Huntinamibia 2022/23 (English)

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Since 1999

WHY HUNTING MATTERS

CONSERVATION HUNTING IN NAMIBIA

NAMIBIA'S ULTIMATE HUNTING TALES Celebrating a country, and industry's, conservation successes

2022/23

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Cover

Such an iconic sight in Namibia... a gemsbok bull scaling the soft sandy dunes of the Namib.

Photo by Jofie Lamprecht

Read the latest and older issues of Huntinamibia online. Huntinamibia’s website also contains a wealth of information sourced over two decades. It is an archive of material which has appeared in the printed magazine since 1999.

Publisher

Venture Media

PO Box 21593, Windhoek, Namibia www.huntnamibia.com.na www.travelnewsnamibia.com

Managing Editor

Elzanne McCulloch elzanne@venture.com.na

Administration Bonn Nortje bonn@venture.com.na

Design & Layout

Liza de Klerk design@venture.com.na

Printing

John Meinert Printers (Pty) Ltd

Huntinamibia

is published annually by Venture Media in collaboration with the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) and with the support of the Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.

Editorial material and opinions expressed in Huntinamibia do not necessarily reflect the views of Venture Media and we do not accept responsibility for the advertising content.

1 HUNTiNAMIBIA | 2022/23
2 EDITORIAL 5 MESSAGE
8
10 HUNTING
CONSERVANCIES
12
NAPHA INFORMATION 78 NAPHA REGISTER Hunting professionals
the
Association FEATURES: THE BEST OF HUNTINAMIBIA 20 LAST MINUTE LEOPARD 22 THE WARRIOR OF SOLITUDE 26 ON THE SPOOR OF A WILY OLD ROAN 32 CONSERVATIONISTS OF THE YEAR 2021/22 34 RHINO CUNNING 38 TO LOOK A WILD LION IN THE FACE 50 EVENTFUL DAYS AT THE LINYANTI 58 KING OF THE MOUNTAINS 62 LION HUNT IN THE RUGGED NORTHWEST 68 CAPRIVI 100-POUNDER 72 ELAND HUNT AT SAAMGEWAAGD 74 THE ULTIMATE RECORD BOOK 76 NAPHA AWARDS <<<
READ ONLINE
CONTENTS 2022/23 REGULAR FEATURES
FROM THE MINISTER
MESSAGE FROM THE NAPHA PRESIDENT
CONCESSIONS IN
HELD BY NAPHA MEMBERS
GAME SPECIES Indigenous species and their natural distribution in Namibia
registered with
Namibian Professional Hunting
www.huntnamibia.com.na

Some of my very first memories are of seeing a bright white flower as it glowed in the early morning light from its perch on a trumpet-thorn bush. Or of the feel of a shepherd tree’s bark under my fingers. The most visceral memory is probably the ice-cold sting of the early morning air biting your cheeks on the back of the ancient Cruiser bakkie as it dips and weaves along the two-track path through acacia bushland. Many of you, many Namibians, know that sting well. The cold so invigorating that it ignites a fire inside. For it is the best kind of wake-up call. Better even than the dramatic hues of red and gold that accompany the sun rising to the east. The one that ensures you that you will be spending the day where your soul feels most alive. In the wilderness.

This issue of Huntinamibia is dedicated to the most important question we can find in our community and the broader popular opinion today: Why does hunting matter? The issue is not meant to preach to the converted. The stories inside are of course meant to entertain, inform and inspire, but they are also meant to reinvigorate the spirit within all of us. Your spirit as a hunter and conservationist. To reinstill that firm and tangible knowledge that what you do, what you are passionate about, matters. Especially if done right.

On another level, many of the stories contained in these pages are also aimed at those who are unfamiliar with that clarifying, invigorating, cold sting on the cheeks only found in the wilderness… Those not lucky enough to have grown up or been able to experience the adventure and soul-finding that happens on the back of a bakkie in Africa. Or trekking on foot through some of the earth’s last true wild places. This is a collection of new stories that focus on our topic, combined with some of the very best stories from past issues that prove the point. They are stories from our hearts and minds to theirs . To try and explain, through facts and figures, reason and logic, or sometimes through emotion which they wield as their most comforting tool, why hunting matters. An almost impossible feat to be sure, but as hunters, conservationists, nature-lovers, and Namibians, we are nothing if not hardy and determined people. People for whom the idea of giving up is as far-fetched, unlikely and near-impossible as finding a polar bear while glassing the Kaokoland plains.

The 2022 issue of Huntinamibia is a collection of stories that matter. A good hunting story, I have learnt, allows you to smell the veld around you as your eyes travel across the words. To feel the soft wind rustle around you. Hear the crack of a branch in the brush. Taste the morning

passion of nature within our hearts

dew. A good hunting story has your heart yearning for the African bush and desert plains, but also makes you take a moment to pause and think. Whether the moment is as short as the breath the hunter takes before pulling the trigger, or as languid as the hours spent before traversing rugged terrains in search of the quarry. A good hunting story leads your soul to ponder and then appreciate the whys . Why do we love nature? Why do we feel most alive outside? Why do we care so much about preserving it? Why do we continue to rally, fight and rage despite seemingly insurmountable odds, against the dying of the light. Why does hunting matter?

Thank you to those of you who once again shared your stories with us and continue to allow us the great honour of sharing those stories with the world. Stories that matter and definitively prove why hunting does, too. For conservancies and rural communities. For landscape-level conservation, population management and economic development. For that sense of ownership, pride, passion and tradition. You will find in this issue the true power behind the passion. We unpack why Namibia’s conservancy model and hunting partnerships between private companies and rural communities is a driving force for positive change. We rediscover the importance of hunting to the growth of wildlife populations and land under sustainable management and the role private landowners play in continuously advancing this. We rediscover why we hunt – heritage, passion and purpose at play.

I could not have put this publication together without the firm support of the NAPHA team and our two greatest allies when it comes to the pages of Huntinamibia – Rièth van Schalkwyk who was the editor for 21 years and built a legacy through which we can advocate and share Namibia’s hunting and conservation stories with the world, and KaiUwe Denker, who, more than almost anyone else I know, carries the flame for Namibian hunting and a passion for doing things the right way like a torch through our darkest hours.

Happy hunting, exploring, conserving, appreciating and advocating,

2 WWW.HUNTNAMIBIA.COM.NA
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR
The icy sting of early morning air to reinvigorate the soul and kindle the

NAPHA MEMBER HOW DO I BECOME A

Obtain your Membership Application Form at the NAPHA Office, or find it on our Website: www.naphanamibia.com

Determine your Membership category.

Fill out the Form, and write a short Motivation as to why you want to become a NAPHA member.

NAPHA MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES

(Membership cycle: 01 September – 31 August)

Ordinary Member

This member must have passed the official Namibian examination as a hunting professional.

NAD 4,350.00 per annum Applicants below the age of 30 qualify for a 50% reduction: NAD 2,175.00 per annum

Extraordinary

Member

Any natural person living in Namibia (Namibian resident or a person with a valid permanent residence permit) who generates an income from trophy hunting or any person (Namibian resident or a person with a valid permanent residence permit) who has a safari company with trophy hunting as a full-time or part-time occupation qualifies as can be an “Extraordinary member”.

NAD 4,350.00 per annum

Sponsoring Member (Internationals & Namibians)

Any natural person with a personal interest in the implementation of the Association’s objectives, and who does not qualify for Ordinary or Extraordinary membership, qualifies as a “Sponsoring member”.

NAD 2,350.00 per annum

Hunting Assistant / Camp Attendant

Any natural person who does not possess any official Namibian examination qualification as per Section 3.2.1 and is employed by an ordinary, honorary or extraordinary member as a hunting assistant / camp attendant and who does not qualify for any of the other NAPHA membership categories qualifies as a “Hunting Assistant” or “Camp Attendant”.

NAD 350.00 per annum

For Ordinary and Extraordinary Membership submit the following to office@napha.com.

na : A copy of your NTB registration A copy of your MEFT registration A copy of your ID

STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 note

Provide us with 1 Endorsement letter and 3 names and contact numbers within the Hunting industry that can motivate your Application. www.naphanamibia.com

• We are happy to assist with Endorsement letters, and anything you might have trouble with.

• Fees include 15% VAT.

• The membership cycle runs from 1 September to 31 August annually.

• Your application is subject to approval by the Executive Committee of NAPHA.

• NAPHA’s right of refusal or reason / disclosure of non-acceptance of membership application is reserved.

contact us

T: +264 61 234 455

E: office@napha.com.na P.O. Box 11291 Windhoek, Namibia www.napha-namibia.com

CONTENTS

FEATURES: WHY HUNTING MATTERS

AN AFRICAN’S CONVERSATION ABOUT THE CONVERSION OF AFRICAN CONSERVATION - 16

CARRYING CONSERVATION: COMMUNITIES - 30

HUMANITY IN HUNTING - 42

PARAFFIN LAMPS - 46

FUNDING CONSERVATION - 66

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GERHARD THIRION

A FUTURE FILLED WITH HOPE AND OPTIMISM

The past two years have been challenging for our country in general and for the hunting industry in particular.

Namibia has experienced severe drought over the past few years, leading to incredible losses among our precious game and a reduction in their numbers. These losses affected quota allocation for sustainable hunting.

COVID struck in March 2020, leading to travel restrictions which added to the predicament. Not only did we lose much on personal levels, but our tourism sector suffered incredibly, with recent statistics indicating a decline of 89.4% in 2020 tourism arrivals compared to 2019. However, these challenges present us with an opportunity to look back with a fair measure of pride in our achievements over the course of the year. We should thus endeavour to keep track of these challenges, to provide fitting solutions that will ensure a resilient and sustainable industry. In 2021, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism launched the Elephant Conservation and Management Plan, which was developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders, including the Namibia Professional Hunting Association. We believe this is a forward-looking and comprehensive plan which will serve well to ensure the future of one of Namibia’s greatest natural resources for generations to come.

Notwithstanding our successes during the last year, we remain cognisant of the threats and challenges we face here in Namibia. Our constitutional right to sustainably utilise our natural resources is being challenged and under threat from those outside our borders who seem to believe they know better than us how to protect our own natural resources.

These international decision makers are continuously pushing Africa into a corner, bolstered by personal preference opinions and

irresponsible media reports which advise the public that hunting has no place in this modern day and age. At the same time, they display complete ignorance about the science of wildlife management, the vital importance of healthy habitats, and the role that wildlife management plays, or should play, in the maintenance of biological diversities. They make decisions, clearly, having absolutely no experience or understanding of science-based wildlife management –let alone of sharing our beautiful earth with beasts, birds and wildlife.

It is unfortunate that instead of following Africa’s example, they are undermining our efforts, successes and in effect take away the tools with which we in Africa are able to promote and sustain good conservation.

I urge all of us, however, to remain optimistic as we move forward. The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism will continue to work with the Namibia Professional Hunting Association and other stakeholders, as we have done in the past, to secure the future of conservation in Namibia through sustainable, ethical and sciencebased utilisation of our wildlife. We are glad to have good and close cooperation with NAPHA. We will continue to engage and discuss matters of mutual interest. It is our belief that the resolve and passion shown by members of NAPHA to conserve our natural heritage is a clear indication that hunters in Namibia play, and shall continue to play, a pivotal role in the continued success of the Namibian conservation model.

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THE MINISTER
MESSAGE FROM
JOFIE LAMPRECHT

ABOUT VENTURE MEDIA

Venture Media is the pioneer of Namibia tourism and conservation promotion. We are the leader in spreading extraordinary Namibian stories around the world. We distribute accurate, credible, up to date and regular information on paper, via social media, on the World Wide Web, and on mobile apps. We have reached hundreds of thousands over almost three decades. Be part of our community and let’s do it together.

T E L L , G R O W , S H A R E

Y O U R S T O R Y W I T H U S I N 2 0 2 1

We're dedicated to telling and sharing STORIES THAT MATTER across our various magazines and digital platforms. Join the journey and share your stories with audiences that understand and value why certain things matter.

Why ethical business, conservation, tourism, people and communities matter. How these elements interrelate and how we can bring about change, contribute to the world and support each other. Whether for an entire nation, an industry, a community, or even just an individual.

www.venture.com.na or email us at info@venture.com.na for a curated proposal.

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MATTER acro azin orm and share you enc and things matte ess rism munities matt em d ho ut change, wo ch o n entire natio an industry, a community, or even just an individual.

LE ROUX VAN SCHALKWYK

We believe that sustainability is the only way to ensure that our children (and their children) have the privilege of hunting genuinely wild game ethically, as we have done for generations.

Graphic Elements Graphic Elements H UNTING R ANGE SHOO TING SHOO TING LO DG LO DG SP A EX CURSIONS TR AI DRIVE S IDIN G GAME H UNTING SHOO TING ANGE W ING SHOO TING BO W SHOO TING SP A SUND OW NERS G LIDIN G VERONICA KALAKW A SP A GAZING SP A BIKIN AR SP A GAZING SP A BIKIN G AR U SP A GAZING SP A BIKIN G AR SP A SUND OW NERS G LIDIN G VERONICA KALAKW SP A SUND OW NERS G LIDIN VERONICA KALAKW A SP A Hunting Shooting Range Wing Shooting Shooting Riding Drives Walking Trail Excursions Graphic Elements Brand Guidelines Graphic Elements / H UNTING ANGE SHOO TING SHOO TING LO DG LO DG E SP A GAME H UNTING SHOO TING R ANGE W ING SHOO TING BO W SHOO TING LO DG E LO DG SP A SUND OW NERS G LIDIN G VERONICA KALAKW A SP A GAZING SUND OW NERS SP A BIKIN G AR U SP A SUND OW NERS SP A AR U SP A GAZING SUND OW NERS SP A BIKIN G AR U SP A ST G LIDIN G QU VERONICA KALAKW A SP A ST G LIDIN G QU VERONICA KALAKW SP A Game Hunting Shooting Range Wing Shooting Bow Shooting Riding Drives Walking Trail Excursions arusafaris.com / +264 (0)81 129 5536 / info@arugamelodges.com For this generation and every one that follows

WHY DO WE HUNT?

We love to hunt. Hunting is part of our upbringing and deeply entrenched into our value system. This is simply who we are as dedicated conservationists. Hunting matters to us, because we are passionate about it and it gives us a sense of belonging in the circle of life. Members of NAPHA are the true ambassadors who do care for the wildlife and their environment, irrespective of whether we will put a financial value to it or not.

Statistical data by a leading research company in Namibia found that 3% of tourist arrivals are indeed conservation hunters. Although they make up only a fraction of the entire market, they account for close to 20% of all the tourism revenue. Namibia’s tourism sector has the ability to provide an unparalleled nature and wildlife-centred experience without surrendering key sustainability initiatives [UNDP, 2020].

Yes, Africa, and especially we in Namibia, are heavily dependent on the international markets’ interest in our wildlife. We use the income derived from conservation hunting to finance our conservation efforts; livelihoods and much more is at stake without the foreign earnings. Sustainable hunting brings multiple solutions to counter the everincreasing human-wildlife conflicts encountered especially in rural areas. Some form of sanity prevailed when the UK, which is not a key market for Namibia, admitted that a possible import ban on trophies is not such a good idea – at least for the moment.

Other European countries, such as Germany, tried to follow suit in a similar manner by imposing a moratorium to market conservation hunts at Europe’s biggest hunting show in Dortmund. Luckily, such a move by the German Green Party was turned down during Dortmund’s City Council meeting. During the livestreaming of the discussion, we listened to the various arguments for and against the moratorium.

The views and arguments presented by the various politicians were characterised by the same problems. It is unfortunately an emotional debate by people who live detached from nature and far away from all our costs and benefits associated with our well-regulated and sustainable use concepts.

As a hunting community we continually evolve and we see an obligation to ensure that our actions are truly sustainable and not detrimental to the population at large. NAPHA is proud to say that

we have introduced new initiatives such as the age-related trophy measuring system, ensuring that hunting remains sustainable.

The establishment of our new NAPHA School of Conservation, where we educate and train aspiring hunting professionals, shows that we are optimistic and serious about our future. NAPHA does not operate in a void and is heavily dependent on our national and international partners. Without the active and generous support from various hunters and like-minded associations we would not be able to fund and host community outreach projects facilitated by our Hunters Support Education Committee.

We applaud our government for creating through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry & Tourism (MEFT) an enabling environment where we as hunting professionals can live our dream by allowing conservation hunting as an approved method to utilise our natural resources. Almost half of Namibia is under some form of conservation management and has a proud heritage of conservation which is recognised internationally.

All of us are happy that our Huntinamibia is back, now in a revitalised and new digital format. Let us use this new platform to market and display what Namibia and its hunting professionals have to offer. Let us remain staunch advocates for responsible, sustainable, and ethical conservation hunting in Namibia.

Safari greetings from the Land of the Brave.

8 WWW.HUNTNAMIBIA.COM.NA
Axel

Why hunting matters...

I practise conservation hunting because I believe it is the best way to ensure the future of wildlife for generations to come and, as we all know, hunting animals has a much smaller carbon footprint than domestic livestock or photo safaris. Sustainable hunting will only have a place in our world while there is a value to the animals. As they say 'the proof is in the pudding' and one only needs to look at the numbers of wildlife in Namibia today versus 30 years ago to find that proof.

Beyond the personal challenge and passion, hunting is the most natural way of land use in Namibia, to the benefit of many people who depend on it. The real wilderness is threatened by human growth and the need for food production. Hunting wild animals on free range land is the only way to balance food requirements, nature and conservation – that is why I hunt.

I love to hunt. Hunting is part of my upbringing and deeply entrenched into my value system. This is simply who I am, a dedicated conservationist. Hunting matters to me, because I am passionate about it and it gives me a sense of belonging in

the circle of life. Ethical hunters care for the wildlife and their environment, irrespective of whether we put a financial value to it or not.

Hunting matters because it goes far beyond meat provision or job creation: it is a school of life. Hunting allows you to take part in nature and understand basic principles of life and nature. Moreover, if practiced sustainably and ethically, hunting is the number one land use form that contributes to conservation of large tracts of the natural environment.

Sustainable and managed utilisation of ALL our natural resources is the only way whereby Africa will be able to keep and expand the natural habitat and all ecosystems that rely on that habitat for future generations. This includes selective hunting as a valuable and low-impact form of sustainable utilisation which provides income, employment and growth opportunities for the people of Africa

9 HUNTiNAMIBIA | 2022/23
OF NAPHA
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
New NAPHA EXCO (From left to right) Hannes du Plessis, Harm Woortmann, Axel Cramer (President), Hagen Denker, Royston Wright

HUNTING CONCESSIONS

- Namibia's conservation success story

The sustainable use of wildlife, especially trophy hunting, has played a critical role in the development of communal conservancies. Prior to 1998, there were only four hunting concessions operating on Namibia’s communal lands, with none of these concessions providing meaningful engagement with or benefits to resident communities. Today there are 46 trophy-hunting concessions operating on communal lands, with the conservancies being empowered as both the benefactor and custodian of these hunting concessions.

