There was no need for Burchell to explore career options because his path was set early in life. His father was a PH who operated one of the first game farms in South Africa. “Some of my favorite childhood memories were hunting with my dad. Once the bush and hunting were in my blood, I do not think it would have been possible to follow any other career that would have been so enjoyable and rewarding,” Burchell says.
Over the past 28 years, Burchell has expanded Frontier Safaris area by buying 37 ranches with a surface area of more than 200,000 acres that were used for cattle, sheep and goat ranching. He turned them into prime hunting ranches now home to more than 50,000 animals.
When hunting dangerous game, Burchell carries his Krieghoff .470 Nitro Express double that he regards as a good all-around caliber. He states the reason for his choice as, “often clients use my rifle when hunting, and a .470 does not punish the shooter with recoil like some of the bigger calibers.” For plains game his favorite is his McMillan .300 Win. Mag. that he considers sufficient. He commented, “it is also a good long distance caliber which has been a great advantage on many occasions.”
Recounting his career, Burchell says, “I have been fortunate to have hunted with many different, interesting and clients. My most enjoyable experiences have been with my dad, wife, four sons and my five-year-old daughter who is shooting almost well enough to take her first antelope.”
One spine tingling hunt is etched in Burchell’s memory, “A client I will always remember is Dr. Joseph Greenfield, nicknamed Bwana Babu. Dr. Greenfield is an experienced hunter, and a great marksman who enjoys every minute in the bush. To be a true hunter, a person must be a sportsman and a gentleman. We had a very exciting leopard hunt, with hounds, in northern Namibia. The leopard charged us and was dropped at our feet.”
A SCI Life Member, Burchell reflects on his years of experience, “I would not have been able to achieve what I have accomplished without the 200 people I employ to keep everything running smoothly. These people help with hunting, tracking, skinning, taxidermy, office administration, anti-poaching, education, game capture and maintaining my private ranches.” Burchell’s two oldest sons are PHs and he looks forward to eventually turning the business over to them.
Frontier Safaris also offers shark fishing on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, reef fishing and photographic safaris.