By Tayvi Rae Stilson


I kept thinking, “What will my family do if I die in Africa?”


This is the story of how I died.  Well, not literally, but a little inside.


From the time I was a little girl living in a small town in the United States, I wanted to visit Africa. The day after my high school graduation, my dream came true. I got to start my amazing hunting journey in Africa at Comre’ Safaris.


Comre’ was stunning and our perfect guide Richard made the journey so much fun. The first two days it rained, and I couldn’t get anything on my list, but my grandpa did, taking an amazing heavy black wildebeest. It took some chasing to get it to the right spot, but just as the sun was setting, he was able to take it. We woke up the next day to rain again, but that was okay because we were still able to go out and hunt, and I was able to shoot my first animal with one shot. I was lucky enough to get a very old, but beautiful white blesbok.

After this, things got crazy, and I thought I was going to die in Africa. It rained for almost three days straight, and the water in the rivers was pretty high and rough. In our vehicle we started to cross a river that had been flooded, where boulders had been washed down. We couldn’t see them and got stuck on a big one. At first, it wasn’t too bad, but then the water started to fill up in our vehicle. That’s when my grandma and I decided it was time to leave! We climbed out of the window, waded the rest of the way across the river to the bank, and waited until a tractor came to pull the vehicle out. It was some experience, to say the least!


The next two days my grandpa and I were able to shoot some beautiful animals. He took a fantastic yellow blesbok and a great blue wildebeest bull, while I was able to kill an impala with a deep back sweep, and an awesome nyala cow with very beautiful markings.


The next day started with my grandpa trying to shoot a zebra from over 700 yards away, but he didn’t get it. Then it was my turn. I took a shot at a kudu 

bull that was 640 yards away, only being able to see the head and top of its neck. I hit it but didn’t drop it. We spent the whole rest of the day trying to track it down, but unfortunately, we couldn’t find it. We ended up going to Hunters Hill the next day where my grandpa was able to complete his impala slam with a black impala, a saddleback, and an absolute giant of a white flank impala. The year before he had taken an impressive common impala. That same day I took an amazing shot at a gorgeous Kalahari springbok and got it. My grandpa was able to shoot a very beautiful and heavy trophy red hartebeest. Next, we saw an amazing golden wildebeest cow in a very big herd. It was a harder shot considering it kept moving behind trees or would go in between the others, but thankfully I was able to take a shot, and we got her! Let me just say the golden wildebeest is a very beautiful animal, and we were very lucky to have seen it!


The final day was hard. I started feeling all the emotion of not wanting to leave the beautiful stay at Comre’. On the last hunt I was able to achieve my goal of a beautiful and majestic trophy sable. Sable is known as the prince of the bushveld.

The Sunday we were leaving was sad, to say the least. It was hard to leave the camp and come back home, but the time I was able to spend there had moments I will cherish forever, some of the best memories I’ll ever have. Comre’ is so beautiful and has the prettiest scenic places. I got to see so many cool new animals including zebras, giraffes, and monkeys. My trip to Africa was amazing and so much fun!


So, thankfully, I didn’t die in Africa, but I certainly learned some fear of rivers!