References are available on request. Please contact us should you require.
My wife and I hunted with Russ twice in the Eastern Cape and we’re planning our third trip now, including our two young children this time. Russ and Julie work hard to provide a welcoming, safe and enjoyable safari experience whether it’s your first trip to Africa or you’ve been a dozen times. Russ has access to good properties and will do all he can to ensure quality hunting. We’re looking forward to the next trip and don’t expect it to be our last.
~ Mychal & Melissa Murray
I would like to THANK you all for making our trip to SA a wonderful experience! The Doramus / Burnell family had the time of our lives! Don’t think I would change anything, except maybe my shot at the warthog! Debbie and Christy from Gracy Travel – Absolutely fantastic! Russell and Julie, your hospitality was fit for a king! We enjoyed time at your camp with your boys. Brendon, and Mike, our tracker, with their knowledge of the African flora and fauna were great and a treat to be with too! Spending time at Hellspoort Valley Game Farm was an unforgettable experience, with the meals and evenings spent at the lodge fun to the next power! The entire trip from start to finish was “for a lifetime” made possible by all of you!
~ The Doramus / Burnell Family
I have known and hunted with Russell Lovemore since the late '90's. Always courteous, polite, hard working and determined. Being in this business myself, I find it easy to put Russell and his staff at the top of my list of professional hunters, that I trust to take care of my clients as well as my friends and family on safari. Let's not forget his lovely wife Julie, who as well, is second to nobody when it comes to her fantastic meals and organization.
~ Brown Delozier - Mamemo Outfitting (USA)
Russ and I are privileged enough to have hunted together for many years, including safaris in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, as well as Cameroon. I have just returned from another hunting trip to Mozambique and wanted people to know just how great the hunting is @ Chawalo Safaris, Mozambique.
Russell Lovemore, and his staff @ Chawalo Safaris, are extremely skilled, dedicated and they all worked tirelessly to make my trip an absolute pleasure.
Comparing experiences from eight previous safaris, this safari was the best ever, from the handling of the logistics to the awesome destination. I was impressed by the professionalism and true dedication to the care of their guests. It is impossible to pick a highlight of the trip. A true African adventure, wild and remote but with all the creature comforts you could wish for.
One can't beat a pride of Lion at 40 yards during the daytime and shooting a 14 foot + croc or success taking Elephant, Hippo, Buff, Sharpes Grysbuck, and a huge Bushbuck over 17"!!!!
Thanks for sharing your beautiful spot on the Zambezi. Highly recommended!
Kenny Brown - Texas, November 2014
~ Kenny Brown (USA)
I recently completed a plains game hunt with Safari Trails International in the East Cape of Africa. In one short word I'd describe the hunt experience and stay at Majiki Lodge as FANTASTIC!
Despite having traveled extensively and hunted many other locations and game, this has been, by a wide margin, the most extraordinary hunting trip of my life. And one of the most extraordinary locations to visit. My hunting friend and I will surely return again and I highly recommend Safari International with Russell Lovemore and his team.
It is important for me to let other hunters and travelers know about this amazing hunting safari opportunity and travel location. I give this my highest rating and recommendation. I invite anyone to contact me on this recommendation and i can provide more information. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my name is Dan Kaiser
So, what characteristics of the experience lead me to form my strong endorsement and compel me to take the time to write a review? There are many.
1. Planning the trip was easy thanks to the very knowledgable and well-seasoned owner/operator/head Professional Hunter, Russell Lovemore. During the research and planning stage of the hunting safari and trip, I was very impressed with the level of responsiveness and depth of information provided by the owner, Russell Lovemore. His high level of professionalism and depth of knowledge quickly began to show. Selecting Safari Trails International seemed like the clear best choice. And now that the trip is complete, I can confirm with experience that Russell Lovemore, Majiki Lodge, and the hunting offered by Safari International are gems to be experienced in South Africa.
The pre-travel advise provided by Russell on many subjects was provided quickly and was shortly revealed to be very sound advice on every aspect. I probably drove him mad with my many emails with one battery of questions after the next. But he always responded in a timely manner and with practical, valuable responses. He had connections and recommendations for travel agents, airlines, weapon transfer services, and many other elements. Russell is a true hunting expert and top-tier Professional Hunter as noted below, and has an incredible ranch to hunt, but he also is very adept at understanding it is the complete package of advise, support, communications, accommodations, transportation, meals and general service are vital. And Julie runs a first-rate dip-and-pack operation to make sure you return home with perfect trophies. Russell and his wife Julie are clearly very thoughtful and thorough as they have created an environment and experience excellent in every possible dimension.