ParkNamib-Naukluft

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Tsau//Khaeb
National
Skeleton Coast Park Dorob National Park Ai-Ais Hot Springs Khaudum National Park Waterberg Mangetti Plateau Park Angola Etosha National Park Owamboland Otjiwarongo Outjo Kamanjab Oshakati Tsumeb Otavi Karibib Walvis Bay Swakopmund Rehoboth Gobabis Mariental Keetmanshoop Lüderitz Nakop Noordoewer Naute Recreation Area National Park 24 26 23 Kaokoland Damaraland Rundu Khorixas Windhoek Hardap Recreation Resort Okahandja IN
BY NAPHA MEMBERS
(Sperrgebiet)
Park
CONSERVANCIES HELD

Kwandu - J. Traut

Orupembe - Anton Esterheizen

Mayuni - J. Traut

≠Khoadi-//Hôas - Anton Esterheizen

/Audi - Jaco Oosthuizen

Uukolonkadhi Ruacana - L. van Zyl

Sesfontein - L. J. van Vuuren

George Mukoya - D. Swanepoel

Muduva Nyangana - D. Swanepoel

- King Nehale - H. van Heerden

- !Khoro !goreb - Jaco Oosthuizen

Otjimboyo - Nicolaas Nolte

Tsiseb - Kai-Uwe and Hagen Denker

- Sorris Sorris - Gerard Erasmus

Sanitatas - Anton Esterheizen

Sikunga - K. Stumpfe

Sobbe - K. Stumpfe

Nkasa Rupara National Park Mudumu National Park Botswan a S o uth A f r i c a Za m b i a NationalBwabwataPark Zambezi Katima Mulilo 19 20 21 22 25B 25A Nkasa Rupara National Park Mudumu National Park Botswan a Za m NationalBwabwataPark Zambezi Katima Mulilo 19 20 21 22 25B 25A 1 -
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- Divan Labuschagne 19 - Wuparo - D. Muller 20 - Dzoti - H. van Heerden 21 - Lusese - Jaco Oosthuizen 22 - Nakabolelwa - Jaco Oosthuizen 23 - Ohungu - Nicolaas Nolte 24 - Nyae Nyae - Stefan Jacobs 25A - Kyaramacan Association - K. Stumpfe 25B - Kyaramacan Association - J. Chapman 26 - #Gaingu - Nicolaas Nolte Here is where NAPHA members hunt: Tourism Concessions Hunting Concessions held by NAPHA members Communal Conservancies National Park www.huntnamibia.com.na click here The dawn of a new age To all our partners, WHAT WILL THIS NEW AGE LOOK LIKE? Huntinamibia 2021/22 Home Hunting Huntinamibia THE WORLD’S LARGEST DIGITAL NEWSSTAND DIGITAL MAGAZINE ON ZINIO Digital magazine that is easy to share globally Optimised for mobile Links to advertisers website via click-throughs Videos can be embedded Subscription based Sent directly to subscribers’ inboxes MARKETING & SHARING How will we get it across the world? Subscription links on NAPHA & Huntinamibia website Subscription links can be placed on all advertisers websties For more information or to book your placement, please contact Elzanne at elzanne@venture.com.na or +264 81 367 3583 All prices exclude VAT. SUBSCRIBE WHAT WILL THIS NEW AGE LOOK LIKE? WHY HUNTING MATTERS Conservation hunting in Namibia 1999 - 2021 WWW.HUNTNAMIBIA.COM.NA THE FUTURE OF HUNTING WHY HUNTING MATTERS Conservation hunting in Namibia WWW.HUNTNAMIBIA.COM.NA THE FUTURE OF HUNTING Huntinamibia 2021/22 Home Hunting Huntinamibia THE WORLD’S LARGEST DIGITAL NEWSSTAND DIGITAL MAGAZINE ON ZINIO Digital magazine that is easy to share globally Optimised for mobile Links to advertisers website via click-throughs Videos can be embedded Subscription based Sent directly to subscribers’ inboxes MARKETING & SHARING How will we get it across the world? Subscription links on NAPHA & Huntinamibia website Subscription links can be placed on all advertisers websties • Marketing emails sent to NAPHA’s mailing list Marketing emails sent to via partners websites (such as DSC) Google Ads • Subscription link promotions supplied to advertisers so that they can also share it with their own mailing lists QR Code boards at hunting fairs NAPHA attends (where visitors can scan the QR code to be taken directly to the magazine For more information or to book your placement, please contact Elzanne at elzanne@venture.com.na or +264 81 367 3583 All prices exclude VAT. Zinio is your number one platform for international digital magazines covering a host of wide-ranging categories. Save time by purchasing the HuntiNamibia digital magazine with instant delivery to your library, access our magazine across multiple devices and enjoy at an affordable price. Download & read offline Customize your reading preferences with the zoom in and out feature and font size adjustment Listen to your articles with the text to speech feature Follow our HuntiNamibia magazine to stay up to date on all the latest news Subscribe to our Huntinamibia newsletter to receive updates, deals and stories.
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Brown Hyaena Steenbok Klipspringer Giraffe Kudu Springbok

Status of different wildlife species in Namibia

Common name Scientific name Distribution status Conservation IUCN & CITES Notes on distribution

Cape Rock Hyrax Procavia capensis √ Southern African near endemic Secure Distributed across central and southern Namibia

Kaokoveld Rock Hyrax Procavia welwitchii √ Namibian near endemic Secure Kunene region of Namibia and into SW Angola Bush Hyrax Heterohyrax brucei √ Peripheral indigenous Secure Extreme NW in Kunene River valley African Bush Elephant Loxodonta africana √ Indigenous Vulnerable (CITES II) Historically occurred across all of Namibia except Namib sand sea

Aardvark Orycteropus afer No Indigenous Near Threatened Widespread across Namibia except for extreme west

Chacma Baboon Papio ursinus √ Indigenous Secure (CITES II) Widespread across Namibia except extreme west Vervet Monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus No Indigenous Secure (CITES II) Confined to northeast and Orange River valley

African Wild Dog Canis pictus No Indigenous Endangered Historically occurred across all Namibia except for extreme west

Side-striped Jackal Canis adustus No Indigenous Secure Northeast Namibia Black-backed Jackal Canis mesomelas √ Southern African nearendemic Secure Widespread across Namibia Bat-eared Fox Otocyon megalotis No Southern African endemic Secure Widespread across Namibia

Cape Fox Vulpes chama No Southern African endemic Secure Widespread across Namibia except for extreme west and northeast Ratel Mellivora capensis No Indigenous Secure Throughout Namibia except for extreme west Lion Panthera leo √ Indigenous Vulnerable (CITES II) Historically occurred across all of Namibia Leopard Panthera pardus √ Indigenous Near Threatened (CITES I) Widespread across Namibia except extreme western Namib sand sea Serval Leptailurus serval No Indigenous Secure (CITES II) Historically across northern and eastern Namibia Caracal Caracal caracal √ Indigenous Secure (CITES II) Widespread across all Namibia Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus √ Indigenous Vulnerable (CITES I) Widespread across Namibia except for far west African Wildcat Felis sylvestris No Indigenous Secure (CITES II) Throughout Namibia

Black-footed Cat Felis nigripes No Southern African endemic Vulnerable (CITES I) Across Namibia except for far west, northwest and northeast

Brown Hyaena Hyaena brunnea x Southern African endemic Near Threatened Across all Namibia

Spotted Hyaena Crocuta crocuta x Indigenous Secure Historically across Namibia except for extreme west Aardwolf Proteles cristata No Southern African nearendemic Secure Across Namibia except for extreme west Plains / Burchell’s Zebra Equus quagga burchelli √ Southern African endemic Near Threatened Across Namibia except for extreme west and northeast Plains / Chapman’s Zebra Equus quagga chapmani √ Indigenous Endangered Northeast Namibia Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra Equua zebra hartmanni √ Namibian endemic Vulnerable (CITES II) Western escarpment and central plateau (mountainous rocky terrain) Black Rhinoceros Diceros bicornis bicornis √ Indigenous Vulnerable (CITES I) Historically across Namibia except for extreme west

White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum simum √ Southern African nearendemic Near Threatened (CITES I)

Historic range across Namibia above about the 250 mm rainfall isohyet Bushpig Potamochoerus larvatus √ Indigenous Secure Northeast Namibia

Desert / Cape Warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus aethiopicus

No Southern African endemic Extinct Extreme southern Namibia – Orange and Fish River valleys

Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus √ Indigenous Secure Widespread across Namibia except for far west and south

Common Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius √ Indigenous Vulnerable (CITES II) Historically occurred in all perennial river systems in Namibia Giraffe (Angolan Giraffe) Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis √ Indigenous Vulnerable Historically widespread across all Namibia except for extreme west

African Savanna Buffalo Syncerus caffer √ Indigenous Secure Historically widespread except for far west and southern Kalahari Nyala Tragelaphus angasi √ Exotic Secure Occurred naturally in northern KwaZulu-Natal and Kruger NP Lowveld

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Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros √ Indigenous Secure Widespread across Namibia except for extreme west Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus √ Indigenous Secure Northeast Namibia Sitatunga Tragelaphus spekii √ Indigenous Secure Reedbeds in north-eastern perennial rivers

Common Eland Taurotragus oryx √ Indigenous Secure Historically throughout Namibia except for far west

Common / Grey Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia √ Indigenous Secure Throughout Namibia except in far west

Sharpe’s Grysbok Raphicerus sharpei √ Peripheral indigenous Secure Extreme eastern Zambezi Region Steenbok Raphicerus campestris √ Southern African nearendemic Secure Throughout Namibia except in extreme west

Damara Dik-dik Madoqua kirkii damarensis √ Namibian nearendemic Secure

Central, north-central and north-western Namibia

Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis √ Southern African endemic Secure Throughout Namibia except in north-eastern woodlands

Oribi Ourebia ourebi √ Peripheral indigenous Secure Eastern Zambezi Region Rhebok Pelea capreolus No Peripheral indigenous Secure Huns Mountains in Namibia’s extreme south Southern Reedbuck Redunca arundinum √ Indigenous Secure Perennial rivers in north-eastern Namibia Puku Kobus vardoni √ Peripheral indigenous Near Threatened Extreme eastern Zambezi Region – Chobe floodplains

Southern Lechwe Kobus leche √ Indigenous Near Threatened (CITES II) River systems in northeast Namibia

Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus √ Indigenous Secure River systems in northeast Namibia Klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus √ Indigenous Secure Hilly, rocky & mountainous areas of southern, central and north-western Namibia

Common Impala Aepyceros melampus melampus √ Indigenous Secure Historically across central-eastern and northeastern Namibia

Black-faced Impala Aepyceros melampus petersi √ Namibian nearendemic Vulnerable Northwest and southwards to northern central plateau

Bontebok Damaliscus pygargus pygargus √ Exotic Vulnerable (CITES II) Occurred naturally only in the Western Cape coastal fynbos, RSA Blesbok Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi √ Exotic Secure Occurred naturally only in South Africa’s grassland Highveld & Karoo Tsessebe Damaliscus lunatus √ Indigenous Secure Northeast Namibia Red Hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus caama √ Southern African endemic Secure Kalahari and thornveld savanna ecosystems in Namibia

Blue Wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus √ Indigenous Secure Historically widespread, except in the west & extreme south Black Wildebeest Connochaetes gnou √ Exotic Secure Occurred naturally only in South Africa’s grassland Highveld & Karoo

Roan Antelope Hippotragus equinus √ Indigenous Secure North-eastern woodlands of Namibia Sable Antelope Hippotragus niger √ Indigenous Secure North-eastern woodlands of Namibia Southern Oryx Oryx gazella √ Southern African endemic Secure Throughout Namibia, except for Zambezi region

DEFINITIONS

Indigenous – where the species occurs naturally without any human intervention. This refers to the species’ actual distribution, not the countries where it occurs. For example, Waterbuck and Lechwe are indigenous to the wetland systems of NE Namibia – they are not indigenous to the whole of Namibia. Similarly, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra are indigenous to the western escarpment and central plateau of Namibia, but not to the Kalahari.

Endemic – where an indigenous species has a naturally restricted range. Thus, a Namibian endemic means that the species occurs naturally only in Namibia. We therefore have a special responsibility for its conservation. A Southern African endemic means that the natural global distribution of a species is confined to south of the Kunene and Zambezi rivers. Near-endemic – where about 80% of the natural range of a species is

confined to the specified area. For example, the Damara Dik-dik is a nearendemic to Namibia, with just a small part of its range extending into southwest Angola.

Exotic – where a species originates from another part of the world and has never occurred naturally in Namibia, e.g. Nyala, Blesbok, Black Wildebeest.

Peripheral – where a species just enters the very edge of Namibia, with most of its distribution occurring elsewhere, e.g. Puku, with a tiny population on the Chobe floodplains but most of its population in Zambia.

Conservation Status – IUCN global conservation assessment (see www.iucnredlist.org - not the Namibian status); and the CITES Appendix status.

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Common name Scientific name Distribution status Conservation IUCN & CITES Notes on distribution
For an Unforgettable African Plains Game Hunting Safari info@bergzichtgamelodge.com · Hannes: +264 (0) 81 128 4825 www.bergzicht-hunting.com GAME RANCHER OF THE YEAR 2017 GAME RANCHER GREEN CATEGORY SOUTHERN AFRICA

An African’s conversation about

the CONVERSION OF AFRICAN CONSERVATION

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GERHARD THIRION

Basically the debate is about how we are supposed to protect our wildlife from destruction in the face of the relentless encroachment of mankind. And that is where the first problem comes in – all of those screaming to protect OUR wildlife actually mean certain animals – the big ones and the furry ones. They have the flagship species in mind: Elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, gorilla, giraffe, and zebra – the animals commonly associated with the general picture of “Africa”. Very few people are concerned about the bontebok or the grey rhebok, or even know what they are. No-one really cares to mention the small, the ugly and the less cuddly ones which just as much form part of wildlife. They are all catalysts in the natural chain of ecology and biodiversity, which also includes the various plants. This biodiversity is needed to support all animal species, not only those few that everyone wants to protect.

Closely linked to this is the question of balance of the ecosystem. Where land is utilised, carrying capacity plays a significant role in the balance of nature. As we all know, too much of a thing is never a good thing. As an example, too many antelope will eat all the available food and none will be left for the dry season. An over-abundance of prey species also promotes a better stimulus and survival of predator populations which have a faster reproductive cycle. Something to avoid is a total population crash when too many predators and lack of grazing impact prey populations simultaneously.

Carrying capacity is the maximum number of units that can be maintained sustainably (i.e. balanced) in a given area utilising a natural resource within a given timeframe. Logically, it would make sense to try to maintain a population at or just below the carrying capacity.

That brings us to the question of “maintaining” population figures. We want wildlife populations to grow and be protected, but the human population continues to grow as well. As a result, wildlife habitats are shrinking at an alarming rate. In fact, Africa’s human population is growing so fast that the ever-increasing demand for land is the biggest item on all African government’s agendas. More land for human use will be to the detriment of wildlife – that is a given.

“Animals are safe in game reserves and national parks”, the armchair conservationists are screaming. Well, if it comes to that we have failed! Little islands of conservation areas would decrease potential genetic signature dispersal, and it also leads to a concentration of the prime poaching species.

Wildlife management is about maintenance of the land, water points and water systems, erosion control, anti-poaching, accessconstruction, fences, invader plant control and wildlife population control. It is what game rangers and park wardens, land owners, farmers, ecologists, pastoralists, conservancies and concession holders do all the time: Putting their knowledge about ecosystems, behavioural patterns, growth cycles of plants and animals, and interactions between all these, into an overall plan that is constantly adjusted to account for changing circumstances and needs in a given area. Larger areas need less direct management than smaller ones, as they tend to selfregulate to a degree.

Ideally, one would want an area to be large and left alone, but unfortunately such areas are getting less and smaller, thus more direct human input is required. Wildlife population management seems to be the hottest topic these days as it involves the removal of

excess animals from an area.The cry from the armchair conservationists will be that if a population starts to naturally adjust to the carrying capacity, why manage it? The answer is that firstly the carrying capacity is constantly changing with the weather conditions. Secondly, management is needed to prevent human-wildlife conflict (HWC) and to prevent animals dying from starvation, over-predation, disease breakout and other factors that lead to drastic population declines. All these criteria would not be such a problem in large areas, but large areas actually do not exist anymore. The narrowing corridors and open (humanpopulated) land between the “wildlife islands” are the cause for HWC, one of the biggest concerns of our conservation era. People who live in areas bordering parks and game reserves have to deal with dangerous wild animals on a daily basis. This creates resentment, the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve. Some communities want ALL elephants removed because they are tired of having their fields – an entire year’s food supply – destroyed overnight. These communities in remote parts of the country are ultimately responsible for the survival of wild animals outside parks and the preservation of the supporting habitat. They have to benefit from the wildlife otherwise we are losing.

Too many elephants in an area eventually destroy their habitat by over-utilisation. Such areas (usually along watercourses) are devoid of all intermediate trees and shrubs. Only larger (somewhat mangled) trees remain. The full extent of this becomes more visible from the air.

This is where population management comes in, the removal of animals from an overpopulated area to maintain carrying capacity. The methods are hunting (for meat or trophy), culling, or capture. All of them

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We know that the world is getting smaller thanks to the internet and various social media platforms and apps, as well as long-haul air travel which takes you to another continent overnight. Unfortunately, that level of connectivity creates a problem for the public debate on African conservation. The same people keep attacking each other with the same old arguments. Byron Hart
MATTERS
WHY HUNTING

are regulated by the wildlife authorities through some type of permit system, that creates control and statistics, based on the management plan for that area. By contrast, poaching is indiscriminate and benefits only the poacher.

Culling involves the removal of a certain number of animals irrespective of gender or age, so that the dynamic of the population is not skewed by human bias. The aim is to reduce the numbers as quickly as possible with minimal impact on the remainder of the population. It is usually done at night by a team of expert shooters and butchering teams. The advantages of culling are the rapid reduction of numbers in a very short period of time, and the meat is very hygienic as it is processed quickly. Also, the remaining population is usually unaware of this action.

Meat hunting mostly takes place during daylight, and is generally more biased as to which animal is harvested. The hunter will take one or two animals, of a specific gender or age group, for his own meat supply. The reduction impact is a lot slower than that of culling, but meat hunting can be implemented continuously over an entire season.

Trophy hunting attracts the most criticism by far. It is generally seen as a “blood sport” practised by the wealthy to collect animal heads. Yes, that may be the case, and it may be the reason why hunters travel to distant places (supporting local economies). Very few people, however, are aware of the conservation benefit of this method: the population impact is the lowest but it generates the biggest income. Yes, good money is made – by entire rural communities who provide the services for trophy hunting in remote areas. The economic factor is so remarkable that people are keen on creating more habitat for wild animals. Investors are prepared to buy land, usually marginal livestock land, and convert it back to a habitat suitable for game herds. This gives the local people a sense of ownership because they are actually helping the wildlife populations to flourish, with the incentive to be able to ‘harvest’ a select number per year. No one will over-harvest and deliberately destroy their source of income, and game populations in southern Africa have therefore increased drastically even though a controlled number of animals are hunted every year.

Game capture is a fast method for the live removal of animals. The most common way is to chase them with vehicles or helicopters

into a funnel-shaped chute or into hanging nets and then load them onto a truck. This generally causes quite a bit of area disturbance, albeit short-lived. There are also various methods of passive capture, such as a trap at a water hole or salt lick.

People who do not [want to] understand the need to keep animal numbers in check will ask: “Can’t we move them to another place?” They usually mean the flagship species, mentioned above. The question is – move them where? Where should we move lions? Or elephants? To areas that already have them in excess anyway? This inevitably brings us back to the issue of ”available land”.

Let us look at elephants for a moment. Every available piece of land that can support a “viable” population of elephants has already got them [and too many]. Land that does not have elephants either cannot support them, cannot be protected sufficiently against poaching, or the human communities living in and around that area do not want them because they are a nuisance to their livelihoods. We are talking about thousands of elephants that some areas have too many of. Sub-Saharan Africa still has over 300,000 [and growing,

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naturally] elephants, but with nowhere for them to go. Should we put them into Central Park in New York? How long would it be before NY residents start complaining? Yet it is people like those living around Central Park, the city dwellers, the “good to do community”, who are quick to criticise the management of elephant numbers in Africa – but few come up with viable solutions.

Imagine putting 20 lions in Central Park… Who wants more lions? Definitely not the communities in rural Africa. Many of them kill the lions themselves, either by shooting or by poisoning (horrible), because their governments cannot solve HWC problems within acceptable timeframes. In fact, besides the private game reserves that already have the big cats for their tourists, the only people who want lions on their doorstep are those who live in cities or on another continent.

How do we create habitat for wildlife when available land is decreasing? By creating a value for these animals so that the people who live with them will benefit – in the form of financial compensation, jobs from hunting and photo tourism or the meat of hunted animals.

The crude way of putting this is: If it pays it stays.

You have probably heard many hunters, like myself, say that hunting is conservation and that sustainable utilisation (SU) is the only way forward. It is not, but right now it is the most advanced conservation model that we have for the protection of habitat in rural areas with marginal communities.

We utilise our [natural & mining] resources to exist, yet we criticise hunting, the one activity which is a management tool for a resource that is 100% renewable in an expedient time-frame, produces protein, income, jobs and the incentive to coexist. Without this coexistence, wildlife numbers will be decimated (poached) by the increasing human populations through their natural urge to live, and land will be cleared to make room for agriculture. It is this uncontrolled utilisation that will ensure the extinction of species. Controlled sustainable utilisation, on the other hand, contributes to the well-being of local communities in exchange for them “being tolerant” of having to live with wild animals at their doorstep every day.

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"
How do we create habitat for wildlife when available land is decreasing? By creating a value for these animals so that the people who live with them will benefit..."

Last minute Leopard

Just three more days on safari. Only three days to get a leopard. And our difficulties already started with the hunt for bait. Chris Balke

Despite the alert trackers and despite my experienced PH, we could not find a suitable antelope. Most likely owing to the fact that the predator population in this area was comparatively dense. During our stalk through the thick bush in the late morning, sheer luck presented us with a gemsbok cow, but leading a calf. She sensed us before we saw her and broke away into cover with her calf. We could not follow in a straight line, because the thick and thorny hell was simply impenetrable. Instead, we continued our stalk on an elephant track. All of a

sudden we heard the wailing of an antelope. Immediately my hunting guide commanded: “Quick, we have to get there. Hurry!” On the double we rushed into the direction from where we had heard the wailing. But since it had stopped after only seconds, we followed our instinct more than our ears. Now we heard the call of the cow for her calf. This gave us a good idea of the position of the cow. We approached the cow quickly and quietly until we had her in sight. It stood quartering away from us, continuously calling in the same direction. “A leopard must have taken the calf.

Shoot the cow when it is standing broadside,” my PH whispered. Moments later a shot rang out of the .375 H&H cal. Blaser R93.

