|Namibia African Safaris|
2014 Namibia Africa Safari Special
Our game is fair chase and free ranging!
Outfitter: George Deloch (Hans Hunt)
Dates: April 27 – May 5, 2014
Area Hunted: Khomas Highlands
Species: Plains Game
PH’s: George Deloch and Peter Reinhardt
Hunters: Leon Komkov, Paul Coughlin, Carl Merritt and Gerry Valenti
Rifle: Ruger .300 Win Mag
Bullet: Nosler Accubond --180 grain
Overview. This hunt vastly exceeded all my expectations. Having spent more than I should have on a series of dangerous game hunts in Zambia and Zimbabwe, I was looking for a short and economical African hunt for 2014. Namibia seemed the best bargain available in African hunting (it is ---- read on!), but I confess that my pre-hunt expectations were very modest. As most Namibian hunting outside the concession areas takes place on private ranches, I imagined we would have a sort of “Texas high-fence” experience, and I curbed my expectations as to how much game would be available.
I could not have been more wrong. This was a true and challenging hunt that consisted of spotting the animals at great distance, before they detected our presence, and then painstakingly stalking and tracking for extended periods over wild, rough country. The game density on the property is very good. There are good herds of zebra, gemsbok, kudu, black wildebeest, blue wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok, and steenbok. There also are good numbers of warthogs, jackals, klipspringer, and baboons. We didn’t see (or seek to hunt) any leopards or hyenas, but we saw plenty of their tracks. In addition to game animals, we also saw hyrax, red-eared fox, an aardwolf and a honey badger. Although we had 4 active hunters on the Deloch farm, none of us had any trouble filling our tickets.
Outfitter. This hunt was booked through Wes Hixon Outdoor Adventures. I have used Wes Hixon as booking agent on two prior hunts in the Luangwa River area of Zambia. Wes is reliable and takes care of business in an efficient and proper way. With regard to this hunt, it originally was discussed as 2 hunters, hunting 1X1. To make a long story short, two buddies successively expressed an interest in coming along, so in the end we had 4 hunters in our group.
Wes advised that George Deloch did not want 4 PH’s hunting the ranch, so the trip was converted midstream into 2X2 hunts with George taking one group and Peter Reinhardt taking the other group of two hunters. This was to be my first 2X2 hunt and initially I was not pleased with the arrangement. I was concerned that 4 hunters would overburden the available game. However, I will say that, based upon the nature of the hunt (and good companionship in the truck) I ended up liking the 2X2 arrangement surprisingly well. First, George has managed the ranch exceptionally well for game, so (as noted above) there was plenty of opportunity for all four of us to shoot a full list of plains game. Second, since so much of the nature of the hunt was extended glassing and stalking of the quarry, the non-shooter in the party still got to participate fully in what was, to me, the most rewarding part of the hunt: the chess game of stalking wary game was so fascinating to me that I sincerely believe I would have had and equally good time if I hadn’t carried a rifle.
Facilities. Hunting takes place on the Deloch ranch in the Khomas highlands, approximately 60 miles west, northwest of Windhoek. The ranch consists of about 20,000 acres. The geography is rugged and beautiful. If you’ve hunted mule deer in the Trans-Pecos of Texas, you’ve got a pretty good picture of the area: steep mountains covered in thorn, and deep ravines choked with brush. Hunters are housed in nice, fully equipped permanent cabins, with decent beds, showers, etc. George’s wife Rike handles the main camp very capably. While we were hunting, George’s two children were home on school holiday. His son Hans acted as driver for the second team of hunters. His daughter Melanie is a good-natured 12-year old, who assisted with various tasks around the house. It’s a charming family, and their presence kept a lid on some of the more raucous behavior (for a while; four or five Windhoek Tafel beers into the evening, and the conversations tended to turn off color, regardless).
PH George Deloch. George is very teutonic. He is very serious and focused while hunting, but he also has a raucous sense of humor while in camp. I did not hunt with Peter Reinhardt, he gets very high marks from Paul and Carl, and from the exhausted looks on their faces at day’s end) Peter also hunts hard. In camp, Peter was relaxed and funny. I would gladly hunt again with either George or Peter --- just the right mix of professionalism.
Trackers Gerry Valenti and I generally hunted with Joseph, who is an experienced and capable tracker. Paul and Carl hunted with Festus, who is younger and less experienced than Joseph. However, unlike hunts in the thick jess of Zimbabwe, the trackers play a lessened role. The wide open country means that tracking is less critical to locating the game. Both Joseph and Festus had good eyes for spotting game at a distance, as did George and Peter. Credit goes to Gerry Valenti, who also spotted quite a bit of the game we stalked.
The Hunt. I know I would bore you (and likely also would bore myself) if I subjected you to the typical, repetitive minute-by-minute rehash of the hunt. (e.g. “we awoke about an hour before dawn, and after 3 cups of coffee and a light breakfast, we loaded up into the trucks around 6:45 a.m. and headed west from camp….”) Instead, let me just sketch the outline of a typical morning, so that you can determine if this is the sort of hunt you would enjoy.
