"After having hunted with Ivy Safaris twice we can only give our best recommendations. Our main interest in walk and stalk really came through. The hunting days flowed on with a lot of exciting hunting experiences and with several successful hunts under the guidance of highly skilled PH’s who also explain about the wildlife, birds and nature during the stalk. It was a thrilling hunt every day with several kilometers of stalking, just like hunting is supposed to be.
The accommodation, the evenings around the fire under the fantastic heavens with millions of stars, the lovely dinners, the PH's and all the staff were all outstanding, making us feel like a part of the family!"
Christian & Vivi Jensen (email@example.com) Denmark
"I just wanted to say thanks again for such a GREAT TIME! Everything was so exciting from day 1 when we arrived. The animal on the top of my list was a Waterbuck and while walking the very first day we came across 2 bulls fighting - something you only expect to see on TV. Every day had great suspense and experiences. The Eland stalking, crawling to get that close and then having them move off before getting a shot in - what a rush!
The trackers are so good they could make an incredible National Geographic Show! Amazing how they follow a spoor when there are so many animals walking around. They make tracking very interesting and they never want to quit!
The final day was also a memory of a lifetime! Still hoping to get a Waterbuck - never in my life had I imagined stalking an animal in my socks - no TV show ever shows that! Mark, you were so right - that is the best way to get close enough! It was so amazing to walk up within 60 yards and not be heard.
Mark's expertise of the animals is but a small part of his over all knowledge. He knows most of the birds, shrubs, grasses, trees etc. (some even taste bad). If you want the hunt of a lifetime, Ivy Safaris would be my choice and be ready to walk! He does a real hunt - you don't drive around in circles until you can get a shot. His knowledge of whiskey is also very extensive!
The evenings were very relaxing after a long day in the bush. An even better reason to come to Ivy Safaris is his wife Lisa's amazing recipes for wild game she prepares for each meal. I have never had every meal be so excellent. We ate the game we shot every night we were there. Even a couple of days we ate like kings in the bush. Yes, Lisa brought our meals out in the bush, set up tables, and fed us lunch!
Thanks again to you and your staff!! Everyone was a pleasure to be around and did an outstanding job! That was the quickest 10 day hunt of my life. My next safari with Ivy Safaris will not come soon enough! When you leave, you feel that you now have great friends in Africa! "
Ross Granger (firstname.lastname@example.org) USA
"As an avid hunter back home in New Zealand and used to chasing my quarry in lots of different areas and conditions, I thought hunting in South Africa would be a piece of cake. After all, when we see it on the television there seem to be lots of animals everywhere. I couldn't have been more mistaken!
The hunting was just amazing. You can drive around and see the game animals at reasonably close quarters but when its time to shoot its time to walk!! No easy hunting here and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Mark's motto should be - maybe 1 animal per 2 days hunting and if you can't walk 10 kilometres plus a day then don't bother coming. Definitely the type of hunting I prefer.
Yes, it may be easier off the back of the truck but what's sporting about that? If you prefer to hunt and stalk your game with a bloke who's easy to get along with and knows his stuff then Mark's the man.
And as for the hospitality - second to none!!! Mark and Lisa and their 2 lovely daughters made great hosts. My wife (a non-hunter) also felt right at home and happy. She got to do some sleeping in, relaxing and sightseeing. Meal times were always looked forward to as local wild game would be prepared and served by Lisa and her staff. Lisa is a superb cook (check out her up and coming cookbook). And then Mark would whip up one of his famous vodka, lemon, honey and sugar concoctions (Dawa). One was usually enough although two was better!!!
We can't talk highly enough of our time at Ivy Safaris so we'll definitely be back (my wife told me so!!!) "
Steve Verheul (email@example.com) New Zealand
"Dear Lisa and Mark
Thank you for a wonderful week at Marula and Ivy Safaris Farms. It was wonderful to see your way of living in contact with nature, your staff and your clients and it was wonderful to see how close your family was together. I really felt that I was a friend and in that way important to you. A wonderful feeling. I already look forward to coming back to you.
Jens and I are already talking about a buffalo, maybe in Tanzania. The only thing I know is that I will never hunt in Africa if you are not my hunter. Mark you are fantastic and such a nice person, like your family, I feel safe in your hands.