After the shot we waited quietly for a few minutes. “Maybe the leopard shows up,” the PH noted. But it remained invisible. We attended the cow, called the vehicle in to cart it away. Then we searched for the calf, since the fresh kill would make the ideal bait for our purpose. We finally found it, killed with a well-placed throat bite. The trackers pulled it some 5 yards out of the scrubs, into the open,

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tied it to a trunk and left it on the ground. In a blink a small blind was erected, approximately 50 yards from the calf. From noon onwards we sat in the blind, waiting. I had little hope. The gemsbok cow had been standing close to the leopard. It means, that when we shot her, the bullet had been whistling around the leopard’s ears. And then all the commotion when we attended the cow, the human voices, the pick-up coming in and leaving. Would the leopard really dare to come back? Our waiting was unsuccessful and I mentioned that I did not believe in a true chance at this spot. But, my hunting guide said: “No, the ruckus does not really affect the leopard. And since there are only few antelope around he will not give up his quarry. The calf was an easy prey, and we‘ve actually driven it into its fang. I‘m sure the cat was close by tonight, but has sensed us somehow. Maybe we‘ll get it tomorrow.”

New day, new tactics. We checked the bait which showed clearly that the leopard had been on the bait indeed. Since my rifle was scoped with a 1-4x20 my PH suggested hanging the bait on the tree. This would improve my chances in vanishing light. In addition we erected a second blind further to the left and a bit closer to the bait. At noon, this second blind was manned with two trackers, while we would again sit in the first blind. Just before, the trackers left their blind, talking loudly, while we remained silent. But again, the predator did not show up. “You‘re just too noisy, Chris! The leopard is there, but it hears you fizzling all the time!”, my PH complained. I couldn‘t believe it! For hours I had endured lying absolutely motionless next to him on the ground. In my opinion the wind was not steady and had given us away.

My last day in Africa had come, and again the strategy had changed. A third blind was erected, this time more to the right, but also just 40 yards from the blind. The three blinds forming a sort of triangle, with “our” blind being in the middle but furthest away from the bait. Both the second and the third blind were manned by the trackers, while we occupied the center blind. As on the previous days, we started around noon and the trackers left before dusk, this time picking-up each other, speaking loudly and making a lot of noise. They also approached our blind, pretending that we had also left. They then

Below are some of the conditions applicable to a predator trophy hunting permit

• A trophy hunter, trophy hunting guide and trophy hunting operator must read and acknowledge and sign the predator trophy hunting permit conditions before the hunt commences. After a successful hunt all parties involved have to sign the reversed side of the permit.

• The permit must be in the physical possession of the trophy hunt ing guide while the predator is being hunted and is only valid for a period and the hunting areas specified on it.

• Only free roaming, self-sustaining and adult predators may be hunted as trophies. In the case of leopard, only males may be trophy hunted.

• Predator trophy hunting may not take place during the period between 30 minutes after sunset in any day and 30 minutes before sunrise the following day. Artificial light is prohibited.

• Canned hunting in any form is illegal

• After the hunt 4 photos (as specified in the gazette) have to be taken and submitted.

disappeared in the direction of the vehicle, departing with a lot of revving up the engine. What a show, I said to myself. Who expects the leopard to buy that? A really unbelievable hunting tactic.

Dusk was approaching when suddenly I felt my PH prodding my leg - almost gently for the circumstances, whispering: “The leopard is up the tree.” I could now see its silhouette, barely contrasting against the sky. I peeped through the scope and could see little, close to nothing. I said: “I can barely see it.” He replied, “I see it clearly, with the bare eye!” Unbelievable, I thought, and tried again to pick up the target. “I don‘t get a clear view!” “Try anyway,” he replied. And I did. The shot rang out and nothing happened. After a few seconds I heard my PH whisper, “It is still sitting there.” As quietly as possible I chambered a new round, keeping my eyes on the bait and the trunk. “Now it is lying flat on the branch and looking at us. It knows exactly where we are sitting.” I peeped through the scope again, raising the reticle a bit above the trunk and shot again. This time a deep thud followed. My PH laughed out loud in warm cordiality like I have never heard him laugh before. “That looks good! It came down with its rear legs first. That is a very good sign.” After waiting about ten minutes, we approached a mighty and heavy tomcat. According to the PH, it was the second biggest leopard he has ever taken in that area. For me, it was a dream of a lifetime come true.

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Blinds were erected close to the tree where the leopard was spotted with his kill. According to the PH, it was the second biggest leopard he has ever taken in that area.

THE WARRIOR of solitude

For outdoorsmen who have not yet hunted in Namibia, you cannot begin to explain the vastness or sheer beauty of what the ancient desert has in stall for you. Text Sigurd Hess

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Carl had booked a desert hunt in the Tsiseb Conservancy. High on his agenda was a gemsbok –the ‘warrior of solitude’. Gemsbok are notorious for their toughness and are known to absorb a lot of lead if the hunter’s first bullet is not placed well. This, Carl experienced firsthand.

On the seventh day of an eight-day hunt we were making headway up a hill, where the rock formations resembled the scales on the back of a large dragon. We had seen several gemsbok in the preceding days, but they were either cows or groups of young animals. In these days, with hard work and a bit of luck thrown in, Carl had managed

to bag a Hartmann´s zebra and an old, decent-sized springbok ram. But since then we have not been lucky. Our prized quarry had evaded us. Then, as we were scanning the surroundings, seemingly from nowhere, a gemsbok appeared on top of one of the parallel running ridges. It was about noon, and no sooner had we spotted him than

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GEMSBOK HUNT – TSISEB

On the seventh day of an eight-day hunt we were making headway up a hill, where the rock formations resembled the scales on the back of a large dragon. As we were scanning the surroundings, seemingly from nowhere, a gemsbok appeared on top of one of the parallel running ridges.

he disappeared again over the ridge. From where we were, we estimated the distance to the hill as roughly three kilometres.

My immediate concern was that the border of the Dorob National Park was a mere seven to ten kilometres on the other side of the ridge, the same direction in which the gemsbok had disappeared. Here we were, hunting in a concession area encompassing close to one million hectares, and it still seemed too small! I said to Carl: “If ever we had a chance, this is it!”

Being about ten kilometres from the vehicle, with our water supply running low, it was

now or never. “I cannot even tell you if it´s a bull, nor if he is old enough! But it’s a solitary animal, which is always a good sign.” All Carl did was shrug his shoulders and reply in his Texan drawl: “Well, let´s go!”

The urgency, anticipation and excitement turned us into walking machines. Elias and Eric, the two trackers, Carl and myself covered the distance to where we had seen the blur of the gemsbok in record time. You know that feeling of having bags of cotton wool in your mouth, your pulse rate soaring? A very dry north-easterly wind was howling, making it even harder to walk, blowing straight at us, causing sand to sting our legs, arms and faces.

Before we reached the top of the ridge, we soothed our dry throats with the by-now warm water from our bottles. Tensely we crept up onto the ridge, scanning in all directions, down into the gullies and beyond. Alas! Nothing in sight. “Well! Where the heck is that gemsbok?” Carl barked in agitation. Moments after finishing his sentence, and having similar thoughts in my mind, we saw the typical grey colour of the gemsbok ambling up a ridge about a kilometre away. This time we could easily identify the animal as a large, heavy-bodied bull with long horns. He had not seen us. We waited until he disappeared over the ridge and then moved

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quickly, half running, towards the next ridge. I urged Carl on to give everything for this opportunity to bag the warrior. He stayed on my heels. Just before the ridge we paused to catch our breath and for Carl to load his 30-06. Ever so cautiously, in single file, we crawled up to look over the edge.

And there, 160 metres from us on a little ridge, stood our warrior of solitude staring down into a large plain below, his tail blown sideways by the wind.

We tried to get ourselves ready, lying rather uncomfortably on the black rocks, using the rucksack as a rest. By now it was two hours past midday and the rocks we were lying on were hot enough for frying an egg. “Carl, he is a good bull, you can take him! But allow for the wind,” I whispered.

The report of the rifle came a lot faster than I had wanted it to, and the reaction of the gemsbok, kicking out to the back, did not bode well, as this was often the telltale sign of a shot that had struck too far back. Carl immediately cycled a new round into the chamber, but before he could squeeze off another shot, the bull had sped down into the valley out of our sight. We jumped up and raced ahead, throwing ourselves onto the ground again to take aim as the gemsbok increased the distance between itself and us. Carl aimed and fired – nothing! He tried again, and the bull staggered, ran another 40 metres, and then sat down on his haunches. “Fill your magazine!” We slowly approached the bull and Carl delivered the coup de grâce.

After reliving the rollercoaster of emotions over and over again, we sat down next to the gemsbok, quite exhausted, but relieved and happy. Days like these make us proud to be hunters and grateful to be able to hunt the way we do in areas such as this.

But that is never the end of a hunt. We manoeuvred the vehicle as close as possible and only once all the meat was on the truck, were we ready to head for camp, just as the sun was setting, ending a sublime week of hunting and leaving us with fond memories.

DESERT MAGIC

The vast gravel plains of Namibia's western desert fringes are strewn with large granite boulders etched against a backdrop of mountain ranges and changing colours as the day waxes and wanes. Ephemeral rivers that have cut through rolling hills for millions of years feed springs that still yield water, sometimes for the duration of regular droughts. These green oases, maintained by fog generated by the Atlantic Ocean and intermittent rainfall, form the nuclei of the astonishingly abundant life flourishing in this arid land. All flora and fauna that have subsisted in this barren desert for millions of years have adapted to not only survive but also to thrive here. Natural selection, bizarre adaptations and evolution are but some factors that make life possible in this extraordinary region.

Being fortunate to hunt in these extensive desert areas is a privilege in its own right. There is no camera – whether video or photographic – that can ever capture the extent of what the Namib offers. Having walked the desert for kilometres on end pursuing a solitary old springbok in the heat of the day, the heat shimmer and glare so severe that it is close to impossible to judge the trophy size through your binoculars, humbles both me and my clients, who come from all walks of life. The experience underlines the fact that we hunters, with rifle and binoculars in hand, are here for only a nanosecond compared to how long the desert has been around, and for how long it will still be here. More often than not, after a long day of hunting the desert, one can sense that the desert is most certainly alive. I would go as far as saying that you sense that the desert harbours many secrets, if not the very cradle of life.

What an awesome sight to see a solitary gemsbok bull wandering across a gravel plain in the typical regal gait that only these antelope have. He gives the impression that the heat does not affect him in the least. His occasional swishing of the tail is a sign of pure contentment. It seems he knows exactly where he is going. He seldom veers off course or changes speed. He rarely stops to scan the surroundings, his head held high. To me this makes him the warrior of solitude. He seems to be in tune with the desert and the loneliness.

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GEMSBOK HUNT – TSISEB
Carl and tracker with his gemsbok.

wily old roan ON THE SPOOR OF A

It is late November, the Christmas beetles kick up a deafening racket with their high-pitched screeching, the air is dry, the parched earth is longing for rain. The deciduous trees use their last resources to grow their foliage. In front of us lies the track of a wily old roan antelope. We are hunting this elusive antelope in Bushmanland and find the tracks of the solitary bull on the white sand of the road between Tsumkwe and the border post just after sunrise. Sigurd Hess

“These tracks are probably from before sunrise or late last night”, I say to Jürgen. The excitement is tangible and we pack our kit and hide the vehicle some distance from the road in dense shrub. Tracks cross the road southward and back across the road to the north, then west. Tracks of a herd mingle with the bull's spoor. Finally the jigsaw puzzle is solved and off we go in search of the roan bull. As the sun travels to the zenith, its glare makes tracking ever more difficult. The two San trackers Robert and !Tuxa and my tracker Elias follow

the spoor with perseverance for hours on end. The bull is in walking mode and it dawns on us that he will not stop anytime soon to lie low. He hardly pauses to rest or feed, which makes me nervous. As we haven’t bumped into him yet I assure Jürgen that it is still a level playing field and not all the odds are stacked against us. We compose ourselves and push on. But our breaks are getting longer and more frequent, necessitated by lapses in concentration, thirst and heat. Time flies and soon it is close to 2 pm. The north-easterly wind prevailing in the morning has subsided

and soft swirls are now coming from all directions. This is worrying as we climb onto a dune with a dense Terminalia pruniodes thicket. The rustling leaves are blown from left to right, front to back. A carpet of dry leaves makes it impossible to move as silently as we should.

Suddenly Robert squats down and vigorously points forward. The fatigue, thirst and frustration vanish in a split second and are replaced by excitement, a racing pulse, hunger and the urge to bag

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LE ROUX VAN SCHALKWYK

the desired animal. The bull has bedded down at an angle 60 yards away. I grab Jürgen by the arm because all we need to do now is crawl five yards to a termite mound and reward our hard work with a spectacular trophy animal. Ever so cautiously we peep over the termite mound. The place where the roan was lying is empty, as if he had never been there.

“The darn wind spoilt it,” I dejectedly say to Jürgen. All hopes crushed, the pulse returns to normal. The thirst and the sense of fatigue and desolation returns. Questions crowd your mind and block out everything else. Were we too slow? Why didn’t it work out? Was it just not meant to be? Just bad luck?

Our water supply is finished but we decide to try once more after giving the bull and ourselves an hour to relax. While we were lying there, the time ticks by slowly. The afternoon wind is hot as if out of a furnace, a reminder of the harsh conditions with which animals have to cope on a daily basis season after season. As a hunter you want your quarry and the hope,

determination and willpower return in tiny increments. Giving up is not an option.

After the painful hour has passed we get up rather groggily, discuss how to continue and decide that we will try only once more because our energy levels are low and no water is left in the canteens. With renewed determination we pick up the track where the roan thumbed his nose at us. Silence and concentration must reign supreme. After just 1000 yards all hell breaks loose and our roan, which had calmed and lain down again not far from us, jumps up and runs through a recently burnt area to stop and face us at about 175 yards. Instinctively Jürgen is on the sticks and finds his aim on the roan still facing us. A couple of seconds go by and as the bull turns to run, the rapport of the 375 H&H shatters the silence. The bullet finds its mark on the shoulder and with his roan “death squeak” the bull goes down after a few steps.

Walking up to the bull, feelings of elation, sadness, joy, humility, calmness, satisfaction and empathy overcome you as a true hunter.

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This could be you...

Dirk de Bod Safaris Namibia is one of Namibia’s select hunting destinations, boasting over 48 500 acres of private game reserves with 31 different species available.

MAKADI SAFARIS

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SINCE 1972

CARRYING CONSERVATION: communities

I am not a hunter, by any stretch of the imagination. But I am Namibian. To me, being Namibian inherently means a deep-seated love and respect for our wildlife, landscapes and cultures. Sometimes this love and respect is translated into understanding, advocacy and practise. Other times we do not understand and subsequently refrain from advocating or practising, yet the love and respect remain. You do not have to be a practising hunter to understand and advocate for it. Because being Namibian, loving and respecting our wildlife, landscapes and cultures, goes hand in hand with understanding the importance of hunting and advocating for its continued contribution to what makes this country so phenomenal. Charene Labuschagne

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PAUL VAN SCHALKWYK

On a recent visit to the northeast, particularly the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, I was exposed to the tangible impact that Namibia’s Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) has on communities. Nyae Nyae is one of 86 conservancies nationwide that empowers rural people, improves their livelihoods and conserves wildlife and the environment. The San people who reside in Nyae Nyae are a remarkable example of the native skills and knowledge of the bushveld that contribute to CBNRM’s roaring success. They know their land better than anyone, which is why it is pointless for outsiders, particularly people from industrial urbanised societies, to tell us how to conserve our corner of Africa.

The creation of communal conservancy hunting concessions has assisted in making Namibia one of the most desired hunting destinations in Africa. The big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino) as well as a diverse mix of plains game freely roam on the conservancy ground, making for an attractive hunt. There are 45 trophy-hunting concessions operating on communal land, with conservancy communities directly benefiting from the sector through meat (protein) supply, job creation and monetary compensation used to construct infrastructure. But to fully understand why hunting really matters to communities, it is integral to grasp the reality of what said communities would look like in the absence of hunting concessions.

In the late 1700s when the first western explorers, hunters and traders entered what is now Namibia, our national wildlife population was probably in the range of 8-10 million animals. The centuries that followed spelled a massive decline in wildlife populations. Uncontrolled and wasteful hunting, veterinary policies and fencing as well as modern-day farmers regarding wildlife as useless and competing with their domestic stock plagued the animal population. A steep decline in wildlife numbers finally yielded below 1 million in the 1960s. Wildlife was of little value to the layman as they could not derive any benefits from “state-owned” wildlife. The

animals’ imperative role in a larger-thanlife ecosystem was yet to be understood, or quite frankly cared for.

direct family members and the broader community members. Their livelihoods are dependent on hunting concessions.

Other than the severe impact that the banning of conservation hunting would have on rural communities, wildlife would also bear the brunt. In the absence of income generated from trophy-hunting concessions in conservancies, these communities would seek money elsewhere – the most dreaded of which is from poaching. It is safe to say that this inevitable outcome, if hunting in Namibia were to end, is more destructive to animal rights and conservation agendas than legal, ethical hunting of indigenous animals within sustainably managed populations could ever be.

Only when conditional rights over consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife was introduced in the 1960s and 1990s did the attitudes of landowners and custodians change drastically. This new policy meant that wildlife finally had value to freehold and communal farmers as they could benefit financially from trophy and sport hunting, meat production, live sales of surplus animals as well as tourism. As the sector developed, farmers discovered that in our arid, sub-humid landscape wildlife is a much more lucrative, competitive form of land use than conventional farming. Subsequently, stock animals declined and wildlife numbers increased because freehold and communal landowners began seeing the value in wildlife from a broader perspective of collateral habitat protection and biodiversity conservation.

If ever this value rightfully assigned to our wildlife were to perish, there would be over 700 game guards and resource monitors left unemployed. If conservation hunting were to be put to a stop, as in Botswana, over 100 full-time employees would be jobless. Over 1000 conservancy employees would be forced to pursue alternative incomegenerating jobs, of which there are very few in rural areas. These may seem like marginal numbers, yet the income of these rangers and employees directly uplifts both

It has become a rather hot topic amongst global animal rights activists, and some elitist Namibian tourism operators, that hunting is contradictory to conservation. This could not be further from the truth. Hunting and conservation are engaged in a delicate dance – one could not exist without the other. The greater the benefits that freehold and communal landowners can derive from wildlife, the more secure it is as a form of land use and the more land is under conservation management.

What baffles me most about the arguments of people opposed to hunting is that these individuals, often from abroad, could never imagine themselves – let alone tolerate –living in such close proximity to wildlife. From an apartment in a high rise, or an air-conditioned conference room knee-jerk judgments and decisions are made by people who have very little insight into the reality on the ground. The reality is that hunting concessions in conservancies are a matter of people’s livelihoods. When and how will the voices of those most impacted by – and impacting wildlife – be heard in the context of international conservation discourse?

more information you can read The State of Community Conservation in Namibia here: www.communityconservationnamibia.com

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For
WHY HUNTING MATTERS
Other than the severe impact that the banning of conservation hunting would have on rural communities, wildlife would also bear the brunt."

Give a dog a helicopter

Each year, NAPHA selects a Conservationist of the Year. This highly honoured and recognised title is awarded to a person, group or institution that has accomplished significant achievements in the conservation of Namibia’s habitats and wildlife. At its AGM in December 2021, NAPHA announced the latest recipient of the award: the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism’s K9 unit. Based at the Waterberg Law Enforcement Training Centre, but deployed all over the country, MEFT’s highly trained dog unit has become an extraordinary addition to its toolkit in fighting, and preventing, wildlife crime in Namibia. Namibian wildlife vet and pilot, Conrad Brain, and the Ministry’s own Manie Le Roux, who heads the unit, give us a glimpse into what it takes to utilise this special group of “Conservationists.”

The MEFT K9 unit recently won top accolades from NAPHA and this is only the beginning. The ability and capacity of dogs in all fields of substance detection, ballistics, explosives, wildlife products, narcotics and even cell phone recognition is astounding, but it still goes beyond that. Dogs are also highly effective in human disease detection such as COVID-19, most cancers, diabetes, epilepsy and even as far as identifying pre-suicidal people.

Namibia can pride itself in being an African leader in many fields of dog training, and in some cases, the first and only African country to embrace and utilise a resource that is making maximum use of a latent canine talent present in everyday life. It makes sense that well-trained dogs have to be extremely mobile and the unit needs to have the capacity to be deployed at short notice anywhere from Epupa to Lüderitz.

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Just to access the locations – villages, schools, informal settlements, fishing camps and even urban areas – in many cases requires time, logistical planning and inevitably long distances of travel. The extreme gradients of topographical, climatic and even biome changes in Namibia make it a difficult and challenging environment to work in. However, with our trained canine resources on hand it is time to take flight – literally.

For most humans, the first time they ever set foot in a light aircraft is an utterly exciting, terrifying, tantalizing event that comes along with a series of sensory perceptions that they could never have predicted. The sounds and smells, the unfamiliar cabin, the radio talk that they do not comprehend, and then finally the lift-off into a space of supportive atmosphere, produces varied responses. Joy, terror, amazement, gastric disturbances and excitement.

So how do the dogs feel before their first flight? We do not know, but as for us humans, it is a process of acclimatisation, training and understanding that each individual is different. One aspect however stands out – the dogs’ implicit trust in their handlers: If

they (the handlers) are okay, we (the dogs) are okay. There is also the faith in the pilots, ground and support crew that create an atmosphere of confidence and yet again, amazingly, the dogs pick up on this in a manner that we cannot explain but know it is there and real: A mutual trust and understanding that exists between man and dog.

