My name is John K. Henderson and I have had the privilege to hunt with Pieter in 2013 and 2014. When I first met Pieter at the HSC Convention in 2012, it was obvious to me he was a man of few words but still demonstrated he possessed a great deal of personal character. Pieter immediately emphasized to me that if we hunted together we were hunting for quality animals and were not going to harvest the first animal we encountered. He meant it!!
My first safari took place in South Africa, October 2013 and my wife accompanied me. I wanted to harvest three animals; leopard, sable and cape buffalo. We first hunted a leopard four hours south of Thambazimbi, location of Cheetah Safari Headquarter Lodge. The leopard showed up around midnight yet Pieter said the leopard was only a juvenile so we passed on him. The following evening we hunted on farm close by. We built a blind and settled in for the hunt at dusk. The leopard made an appearance around 9:45 PM. Pieter nudged me and said the leopard is on the bait and I asked if he was a mature male, Pieter assured me he was. Pieter slowly turned the rheostat and the light gradually highlighted the leopard’s outline and I stopped Pieter when I could clearly see the leopard’s silhouette. I fired and the leopard tumbled approximately 75 feet from the bait tree. The leopard measured 16 8/16”, a true trophy for me.
My next harvest was a sable. We traveled about six hours southwest of Thambazimbi to another property. Pieter’s trackers really demonstrated their ability to track a specific animal. Pieter had identified one large track that he wanted the trackers to pursue. When the sable was sighted for the first time, it was obvious this was the largest sable in the herd. I made a clean harvest with one shot at approximately 80 yards. The sable measured 100 1/8” and was very handsome and is going to be a beautiful pedestal mount in my office. Again Pieter was intent on harvesting only a quality animal!!
During the two week period I spent in South Africa in 2013, Pieter and I also hunted cape buffalo. Pieter and his trackers once again proved their unique tracking skills and I was successful in harvesting a buffalo with one shot that measured 114 6/8”. This buffalo was in a herd of approximately twenty-five and was by far the most mature, a real trophy for me and an exciting hunt. I am looking forward to receiving the mount in late 2014.
Pieter Bothma, wife Carina, Robbie Roberts and all the additional staff at Cheetah Safari made this a most memorable “first safari” for my wife and I. We will take these fond memories with us forever. Pieter is not only a true professional, ethical hunter, he is a caring and sensitive human being. I trust his abilities and professional judgment in any hunting situation.
I returned to South Africa in May 2014 for a lion hunt. When I arrived in South Africa, Pieter suggested we take it easy for the first two days because he wanted me to be 100% when we were lion hunting. On day three we drove to a property near Vryburg, South Africa. After arrival we took a drive around the property so I could become accustomed to the area where we would be hunting. After driving around the property for an hour a lion stood up in front of us about 100 yards away. I told Pieter he was a beautiful lion. Pieter promptly told me this lion was definitely not a shooter because his head was too small. I had to defer to Pieter’s judgment.
The first morning we had lion tracks everywhere. In fact it was sometimes confusing with lion tracks on top of lion tracks. Finally Pieter had the trackers chop down two trees and we tied one to each truck and started dragging the roads so we could distinguish fresh tracks from old tracks. The second morning we returned and we found the tracks of a truly mature male lion. After tracking him for more than three hours, Pieter saw a tree limb moving, looked up and saw the lion in the tree. I quickly got on the sticks and harvested the lion. This was a true trophy. After drying for the sixty day period, the lion measured 27 4/16”, and will rank in the top twenty for the South Africa record book. Pieter again demonstrated his professional ability and I was able to harvest a record book lion.
I am looking forward to my hunt with Pieter and Cheetah Safari in 2015, when we will be pursuing an elephant.