2. The hunting was exhilarating. At 46 years old, I have hunted over 35 years now and I have not trembled from the excitement of a trophy animal moving toward my position since I was young. I forgot the intensity and magic that can be felt. I now realize I have grown comfortable in hunting deer, bear, elk and the like. The return to heart thumping, breath stopping experiences of my younger years hunting was renewing and rejuvenated. The diversity of game animals and hunting options is endless. We had success both archery hunting and rifle hunting. To get the full experience, we stalked animals and sat. It is a hunt of dreams and a lifetime. That feeling of elation and awe is priceless--a richer man you can not be.
3. The serenity, peacefulness and beauty of the location is stunning. Incredible gardens and manicured lawns are an oasis around the lodge that sits within thousands of acres of African wilderness that is teeming with exotic flora and fauna. Even after traveling to many corners of the globe, I have never witnessed such a magnificent range of game animals and colorful birds---and in vast numbers. I will never forget watching black wildebeest play in the plains while a group of impala grazed peacefully nearby as the sun slowly peered over the eastern horizon illuminating a few wispy clouds into a palate of color that would capture the eye of the best artists and poets. It is rare that you feel your soul has been so connected to nature.
4. Russell and Julie created a comfortable, yet museum-like lodge---very African in feel, but accommodations as comfortable as any top-tier resort. Rooms are cleaned by friendly staff, gardens are continuously manicured and sport a wide display of beautiful plants, fantastic meals are prepared by an experienced chef and any need you have is met. Julie and Russell are charming and make you feel at home. The feeling in the lodge is comfortable, warm and immeasurably relaxing. I am an avid and focused hunter, yet I chose to spend one day in the lodge and patio area fully enjoying the ambiance, reading, sipping coffee and listening to music. The two ranch dogs, friendly and loving, added yet another dimension of charm.
5. Russell and Julie, and an additional PE, Anton Bester were incredible hosts, utmost professionals and as fun as people can be sipping wine and beer in the evenings by the glowing fire. Many stories, jokes and laughter filled the vaulted ceiling and echoed in the rafters each evening. Fast friends we all became. And while new friends they are today, I suspect lifelong, dear friends they will become.
6. First-class hunting professionals made for the perfect hunt. The high level of knowledge, skill and experience Russell and Anton possess, I have never experienced. They know the behaviors of each species, the impact of all weather and environmental conditions on the animals, are experts in weaponry (archery and rifle), are seasoned educators in their trade and make all who come better hunters. We stalked animals, used blinds, and used other techniques. The variety and action was fantastic. I also thoroughly enjoyed learning all about the region, it's people, animals, flora and culture. They are true renaissance men.
7. The combination of adventure, relaxation and sight-seeing options is extensive. One can have a classic, rugged African hunt, enjoy a photography safari on the farm or nearby, world-class animal preserves, see amazing ocean front of the Indian Ocean or the high energy of Port Elizabeth. I am a hunter and focused most my time on hunting out of this world-class lodge. But my short visit into Port Elizabeth and surrounding locations was enough to know my next visit will include my wife. She is not a hunter, but enjoys exquisite beauty, fine foods, and traveling to excellent locations.
I missed my wife and family being away for two weeks, and thus was eager to return home. But at the same time, I felt sad to leave the sanctity of Majiki Lodge and say goodbye to my new friends. I take home 7 trophy animals, lifelong memories, amazing pictures and the strong desire to plan my return to this African oasis that delivers the true African hunting experience of dreams.
Daniel K Kaiser
~ Dan Kaiser (USA)
Thank you both for making my “Trip of a Lifetime” more than I could have ever imagined. Russ’ expertise in judging game animals in the field afforded me the opportunity to harvest “above average” trophies which I will enjoy forever. His Team of assistants made my hunting time safe and comfortable. My Thanks to Julie for being the perfect host with first class accommodations and gourmet style meals. Most of all, I want to thank you for my new heartfelt respect for the animals of Africa and the hospitality of the people there. No doubt that I will book another trip with Safari Trails International and bring my friends and family so they may know what a true African hunting experience is.