With a highly trained cohort of canine candidates, it only makes sense that we appreciate and use their extraordinary talent to the maximum. The dogs absolutely thrive on challenges presented to them and their success rate in both sensitivity and specificity in all aspects of substance and disease detection continues to exceed all our expectations. The near one hundred percent success rate to date in the dogs’ detection and the subsequent follow-up by the authorities regarding the unlawful transfer and possession of weapons, ammunition, pangolin scales, rhino horn, bush meat, copper wire, illegal whisky and cigarettes, indicates the undeniable value of their contribution. Transporting them fast and efficiently to locations to maximise their natural talent is a must for us. So, give a dog a helicopter.

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CONSERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR
Minister Pohamba Shifeta hands over the Conservationist of the Year award to MEFT's K9 Unit at the 2021 NAPHA AGM.

RHINO cunning

Ihad no prior experience of rhino hunting. So I just had to use the combined experience that I have gained over all the years of stalking and outwitting trophy animals. This hunt was not straightforward at all. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) identified three potential males in two different areas. To make sure that we’d take the right animal two rangers of

the Ministry had to accompany the hunter, myself and two trackers. And on top of that, a CNN photographer and journalist joined the hunting party to document the adventure. Not the ideal situation for any hunt,

The first day of the hunt started as usual. Find the tracks. When the game ranger

said, ‘yes it is the right one’, we started out on the spoor. But easier said than done. After walking in 40-degree heat, through soft sand and thick vegetation until two in the afternoon, and again the same story the following day, I decided that this was going to be too dangerous with such a big hunting party. This hunt was not going to be an ordinary one and there was no margin for

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“This was the hardest hunt of my life. They say you hunt elephant with your feet, buffalo with guts, leopard with your brain, but the most important of all is experience.”
anywhere.
The black rhino is the one animal few hunters have had the honour to hunt. In 2004 CITES granted Namibia a quota to offer past-productive males for a trophy hunt, but since then only six were taken. PH Hentie van Heerden was the lucky one chosen to guide Corey Knowlen on his hunting adventure in Namibia, to hunt the black rhino he had bought at an auction in Dallas, Texas. Here is his story. THIRION
GERHARD

error. The black rhino in this area do not sleep in the heat of the day like they do in other areas. Here they lie or stand in the shade of a tree, but when they hear something approach, or if they smell something odd, they get up and storm through the brush and keep running.

We informed MET that we were packing up, moving to the other identified area where the landscape is more forgiving, the vegetation sparser and the visibility better.

Two hours into the six-hour journey I received a call from the Ministry to say that they had located the identified animal in the area we were heading to, but it had died two weeks earlier, of natural causes associated with age, the horns still intact. So we turned back to square one.

The next day we start out early. Find the right spoor and start walking. We walk and

walk because we know that at some point we will see him. MET confirmed it was the one, and we keep following the track. It is not like on an elephant hunt where you at least see the animal towering above the tall grass. If like now, the grass is tall and the vegetation thick, you just don’t see him. He runs away from the noise. Then turns downwind and walks back in a half-circle (like a fish hook). You don’t know when he will make the loop, because you concentrate on following the spoor. The first you know he has looped is when you hear the 1.5-ton animal storm through the brush and run.

That is when you realise you have passed him and he either heard you or got your smell. Rhino have very bad eyesight, but can hear extremely well and their sense of smell must also be very well developed.

You continue to follow the track and do the loop and find where he has rested and jumped up to storm off. And you keep on the track. The vegetation is so dense that it is impossible to see the animal when it is lying down. You cannot see further than 20-30 metres. You walk almost shoulder high in the tall grass, because the veld has not burnt yet.

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You follow him through candle thorn, and umbrella thorn. Although the wind is in our favour, he outsmarts us twice. We follow the track and do not even hear him getting up and running on.

The sand is soft and we trudge on for kilometre after kilometre. It’s hot. And I know we have only today. Tomorrow he will have more tricks. We must just soldier on. He will get up and run and get up and run, until he gets tired. We must push him to get up sooner and as he gets tired he will run shorter stretches.

It is four o’clock in the afternoon and it is hot. We are even more tired and thirsty and our concentration is not what it should be. When you hunt big game it is at this point that you turn back and continue the next day."

You don’t walk on animal paths. You just walk on the spoor and sometimes when he goes straight through a bush you have to go through that bush, too. Sometimes you see where he pauses, when he goes slowly. Where he moves from one shady spot to another. You realise that he is restless.

We are cautious now, because occasionally he just stops and looks back. He knows he is being followed and not by something that is giving up.

It is two hours after we left the rest of the hunting party behind. It is hot and we are thirsty. But now is not the time to give up. The cameraman discovers that his battery is flat, because he never switched it off, in case of unexpected action. Now we have to retrace our steps back to the group, where the spare batteries are.

We did not realise that just there, where we turned back, the old male heard us, got up and ran again.

Back with the group it was decision time. Do we turn back now, or continue? We are tired and thirsty. The heat of the day bears down on us and the vehicle is hours of walking from where we are.

I know that if we turn back now we have to start all over again tomorrow. And then this one will be even more cunning. We disturbed him all day. Just when he wanted to doze off, we bothered him and he had to get up

and run. Earlier in the day he had run up to five kilometres before stopping. Now his running was down to 600m. He is definitely getting tired. We must push on.

We notice that he is walking zigzag. We must push harder. He knows we are behind him. Careful now. We leave the rest of the group behind. Just me and the hunter move forward cautiously. Twenty metres further we lose the spoor, because he zigzags. We spread out to find it again.

It is four o’clock in the afternoon and it is hot. We are even more tired and thirsty and our concentration is not what it should be. When you hunt big game it is at this point that you turn back and continue the next day.

At that moment I hear branches breaking and I hear him snort. Forty metres to the right he comes crashing through the bush. I turn around and shout “take him”, but there is a bush between the hunter and the rhino. The rhino charges the tracker, who is experienced enough to freeze.

After a few metres the rhino turns and trots off.

Our knees are shaking as we all gather from different directions. We have to go on now. He is angry and I don’t know how he will react, so we must all stay together. A hundred metres further on, we find the spoor again and we realise that he is going slowly again.

As a big game hunter you gain experience of animals that can hurt you if you are ignorant - elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, gemsbok. You get a feeling for what reaction to expect. It is as if you start to ‘think’ like them. But

my years of experience do not include this one. When he slows down again and starts to zigzag, I tell the rest of the group to stop. The wind is in our favour. We are going to meet up. I just have that feeling. Fifty metres on and one of the group staying behind walks up to us to take a photograph. I hear a panicked scream and turn around just in time to see how the photographer runs towards us edgeways and over his shoulder I see the rhino in full charge. I shout “get out of the way” and he dives into the sand as the first two shots ring out.

Of course this old male did exactly what he did all day. Made a loop, stood under a tree and waited for us to back off. He must have known that what he heard was not the familiar sounds of the bush. Not an eland or gemsbok trotting through the brush. It could also be that he was familiar with the

rangers on patrol. They checked to see if it is him, made an entry and left. This time, they did not back off. Standing under a tree in the shade he must have seen figures moving across an opening and then he charged.

The first shot was from the side. An open shot. But with the second there was a bush blocking the view. I heard the bullet hit, but could not see where, because there was not enough dust on the rhino’s skin to show and the sun was blurring my sight slightly. We know he was hit, but we did not hear him fall. We waited for about 15 minutes, checked our rifles and then followed his spoor again. We crossed an opening, with one tall tree and thick brush on the side. Here the rhino turned and turned and stamped several times. But no blood on the spoor. The tracker spotted him from the tree at 60 metres in a bush to our right, perfect for a fatal shot behind the shoulder.

ROAD TO SUCCESS

By the 1980s, ninety percent of the global rhino population was extinct, and on the IUCN Red Data List of Endangered Species rhinos were listed as critically endangered. For the past 30 years, dedicated individuals involved local communities in the northwest of Namibia to counter poaching by forming conservation groups, developing tactics and by relevant training. Today Namibia is home to the largest free-roaming black rhino population in the world. So successful have the efforts of Government, local communities, NGOs and civil society been, that Namibia is the only country in the world where black rhinos, among many other species, are re-located from national parks to private game reserves and communal land.

In 1998, underpinned by Clause 95 (1) of our Constitution, Communal Areas Conservancies were established, giving rural Namibians living on that land the legal right and responsibility to manage their natural resources themselves. There are currently 86 such conservancies covering 180,083 km2 The Community Based Natural Resource Management Programme provides the management tools and support for these conservancies to use their natural resources sustainably. In the early days many of the conservancies depended on donors, but over the years they have become independent thanks to jointventures lodges and trophy hunting. The latest official statistics for 2020 show that conservancies generated total cash income and in-kind benefits to rural communities of N$ 96,300,178; the majority of which came from trophy hunting.

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RHINO CUNNING
ANTON KRUGER

TO LOOK A WILD LION in the face

During the CITES Conference of Parties in Johannesburg in 2016 it so happened that I was seated in the row behind the delegation of the Humane Society, all of who, like many other representatives, had placed a soft toy lion on their desk. A little plush lion with a soft, light-brown skin and a cuddly dark mane and tip of the tail sitting on its haunches, with head raised and a truly majestic and peaceful look to its face, placed next to the microphones on the desk to alert the audience to the plight of the king of the animal world. I thought to myself then: “If only you knew what a wild lion is all about!”

After my return I chanced upon a stunning photo of a pair of stalking lions; wild lionstheir heads lowered as angry lions do, their eyes fixated on some target invisible to the onlooker, the male on the left with a battlescarred face and a somewhat shabby mane as a thorn-veld lion ought to have. Looking at that photo in awe, I was, because of the lowered head and the stare in the fierce yellow eyes of that magnificent shabby-maned male on the photo, reminded of a situation many years ago, when on very short range I found myself face to face with an enraged wild lion.

It happened in the mid-1990s to the west of Khaudum. Early one morning we had come onto the footprints of a huge solitary lion in the soft Kavango sand. The footprint of a lion alone, if you are on foot as well, is enough to stir the imagination and to make you think twice about what you are up to, especially if you walk through obscure terrain. We took up the spoor of that lion. With me were Max Theurer, a rugged old hunter no longer amongst us, and an old Bushman hunter, who

also has left for the happy hunting grounds by now. And the wilderness to the west of Khaudum is no longer either – it has been transformed to cattle farms in the meantime.

After tracking for a while, we realised that the lion was heading for the remains of the carcass of an elephant we had shot a few days ago. Approaching the spot, we also saw that the vultures whose circling on the thermals in the blue sky above the remains most probably had attracted the lion to the scene, were sitting in the trees, which told us that the lion would still be on the carcass. To have space when cutting up the elephant a few days ago, we had cleared away some of the thick silver terminalia shrub in which the elephant lay, creating a little clearance of perhaps thirty metres diameter in the thicket. Leaving the tracker behind, Max and I now closed in on this clearance in intense alertness and tension from downwind, sneaking towards the edge of the clearance on tiptoes, pausing every so often to listen for gnawing sounds, adrenaline rushing madly through our veins.

Reaching the edge we realised that the lion was not visible on our side of the heap of intestines, backbone and ribs we had left behind. We imagined the lion to perhaps lie up behind this heap, so sneaking along in a semicircle at the edge of the brushwood, rifles at the half ready, we eventually realised that the lion was not there either. So, with tension ebbing off, we lowered our rifles, exchanging a few soft words, when, with a furious growl, the lion all of a sudden rose from the shade of the matted brush, perhaps five or six paces to our right. Since I was on the right side with Max to my left as to allow him an

unobstructed line of fire at the carcass to our left, the lion was immediately next to me, I being in the line of fire for Max. For a split second I stared the furious lion in the face, the image burned into my memory forever; head lowered, eyes fiery, a deep rumbling growl coming from its heavy chest.

More out of instinctive reflex to put up a stern face in the light of that rumbling growl than from necessity, because Max was an experienced hunter and did not need this encouragement, I shouted loudly: “Shoot!”

With Max rushing to my side to get an unobstructed line of fire in the instant my voice rang out, the lion flew round and bolted, throwing tail into the air. Max’s hurried shot after the running lion went just behind the disappearing beast.

Our hearts beating madly, the blood rushing through our veins so loudly that we could hear it, we stepped up to the carcass of the elephant, where I discovered a strand of long yellow hair jammed in the end of a jagged bone the lion had gnawed at. I removed that blond strand and wound it around my index finger to take it with me. It felt hard, coarse and brittle. I later placed it in a matchbox together with a piece of wood I had taken from the temporal gland of a big elephant bull. Little charms symbolizing the African wilderness, which, in hindsight, I would like to have placed next to the microphone on my desk at the CITES Conference to alert the audience to the plight of the unspoiled African wilderness - habitat for magnificently wild creatures, which disappears at a horrific rate and which is not found on any Appendixes.

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HUMANITY in Hunting

Anybody who has ever interrogated me about hunting has always ended up asking the same big question: “Why do you hunt?” Although some people remain in complete denial that hunting can have any positive impact, most who take the time to listen are unable to argue with the logic of sustainable conservation through hunting. In fact, many people openly accept this truth. But to get them to understand why I choose to hunt – how my love for wildlife somehow manifests itself through the act of hunting – is a challenge that I have rarely succeeded at overcoming. More often than not, it is only those who have the chance to hear my story and observe my way of life that are able to begin understanding the humanity within hunting. To the ones who do not have that chance to get to know me over time, all I can tell them is that, besides my faith, there is nothing else in this world that makes me feel more alive. It has been the source of some of the most powerful emotions I have ever felt in my life, and it has undoubtedly made me a better man than I ever would have been without it. It is a part of who I am. Jackson Engel

WHY HUNTING MATTERS

Irecently saw a post on social media by a well-known hunter named Brad Christian, where he recounted one of his favourite childhood memories – swimming with his horse on his family property – and described it as something in his life that made him feel “fully alive and fully present”. He then asked the question, “What is a moment from your past when time stood still and you felt pure joy?” Although I usually scroll past posts that ask people to share their stories in the comments, I found myself deeply intrigued by this question. I sat there in my chair, looking out the window, trying to think of a moment during my childhood that fits this description. After a couple of minutes, I realised I could not think of anything that was not related to the outdoors, and more specifically, hunting. I chuckled to myself at the thought that

the majority of my favourite life memories surrounded one single activity, but as I pondered this idea longer it began to sound less insane.

The interesting thing about hunting is that it is almost impossible to partake in as a hobby or pastime. I do not know many people who just decide to pick up a weapon every once in a while and casually stroll out into the wilderness for a hunt. It is something that, when allowed, will consume your mind and transform not only the way you interact with nature, but your overall outlook on life as well. There are many explanations that come to mind when I try to understand this, but ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that hunting is not really a choice. It is not just a fun thing to do on a weekend like playing a round of golf or going

out with your friends. It is instinct. A primal instinct that we were created with, and one that we cannot help but enjoy embracing. That is why it is one of the oldest human traditions that cannot seem to be broken, despite being at the centre of some of the world’s largest controversies.

While our ancestors had the excuse of hunting for subsistence, most people living in the first world today do not have such an obvious reason to hunt. I think the “I hunt to put food on the table” argument as the sole justification of one’s involvement in hunting falls short in helping non-hunters understand why we do it, and unfortunately, it is one that many people lean on today. I am not saying that consuming meat from the animals that we hunt is not an integral part of the hunting

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process and our connection to wildlife. Of course it is. But ultimately, it is not the only reason we choose to hunt, and certainly not the most important one either. To me, hunting is a spiritual and emotional experience – it is connective. It makes me feel connected to nature, the animals, my family, my friends, my ancestors, God. Above all else, it makes me feel connected to my true self.

Having grown up in a hunting family that travelled and lived across the continent of Africa, I honestly have never known any other way of life. Some of my earliest life memories are ones from our first family safari to Namibia when I was three years old. Years later, we would end up leaving Texas to call Namibia our permanent home, and while there were many reasons for our move, I have no doubt that the connections we made with this beautiful land through those early hunting experiences played a role in making it feel like our home.

It is not hard to imagine how being exposed to hunting from such a young age would result in it becoming a huge part of my identity. As I grew older and had new experiences, my love for hunting and wildlife only deepened. By the age of 12, I could name almost every big game species on the continent of Africa, and that fascination with wildlife directly translated into my developing passion for conservation. Much of this passion was passed onto me by my dad, who is also an avid hunter and wildlife enthusiast. From the very beginning,

he was intentional in not only gifting me with his extensive knowledge, but also in instilling in me important values such as respect for nature and how to honour the animals that we hunt. More importantly, he used hunting as an avenue to teach me discipline, hard work, patience, and a long list of other valuable traits that continue to carry over into my everyday life. Although I had a great teacher, experience has shown me that these are all values that are naturally developed when one dives wholeheartedly into the hunting lifestyle, and they are also ones that are rarely found elsewhere in today’s society. Hunting seems to have a way of naturally drawing out the best in people. Of course, I know I do not speak for everyone in making this statement – there will always be bad apples in any segment of society – but I have no doubt that this is the common truth among hunters.

When people ask why hunting matters, it is easy for most of us to simply respond with a long-winded elevator pitch that explains why hunting is a vital conservation tool and how wildlife across the world would not exist without its presence, or some other justification such as the meat argument. I myself am guilty of using conservation as a crutch – always armed with a slew of facts and logical arguments to overwhelm any opposition that dares question the model of conservation through hunting. But I think it is important to realise what ultimately makes that model viable – hunters. People who are deeply passionate about wildlife, who care

not only about the big and majestic species, but also the small and undercelebrated ones. People who know and understand nature on a level that most people cannot comprehend. People whose hearts draw life from every second that they are privileged to spend in the presence of the animals that they pursue, and who truly cannot imagine a world without wildlife. The existence of hunting certainly matters for the future wellbeing of wild animals and wild places, but it also matters for the future wellbeing of humanity, the continuation of our ancestral traditions, and the preservation of instincts that evoke our rawest and truest selves.

"

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I do not hunt for the joy of killing but for the joy of living, and the inexpressible pleasure of mingling my life, however briefly, with that of a wild creature that I respect, admire and value.”
- John Madson

PARAFFIN LAMPS

Many people would ask me why I hunt, or how I came to be a hunter. And usually I would tell of how I was brought up in Namibia, where hunting is second nature and part of our existence and a way of life. But to be honest, the answer is actually very simple. My dad loves hunting, and I love my dad. Danene van der Westhuyzen

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You see, my father did not hunt only for the pursuit of wildlife or to pit himself against their territory. He hunted because he had no reason not to go. In other words, he had an open mind. And I found that he was repaired and restored by the experiences; the healing effect of such a wild adventure seemed eternal. “The secret to life, I learnt it there,” he said once. “Which was…?” I wanted to know. My father sat for a long time before shaking his head and looking at me amused. Then he replied: “Danene, you already know the answer.”

Like my dad, I started hunting because I had no reason not to. I immersed myself with literature and people who vividly retold beautiful stories on the beauty and experiences the veld has to offer. Of close encounters and long, slow nights around small fires and paraffin lamps. Having grown up in this setting, I always felt like an environmentalist. But as my hunting expanded, I found a new and compelling narrative about conservation and its relationship with hunting. I am sure it is a narrative with which many hunters can associate.

Some of the common representations will sound familiar: hunters are the original conservationists and the driving force of the conservation movement; hunters contribute the bulk of funding to conservation coffers; hunters are the “true” conservationists, the ones who care more about wildlife than anyone else, and so forth.

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WHY HUNTING MATTERS

These narratives were inspiring to me as I found a place in a new community and felt pride in a set of collective values and achievements. They provided a source of inspiration to me and many others, and contain some important elements that should unify us in humble pride for our contributions.

But it is incomplete.

It is not that I disagree that hunters were there at the beginning, put in the hard work and are dedicated conservationists who contribute substantially and care deeply about wildlife. I think we miss a more important aspect of hunters’ involvement in conservation, and this other aspect should be a source of even greater pride for our community.

I think one of the most important defining features of the hunting community is our capacity for cooperation with other groups to safeguard wildlife and wild places.

It is not contentious to say that hunting both sprouted from and has been watered by a deep capacity for cooperation. Hunting with friends, family and that favourite, dependable hunting companion is part of what draws many of us to the veld. Cooperation is,

quite literally and figuratively, in our DNA as human hunters and it is an intrinsic part of the social fabric of hunting cultures. A capacity for cooperation is the embedded evolutionarily quality that allows us to develop close, organised and supportive communities.

Rather than evolving as hunters, we evolve into hunters. Being able to organise ourselves and work together toward a shared goal that, ultimately, has a substantial benefit in what has defined our history as successful hunting cultures.

The last years will always be remembered as the time the world changed, and precious little of it was for the better. The Covid pandemic has left a trail of lost lives and devastated industries in its wake.

At first it was easy as hunters to focus merely on lost opportunities for adventure, yet a far more dangerous threat began stalking the world’s wildlife and our now hobbled community as surely as a lioness closing in on her prey.

