Into Africa’s Wild

Game animals at Frontier Safaris, where we hunted, were nervous, scattered and elusive. During a day at a photographic safari, we saw plenty of iconic species - like this white lion - but because animals were habituated to people they lost some appeal. Outdoor Life Online Editor

Perhaps Africa's quintessential plains game, a mature impala ram hides in tall grass of South Africa's Eastern Cape. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Warthogs are everywhere in southern Africa, but mature boars like this one rarely stand still for a photo. If you see more than six inches of tusk, it's likely a good boar. Outdoor Life Online Editor
In May, when OL's Andrew McKean hunted South Africa, the warthog rut was just beginning, and mature boars were just starting to run with family groups. Outdoor Life Online Editor
McKean's first animal of the safari was this impressive impala shot at about 200 yards. Contrary to its reputation as land of close-range shots, McKean's average shot in Africa was just over 200 yards. Outdoor Life Online Editor
A mature impala ram is one of the great trophies of Africa. Judge quality by studying the depth of the saddle and the tips of the ram¿s horns. If the horns make a deep sweep back before pointing upward, it's a good ram. And if the tips point parallel, instead of toward each other, it's a mature male. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Like any hunting trip, a safari to Africa is enhanced by the company. We stood for a group photo, with clients, professional hunters, trackers and their dogs, at the end of our remarkable 10-day hunt. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Besides his professional hunter, McKean spent every day in the field with his tracker, cheerful Moontoo. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Outdoor Life Hunting Editor Andrew McKean's second animal of the safari was this stunning gemsbok, also called oryx, taken at about 175 yards with his Winchester Model 70 in .300 WSM. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Perhaps the most coveted plains game trophy is the elusive kudu. Andrew McKean took this unusual bull at about 250 yards after watching him feed out of dense cover with several cows and calves. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Its neutral coloration, vertical stripes and ability to melt into the bush earn kudu the nickname, "Gray Ghosts." Outdoor Life Online Editor
Andrew McKean and his professional hunter, Raymond Schenk, were stalking a blesbok when they spotted this broken-tusked warthog. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Perhaps the most challenging of McKean's animals was this wildebeest. Hit slightly behind the shoulder, the bull ran for well over a mile, made a short, aggressive charge when cornered and finally fell after a wobble-kneed stand in dense bush. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Blesbok don't get the respect they deserve. Stalking these open-country antelope is hard because they roam in huge herds, and judging a trophy ram can be a matter of inches, and killing one requires a long shot after a careful stalk. This is a corker blesbok. Outdoor Life Online Editor
The culmination of McKean's safari – the tenth animal in eight days of intensive hunting – was this bushbuck, shot at nearly 300 yards after glassing a remote, timbered hillside for several hours. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Papa Hemingway reincarnated, Joe Arterburn of Cabela's shot remarkable animals and was a constant presence behind his aromatic pipe. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Hunting springbuck on the open grasslands – karoo, as they're called in South Africa – requires careful glassing and long shots. Field & Stream's Nate Matthews sets up for a shot at a common springbuck. Outdoor Life Online Editor
A lion in dense bush is like a bomb with a burning fuse. They can explode out of the cover in less time than you can read this. Outdoor Life Online Editor
At nearly 7 tons and standing more than 12 feet tall, this African elephant was more than capable of overturning our Range Rover. We deferred to him as he crossed a faint trail in the bush. Outdoor Life Online Editor

See some of the most amazing animals on the planet as you follow Andrew McKean on his African safari.