~ Stan Gentzler (USA)
The hunting at Safari Trails International is exciting and challenging with lots of animals and excellent chances for success. With Russ’s hunting experience and knowledge of his land, which has been in his family for 7 generations, and surrounding ranches, confidence is high. Russ is down to earth, humble and hardworking and will do everything he can to put you on good animals. The lodge and lodging are first rate and a very nice place to bring your family. Spending time with Russ, his better half Julie and their two boys, Chad and Mitch, is a great benefit of hunting with Safari Trails International. You’ll feel welcome and quickly become friends; looking forward each evening to great meals and time around the fire. I very highly recommend Safari Trials International for incredible hunting, friendship and relaxation.
~ Jay McNaughton (USA)
Dear Russ & Julie,
Since our trip to South Africa with you I have been asked a million times, “did you shoot that Zebra in Africa?’ or “what is that animal? Where did you get it?” Shortly after everyone wants all the details of our trip, specifically who we went with and how the hunt went. I am always happy to tell them that we went with Russell Lovemore, Safari Trails International, and had an amazing time.
Not only did we see lots of game and take some great trophies, of which were my wife’s first trophy animals ever, but we got to spend some great evenings around the dinner table and the fire pit. I have been on a number of hunts and there are very few I can say compare to the enjoyment of sharing this great hunt with even better people.
Please feel free to share my contact information with anyone looking for a reference on your outfit.
Thank you for having us in South Africa, and hopefully we can see you soon in Mozambique
Curtis & Mavis Ure
7x7 Maintenance Execution
Cell : 780 370-3852
Office : 588-3985
"' Our trip to the Eastern Cape was my family's second safari with Russell. We first hunted together in Mozambique. Both of these trips were highly successful from a hunting standpoint but also enjoyable experiences for all of us.
Russell does his best to make sure every aspect of your trip is as good as it can be.
We are planning on a repeat performance!" ---John Estes
After much deliberation and a great recommendation from friend and hunting icon Jim Shockey, we chose Russ Lovemore and Safari-Trails International for our first African adventure. My non-hunting wife Debbie, scout/tracker/ skinner Mike, tracking dogs Fudge and Diesel, Russell and I spent a week hiking, duck-walking, knee-crawling and belly-crawling all over Handfield Farm and other nearby properties, bowhunting walk-and-stalk style for zebra, impala, gemsbok, wildebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck and duiker.
This was a truly wonderful collection of first experiences, thanks to the Lovemore’s and their staff. Their experience, professionalism and genuine concern for their client’s satisfaction and enjoyment were obvious, comforting and greatly appreciated. Russell and Julie run a first-class operation, with beautiful lodge, gourmet meals, excellent service and abundant plains game. And having a PH who is himself a bowhunter is a welcome bonus – even though he shot the fletching off my #2 hunting arrow when we practiced!
We enjoy visiting with Russell during his annual stateside visits, and look forward to new and exciting experiences that await at the Lovemore’s new concession in the wildlands of Mozambique. If your bucket list includes a custom tailored African adventure that will most certainly include some memorable “firsts” as ours have, we would highly recommend the engaging and entertaining Mr. Lovemore, and Safari-Trails International or the new Safari-Trails Mozambique.
Since I was out of high school my dream was to go to Africa and hunt a Buffalo and sable. Well all my dreams came true with Russ and Safari Trails International.
In life there are events that come and go, but the 3 weeks that I spent in Mozambique with Russ are as vivid as yesterday.
Not only did I get my target package animals but he put me on many more including a 16' Nile crocodile.
Not only will I cherish my trophies and memories forever but I will return to hunt again and make new “memories for a lifetime”.
Thanks again Russ and Julie
Jeff White ( USA )
I have been fortunate enough to have hunted the Chawalo area for many years.
In my opinion, there is no better place than Chawalo, now known as Safari Trails Mozambique, if you are looking for a big hippo or monster crocodile. Sitting right on the banks of the Zambezi, Chawalo has access to miles of river frontage, teeming with croc and hippo.