Our international hunting industry changed overnight due to crippling travel restrictions. Added to this is the continuous onslaught on our basic human rights, our heritage and our

way of life. It is understandable that hunting, any kind of hunting, is not acceptable to many (probably to most) urban people.

People living in the big cities of the world are out of touch with all things natural. So, how can they possibly know what hunting is all about?

Have they ever sat silently for a long time, thinking – as people had for thousands of years – around a fire that lit a very small place in the very great dark?

Everyone who goes on safari feels like they never want it to end. It is an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. They see and do things they have never dreamt of, and think they are living on the edge of danger and excitement.

But someone else has set it up, invested in it greatly, is there to keep them safe and make sure they are comfortable. Someone else has made the dream into a reality for a short time. I have never come across a tourist who could put up with the real grind of it all.

There’s more to Africa than one can ever see with one’s eyes, a lot more than one can ever hope to understand.

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Which means that “behind the scenes” there are people trying to make a living, and usually under very tough conditions, which unfortunately also brings about alternative use that everyone enjoying nature would not always agree with. The point is, the pressure is on…

Dissipation and the decay of values happen during oppression or the lack of visibility or respect. We are currently living in an unnatural situation, we are in a place where we are not heard or seen, we debate about the present and the future, but who listens? Not those who rule. We feel we are in the shadows.

But despite the seemingly overwhelming difficulties we face, our shared goal, and our ability to work together towards this goal, brings us together as a collective.

Hunting is where community, values and culture is the all-embracing blanket under which we meet as a collective.

Community is the fact that we accept our respective roles in nature. Our community is about the higher purpose, it is about our heritage, and our future. It is about ensuring that hunting will be around for another 1000 years as a force for the better of conservation – a community where ethics and morality still mean something, and where resources are utilised to the benefit of the many, the destitute and the discouraged, instead of the few.

Values are the fact that we trust each other. That we love each other.

And culture? Culture is a tricky one. To me culture is as much about what we encourage as what we actually permit. Most people do not do what we tell them to. They do what we let them get away with.

They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. But that is not true, at least not entirely, because if our past was all that defined us, we would never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we are more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices too, all of our tomorrows.

In Africa, when the sun clips the top of the trees to the west, we usually start to light the paraffin lamps. Then all of a sudden the light drops, the way it does in southern Africa. Everything turns magenta, orange, a riot of violet and pink, and then suddenly darkness. There’s no gentle dusk, no nautical twilight, no soft evening. You’re either ready for it, or you’re not. One moment the sky is suffused with a vivid pulsing sunset, it looks as if it will go on forever; and the next moment it is a black and moonless sky, sword-pierced with stars.

Nothing prepares you for the sudden darkness of a southern African night, even if you have never known anything else. It is always as if the light had been smothered rather than gently slid behind the horizon. But it prepares you for certain endings – a leap from painted skies to darkness. By which I mean definite endings. With the influence of international decision-makers, however, the sun currently sets very slowly on Africa.

Sometimes it feels as if the people of Namibia thrive on the fact that the climate is so inhospitable, because not everyone can handle it, and that reminds me of our own strength and resilience as hunters.

May we light those paraffin lamps soon enough…

EventfulLINYANTI days at the

In September 2016 I guided a buffalo hunt for my friend and colleague Felix in the Bamunu Conservancy. The Bamunu Conservancy in Namibia’s Zambezi Region (formerly known as the Caprivi) is normally a biome that consists of a network of wetlands and floodplains interspersed with islands where trees and shrubs grow. The core conservation and hunting area borders on the Linyanti River, at the same time forming the national border to Botswana; the Linyanti is a relatively shallow river that in times of good rains floods the plains surrounding it. Usually hunting takes place by navigating the channels and side arms of the Linyanti with a boat in search of buffalo, reedbuck, hippo and crocodile. In 2016, however, rains were very poor in the region; the drought caused rivers like the Linyanti and parts of the Kwando to dry up. This had already been fatal for many hippos and many more were left stranded and crammed in a few quickly drying “hippo” pools inside the hunting area. These pools are also frequented by large numbers of buffalo and elephant, moving in from the overpopulated Botswana. The drying of the river has caused a massive influx of Burchell’s zebra, also roan, sable, eland and common impala that start to move into the area again. All this a reminder that a drought has its place in a natural system and has positive effects as well. In this case it helped restore some of the original biodiversity that had been pushed out when crops were still grown and cattle instead of buffalo roamed the burnt reed fields until five years ago. Hagen Denker

As I lay in the open bungalow, listening to the sounds of the night; the ‘laughing’ of the zebra grazing on the fresh green, the occasional lonely howl of the hyena and the ever-present, continuous alarm-like call of the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, I slowly fall into a lucid waking dream, reflecting on the events of past days.

The hunting guests have left camp and I want to go for a last walk before I too leave for home. We make our way on foot in this dust and smoke laden atmosphere, past the “boat tree” where the hunting starts in times of a flooding river. Now the river and floodplains are dry and we can quickly cover the burnt reed fields. About halfway to the ponds in the side arm of the Linyanti we notice a herd of elephant moving in from Botswana; they are likely to cross our path and we decide to take a slight detour. Our detour turns into an unpleasant fight through thick reeds until eventually we find a hippo path, which we follow for a while until it bends away into the wrong direction. We now follow smaller paths, often underneath a canopy of reeds – I cannot help but imagine

what would happen if we suddenly come across a lion or grumpy buffalo bull in this thick hell!

Every now and then when the reeds open up a little, I balance on one of the reed ‘stumps’ to try and look ahead for the river. Sometimes I suspect the river but then again I am unable to see the elephant that we hear moving in the reeds to our left.

Soon though, we reach the dry river and follow its course, every now and then looking ahead from the riverbank. I am in high spirits in these beautiful surroundings; flocks of weaver birds pass above us, beginning to settle into the reeds for the night; here and there fresh elephant tracks cross the riverbed, amongst them the impressions of a decent bull. A marsh mongoose scurries away into the river brush as we surprise it on its stroll along the riverbed.

We are close to the small ponds now and from the higher riverbank I take a look around. The left – southern – side of the river is framed with reed, while north of the river the reeds

are burnt down, allowing for a view far into the distance. A few hundred yards away in the northwest I can see an elephant bull slowly making his way through the floodplains, swirling up a small cloud of ash with every step. Beyond him in the distance the huge dust cloud of the big buffalo herds making their daily trip from Botswana to the hippo pools. Glassing further to the left I notice a movement – I can see the horns and head of a stately roan bull moving along in a small gully or hippo path.

My soul is at peace and my thoughts wander off into the distance, where lions still roam and old battled buffalo bulls find a last refuge near these muddy ponds that are too small to support the big herds.

On our way back to camp we come across a very good reedbuck ram and although we didn’t see the two impressive buffalo again, I feel lucky and happy to have hunted here.

When Felix took over the concession, buffalo only moved into the area to feed on the

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EVENTFUL DAYS AT THE LINYANTI

crops and antelope like reedbuck, waterbuck and roan were seldom if ever seen. Due to the good relations that have been built with the traditional leader, crops are not planted anymore in this area and even eland, warthog and the scarce bush pig have reclaimed this amazing habitat.

The occasional lion prides patrolling here and the howling of the spotted hyena at night make this a true wilderness area that should deserve the protection from any other use than the occasional hunter-adventurer bagging an old trophy, like we had done a few days earlier.

We had to do some shopping in the morning in Katima Mulilo, and after picking up hunter Uwe and his wife at the airstrip, I am glad that we can finally exchange the crowded, though strangely captivating town on the verge of the Zambezi River, for the bushveld at the Linyanti River. We arrive in camp – which is beautifully set on and around an island – and first of all greet the team of trackers, game guards and camp staff, as well as Danita, who will look after our well-being, and PH Wanjo who is doing his big game apprenticeship here. We take it slow for the rest of the day, going for a walk after the usual test shot.

In the afternoon of the second day we decide to stalk toward the Linyanti River. After a while we reach a side arm of the Linyanti and walk in the dry riverbed for a bit. As we come around a bend I notice something lying

in a sort of hole in the river. Through the binoculars I can only make out a grey lump. We slowly stalk on and as we come closer the grey lump gets up and turns into a young hippo, trotting off in the riverbed. The hippo must have gotten lost from the herds when they were grazing at night and will most likely become the dinner of hyenas or lions soon. These are the tough – yet necessary – sides to a drought; over the course of the safari we came across a number of hippo carcasses and there will be many more to follow. Only the strongest will at some point leave the hippo pools in search of other waters and only return when the floods return.

We step up to where the hippo had first been and stand above a small muddy pond in a pit in the river. There are tracks of a big buffalo bull from earlier today –immediately my heart beats faster: this feels exactly like the place an old bull would seek, spend the days in the impenetrable reeds near the river and come to water late in the afternoon. It is too late for action today, but in anticipation of what the next days could bring, we return homewards.

As I suspect that the buffalo bulls will most likely come to the muddy pond in the afternoon, we head towards the hippo pools the next morning. We are in a diverse area with fewer reeds, and rather high thick-stalked grass with islands of trees and the odd palm tree here and there. We have worked our way

towards a herd of buffalo but cannot make out a decent bull. I decide to get a bit closer to the herd to have a better look. The buffalo slowly move past me, more and more of them appearing out of the high grass. I can see only young bulls and soon the first buffalo have almost gone around me; they get my wind and the whole herd stampedes away in a huge cloud of dust.

It is still early and we continue our stalk in an easterly direction. On one of the islands I climb a tree to look ahead. In some distance behind the next island I spot some buffalo and we decide to take a look at them. On our way through a field of about hip-high grass, something suddenly jumps up in front of us. Through the binoculars I see that it is a serval – what a rare sighting! I try to snatch a photo of the elusive predator but he has already disappeared in the grass.

We stalk on and eventually can make an excellent approach on the buffalo herd, using a shallow gully for cover. We are quite close to the herd in a patch of reeds, while the buffalo are on the edge of the reeds. It is a mixed herd with one bull that may be old enough, but we cannot get any closer unnoticed and therefore decide to leave them in peace.

The afternoon sees us at the muddy pond again. As we come around the bend I get up on the riverbank to look into the depression where the hippo was the day before, and

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immediately see the back line of a buffalo. Through the binoculars I can make out its hairless, scraggy back and shoulders – without even seeing the rest of the animal I know that this is an old bull!

We immediately get into a shooting position; the bull is still down in the pond and we have to wait for him to get out. After a while he turns around and we can now see the top of his head – he has a most impressive set of horns above his hairless, scarred face – this is a truly ancient bull. The horns are short, with blunt worn tips; the boss has large chunks broken out and is worn smooth as can be –what a buffalo!

At this moment another bull appears out of the pond and moves onto ‘our’ side, where he stops for a short moment and looks into our direction. It is also an old bull with a magnificently long right horn and incredibly broad boss. The left horn is broken off with only the boss remaining. He makes his way onto the opposite riverbank and then disappears in the reeds. We let him pass, as Uwe would like to bag a bull with even horns. The ancient bull also gets going now, but does not follow the other bull, instead moving directly into the reeds without presenting the

chance for a shot. I know that buffalo bulls like these will only come along a few times in life, especially together like these two, and therefore Wanjo and one of the game guards move into the reeds on the other side of the river to try and push out the two bulls. They however, know this game and disappear deeper into the reeds. I am truly shaken by these two bulls and just hope that we will find them again.

We are stalking along the sidearm the following afternoon in search of the two bulls. As we get closer to the dry Linyanti River, the sidearm fans out and becomes relatively flat. We stay on the northern riverbank, stopping here and there to glass ahead. Suddenly we hear a reed cracking in a patch of thick reeds some eighty yards from us in the wide riverbed. We stop to listen, and the cracking repeats every few minutes. The trackers are sure that this must be a buffalo, most likely a single bull. We move into the cover of a termite hill and wait for the buffalo to appear. For ten or fifteen minutes we just hear the occasional cracking of reeds. I decide to get up onto the termite hill and hopefully have a better view. Not before long the head and shoulders of a male lion appear out

of nowhere in the reeds. I am completely taken aback by this as I was expecting a buffalo, and quickly make the others aware of the lion. We had seen lion tracks before, but I would not have expected to see a lion, especially not this close. The lion stares intensely at us and a strangely uncomfortable feeling spreads in my body.

Encountering a truly wild lion in such wilderness is always an incredible experience; after taking a few photos we decide to make our way back along the river.

The game guard walking at the back suddenly stops us as he has seen a few buffalo in the distance, coming out of the dry open forest in Botswana. I can see three or four bulls just disappearing into the reeds framing the Linyanti. We quickly make our way along the sidearm past the muddy pond; the buffalo will pass the sidearm further to the east. As we hurry past a steep part of the riverbank I hear a hissing sound coming from the bottom of the bank. The bank has a slight overhang with the roots of the reeds hanging just above the ground. Behind this natural curtain we can make out the contour of a small crocodile, which upon our approach disappears in a narrow cave behind the root curtain –

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EVENTFUL DAYS AT THE

incredible how this prehistoric reptile has decided to try and wait out the drought until the floods return, probably snatching a bird or small mammal every now and then.

On we walk in the river to cut off the buffalo bulls. The river makes a sudden sharp bend to the right and sixty yards onwards we find a second muddy pond, this one holding more water than the other one.

I reckon that the best chance of seeing the bulls is if they come to this pond and we therefore decide to wait here in cover. The sun is setting quickly and, other than birds, nothing appears at the water. The buffalo have either gone another way or will only come to the water at night and we have no option but to try again the next day.

Like the afternoons before we head to the side arm of the Linyati that still has some water ponds in it. One of the game guards and a tracker check and wait near the second pond, while we stalk to the other one. We haven’t really settled in yet, when I hear whistling from the direction of the second pond. Looking over to where the whistling is coming from, I can see the tracker excitedly waving and gesticulating. We immediately get up again and quickly move over to the game guard and tracker, who have indeed seen a buffalo.

The pond is around the next bend of the sidearm and I decide to first take a look around the “corner” and see what the bull looks like. The buffalo is standing above the water on the riverbank on the fringe of a reed thicket. It is however a young bull. I intensely glass into the reeds in the hope of spotting another bull in there somewhere, but cannot see anything. Due to the course of the river, we are on the same side of the river as the young bull. To the left and in front of us there is a clearing free of reeds, all on the opposite riverbank. The dry riverbed bends around the clearing to the left and then disappears in the reeds to the northeast.

I glass back to the young bull and immediately notice a movement at the bottom of my view field in the binoculars – the shoulder line of another buffalo! He is down in the pond – which I realise now is on a much lower level from our position than the rest of the riverbed. Although I cannot see much of the buffalo, he seems more mature as his back

appears to have less hair, yet I cannot really size him up.

He doesn’t move much for a while, so I first retrace my steps back to Uwe and let him know what I have seen. I suggest that we move across the riverbed, using the bend of the river as cover to get to the opposite riverbank.

Uwe, Wanjo, game guard Niklas and I stalk through the dry riverbed, while Uwe’s wife and the rest of the team stay behind in the cover of the reeds. The bank of the river is some six feet above the riverbed and my hope is that we may be able to get a shot over the edge of the bank when the bull moves across the clearing – if he does. As we reach the bank, I indicate to the others to crouch down behind the bank, while I peek over and see whether the bull has moved. As I look over the edge, the buffalo moves across the river towards our side of the river – it is a good mature bull. He is still in the riverbed – which is higher on the other side of the bend – but is coming towards us at an angle, which will bring him within fifty or so yards of us. We must be extra careful when getting into a shooting position over the bank’s edge.

We have to take a few steps along the river so that we can walk up the bank and position the shooting sticks. Time is of the essence and we quickly get into position, still crouched in cover. Wanjo sets up the shooting sticks and we get Uwe behind the rifle to get ready. As we rise above the edge, the old bull is coming out of the riverbed onto the clearing; he must have noticed a movement because he stops dead still and glares over to us from underneath his boss – these are intense moments as we may not move and cannot shoot, with the buffalo still at an angle towards us.

The young bull is already across the clearing and there is another bull ninety yards behind the old one, beyond the river. I am standing slightly behind Uwe to the right, rifle at the half-ready. Nobody dares to move, while I whisper to Uwe to wait until the buffalo relaxes – hopefully – and take a shot when he is broadside. After a few long moments the bull lowers his head, takes a step forward, and presents his complete broadside.

Uwe does not hesitate and lets fly. The buffalo shows no reaction to the shot and takes off. As I am not sure where the bull is hit, I immediately put a round into the running buffalo. He is aiming for a thick patch of reeds – I am not going to let him get away, run in a semicircle after him to get a better view and put myself in danger of bullets from behind. The bull disappears in the reeds but luckily reappears on a small reed-free patch where he acquits my next shot onto his spine, breaking into the reeds to his right. We hear a few stalks cracking, followed by dead silence –and then the moaning death-bellow brings an end to the hunt. We wait for a while, nervous laughter and relief filling the cool evening air as the tension ebbs off.

As I walk back to fetch the hunting vehicle, I for the first time in days can truly stride out and freely breathe the fresh air. We have brought this hunt to a satisfying and safe end – something one can never be too sure of when hunting dangerous game. Uwe has been able to fulfil his dream to hunt for a good buffalo and what remains are the good memories in one of the few spots remaining in the Zambezi Region that gives a feeling of wilderness. As we pull up to the camp later that evening, the trackers and game scouts are singing of a successful hunt on the back of the pickup. Goose bumps run down my spine as I am reminded of how natural and raw this life can be.

I drift off to sleep, looking forward to coming here again and hunting buffalo, maybe some day bagging a bull myself – an old bull like the ones we saw on that third day.

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LINYANTI

THE TOUCH

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of the mountains KING

Puros or Omburo means ‘a spring or place where water comes out’ in the Herero language. The name stands in sharp contrast to this arid semi-desert environment with its endless plains, rugged mountains, sparse vegetation, the well-known Hoarusib River and Himba pastoralists. This area is part of the greater Kunene Region, formerly known as the Kaokoveld, in northwestern Namibia. Anton Esterhuizen

GERHARD THIRION

Hartmann’s mountain zebra, one of Namibia’s endemic species, remains one of the most sought-after trophies and exciting hunts that Namibia can offer. This is especially true in the far northwest of the country where they occur naturally and can still roam free, traversing mountain ranges and desert plains without the hindrance of fences.

Hunting Hartmann’s mountain zebra on foot in one of the communal conservancies of north-western Namibia is demanding, a great challenge and truly exciting. This we experienced first hand while on a hunting trip in the Puros Conservancy.

Our adventure started at Wêreldsend, the IRDNC base camp 60 km east of Torra Bay, a well-known fishing spot on the Skeleton Coast. We left Wêreldsend on a chilly morning in early June for the six-hour drive to Puros. This drive is an adventure in itself. One travels through the most breathtaking landscape, which in the middle of the day looks harsh and unforgiving, but early morning or late afternoon that same landscape turns into the softest shades of pink, blue and purple.

After checking and shooting in the rifle we set off for a walk on the dry mountains northwest of Puros village, accompanied

by the Puros Conservancy field officer. We carefully searched the mountains and gullies for any sign of life. As it was our first day we were not in a hurry and after the long drive enjoyed being outside, with a strong, cold westerly wind in our faces. We enjoyed being out in the veld, stretching our legs after the long drive and becoming accustomed to the vastness of this seemingly endless landscape. The grass cover was sparse to non-existent and we only found a few gemsbok tracks leading down to the lush green Hoarusib River. In this harsh landscape the riverbed is a true oasis where animals find some greenery and water. But there also lurks the danger of two semi-permanent lionesses, always on the lookout for any sign of weakness!

Early the next morning we found ourselves in the Okongue area, southeast of Puros, on a vantage point high above the plains where the first rays of the rising sun painted the isolated bare rocks and grey lifeless soil with warm shades of gold. Patches of grass from previous exceptional rains were still in evidence, although few and far between. The conservancy has earmarked this area as an exclusive wildlife and hunting zone.

It was so cold that we struggled to steady our binoculars. We scanned the mountains and valleys, because the zebra move back into the

mountains after their nightly parade down to the plains. Eventually we located a family group of seven zebra at the foot of some distant mountains. They seemed impossibly far away. “Here you can see to eternity,” my friend remarked dryly. There was no wind and we approached them carefully from the west. Gemsbok could be seen scattered over the plain as mere dots. Two ostriches kept us under surveillance from a distance and slowly started to move away from us. Crossing the ridge, the zebra were still 400 metres away –with no cover between them and us. We were also slightly above them. They were grazing and hadn’t noticed us yet. With gemsbok to our left and right there was little we could do, safe for getting comfortable and hoping that the zebra would move towards us. We identified two stallions, one older than the other. Then, unfortunately, the wind picked up and started playing its usual games in the mountains. The zebra immediately smelled us. First they started moving towards us, but recognised their mistake and to our utter dismay fled up the mountain and disappeared over the ridge. The friend jumped up and suggested to get going and cut them off. I knew it was useless because Hartmann zebra are the undisputed kings of the mountains. There is no blocking them, as I found out earlier in my career as an inexperienced hunter. Many a time I had to

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return to base totally frustrated, having tried to outsmart them. They seem to grow wings on their feet. I decided to keep quiet and let him experience the grace of these wonderful animals. We rushed up the mountain huffing and puffing. Arriving on the other side of the ridge he was amazed at the light-footedness of the zebra. They were already hundreds of metres away from us. I just chuckled softly and suggested we look for other game and come back the next day. By now the wind had picked up and there was no way we could catch up with them.