We generally left camp around 7 a.m., about half an hour after dawn. Since the wind typically was from the east in the morning, we drove west in the hunt car, thorough a series of canyons and up a series of ridges until we reached an overlook from where we could glass for game. Most quarry was spotted at distances exceeding 500 yards. We then began the stalk to stay both upwind and concealed from the quarry. This sounds easier than it was: covering a linear half mile often involved stalking for as long as 2 hours, up and down steep terrain covered in thorn bush. As well, the stalks often involved standing completely still for extended periods of time. My estimate is that we walked on average about 5-12 kilometers per day. Temperatures during the day were in the mid-80’s with not a cloud in the sky, so the first couple of days I was fairly dehydrated. By the third day, I was reminding myself to drink a pint of water approximately every 90 minutes, and that worked well.
The countryside in Khomas is steep and the footing loose and unsure. I had thought I’d trained for the hunt by hiking 3-5 miles per day in the months leading up to the hunt. I should have at least doubled that training load. Or at least trained on steep hills, instead of nice flat trails. Sneaking through the thorn brush is a challenge. By the end of the first day, I reconfigured my equipment to get rid of everything that could snag itself on the brush. The cotton shirts and trousers that I wore all have various tears and rips from the thorns.
Summary. This was one of the most rewarding hunts I’ve been on. There were no easy trophies. One’s hunting skills were fully upon, and everything was fairly hunted.
Lessons Learned. Get the best pair of binoculars you can afford. This hunt is dependent upon locating the game at a distance that is beyond their ability to detect you.Wear leather boots. Everything in this country has a thorn or a sticker. The hunters wearing Merrell-type mesh or nylon boots spent a lot of time trying to pick spear grass and thorns out of the nylon. Practice shooting at longer ranges than are normal for us in the States. I shot my zebra at 325 yards, and my gemsbok at nearly 300. While the 300 Win Mag worked just fine at these distances, psychologically they are well beyond my normal comfort zone, and I kept wanting to move closer. On the instances where I tried to do so, the game spooked and ran on. This is open country hunting and the animals generally won’t let you get much closer than 200 yards. Hydrate! It’s very hot during the day, and many of the stalks (particularly for gemsbok) went on or 3-4 hours at a time. The hunters and trackers are acclimated to the heat and the altitude, but you probably are not. I had to force myself to chug water whenever we got to the truck. One could bring a camelback, but with all the frog-walking through thornbush, I think it would be just one more thing to get caught in the brush.
Cheers to all!
Wes Hixon’s Notes:
First, this hunt was booked early in the season April 27 – May 5. This is early fall so temperatures are going to be much warmer than June, July, and August.
Second, this group of hunters are in very good shape and were prepared and preferred to hunt all animals via spot and stalk in all type of terrain. If we have hunters who are not able to climb the hills nor walk long distances we can guide them on far less physical and just as successful safaris.
ur first hunt and visit to this country was a real eye opening experience. Namibia (formerly known as Southwest Africa) is the youngest country in Africa, having gained its independence in 1990. Namibia was settled by Germans before World War I.
Our safari base area is in the Khomashochland Mountains, approximately 90 km from the city of Windhoek. All hunts are fair-chase and are conducted for the most part by spot and stalk. The months of April through October are considered the best for hunting. Many people think that Namibia is hot and dry, however, it is very common for temperatures to dip to 30 degrees F° or less each night, starting each day with a heavy jacket and frosty mornings. The terrain here is very similar to parts of Wyoming and Montana.
Namibia is renowned for its large herds of trophy class Oryx (Gemsbok), Red Hartebeest, Kalahari Springbuck, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra and without a doubt, exceptional Southern Greater Kudu. Having hunted in many African countries, Wes will tell you that this area offers the best free-ranging trophy Kudu hunting he has encountered in Africa, especially when the big Kudu bulls are in the rut during May and June.
If you enjoy hunting Bull Elk or Whitetail Bucks when they are rutting, you will definitely enjoy hunting rutting Kudu Bulls. By the way, Leopard populations are very good in this area and Leopard can be combined with Plainsgame hunting while on safari. If you are fortunate enough to take a Leopard the daily rates and trophy fees are a very, very good bargain.
Our safaris are conducted by George and Rike Deloch. George's father founded this company in 1973. All hunts are guided by George, and all food is prepared by Rike, his wife. Guest chalets are fully modern, spotless and first class. This is a great place for a family or small group of friends to go on a hunt and vacation. Each safari is custom planned and you and your group will have the safari camp exclusively. Cost is without a doubt one of the best bargains left in Africa today.
The following trophy fees are due after harvest or wounding of each animal:
||Gemsbok - (Oryx)
|Hartmann's Mtn. Zebra
* These animals are hunted in other areas and prices are subject to change without notice.
**We are issued Leopard permits annually by the Namibian Government. Some years we are issued two Leopard permits, some years only one Leopard permit. If you are interested in booking a Leopard Safari we recommend you contact us no later than November of the year prior to the desired safari year. Leopard Safaris require a 14 day minimum safari booking. The daily rate is $600.00 per day, plus an additional trophy fee of $6,500.00 when you shoot a Leopard. Our Leopard Safaris include your government Leopard license, legal Leopard export permit, professional hunter, safari support staff, meals, lodging, drinks, daily laundry service, airport reception and departure services at Windhoek International Airport, all ground transportation surrounding your safari, gun permits, and taxes.
ALL GUEST DAILY RATES INCLUDE:
NOT INCLUDED IN THE TRIP RATE:
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND REQUIREMENTS:
A 50% deposit of the daily rate is required to confirm a booking.
Game which is wounded and not retrieved must be paid in full.
Upon booking your safari, our office will furnish all the necessary paperwork, sample copies, and travel tips for the following: All gun permits, suggested clothing list, U.S. Customs forms, cancellation insurance forms.