyed.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Cheers and Goodnight!

-The Jonny