We left at five o’clock the following morning armed with thick jackets, rifles and binoculars. The strong easterly wind was bone-chilling as we made our way up a mountain west of the Okongue plains. When the sun rose over the horizon, dust clouds in the river below drew our attention to three zebra taking a dust bath. A stallion and two mares. Another family group was on its way from the valley into the mountains and disappeared from sight. The other three zebra seemed at ease and we sat quietly, just watching them for a while. A gemsbok appeared on our right and looked in our direction. Satisfied that no danger was looming he slowly moved away from us while feeding. Springbok stood quietly in the valley, trying to catch the first warmth of the early sunlight. We started our stalk down a gully, out of the zebras’ sight, and then upriver towards them. As we inched forward, using every little bit of cover and shadow for camouflage, we almost walked

into a kudu bull. We waited for him to move off and then continued our stalk. By now the sun was shining with all its ferocity and it was hard to believe that it had been so cold earlier on. The wind also didn’t help to make the stalk easier and changed more often than my wife changes her clothes. In the meantime the zebra had decided to move out of the river and were now feeding half-way up the mountain.

Now we were sitting with a great dilemma: there was very little cover between us and the zebra, making a stalk virtually impossible, and they were higher up than we were. “Did we waste too much time on the stalk up to this point,” I was asking myself, contemplating various ways to get within shooting range of the zebra. Using milk-bush (Euphorbia damarana) for cover we crawled towards the zebra inch by inch – look, crawl, wait, look, crawl, wait – trying to be as quiet as possible on the loose stones and steep gradient. Wearing shorts, it felt as if the stones got a couple of degrees hotter with every inch. They also cut into bare flesh. When I turned to see how my friend was doing, I froze. A gemsbok was looking straight at us from no more than 30 metres. It had appeared from nowhere. “Stay very still,” I hissed. “What?” “Stay very still,” I hissed again, this time rolling my eyes towards the gemsbok, still watching us. Why do animals have this cunning ability of always catching you in the most awkward position when you cannot afford to move? After staring us down, satisfied that our limbs and back had endured enough pain, he trotted off. We

waited for a while before we dared to look if the zebra were still there. We only saw two: the third one, our stallion, had left. I scanned the mountain, which by now sported all shades of grey and white in the blinding sun, making it extremely difficult to see zebra – believe it or not. My friend and I were lying next to a milkbush, trying to use its limited shade for cover. There was no wind and Old Spikes had no sympathy for us. I was still scanning the area for the stallion when he suddenly appeared from behind a bush and joined the other two again. Whispering, I pointed to the position of the stallion. Wasting no time, we got into position to shoot. Although still 150 metres away, I felt comfortable that he could take the zebra. He inched into position at a snail’s pace, very aware that one miscalculated move could cost him this opportunity. I watched anxiously from the back, my attention alternating between him and the zebra. The stallion immediately raised his head and I could see his nostrils opening wide. Without taking the binoculars from my eyes I looked at the hunter and was relieved to see that he was in position and about to shoot. As the shot rang out I saw the bullet flying true and the stallion running downhill. After eighty metres he went down.

That night there were great festivities as zebra meat was delivered to the village and the fires got going at Puros.

And as for my friend, apart from some cuts and bruises, a Namibian dream had come true - hunting the King of the Mountains, on foot, in its natural environment.

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... on a vantage point high above the plains where the first rays of the rising sun painted the isolated bare rocks and grey lifeless soil with warm shades of gold. Patches of grass from previous exceptional rains were still in evidence, although few and far between.
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Lion Hunt in the rugged northwest

It was October, the beginning of the hot, dry season in Namibia, when my hunting client and I drove up to the area. The whole of the northwest was still in the clutches of a severe drought. The barren red rock plains which stretched to the horizon were all but devoid of grass, and the game was sparsely distributed over this massively impressive area. An opportunity arose to hunt a trophy lion in the Torra Conservancy in northwestern Namibia. For the past years the lion population had grown in this area and the human-wildlife conflict increased as a result. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism invited professional hunters to the opportunity to hunt these problem animals, rather than taking the risk that entire prides are poisoned by communal farmers who lose their livestock. Felix Marnewecke

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We spent the first day scouting for lion tracks, and securing bait. For this we managed to bag a springbok and a Hartmann’s zebra. While going about our business we located the tracks of two separate prides of lion – the first consisting of one male and six females, and the second group of one male and two females. We also noted a few solitary leopard tracks as well as numerous hyaena spoor, which seemed to cover every road we travelled on. Predators were in abundance, which I found surprising, considering that other game (their food source) was so sparsely available. We put up bait in two separate valleys and kept the rest of the meat for the next day, as we were planning to explore new areas and hopefully find more lion activity.

Sunrise the next day found us out and about amongst the mountains. Neither of our baits had been touched, so we pushed on into areas which we hadn’t been to yet. We came across a fountain at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by rugged mountains – a beautiful oasis in the middle of this harsh world. A lot of milk bush and salvadora thickets were scattered at the bottom of the valley around the waterhole creating ideal ambush sites for predators, and sure enough, after closer inspection we found a spot where a big male lion had wandered from one shady clump of bush to the next, to escape the heat of the day. He had moved off in a southerly direction, so we decided to carry on scouting in the direction in which he had left. It was now nearing midday, and the heat was building up steadily. We decided to find a shady tree for a short siesta, before continuing with the hunt.

As we crested a long flat hill, we saw an animal standing on an opposite hill at roughly two kilometres from where we were. At first both of us thought it was a zebra, but as soon as I had him in my binoculars, it felt like my heart got jammed in the back of my throat. It was a big male lion. He was staring straight at us from across the valley. We immediately dropped to the ground, in the hope that he wouldn’t run off. But this is exactly what he did. He trotted off to a clump of milk bush and lay down facing in our direction. We remained motionless lying on the ground, studying him through our binoculars. Even at this distance I could see his dark mane and the slightly bluish grey colour of his body. Due to lack of cover there was absolutely no way for us to get closer to him.

While we were lying flat on the hot rocks, I started to study the surrounding terrain. There was a deep ravine separating the two hills on which we and the lion were, at the bottom of it was a singular mopane tree, which sort of stuck out like a sore thumb. This tree was covered with Pied Crows. I pointed this out to my client, and as the lion seemed reluctant to leave the area, we concluded that he must have had a kill somewhere close by. I told my client that we should leave and return in the late afternoon in the hope that the lion would be back at his kill. This would hopefully provide us with an opportunity to pull off a good stalk. We returned at about four in the afternoon on the downwind side of the ravine and stopped the truck about a kilometre away from the area, behind a hill. We proceeded very cautiously on foot, trying to make as little noise as possible – not an easy feat,

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Wynand & Claudia du Plessis

considering that we were walking on loose rock the whole time. I kept the mopane tree in sight and moved slowly towards it. There was no sight of the lion. When we were still roughly 400 metres away from the tree, the lion suddenly bolted out from under a bush, and ran up the hill. While the lion was facing away from us we used the opportunity to find cover under a milk bush. Again we were lying flat on our stomachs on the hot rocks. The lion trotted up the hill and soon lay down again under a bush, facing in our direction. There was very little we could do, other than to continue lying on the ground, waiting for the big cat to make the next move. We lay there for about an hour, constantly glassing the lion on the opposite hill. A jackal wandered past us with a piece of meat in his jaws, confirming our suspicion that there was a kill at the bottom of the valley. Another two jackals came down the hill and disappeared into the scrub next to the mopane tree.

This seemed to be too much for the lion who stood up and proceeded down the hill at a fast pace towards his kill. He then disappeared into the bush at the base of the tree. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for. We immediately got up and started crawling down the hill, using the scattered milk bushes as cover. By now the sun was setting and our time was running out. We eventually reached the bottom of the hill and made our way to another small mopane tree, where I set my client up, so he could use a low hanging branch to rest his rifle on. We were about 40 metres away from the big tree where we suspected the kill to be. By now the adrenalin was pumping, I believe for both of us. We could not

see the lion. Suddenly a jackal bolted out of the scrub and trotted off. I scanned the low bush with my binoculars and eventually made out the tail of the lion which was sticking curled up from a bush. As I pointed it out to my client, the lion moved out of the bush and walked a few metres up the hill, where he lay down again facing us.

I tried to explain to my client to shoot it in the chest, which I could see clearly from my position, but my client could only see the head. We stood dead still. The lion seemed to be staring straight at us, an eerie feeling looking into the big orange eyes. I didn’t say anything more to my client, leaving the decision to him when to take the shot. We stood like that for about five minutes – which felt like an hour – nerves tingling. And then the unexpected crash of the shot. The lion disappeared from view behind the rocks. I asked my client where he had aimed? He told me for the head, and that he was confident about his shot. We moved cautiously out from behind our tree and immediately saw the lion lying on its side motionless. I tossed a pebble onto its stomach. It didn’t move. We approached the lion slowly. I saw that the shot was a good one – just above the right eye. A wave of relief came over both of us, I guess the release of tension during the last two hours. The lion was a superb trophy, with multiple scars from past fights on his face and body. He was lacking in condition though, his bony spine sticking out quite prominently. My client was overwhelmed and knelt down next to the big cat, stroking its mane. I left him with his lion and walked back to the truck. The mountains around me were turning from red to purple. The silence of the desert was complete. What a fantastic day of hunting.

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LION HUNT

Funding conservation

We all know the age-old adage, “If it pays, it stays.” And though it may seem a generalisation and simplification of an intricate and tricky dilemma, at its core is a sense of truth we are hard pressed to dispute. Fundamentally, as the human race, we know that if something has value it has greater import. If something has value, whether that value is big or small, there will always be a greater incentive to protect it. To safeguard it. To appreciate it. And even to try and replicate it or produce more of it. The value placed on elements of the natural world is no different. Wildlife is no different. And so, even though we would theoretically like for something as important as wildlife and nature to be protected on the mere basis of ideological, moral and emotional merits, when push comes to shove, the truth boils back down to that ageold simplified adage… “If it pays, it stays.”

Elzanne McCulloch

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In southern Africa this is no different, and in countries like Namibia we have seen tremendous success in applying this value addition to conservation practices. Our CBNRM (community-based natural resource management) programme is one very good example of how nature and wildlife conservation can thrive by placing value on natural resources so that those who are entrusted to protect it can benefit from the labours of their work. Another very important and easily measurable example of how conservation is made possible through a value-driven approach is hunting. And in Namibia, it is one of the most important factors that contribute to the economic viability and support of conservation of natural resources.

I sat down with Frans Kamenye, the fund manager of the Game Products Trust Fund of Namibia to discuss why hunting matters to the funding of conservation in Namibia. The Game Products Trust Fund (GPTF) was established by an Act of Parliament that was signed in September 1997 and published in terms of Article 56 of the Namibian constitution. The GPTF was formed to ensure that revenue raised from the use of wildlife and wildlife products recovered from state land is reinvested into wildlife management, conservation, rural development and activities aimed at promoting the coexistence of humans and wildlife. Today the GPTF also works extensively in the field of human-wildlife conflict.

WHAT DOES IT PAY FOR?

The GPTF is one of Namibia’s largest financial contributors to conservation and facilitates funding for infrastructure and management projects such as:

• Borehole drilling and maintenance in national parks and communal areas

• Construction and upkeep of game fencing

• Wildlife population management and anti-poaching activities (including everything from employee wages, food, housing, vehicles etc.)

• Human-wildlife conflict mitigation and management projects, including funding of funeral costs, livestock loss and crop damage reimbursements for communities living with wildlife and often suffering as a result

WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM?

The initial capital with which the fund was started was received from revenue of a largescale ivory stockpile auction. Today, however, the GPTF’s funding comes from various sources, including:

• Trophy hunting concessions in communal conservancies (N$10 000 000 - N$13 000 000 per annum)

• Special game quota auctions by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (for example the auction of a small select number of high-value game such as rhino or elephant for hunting or live sale)

• Donations from foreign bodies

• A levy on export fees of huntable game trophies

• Funds derived from problem animal hunts

• Conservation fees from national parks (a new mechanism introduced by government in 2021).

clearer than this… If you have been unable to wrap your mind around the tangible benefits to date, there it is in basic maths. That is why hunting matters.

A PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS

Unlike most other conservation-oriented bodies in Namibia and most parts of Africa, the GPTF was able to continue funding all its activities throughout the pandemic. Tried and tested, the partnership between sustainable use and conservation in Namibia works. The proof is in the GPTF pudding. “Hunting adds value to conservation,” says Frans during our discussion. “When wildlife has value and the system can be legally and ethically controlled, hunting is a powerful tool for conservation support.” He goes on to unpack the extended value chain which hunting supports, a value chain that goes far beyond the value of the animal being hunted. From air travel to accommodation, food and fuel – hunters have buying power and make a tremendous economic contribution during their visit. Beyond that, when compared to photographic tourism, the average hunter’s footprint is far less than that of the average tourist. Frans also notes that the economic benefits to communities are often seen far more quickly within the hunting system than with photographic tourism. Not that there isn’t value in both, but they each play their role in the system.

If you look at the above breakdown, four out of six of the GPTF’s funding mechanisms revolve around hunting. That is two thirds. And the ratio percentage when the actual monetary value of each income stream is calculated is even more than that. As the GPTF is the main source of funding for our country’s largest and most important conservation initiatives, it does not get much

Frans uses the example of two elephants that were put up for hunting auction a while ago. He explains that US$2 million were paid for the hunt of those two elephants. The government, communities and private partners shared in the benefit. How many tourists, at what environmental impact, would we have to source and service to equal that? Especially in the travel-weary current climate. “If hunting is banned, we won’t have the same protection power,” Frans says. If we can find no other reason to defend our nation’s right to utilise its natural resources sustainably, and for the good of the environment and people of the country, then the role that hunting plays in funding conservation should be more than enough.

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If we can find no other reason to defend our nation’s right to utilise its natural resources sustainably, and for the good of the environment and people of the country, then the role that hunting plays in funding conservation should be more than enough."
WHY HUNTING MATTERS

This is not a photograph of the story's 100-pounder.

DIrk de Bot

100-POUNDER CAPRIVI

It was big news in the hunting world in 2019 when a 100-pounder was taken in what used to be called western Caprivi, now Bwabwata West, in the Zambezi Region of Namibia. The hunt was guided by Koos Pienaar. It was the first tusker of this size in Africa since 2015 when a 120-pounder was taken near Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe, and the first in Namibia since 2010 when a client of Kai Uwe Denker took a 105/102-pounder in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy. In an article published in America it was noted that Namibia has never really been 100-pounder territory, which of course is off the mark. Since 1988 when Volker Grellmann started to hunt in what was then known as Bushmanland, the heaviest ivory in all of Africa, on average, came from Namibia. ANVO took, amongst others, four 90-pounders. In 1999 Kai Uwe Denker guided a client to a 101/93 tusker in the West of Khaudum Concession and in 2004 to an exceptional 115/17-pounder in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy. Rièth van Schalkwyk

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The 2019 trophy is great news for Namibia not only because of its size in an area which is considered not to host such big old elephant, but also for Koos, a veteran PH of 20 years, who has guided in that part of Namibia all of his professional life. In this specific concession, which he runs Huntafrica Safaris Namibia, with James and Christine Chapman, he has hunted for the past decade and prior to that another four years. He knows the seasons, the animals’ behaviour and the people of the San community who live in the multiuse park and who benefit directly from the hunting operations. Over the years he also got to know the ways of the poachers. Anti-poaching efforts have been a key responsibility of hunting professionals in the region. Thanks to a concerted effort by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Namibian Defense Force to train a special anti-poaching unit, there have been hardly any poaching incidents in Bwabwata during the past years, back from a time when eight elephants were killed per day.

I caught up with Koos after the last hunting client left when the 2019 season ended, on a rare occasion when he came to Windhoek. He is not a man of words. More comfortable in the veld, around a campfire and with people who understand his world. I wanted to hear the story of this hunt from him. Why it was so exceptional to find bulls with big tusks in Namibia’s Zambezi Region and why there is such an abundance of wildlife in that part of the country now, given the fiercest drought in decades.

I don’t hunt, but as the publisher of Huntinamibia for more than twenty years I have read many boring as well as brilliant hunting stories. The best were those that read like a spy story. Where the reader can put himself in the boots of the hunter. Feel the heat and the wind. Smell the wet grass, the burnt veld, notice the sounds of birds and marvel at the height of the 100 year old camel thorn or knob thorn trees when you sit in their shade to rest. The natural talent of the San trackers who grew up on the land and can interpret the wild. Who recognise trees like city dwellers recognise buildings. Who can walk along a sandy path with hundreds of tracks and then notice the one spoor they have never seen in that area before. A hunter who can describe what it feels like to come so close to an elephant that you smell him. You hear the rumbling sound coming from his throat. That sensation when you track a big bull and suddenly a whirlwind gives you away. He gets your scent, turns around, lifts his big head to look at you, the intruder, and then charges...

You have split seconds to make a decision.

That is what happened when Koos guided a South American hunter to this 100-pounder. They followed the river where the water was at an all time low and no bush on the plains higher than a man’s hip. Even the bark of big trees were stripped for sustenance. The baobabs were consumed to the point where they just disintegrate.

The area was teeming with life because the river was the only source of water. All the pans and the multitude of shallow water holes further north of the river were bone dry. Elephant herds, lechwe, impalas, roans, sables and eland come to drink at the river. Normally the only wind to take into account when hunting in this part of Namibia blows in July and August - a steady west wind in the afternoon. But in 2019, says Koos, there was a constant northeasterly, sometimes gale force wind and endless whirl winds, which makes tracking elephant extremely difficult and dangerous.

On the first day of this specific hunt they found a multitude of elephant tracks, some impressive in size, but at least a day old. Early the next day they set out again and this time they found fresh spoor, and a new big one. Neither Koos nor his trackers recognised that spoor. It was not of a bull they had previously followed. They tracked the spoor for three kilometres and saw that the bull had joined a herd. They waited at a safe distance until he had done his rounds. Satisfied that he was not in luck this time, he started walking away further into the bush. It was really a very big bull. The tusk sticking out under the lip was at least four feet. Koos put up the sticks but just then the wind changed. The bull got wind of them and took off into the bush. They followed in his tracks and after half an hour caught up again, this time in thick brush. He was nervous now. He knew they were there. He stood as if hesitating, then turned abruptly and came straight towards them with big strides. The shot hit him at fifteen yards, he stumbled and sank to the ground.

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Koos Pienaar (left) guided a hunter to a 100-pounder in Bwabwata West in May 2019, Michel Mantheakis from Tanzania accompanied his client on an adventure in Namibia. The circumference of both tusks was 21 inches, the “green” weight of the biggest tusk 100 pounds and the smaller one 79 pounds.

SAAMGEWAAGD Eland Hunt at

All senses alert, I move slowly through the bush, rifle at the ready. The art of hunting eland requires to always move slowly, keenly observe with all your senses and never to relax. In this thick bush one cannot see far. This is eland territory, the large antelope are at home here, the hunter is an intruder and, therefore, at a disadvantage. Hilmar vor Lieres

Iam hunting on Farm Saamgewaagd, Peet Vermaak’s farm in the far east of the Otjozondjupa Region. The terrain is flat and thickly wooded, mainly bush at shoulder height, with here and there a bigger tree in between: camel thorn or sweet-thorn. The hunting area consists of so-called “dunes” and “streets”, although the “dunes” are not perceivably higher than the “streets”, but they are thick sand with a different type of vegetation, mostly apple-leaf trees. The “streets” consist of lime soil, with patches of ghabba bush, blackthorn bush and raisin bush. All of them are difficult to move through and they make it impossible to see further than a distance of thirty metres or so. Here and there you will spot the green sprouts of the notorious poison leaf, a plant that for many years prohibited farming in this area, but allowed the well-adapted game animals to prosper.

I am now moving slowly down such a street. The big tracks led me on since daylight, over

dunes and along streets, for hours. From my previous eland hunts in this same area

I knew that I had a good chance of finding my prey if I managed to keep on the spoor. Getting a clear shot, however, is not so easy. These animals often hear the hunter coming before you even see them. Only the crackling bush hints at a running eland – and a lost opportunity. Then the tracking process has to start all over again.

Eland stop feeding from around eleven in the morning and look for shade under a big tree. There they are very difficult to approach, as they stand looking downwind, while the scent of any danger is carried to them from upwind. They stand listening closely for any suspicious noise. Normally it is only possible to catch them unawares early in the morning or late in the afternoon when they are feeding again.

Is it my imagination or did I just hear a noise in the bush in front of me? It may be a hoof

stepping on leaves, or a branch breaking. I cannot be sure, but it is definitely something big. I stand stock-still and listen intently. The bush is as thick as ever and my vision is limited to about thirty metres. I stoop down and try looking through the bushes from underneath. Nothing. Then, there it is again: I hear movement. It can only be the eland bull that I have been tracking since morning. There are no cattle here, and the ever-present giraffe I would have seen towering over the surrounding bush. The sound of this movement is too heavy for a gemsbok or a kudu. Right in front of me I see the branch of a bush moving. Was it a bird or an animal? The eland I am after?