We have started to speak about bringing our wives with us. I really want to give my wife Lis that experience, not only the hunting, but the nature, the birds, your family and staff.
There is only one thing that I am still angry at my myself about: that is that I didn't shoot a nyala. Of course it was very difficult, because the bush was so thick and we only had a few seconds from when you saw the animal until it disappeared. Many times when we saw an animal in that area it was gone before I raised my gun. We only had one chance every day. I will come back to shoot a Nyala, I just hope we will have a few more chances to shoot.
At last I wish you and your family a good trip to England and USA. And I think you really deserve that combination of holiday and work together with your little family.
My best wishes and thank you for the best time!"
Hans Schougaard (firstname.lastname@example.org) Denmark
"I greatly enjoyed my 10 days of hunting with Ivy Safaris in 2006! Mark is a very fine PH in the field, and competently led me to all the animals that I'd planned for. His extensive knowledge of game and fauna was most appreciated. My second African safari was grand fun, and my animals very nice specimens which I was quite proud to harvest (including a 52" kudu and 39" gemsbok).The wingshooting with his working dogs was a real bonus!
On the business side of things, Mark fulfilled completely his part of the deal, and there were no hidden charges or surprises at hunt's end. His friendly lodge staff were superb. Finally, the lovely Ivy family was a real treat to be with, and added hugely to my experience. Lisa is a marvelous cook and hostess, and her two girls were always fun and well-behaved.
In short, the safari with the Ivy's never felt forced or stale or routine--it was like hunting with fine new friends. I received great value for my time and money, was sad to leave, and look forward to returning next year for eland. If you enjoy good, honest hunting on foot (instead of Land Rover), then go with Ivy Safaris!"
Gun writer Boston T. Party, ("Boston's Gun Bible" and "Safari Dreams" from www.javelinpress.com) USA
"I have hunted with Ivy Safaris twice now. Both times were fantastic experiences. Mark, Lisa and their staff go to great lengths to make you feel like part of the family and ensure that you have a time that you will remember for the rest of your life. Come prepared to spend most of your time on foot and the rest of your time crawling. Vehicles are only used when absolutely necessary.
If you have a physical handicap, Mark is more than willing and able to accommodate your needs, but it will not be a "canned hunt" by any stretch of the imagination. I really enjoyed learning about the bush from Mark, David and Herbert as we hunted.
The food and accommodations are first class all the way. Lisa and her staff prepare the best meals I have had anywhere. If, like me, you have non-hunters (like my wife Judy) in your family be sure to bring them along. Trips to the Kruger National Park, shopping in Polokwane, sight seeing and game viewing will keep everyone happy and wanting to stay longer. If you are considering going to Africa, look at Ivy Safaris first and judge everyone else against them."
Allan Collier (email@example.com) USA
"On August 26, 2005, we made a long stalk on a beautiful record book Kudu. I looked at him through my scope on the shooting sticks, but waited too long to pull the trigger. He moved into the bush and eluded us from then on. Mark put me on this bull and it was my fault for waiting too long to shoot.
By the afternoon of August 27, 2005 the score was Kudu 5, hunter 0! Then my luck changed. After a 1.2 mile stalk, my 300 Winchester Short Mag was on the sticks as soon as Mark had them up. The bush blocked a heart shot; but, his shoulder was clear. I took the shot and the bull ran 20 yards with both front legs broken.
Before we approached the Kudu, a Jackal was slipping up on him from another angle looking for a free supper. That was that Jackal's last stalk! The Kudu bull was beautiful. Both horns had a 10" circumference and were 33" wide. His right horn was 50" and the left, 49". He probably missed the SCI record book by 2". He was really a magnificent animal.
P.S. In addition to an exceptional hunting experience, if you are looking for 5 star meals and service, Mark and Lisa Ivy have it all!
My wife joined me for the trip, she too had a wonderful experience!!"
E. "Lad" Cazedessus (firstname.lastname@example.org) USA
"We have experienced a number of wingshoots and plains game hunts with Ivy Safaris with various groups of friends.
Features which stand out are:
We reluctantly, for the selfish reason that we would rather keep this destination confidential, highly recommend Ivy Safaris to any bird or game hunter."
Cutten & Patrisi Group (RSA)