I arrived at the Minneapolis airport with bags in hand ready to embark on a 13-day hunt safari. I was bound for the Alldays district in the Limpopo region of northeastern South Africa; a trip that I had thought about since I was 12 years old. I said goodbye to my wife and kids and walked into the terminal feeling anxious (typical for me) about the check-in process at Delta airlines. I worried about having too many bags, the possibility that the bags are overweight or that my bow case will be refused. But all went smoothly and without incident — as it should have, since I had researched the number of bags and weight limitations and further weighed all my gear in advance, and I knew that my bow was packed properly. Of course now I began worry that my bags wouldn’t arrive in Johannesburg.
I boarded the flight to Atlanta with my traveling companion Walt Larsen of Scales Advertising. Walt represents Tight Spot Quiver, Montana Black Gold Sights, Ripcord Arrow Rests and Cuddeback trail cameras. In Atlanta, we hooked up with our buddy Ken Byers, owner of Byers Media and member of our sales team at Grand View Outdoors. Together we made our connecting 15 ½-hour flight to Johannesburg without incident. Here’s a tip: If you’re boarding a 15 ½-hour flight, bring a good book.
With some anxiety we worked our way through customs, fretting about whether or not our bags and bows had arrived safely. We immediately found Walt’s gear and bow. Ken and I found our gear bags, but our bows were nowhere in sight. Thank goodness that Jurie, our outfitter, had insisted on meeting us in the security area. Jurie was very familiar with the airport process and ultimately helped locate our bows, which had ended up in a different part of the terminal. It took about an hour to get it all sorted out, but all was now good.
We ventured to Jurie’s home in Pietersburg, where we had dinner with his family before continuing on our way to the ranch. In South Africa the driver of the vehicle sits on the right side of the car and they drive in the left lane. The confused feeling of driving on the wrong side of the road is not so bad on the highway, but in town when making turns in traffic, it gets pretty weird.
Tip: Have your outfitter meet you at the airport and drive you to the ranch. Not only was Jurie familiar with the airport process as mentioned above, but we also discovered that it was important to ensure our safety and security.
We arrived at the ranch at about 12:30 a.m., excited but exhausted from almost 32 straight hours of travel. Jurie showed us around a bit and then took us to our rooms — beautiful, newly built suites that rivaled a five-star hotel room. Jurie told us to sleep late in the morning and that he would wake us around 8. I unpacked, organized my gear and laid everything out for the morning.
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As a convenience and to best help United States clients, Jurie Meyer has asked Dick Scorzafava to be his U.S. representative and to answer questions related to hunting with Jurie. Dick lives on the East Coast. He can be contacted at (413) 568-5604 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jurie will be attending the Safari Club International show in Reno, Jan. 26-29 and the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa. on Feb. 5-13.