Now I can see the tips of two horns flashing in the sunlight. It is the eland. He is feeding on the tender leaves at the tip of the branches. I consider moving to a better position, but fear that he will notice me. What should I do? One wrong move and the hunt will have to start all over again. I do not want this to

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happen after three days of searching and tracking and trying.

The next moment the bull makes his move. I see him walking towards a clear patch in the bush. I think I will get my long-awaited opportunity now. I know the bull by now. I have walked on his tracks since dawn. Those were big tracks. Now I can see the horns clearly. They flash in unison as he feeds, the shiny black surface and the sharp tips show against the hazy backdrop of the bush. And now I see the dark grey body, too, moving behind the brush. The eland’s head appears in the open, I see the thick tuft of hair on his forehead. I hear the click-click of his leg joints as he moves forward. Buck fever takes hold of me. My rifle is at the ready, but the sights keep swaying disturbingly. I try to calm myself. The moment has come. If he detects me now he will take flight and keep running without stopping soon.

I can see all of him now. For a moment he is fully in the open. He stops abruptly and looks straight at me. My sights anchor on his foreleg. I press the trigger. The rifle bucks against my shoulder. I hear the shot as if from afar. I see the big animal stumbling, then running. I know with a sense of accomplishment that this is his final run. He crashes straight through the bushes, not around them, breaking branches in his fear and agony. I hear him running for a hundred metres or so, then all goes quiet.

I do not go after him immediately. I force myself to wait. This is a moment of contemplation, of retrospection and rest.

I replay the shot in my mind. It looked good. I did not flinch or pull the shot. The distance was close enough to allow for a good margin of error. I tested my rifle on a target when I arrived on the farm. It was still good. The run of the animal sounded promising. I think I have him! I sit down, take an apple out of my backpack and slowly munch on it, savouring the sweetness and the moisture of the fruit. It amazes me how good a simple fruit like an apple tastes in the bush, when you are tired and where the air is clean and nature looks benevolently down on the hunter.

My rifle is resting across my knees. I look at it and think back to the hunts we did together, me and my trusty 9.3x62 mm Mauser with its dark wood, its black barrel and its wellfunctioning BRNO-action. I feel a sense of comradeship towards the well-used piece of equipment. It never failed me. Together we walked on many tracks before, successfully pursued many a prey animal.

After waiting for ten minutes I get up and start walking on the running tracks. The place from where he took off on his run is clearly defined in the soil. From there his tracks form a straight line through the bush. I soon find blood. The drops of blood lie to the left of the spoor, a sign that the bullet did not penetrate the huge body but mushroomed inside it.

Slowly I follow the blood drops. After sixty metres of tracking I see him lying on his side in the low shrub. He doesn’t move.

I walk up to him in awe. He is huge, a massive body and large horns. I am happy. I tell myself that I earned my success. It was a hard hunt. Three full days of hunting, of walking, of following the spoor. Today I have got him. He is mine. I hunted like a real primitive hunter: alone, without vehicle back-up or helpers, using only my senses and following my instincts.

I take out the stomach and guts and place fresh branches over the body. It will take some time before we recover the animal. First I will have to walk all the way back to the farmhouse to report. I mark the spot with my GPS and start walking back. I am tired but happy. A sense of accomplishment fills my mind. It was a good hunt. To hunt eland in this way to me represents the ultimate hunt. I cannot

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THE ULTIMATE RECORD BOOK

sets new standard for world records

The relevance of trophy hunting in present times becomes more and more a point of discussion amongst different role players, which include the anti-hunting lobby, non-governmental organisations, governments and the hunting industry itself. Major concern is voiced among some hunting organisations that uncontrolled trophy hunting affects the sustainability of game populations.

A point of contention is that in some cases overriding profit motives from operators fuel the aspirations of certain hunters who demand record-book trophies for all species on a considerable list to be hunted during a short hunting trip. Such an objective is often achieved by relegating animals that are still productive and whose genetic makeup is essential to sustain a high-quality species population to the skinning shed.

Spearheaded by well-known Namibian professional hunter, Kai-Uwe Denker, a working group of highly experienced professional hunters laid down certain criteria they believed would address some of the present challenges in the trophy-hunting sector. Rather than merely specifying trophy length as sole criterion for registration in what is known as the Erongo Record Book, they regarded ecological and

game-management principles equally important. A high premium is placed on habitat conservation and to preserve biodiversity in hunting areas.

A further important consideration for accepting registration of a trophy in the Erongo Record Book , is the age of the animal. The working group studied various species intensively over the last three years and identified pointers that would provide indicators for a given age. The primary objective is to register only trophies of animals that had approached the end of their breeding cycle and those that were downright old. As very old trophies are often worn and hence less competitive compared to those of animals collected in their prime, a conversion factor is allocated that compensates for any such potential centimetre losses in length and to create an incentive to target old animals.

The first international trophy exhibition by the Erongo Record Book was held in Omaruru, Namibia in September 2012. Trophy entries from Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Central African Republic were

From now on the ultimate World Number One will belong only to an old bull, taken after his prime and after he has had time to spread his strong genes. In the world of sustainable utilisation of natural resources, Namibia is leading the way in yet another important field to ensure the future of species. Text Dr Jürgen Hoffmann

displayed. A special set of measuring tools were devised to aid the two official measurers in the consistency of measuring. In case there was disagreement between the two, a third measurer would be consulted.

The exhibition hosted a variety of species, including the new springbok Rowland Ward (20 4/8”) and Safari Club International (51”) world record. The springbok had been hunted by Bulgarian hunter Zoltan Pecsi on Farm Büllsport in Namibia in May 2012. Zoltan was guided by young hunting guide, Leo Sauber, who epitomised the new generation of professional hunters, placing the emphasis on enriching the hunting tradition within the grandeur of the African landscape, rather than focusing on the kill. Under his guiding eye, the ram matured past breading age before it was taken, qualifying for the multiplication factor of a grand old trophy that also earned it a world record score in the Erongo Record Book (73.81 points - length and base measurement of longest horn multiplied with

factor1.1). Tragically, Leo was killed in a motor-vehicle accident a few weeks later, leaving a large void in the African professional hunting community, despite his being so young.

Another former Rowland Ward world record on display was a hartebeest (27¼”) hunted on Farm Orumbungo, South West Africa (the pre-independence name for Namibia) in 1974. The bull was still in its prime and as such still predestined to pass on these extraordinary genes. The Erongo Record Book classification system disqualified the trophy. A handsome 16” springbok with horn tips turned backwards was also immature and suffered the same fate, as did the two biggest kudu trophies entered – bulls of 61¾” and 57½” length, as they too had not been fully mature yet, a fact clearly revealed by their still soft and fibrous horn bases.

The working group continues at great personal cost to verify the scoring methods documented in the German publication Erongo Verzeichnis für Afrikanisches Jagdwild by outsourcing research programmes that are destined to support the methods on a scientific basis. Acceptance of the principles laid down by the Erongo Record Book have already been indicated by dedicated hunters, hunting organisations, non-governmental organisations, the Namibian Government, hunting clients and industry leaders.

RULES TO REGISTER

To qualify for registration in the Erongo Record Book, it is important that:

a) hunting takes place under free-range conditions. The hunted game animal is thus able to escape irretrievably by leaving the area in which it is hunted.

b) animals are hunted within their natural distribution range in their natural habitat and not as alien species introduced into the area.

c) To aid natural selection, it is important that at least one species of the large carnivores such as lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, brown hyaena and Cape hunting dog roam the area as a home range.

Trophies from all over Africa are considered, provided the biosphere offers these requirements.

“ The exhibition is destined to become a yearly event in Namibia. It honours those who embrace the concept of returning home empty handed rather than doing so with an immature trophy; and those who relish the African sunsets, heat and dust as unforgettable experiences that are part and parcel of a great hunt to be savoured on yet another return to the age-old continent – in a quest to bag the elusive warrior whose natural life cycle is illuminated by the last sunsets. ”
AWARDS 2021
NAPHA
Conservationists of the Year - MEFT K9 Anti-Poaching Unit
- Sagarias Rooinasie Most Active NAPHA Member - Hunters Support Education
Attendant
the Year - Mathews Mushakwa Most medals group - Otjiruze Safaris, Aru Game Lodges, Onduno Hunting Safaris Most Active NAPHA Member – Hunters Support Education Most Medals Sold Group: 1. Otjiruze Safaris CC 2. Aru Game Lodges 3. Onduno Hunting Safaris Most Medals Sold Individual: 1. Dirk de Bod 2. Manfred Egerer 3. Peter Clausen Hunting Assistant 2021 – Sagarias Rooinasie Camp Attendant 2021 – Mathews Mushakwa Conservationist of the Year 2021 – MEFT K9 Anti Poaching Unit
Minister Pohamba Shifeta and Manie le Roux - Leader of the MEFT K9 Unit Hunting
Assistant of the Year
Camp
of
77 HUNTiNAMIBIA | 2022/23 Hunting with passion in the heart of Namibia +264-81-1290109 info@jagdfarmmecklenburg.com FAMILY HUNT AT KLIPKOP Otjiwarongo/Namibia Tel. +264-67-307957 Mobil +264-81-2128800 www.klipkop.de

Namibia Professional Hunting Association

Agenbach E J Union’s End Safaris 264 81 852 4519 eddie@arugamelodges.com

Ahrens E G RW Rowland Hunting Safaris 264 81 124 6464 info@geva-sales.com

Alberts C J Hunters Pride Taxidermy 264 81 298 7504 huntpride@iway.na

Arnold W J Wildacker Tourism (PTY) Ltd t/a Wildacker Guestfarm 49 170 994 1333 arnold-erbach@t-online.de

Badenhorst C Farm Mimosa 27 82 829 6565 chris@farmmimosa.co.za

Bank J Oshingulu Hunting Safaris 264 81 124 1389 oshi@africaonline.com.na

Barreras Garcia Reboredo L G Na-Gumbo Lodge & Safaris 264 81 337 7536 l.barreras@bartap.com.na

Bartlett D D Onguma Game Ranch (Pty) Ltd 264 81 778 3262 carmen.onguma@gmail.com

Barz PA Rechtsanwalt Barz 49 179 243 8016 pb@rechtsanwalt-barz.de

Basson J M Okamapu (Pty) Ltd t/a Osprey Safaris Namibia 264 81 127 9395 info@ospreyhunt.com

Bauer A K Aigamas Hunting 264 81 253 0947 bauer@iway.na

Baumann H 264 81 129 3573 hbaumann@nubibmountain. com

Binding H R Kataneno Hunt 264 81 284 6441 kataneno@iafrica.com.na

Blaauw J N Dzombo Hunting Safaris 264 81 146 4959 japsie86@gmail.com

Blauwkamp T A Dallas Safari Club blauwkampt@gmail.com

Böckmann H Farm Rudelsburg 264 81 270 9511

Böhmcker A D Moringa Jagd & Gästefarm 264 81 241 5600 moringa@iway.na

Bohn K-H Kleepforte 264 81 356 4080 kleepforte@afol.com.na

Boshoff B Duiker Safaris Namibia 264 81 255 7161 bennieboshoff918@gmail. com

Botes R Zana Botes Safari CC 264 81 127 3976 zanabotes@gmail.com

Botha R A Sesembo Hunting Safaris 264 81 396 3988 ruan@sesembohunting.com

Botha JHB Mountain View Game Lodge 264 81 879 0792 mountainviewgamelodge@ gmail.com

Brand J J Getaway Kalahari Safari 264 81 260 3355 info.kalahari.safari@gmail. com

Brits J J Africa Hunt Safari 264 81 148 6807 justus@afrihuntsafaris.com

Bross K A Klipkop Farming CC P77 264 81 212 8800 brossklaus@aol.com

Brüsselbach G M W 264 81 271 8696 guidomwb@gmail.com

Chapman A C Huntafrica Namibia P77 264 81 127 3711 info@huntafrica.com.na

Chapman J W Huntafrica Namibia P77 264 81 127 3700 info@huntafrica.com.na

Cilliers A D Allan Ciliers Hunting Safaris 264 81 129 0708 allan@cillierssafaris.com

Cilliers W A Allan Ciliers Hunting Safaris 264 81 236 5012 wayne@cillierssafaris.com

Clausen K P Okosongoro Safari Ranch 264 81 731 1532 info@okosongoro.com

Conservation Force Conservation Force 1 504 837 1233 JJW-NO@att.net

Cooper Z D Mahonda Hunting Safaris 264 81 272 4910 info@mahondahunting.com

Cordes C H Bodenhausen 264 81 127 2946 cordesbodenhausen@gmail. com

Cramer A G Namibia Hunting Experience P29 & P40 264 81 129 0370 info@namibia-huntingexperience.com

Dallas Safari Club Dallas Safari Club Corey@biggame.org

de Bod D W Dirk de Bod Safaris Namibia P28 264 81 124 0838 info@safarisnamibia.com

de Lange PJ Hemingway Hunting Safaris 264 81 149 4130 delangp@gmail.com

Deloch H G Hans Hunt Safaris 264 81 261 4825 hanshunt@iway.na

Deloch H P Oryxhunt 264 81 243 1866 oryxhunt@iway.na

Delport P J Eintracht Jagd Safaris 264 81 127 3832 eintrach@iway.na

Delport J H T Toekoms Hunting Safaris 264 81 269 0116 toekomsbowhunting@ gmail.com

Denk H C Jagdfarm Mecklenburg P77 264 81 129 0109 denk@jagdfarmmecklenburg. com

Denker K-U African Hunting Safaris 264 81 201 4867 kaiuwe@erongosafaris.com

Denker H African Hunting Safaris 264 81 206 7682 hagen@erongosafaris.com

Diekmann W G Hamakari Jagdfarm 264 81 249 7927 hamakari@iway.na

Dietz H Askari Tours & Hunting 264 81 636 6944 etendero@iway.na

Doman J F Aloegrove Safari Lodge 264 81 127 4103 aloegrove@afol.com.na

Dorfling B T Hartland Hunting Safaris Namibia 264 81 259 3171 hartlandnamibia@gmail.com

Dresselhaus D Heja Game Lodge +264 81 129 6536 dieterd@afol.com.na

Dreyer D Sandheuwel 27 21 880 9871 divan@delm.co.za

du Plessis P J Bergzicht Game Lodge P15 264 81 128 4825 hannesd@africaonline.com.na

du Toit C J Omutati Game & Guestfarm 264 81 170 0197 neels@ingplan.com.na

Düvel M Farm Omambonde Tal 264 81 371 9798 marcoduvel@gmail.com

Egerer M Nyati Wildlife Art 264 81 124 2080 nyati@nyati-wildlife-art. com.na

Eggert B Omatjete Safaris 264 81 435 5502 hagen@omatjete.com

Eggert H B Omatjete Safaris 264 81 127 9005 hagen@omatjete.com

Eichhoff E Otjitambi Guestfarm 264 81 220 6939 elfried@iway.na

Eichler K U Namibia Safari Services +264 81 222 6285 kai@namsaf.com.na

Engelhard G Jagdfarm GeorgFerdinandshöhe 264 81 254 0356 info@kovahange-safaris.com

Epler C F G Otjikaru Farming 264 81 128 4845 otjikaru@iafrica.com.na

Erni E W Hunting Farm Urusis 264 81 245 1616 erniurus@afol.com.na

Erpf H R Jagdfarm Otjenga 264 81 128 5072 otjenga@gmail.com

Erpf H W Oase Guest & Hunting Farm 264 81 128 8160 farm.oase@gmail.com

Esterhuizen A Estreux Safaris CC 264 81 432 4800 info@estreuxsafaris.com

Esterhuizen W Estreux Safaris CC 264 81 127 7765 info@estreuxsafaris.com

Falk W A Ondjondo Jagdfarm 264 81 242 1146 ondjondjo@iway.na

Fechter H F Falkenhorst Safaris 264 81 243 2132 falcon@iway.na

Fechter M L H Nababis Hunting 264 81 240 5364 mfph@iway.na

Fietz A E Etemba Jagd 264 81 124 6409 info@etemba-hunting.com

Fourie I V Chapungu - Kambako Hunting Safaris 264 81 278 4548 hunting.isabelle@gmail.com

Friedensdorf S Hunting & Guestfarm Ondombo 264 81 269 0838 kfriedensdorf@iway.na

Friedensdorf K Hunting & Guestfarm Ondombo 264 81 302 2896 kfriedensdorf@iway.na

Friederich H H Baobab Game Ranch 264 81 259 2134 driehoek@mweb.com.na

Fritsch H R J International Huntrs Bavaria 491719906016 h.fritsch@arbitas.de

Fug G Terranova Tourism & Farming 264 81 272 1172 / 264 81 393 9640 (WhatsApp only)

majavonreekenfug@gmail. com

Gall E The Riflemaker CC 264 81 308 7360 theriflemaker@yahoo.de

Garbade B T Onduno Hunting 264 81 668 0361 onduno@gmail.com

Garbade H H Onduno Hunting 261 81 809 1108 onduno@gmail.com

Garbade T B H Onduno Hunting 264 81 447 7177 onduno@gmail.com

Gorn M W K A 264 81 124 1355 manfred@kgss.com.na

Grahl I Scheidthof Hunting Safaris 264 81 322 2253 grahl@iway.na

Groenewald J C Okarusewa 264 81 127 9562 okarusewa.j@iway.na

Gruhn B W Bellerode Hunting Jagd Safaris 264 81 250 9323 pbgruhn@iway.na

Grünschloss K Jamy Traut Hunting Safaris 264 81 464 6174 kgrunschloss@yahoo.com

Günther HM AD Hunting 264 81 787 2022 info@ad-hunting.com

Günzel G G T Ovisume Jagdfarm 264 81 128 8624 info@ovisume.eu

Haag A G F Otjikoko Game Ranch 264 81 235 1755 haag@otjikoko.com

Haase H P Haasenhof Gästefarm 264 81 275 2177 haase@iway.na

Haase O Jagd & Gästefarm Wilhelmstal Nord 264 81 275 6911 olaf85@gmail.com

Haase R W Jagd & Gästefarm Wilhelmstal Nord 264 81 127 4911 rolfhaase@iway.na

Hakenjos

G E Hetaku Safari Lodge 264 81 149 1882 hetaku@iway.na

Halenke H Hohenau Hunting Ranch 264 81 248 3868 halenke@iway.na

78 WWW.HUNTNAMIBIA.COM.NA Hunting professionals registered with
info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com International Tel Code +264 (0) Surname Initials Operation Name Contact Detail Email
Initials Operation Name Contact Detail Email
the
Surname
International Tel Code +264 (0)

Surname Initials Operation Name Contact Detail Email

International Tel Code +264 (0)

Halenke R Hohenau Hunting Ranch 264 81 260 0892 hohenau@namibianhunting. com

Hart B S Boscia Wildlife Ventures CC 264 81 124 7795 bhas@byronhart.com

Hauffe W E G Beenbreck Safaris 264 81 124 8887 wilkohauffe@gmail.com

Heckel M Camp Oubokberg 264 81 550 2504 camp.heckel.oubokberg@ gmail.com

Heger G E Otjiruse Hunting 264 81 280 5901 gudrun@otjiruse.com

Heger N O Otjiruse Hunting 264 81 252 2212 nikolai@tandelta.biz

Heginbotham C 64 27 609 4062 cheginbotham@hotmail.co.nz

Heimstädt K-D Game Ranch Transvaal 264 81 602 5029 klausheimstadt@yahoo.com

Hennig G-C Aru Game Lodges 26481 761 6467 christianghennig@gmail.com

Hennig O W Desert Holdings 264 81 142 9191 christo.hennig@deserthold. com

Hennings S P Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris 264 81 612 0075 philip@khomas-highlandhunting.com

Herbst H Bull River CC t/a Kansimba Game Lodge 264 81 142 8778 kansimba@iafrica.com.na

Herzog H Herzog Hunting 264 81 128 1970 ulrike@herzoghunting.com

Hess S B Zighenzani-Africa Safaris 264 81 128 4585 sigurd@zighenzani.com

Hillermann M Blaser Safaris Ltd 264 81 374 1997 blasersafaris@afol.com.na

Hinterholzer P E M Erongo Lodge 264 81 252 5583 erongolodge@iway.na

Hobohm H G Abachaos #2025 Farming 264 67 235 002

Horenburg M Hunting Farm Wronin 264 81 262 2422 wronin@iway.na

Horsthemke B Jagdfarm Stoetzer 264 81 261 9371 hbhorst@iway.na

Horsthemke (Jnr) H H Jagdfarm Stoetzer 264 81 275 7078 hbhorst@iway.na

Horsthemke (Snr) H W Jagdfarm Stoetzer 264 62 561 445 hbhorst@iway.na

Hübner MGH Namibia Safari Services 264 81 124 5807 weffie@iway.na

Hufnagl Y IFN Airfright Logistics 264 81 287 9284 yorck@ifn.com.na

Hugo WK Mazabuka Investments Pty t/a Klein Barmen 264 81 469 6224 kleinbarmen@africaonline. com.na

