Africa and Embarking on the Grandest of Adventures

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by Southern Gent, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2015
    I’ll use this post as more of an into what is to be one of the greatest adventures of a lifetime, rather than an explanation or assumptions of what is to come. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around where I’m about to go and what we’ll be doing, so I’m going to save commentary and reflection as a follow up piece. You may or may not have seen this blog post by Kevin Estela some weeks ago on the Fiddleback website , but what started out as a few loose conversations in November 2017 has finally arrived and this Saturday we go wheels up and embark on the grandest of adventures….Africa!

    This trip is especially special since I’ll be turning 40 next week and fulfilling a childhood dream. As a kid, I spent many, many hours watching African documentaries on public television with my dad and I’ve always fanaticized one day of seeing the sea of grass and abundance of life on the open plains of the African grasslands. Further, my great, great grandfather and namesake Bernard Justen was an African explorer and I’ve read through his diary a multitude of times and daydreamed about his encounters with the Zulu and trading gold ore for minerals and seeing previously unseen lands. We’ll be participating in a eight day plains hunt with a multitude of game animals for harvesting and will be staying in a lodge out in the bush.

    For gear, I’ve resigned myself to only taking my Kifaru 14er pack, which is 2400 ci and whatever I can fit in or strapped to it. This won’t include the checked case for firearms, knives and axes. I’ll follow up with a complete gear list once I get packed up, and I’m sure inquiring minds want to know which knives will be going. So far, the only thing I have ready to go is this wallet I made to commemorate the trip. The small dot on the southeastern tip of Africa is where we’ll be. The countdown has begun. What was 8 months away is now only 5 days. This is all starting to sink in…

    IMG_3452.jpg IMG_3451.jpg
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  2. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    awesome buddy. I wish you guys a great time and not to get eaten by a lion or a leopard. However if this does happen, please let the wife know before you leave that I call first dibs on your knife collection and the little ford truck. Call me materialistic, I don't care.

    on a serious note, the Bush Hermit is the absolute perfect pick of a knife for this adventure. Also don't forget to take some trade/giveaway knives and one for the guide.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  3. Oyster

    Oyster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    This is an absolute must-add to the “watch thread” list. Looking forward to more posts and lots of pics (esp. of knives in action). :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  4. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    That wallet came out badass.
  5. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    We can get Rick to make some group buy wallets and some sheaths out of SG's ass if the lions don't eat it all. Maybe Kevin can do an article on "tanning delicate hides" on the savannah (with pics of coarse).
  6. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2015
    That's why Liam's coming. He's the bait. He just doesn't know that. I'm much faster than he is and Kevin's motherly instincts will force him to come to his rescue. I apologize to everyone in advance who is currently in queue on Liam's wait list, especially if you only have a month or so left before your axe is supposed to deliver.
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  7. jaz322

    jaz322 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    My brother is a wildlife artist so I’ve been trying to get him to consider a trip to Africa. Looking forward to hearing about your trip, as I will share w/ him and others. He sculpted and bronzed a 10.5ft lion that is lean n mean if you meet anyone along the way that’s interested, he still has the molds.

    Great wallet idea! You’re a talented individual, my friend. And ditto on the blade choice. I smell a bush hermit and/or ke bushie group buy after this epic trip! Also looking forward to other gear you take (I know you’re taking a hoffman). And how can there be a trip with southern gent w/out a yeti cooler of primo beverages?

    Excited for you guys!


    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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  8. Fiddleback Outpost

    Fiddleback Outpost Fiddleback Forge Knives & Fiddleback Outpost Gear

    Apr 29, 2016
    Kevin is also documenting his side of the trip for the Fiddleback Forge Blog. In case you missed the first article that was published earlier this month, here's the link!


