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30 Days in Zimbabwe tells the story of two safaris, in different areas of Zimbabwe, undertaken by Peter Hunt of Hunt Productions. Part One of this two disk set takes place from the Ripple Creek camp in the Bubye Valley Conservancy (formerly known as the Lemco Conservancy) in southern Zimbabwe, one of the countries largest privately-owned conservation areas, and home to a great variety of animals, from the Big 5 downwards. Although leopard is the main quarry (with a beautiful cat falling to Peter's rifle) it also features hunts for eland, bushbuck, impala, waterbuck, wildebeest, klipspringer, and a particularly bullet-proof giraffe bull. I enjoyed that the viewer is given a peek into the preparations for the hunt, from the shooting of bait animals to the preparation of the bait tree. Part Two documents a hunt in the characteristic mopane bushveld of Matetsi Unit 3 - classic Zimbabwean safari country. The buffalo hunt, in particular, provides excitement as the 40 inch bull is wounded late in the afternoon and the hunt only ends after a close-quarters confrontation the next morning. The elephant hunt was filmed close up, as is often the case with elephant hunts, and although the bull requires multiple shots from both Peter and the PH, the 40-pound trophy is secured with a minimum of fuss in the end. Peter also hunts a spectacular kudu bull and, as the hunt takes place in Matetsi, an old but very handsome sable. As a bonus, footage of a pack of wild dogs - one of Africa's rarest and most endangered predators - provides a nice touch. The professional hunter for both safaris is George Hallamore from HHK Safaris. Throughout, George is always the perfect gentleman who guides Peter in a relaxed and easy-going way that speaks to many years of hard-won experience. In general, the quality of the production is quite good, although I got the impression a few times (especially on the first disk) that the cameraman was slightly out of touch with the ebb and flow of some of the hunts. For example, just as the hunter was getting ready to shoot, the trophy animal ws out of focus or not quite the centrepiece of attraction. Another minor gripe is the sound quality. I don't know if it's just my copy, but I had to fiddle with the volume control to maintain an even volume. Having gotten that off my chest, however, the overall quality of the production is still more than acceptable and streets ahead of many of the low budget hunting DVD's we are 'blessed' with today. If you are contemplating a safari in Zimbabwe, especially in the areas featured here, 30 Days in Zimbabwe is recommended. --African Sporting Gazette
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