For plains game, record class bushbuck and grysbuck are the norm, as well as great kudu.”
Kind regards, Michael
South Africa is an incredible country; people can describe it, and anyone who has been there, is awestruck by its beauty, but I've never been able to adequately capture our South African experience in words.
Leaving for our first trip to Africa, we had a bit of trepidation, getting vacinations, purchasing Global Rescue Coverage and making sure that our permits and itineraries were in order before embarking on 27 hours of flying time from California was disconcerting. But the Travel Agent and expedited customs service which you'd recommended made the journey surprisingly easy; having Etienne meet us at the airport to collect luggage and head to Majiki Lodge assuaged any worries about transport.
Waking up the next morning to fresh coffee and breakfast cooked to order, we were able to focus on the day. We wanted to see as many animals as possible. I had a list of indigenous species that I planned to check off as we encountered them. I was amazed at how diverse and beautiful the wildlife was, and how quickly I worked through my list.
As you know, Chris and I traveled as a hunter and non hunting companion, it's hard to find accommodations that cater to both and we appreciated the fact that you provided me with a naturalist guide while Russell & Chris stalked Kudu. The highlights for me were canoing up to Addo Elephant preserve, watching a lion kill at Scotia, where our jeep was rattled by an angry elephant, but most of all, galloping on horseback among a herd of zebra and giraffe, with the Indian Ocean just beyond the sand dunes to our right. For Chris, it was getting the trophy Kudu which he had dreamed about and of course, the last Blesbuck hunt where I joined him on the stalk.
So, as soon as we got back to California, Chris and I booked a second trip to Africa. Chris was following a life long dream of hunting Cape Buffalo and we were flying into Capetown, to visit the wine country and drive the garden route. Living near Napa Valley, we have pretty high standards but I would say that Stellenbosch is equal or superior to the California wine country. Russell had selected accommodations and wineries that were off the tourist track, the food and wine selection was delicious and reasonably priced; we purchased a selection to enjoy during our trip.
Our next stop was Mt Camdeboo, incredible luxury accommodations, gracious hosts, 5 star cuisine and the site of Chris' buffalo stalk. Chris has written in detail about his hunt, I believe that he sent a copy of his hunting log to Russell. As a non- hunter on a dangerous game hunt, my plan was to just be able to outrun the slowest member of the hunting party, unfortunately, the slowest member was me, so I stayed close to the trackers, Mike and Jaffee, who were unbelievably gracious and solicitous, and despite my inexperience, I felt well protected in their presence.
Neither Chris nor I realized how physically demanding it would be to stalk buffalo, I never knew how well animals of that size can hide in a vast property like Camdeboo and how much terrain we would cover on foot. Watching the trackers work, setting up a successful position, and then watching a village turn out to share in the bounty of our hunt and celebrate with a traditional firelight brai'i brought a perspective to this trip that I'd never imagined. We had provided food to a village, we were part of something larger than just vacation travel.
Leaving Camdeboo, returning to Majiki and getting to see you and the boys felt like coming home. I think that is what we enjoy the most about visiting you, Russell, Chad and Mitch. You allow us to be part of your family, to share your beautiful country, to be successful in our respective endeavors, of hunting or just enjoying the beauty of Africa.
To prospective travellers, I would say that if you want a hunting guide, you would be hard pressed to find anyone better than Russell. He was recommended to us by both Craig Boddington and Jim Shockey and we concur with their recommendations. Russell takes tremendous pride in ensuring success for his clients, and with that in mind, puts them in a position to be successful. He is honest, straight forward, provides advice when appropriate, and takes pride in creating an experience of a lifetime for his clients.
Anyway, we hope that you are all doing well; we look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.
All the best,
Lisa & Chris
First of all, thanks to you and your staff for an amazing experience.
Chawalo offers all you could ask for. Although my primary hunt was for croc, the number of other trophy species we saw was impressive. We saw literally hundreds of croc and hippo, plus elephant, kudu, bushbuck, warthogs and hyena.
In one day I shot a 14'2" croc and a 2 ton hippo, as well as caught a Zambezi Tiger Fish.
I highly recommend your operation for the hunter that wants a real no-fence hunt for great trophies.
Thanks Larry & Janine Wehrkamp
Please use us as a reference if you wish. Please request email from Russ.