    I'm sure there will be other articles since Kevin will make it back. I wonder if Brazilian Jui-Jitsu & Sayoc Kali both work on lions?
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  9. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Sounds like an awesome trip, ENJOY!
  10. Steven65

    Steven65 Traditional Hog Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Have fun. If you make it to Cape Town drop me a line............;)
  11. Tutone

    Tutone Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2017
    That Lion is Badass‼️
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  12. Comprehensivist

    Comprehensivist Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Good luck Justen, Kevin & Liam. It’s one thing to go on the the adventure of a lifetime by yourself. Sharing the experience with good friends who have your back will take the trip to the next level. I wish all of you safe travels and a grand time in the bush.

    I look forward to the updates as this adventure unfolds.

    Be well my friend!

  13. Kal-El


    Sep 30, 2010
    Justen, what can I say.....I sooooo wish I was going with you guys!

    Seriously though, I am super happy for you. It seems as if you were destined for this trip and I hope that you all have an incredible time!

    I love what you did with the wallet. Super cool :cool:.

    Be safe bud and take a bunch of those shower wipes! I'm sure you know that Cape Town's water crisis has been declared a national disaster by South Africa's government.


    BTW, I thought Dirk would have been a shoe in for this trip ;).
  14. swonut

    swonut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 1, 2007
    It's the bugs that will get you... Don't under estimate the potential to get sick from the food and water. Have a plan, some meds and some phone numbers. You've got a guide service so that helps immensely. My funniest story was the preventative med doctor that was on my team on one of the trips to Ethiopia and was acting strange after a few days, so I pulled him aside and asked what was up. He said he wasn't sleeping, and when I asked him why, he said, "This is the stuff I've always just read about in the textbooks--but now-- the shit just got real for me." I offered him some ambien for a nights sleep, and reminded him that we were in the rift valley, the cradle of civilization so at least we had history on our side even if they didn't exactly have the best food safety standards in the kitchen... Have fun and take lots of pictures.
  15. Steven65

    Steven65 Traditional Hog Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    FYI although there are water restrictions in place (52 litres per person per day) there is plenty of water for the basics so showering and flushing toilets is no problem.
    Also we have had very good rains in the past month and we expect more before the end of winter so the immediate crisis is over.
    Things are slowly returning back to normal.:)

    Also I just thought I would mention that the Knifemakers Guild of South Africa have their annual show on Friday the 3rd of August so if you are in Johannesburg then and you would like to attend and see some local work, drop me a line and I will give you the relevant info.;)
    Oyster likes this.
  16. The Shatz

    The Shatz

    Oct 1, 2017
    What are you bring for a firearm? Iv always dreamed of going on safari just have to get the kids through college and hopefully I can can make it happen!! The older iv got the less I enjoy recoil recently iv fell in love with my 6.5 creedmore. I think it would be a great choice for plains game. Have great trip and yes I'm extremely jealous
  17. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2015
    D1D781AB-BAF4-45CC-8A25-4F50F8FD12A5.jpeg Well, after going through my checklists here is all the gear I have for my 10 days in Africa, packed into 2400 ci with room to spare. Thanks everyone for the well wishes and i’ll Do what I can to keep everyone up to speed on the adventure. Be sure to check in on IG or FB for updates. @Steven65 will be meeting up with Neels Van Den Burg tomorrow in Joburg if you are so inclined to join us. The kit has the essentials: Tikka lite .308, with Hornady 165 gr ammo, Kifaru 14er pack and pullouts, NXN merino kerchief, Exotac nanospark and nanostriker, Leupold optics and spotter, various electronics and Campark camera, and of course my Bush Hermit, Surls patch & Hunter and a pukko from Michael Presnell. Going wheels up later today, so God bless everyone and cheers.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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  18. Oyster

    Oyster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Bush Hermit!:thumbsup::thumbsup:
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  19. The Shatz

    The Shatz

    Oct 1, 2017
    Great looking puukko and hunter!!
    Oyster likes this.
  20. Steven65

    Steven65 Traditional Hog Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Have a fun trip.
    I live in Cape Town so its a bit of a long drive for me to get to Neels. LOL.;)
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