Hurt R A Robin Hurt Safari Company (Pty) Ltd 264 81 620 0937 robinhurtnamibia@gmail.com

Ipinge J A Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris (Pty) Ltd 264 81 127 8441 hafeni2@gmail.com

Jacobs S M SMJ Safaris 264 81 128 8053 smj@iway.na

Janse van Rensburg

J F Portsmut Hunting Safaris 264 81 140 0984 jansej@tgh.na

Jansen J A B Acacia Hunting Safaris 264 81 292 8525 acaciahunting@gmail.com

Jansen van Vuuren L Leopard Legend Hunting Safaris 264 81 236 0833 info@leopardlegend.com

Joubert S J Bergzicht Game Lodge 264 81 817 3573 steph@bergzichtgamelodge. com

Jupke P G R Jagdportal Namibia 49 171 445 8866 peter.jupke@t-online.de

Kaiser P Kuhwerder Jagdfarm 264 81 381 9180 kaiser@iway.na

Kaiser D U Kuhwerder Jagdfarm 264 81 802 4321 kaiser@iway.na

Kamatuka GU Kataneno Hunt 264 81 285 5746 guk@iway.na

Kibble M W Mike Kibble Safaris 264 81 127 6924 kibble@progress-safaris.com

Kibble P D Trophy Safaris +264 81 124 2800 trophysa@mweb.com.na

Kiekebusch H H Jagd & Rinderfarm Hochfels 264 81 424 1388 hochfels@iway.na

Kirchner EHBK Kou Kuas Adventure Safaris 264 81 4781 882 emile@koukuasadventures. com

Koekemoer G J Omuramba Hunting Lodge 264 81 269 5473 info@omuramba.com

Kotze J C Omatako Hunting Trails 264 81 728 9331 omatakoranch@iway.na

Kotze D J Tiefenbach Bow Hunting 264 81 262 4506 kotzedj@iway.na

Kotze H J L Chapungu Kambako Hunting Safaris 264 81 148 3595 louis@omujevehuntingsafaris. com

Kotzé H R Hugo Kotze Safaris 264 81 259 0770 hugo@namibia-hunt.com

Krafft R Ibenstein Hunting Safaris 264 81 149 2535 rkrafft@afol.com.na

Kreiner H A Ekongo Hunting & Safaris 264 81 229 8444 endlesshorizonsnamibia@ iway.na

info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com

Surname Initials Operation Name Contact

International Tel Code +264 (0)

Kretzschmar K E Onduasu Jagd 264 81 127 1651 onduasu@iway.na

Krieghoff Krieghoff +49 172 734 8753 Ralf.Mueller@krieghoff.de

Kruger J J N Omujeve Hunting Safaris (Pty) Ltd 264 81 129 1877 sumbron@africaonline. com.na

Labuschagne D Ndumo Safaris 264 81 365 0211 huntingdivan@gmail.com

Lambrechts TM Arub Safaris 26481 337 6062 namfab 9@gmail.com

Lamprecht H-L Hunters Namibia Safaris 264 81 843 4747 hannslouis@lamcc.co

Langner A Omuramba Hunting Lodge 264 81 347 4851 info@omuramba.com

Leuchtenberger JM Barg Büttner GmbH +49 173 604 0904 leuchtenberger@bargbuettner.com

Leuschner L I Glenorkie Hunting Farm 264 81 640 6668 glenorkie@iway.na

Levin J 264 81 129 1530 jacolevin@icloud.com

Leyendecker H J Namibia Dreams 49 176 3078 8125 info@namibia-dreams.de

Lichtenberg C Otjisororindi Jagdfarm 264 81 262 6608 lichtenberg@iway.na

Liedtke G P Okondura Nord Hunt & Guestfarm P81 264 81 128 5039 okondura@africaonline. com.na

Lindeque M 264 81 124 5495 malan.lindeque@gmail.com

Ling R W Die Keiler 264 81 247 1091 cowdray@iway.na

Lopes J F Damara Dik-Dik Safaris 264 81 242 6070 dikdik@iway.na

Lourens M J Socotra Island Investment 2648148171.00 martin.l@komsbergfarm. com.na

Lueke M Blaser Safaris Ltd 264 81 374 1997 blasersafaris@afol.com.na

Lüesse H-G H A H Panorama Hunting Ranch 264 81 124 7508 doc.lueesse@icloud.com

Lughofer K F +43 676 430 6282 klaus@lughofer.com

Lühl R Jagdfarm Okuje 264 81 289 6790 okuje@iway.na

Lung J C Ozondjahe Safaris 264 67 306 770 ozond@mweb.com.na

Lüsse D Achenib Hunting 264 81 127 8590 achenib@iway.na

Manusakis D Omatako Big Game Hunting 264 81 128 4440 namibia@omatako-safaris. com

Marais S Keibeb Safaris 264 81 245 7721 info@keibeb.na Maritz K 264 81 783 1751 info@napha.com.na

Marker L Cheetah Conservation Fund 264 81 124 7887 director@cheetah.org

Marnewecke F C Camelthorn Safaris 264 81 260 2405 camelthornsafaris@iway.na

Matthaei R H Ombakata Jagd & Safaris 264 81 279 3364 booking@ombakata.com Matthaei J F E Ombakata Jagd & Safaris 264 81 124 4774 info@namsafcon.com

Mc Donald A Gun and Bow Hunting Safaris / NamAgri 264 81 128 6821 alex@namagri.com

Meier T Ohorongo Safaris 264 81 128 2425 ohorongo@iway.na

Mentrup C H 264 81 663 3317 mogoto1913@gmail.com

Menzel-Ritter M Ritter Safari Adventures CC 264 81 244 1894 info@namibia-jagd.com

Metzger

K B Makadi Safaris P29 264 81 248 7144 katja@makadi-safaris.com

Metzger D Makadi Safaris P29 264 81 128 9017 diethelm@makadi-safaris. com

Meyer J 49 162 289 7608 juergen.meyer2010@web.de

Michaels R Namib Taxidermy 264 81 316 9551 namibtaxidermy@afol.com.na

Michels

S Kambaku Lodge and Safaris 264 81 585 1920 smichels@kambaku.com

Morris K Byseewah Safaris 264 81 124 9593 byseewah@iway.na

Mostert P Afrika Jag Safaris Namibia 264 81 124 2040 erongofp@gmail.com

Mousley

D B Robin Hurt Safari Company (Pty) Ltd 264 81 147 9033 danbmousley@live.com

Muller D A Daggaboy Hunting Safaris 264 81 128 1215 damuller@iway.na

Muller G J Otjinuke Hunting Ranch 264 81 260 6468 gmuller@afol.com.na

Muller L P Okatare Safari 264 81 124 4711 okatare@afol.com.na

Namene R K Boskloof Hunting and Guest Farm 264 81 140 2341 rknamene03@yahoo.co.uk

Nebe J F C K Ovita Game & Hunting info@ovitawildlife.com

Nel N Nelson Nel Hunting Safaris & Tours 264 81 3986533 nelsonnel74@gmail.com

info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com

79 HUNTiNAMIBIA | 2022/23
Detail Email

Surname

Surname

International Tel Code +264 (0)

Neubrech J G Etemba Jagd 264 81 255 5868 etemba@afol.com.na

Neumann J A jaeger1johann@gmail.com

Niel N 43 664 414 2202 Nikolaus.Niel@gmx.at

Nolte N J Nick Nolte Hunting Safaris CC 264 81 220 9420 info@nicknoltehunting.com

Nortje LCA Buccara Wildlife Reserve 27 60 555 5548 chris@buccara.de

Odendaal G H Gohunt Namibia Safaris 264 81 241 8990 gohunt@iway.na

Oelofse A Jan Oelofse Hunting Safaris 264 81 124 7630 alex@etjo.na

Oelofsen B W Etosha View Hunting 264 81 127 3196 boelofsen@afol.com.na

Olivier G H Panorama Rock Game Ranch Safaris 264 81 259 5612 panoramarock@africaonline. com.na

Oosthuizen A J Game Trackers Africa Safaris 264 81 481 9222 jaco@gametrackersafrica.com

Otto C K Hunting Farm Kachauchab 264 81 226 9518 info@namibia-hunter.com

Otto V Ondjiviro Hunting Safaris P56 264 81 294 0141 info@ondjiviro.com

Ouin V J A Cloudy Sky Investments 8 (Pty) Ltd 264 81 475 8667 vamsaabi@hotmail.com

Pack RU Okasandu Farming 264 81 394 9311 info@okasandu.com

Pack H Jagdfarm Ottawa 264 81 124 7165 ottawa@iway.na

Pape I G Okatore Lodge & Safaris 264 81 148 4845 info@okatore.com

Pauly S H Hayas Hunting 264 81 268 3510 shpauly@gmail.com

Pienaar S W African Plains Safaris 264 81 149 1070 schalk470@gmail.com

Pienaar J H Hunt Africa Namibia Safaris 264 81 240 1828 info@huntafrica.com.na

Pienaar J H Hunt Africa Namibia Safaris 264 81 124 3299 info@huntafrica.com.na

Potgieter C Eureka Hunting Safaris 264 81 322 6221 info@eurekahuntingsafaris. com

Powel J R M 264 64 404 795 jrmpowel@gmail.com

Preschel H Namibia Safari Services 264 81 124 4718 harald@namsaf.com.na

Prinsloo S First Class Trophy Taxidermy 49 176 84 59 02 87 stefanus@firstclasstrophy.com

Rademeyer D W Collect Africa Ltd 27 76 785 9085 dave@ northernoperationsafrica.com

Redecker U G Die Keiler - Farm Westfalenhof 264 81 250 4567 westfalenhof@iway.na

Redecker J W Die Keiler - Farm Westfalenhof 264 81 288 3061 J_Redecker@gmx.de

Redecker F W Die Keiler - Farm Westfalenhof 264 81 717 2002 westfalenhof@iway.na

Redecker G A Die Keiler - Farm Westfalenhof 264 81 284 7569 birte.redecker@gmail.com

Reinhardt P M Bushman Trails Africa 264 81 258 5887 bushmantrailsafrica@gmail. com

Reinhardt E C Bushman Trails Africa 264 81 277 6688 kalaharisonne@gmail.com

Ritter R D Ritter Safari Adventures CC 264 81 488 3090 info@namibia-jagd.com

Ritter M M 49 177 456 5924 marco.ritter@googlemail.com

Rode A +49 172 292 1122 rode@kleinemas.de

Rogl B F Otjiruze Safaris CC 264 81 127 0719 barbara@otjiruze.com

Rogl A Otjiruze Safaris CC 264 81 300 4231 alex@otjiruze.com

Rogl M Otjiruze Safaris CC 264 81 209 5035 markus@otjiruze.com

Rogl W Otjiruze Safaris CC 264 81 609 6292 werner@otjiruze.com

Rossouw J A N Moreson Bird & Game Trophy Hunting Farm 264 81 127 4808 moreson@afol.com.na

Rowland R W RW Rowland Hunting Safaris 264 61 222 800 ronnie.rowland@gmx.at

Rumpf J E Combumbi Jagd 264 81 240 9695 combumbi@iway.na

Rust H G W Erongo Hunting Safari 264 81 245 3713 hgwrust@omandumba.de

Sack B Jagdfarm Maroela 264 81 240 9972 maroela@iway.na

Safari Club International Safari Club International laird@safariclub.org

Sauber E BüllsPort Lodge und Farm 264 81 149 4963 ernst@buellsport.com

Savoldelli N Okarumuti Game Lodge P41 264 81 127 2819 info@okarumutigamelodge. com

Schickerling J F Agarob Hunting Safaris 264 81 390 7264 johnkiamsab@gmail.com

Schickerling J F Agarob Hunting Safaris 264 81 240 6456 hunting@agarobsafaris.com

Schlettwein W U B Ovita Game & Hunting 264 81 317 6319 info@ovitawildlife.com

info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com

.COM.NA

Schlettwein J C Otjitambi Guestfarm P77 264 81 201 4233 jcsotjitambi@iway.na

Schmidt W F R Ombu Jagd & Gästefarm 264 81 128 5724 ombufarm@iway.na

Schmidt A M Okatjeru Hunting CC 264 81 128 9389 alan@okatjeru.com Schmidt M 49 151 117 24644 info@ram-schmidt.de

Schmitt C Okambara Elephant Lodge 264 81 467 6448 okambara@iway.na SchneiderWaterberg H Waterberg Game Guest Farm 264 81 124 6688 harry@waterbergnamibia. com Scholtissek Y Otjitoroa Safaris 264 81 225 2288 y.scholtissek@otji-safaris.com Scholz E G All African Safaris 264 81 302 5888 allafricansafaris@gmail.com Schönweiss MA NAPHA Office 264 81 4743960 office@napha.com.na Schoonbee D G SMJ Safaris 264 81 371 0976 dgschoonbee@gmail.com Schubert C F Hunting and Guestfarm Aurora 264 81 128 6459 huntingfarm.aurora@gmail. com

Schuetz GA Hefner Farming 264 81 122 7767 farmhefner@gmail.com Schünemann H Zighenzani-Africa Safaris 264 81 202 7930 henning@zighenzani.com

Schwalm R Omalanga Safaris 264 81 258 0660 reservations@ omalangasafaris.net

Schwarz F O W Ondjou Safaris 264 81 206 0520 fowschwarz@gmail.com

Sentefol R African Shipping Services CC 264 81 306 3025 rainer@ africanshippingservices.com

Skrywer B Aru Game Lodges 264 81 204 3184 info@arugamelodges.com

Slaney W H Otjimbondona 264 81 127 4358 wilfried@profilesafaris.com

Smit D J Orpa Hunting Safaris 264 81 288 6587 / 264 81 288 6587 hunting@orpahunt.com

Spangenberg J J Gras Hunting Lodge 264 81 127 1311 grasgame@iway.na

Sternagel H M F Ganeib Jagd & Gästefarm 264 81 122 0525 helen1@iway.na

Sternagel W K Ganeib Jagd & Gästefarm 264 81 127 0465 ganeib@iafrica.com.na

Steyn F RL Farm 264 81 127 4050 office@rl-farm.com

Strauss J Kowas Adventure Safaris 264 81 2956 581 kowasadv@iafrica.com.na

Strydom H J Shamwari Farming PTY (Ltd) 264 81 147 6953 shamwari@iway.na

Stumpfe K Ndumo Safaris 264 81 128 5416 karl@huntingsafaris.net

Svenblad H Otjandaue Hunting Farm diane.svenblad@aland.net

Swanepoel D B Ekuja Hunting Namibia 264 81 311 1051 ekuja.hunting@gmail.com

Swanepoel A Aru Game Lodges 264 81 128 9222 264 81 128 9223 accounts@arugamelodges. com

Swanepoel SFS Leras Hunting Safaris CC 264 81 343 3334 lerashunting@gmail.com

Thiessen J Otjimbuku Hunting Farm 264 81 142 6407 otjimbuk@iway.na

Thude S Wild Erongo Safaris 264 81 214 7744 hunt@wilderongo.com

Traut P J Jamy Traut Hunting Safaris 264 81 147 3816 info@trauthunt.com jamytraut@gmail.com

Trümper B Airport Hunting & Guestfarm 264 81 124 1240 max.trumper@gmail.com Trümper U Airport Hunting & Guestfarm 264 81 128 8288 info@airportfarm-namibia. com

Uffindell

AF Aloe Hunting Safaris +264 81 128 5959 aloesaf@mweb.com.na

Utz G African Safari Trails 264 81 128 5074 african-safari-trails@afol. com.na

Utz (Snr) W 264 81 124 0787 wilutz@iway.na van den Berg

info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com

80 WWW.HUNTNAMIBIA
Initials Operation Name Contact Detail Email
Initials Operation Name Contact Detail Email
WJ Mashété Safaris 264
van der Merwe R Otjandaue Hunting Farm
81
1882
van der Merwe J S Namibia Safari Corporation P81
81
van der Westhuizen N H Quadrant Namibia (Pty) Ltd / Ikhanas 264 81 127 0400 nico@ikhanas.com van der Westhuyzen D Aru Game Lodges P7 264 81 129 5536 info@arugamelodges.com van der Westhuyzen G N Aru Game Lodges P7 264 81 296 2651 gysbert@arugamelodges.com van Dyk C Chui Hunting Safaris 264 81 207 9043
van Heerden B H Van Heerden Safaris, Ondjou Safaris P40 264 81 228 2189
van Heerden P W J JJ Hunting Safaris 264 81 124 7617
International
81 149 1853 info@mashete.com
264
288
otjandaue@iway.na
264
127 0906 jaco@jsvdm.com
chuihunting@gmail.com
vhsaf264@gmail.com
johannjjhs@iway.na
Tel Code +264 (0)

van Heerden C A Namibia Trophy Hunting Safaris 264 81 236 6080 namibiatrophy@gmail.com

van Niekerk H H Uhlenhorst Hunting Safaris 264 81 294 4676 hoecon@afol.com.na van Rooyen Q Portsmut Hunting Safaris qvr@tgh.na

van Schalkwyk PB Farm Marienhof Trust 264 81 128 5511 philvs@afol.com.na

van Zyl A J L Track A Trail Safaris 264 81 244 0401 trackatrailsafaris@hotmail. com

Veldsman J F Shona Outdorr Safaris and Lodging CC 264 81 128 3105 shona@ africanhuntingnamibia. com / shonaoffice@ africanhuntingnamibia.com

Viljoen E P Tactical Sports CC 264 81 144 4131 rico@tac-sport.com

Vogel I W Hunting & Guestfarm Gross Okandjou 264 81 127 3543 immo.vogel@gross-okandjou. com

Vogl M 49 172 819 9966 info@pferde-vogl.de

Voigts R W Voigtskirch 264 81 345 5676 voigtskirch@iway.na

Voigts U D Krumhuk 264 81 256 0105 ud.voigts@krumhuk.com.na

Volek C J Blaser Safaris Ltd 264 81 675 3320 conwayvolek@gmail.com

von Gossler O Orua Hunting Farm (Die Keiler) 264 81 270 0660 orua@iway.na

von Hacht H J Okatjo Jagdfarm 264 81 294 0463 okatjo@iway.na von Hacht (Snr) F W Okatjo Jagdfarm 264 81 129 0137 frido@iway.na von Koenen S A Jagdfarm Hüttenhain 264 81 256 0054 svkoenen@afol.com.na von Schuman H W Omupanda Jagd Safari CC 264 81 302 9241 info@omupanda.com von SeydlitzKurzbach H S Schoenfeld Hunting & Safaris 264 81 129 8999 schoenfeld.safaris@gmail.com von SeydlitzKurzbach W Immenhof Hunting & Guestfarm 264 81 127 7243 werner@immenhofhunting. com von SeydlitzKurzbach F W Immenhof Hunting & Guestfarm 264 81 128 5858 immenhof@iway.na

von Treuenfels M J G CIC 49 171 778 0586 michivt@t-online.de Walker C J D Cliff Walker Safaris 263 77 216 8253 cliff@cliffwalkersafaris.com

Weiken CFH 49 171 734 7864 christian@weiken.de Wenske M C B Klipkop Farming CC 49 171 473 9485 wenske_m@hotmail.com Wilckens S Omateva Hunting 264 81 243 7242 omateva@iway.na

Wilckens H Okaturua Hunting P41 264 81 148 8378 okaturua@afol.com.na Wilckens I Die Keiler - Jagdfarm Ongangasemba 264 81 216 5012 onganga@iway.na

Willnegger L 32 473 1711 93 l.willnegger@gmail.com Willnegger (Dr) E 32 4832 7202 ew@montgomery-ip.eu Witjes T G F 31 6 5250 2622 european@planet.nl

Wölbling G Waterberg Hunting Namibia 264 81 246 2075 gerd@hellabron.com

Woortman DV Omatako Hunting & Tourism (Pty) 264 81 700 74 92 omatako@omatako.com

Woortman H C Omatako Hunting & Tourism (Pty) 264 81 847 7784 omatako@omatako.com

Woortman V H H Omatako Hunting & Tourism (Pty) 264 81 233 2131 omatako@omatako.com

Wrede A F A Gurus Farm 264 81 129 4252 wredemad@africaonline.com.na

Wright R Derleo Dev. (Pty) Ltd Hunting Op. Okatjeru Hunting Safaris 264 81 122 1720 info@okatjeru.com

Ziller H H 264 85 229 2885 hansziller@hotmail.com

Zimny M Haasenhof Gästefarm 264 81 262 3339 michizimny@gmail.com

Hunting on Okondura

info@napha.com.na / www.napha-namibia.com

81 HUNTiNAMIBIA | 2022/23
Surname
Initials Operation Name Contact Detail Email
International Tel Code +264 (0) Gerhard and Martina Liedtke www.okondura.com | +264 81 447 8155
2.5 hours
little paradise
- the fourth generation of the Liedtke family managed hunting & guest and cattle farm.
Hunting and Guest Ranch - Namibia Approximately
northwest of Windhoek lies our
Okondura

napha

namibia professional hunting association

for peace of mind - hunt with a napha member

Sustainable trophy hunting is applied conservation since 1974

NAMIBIA www.napha-namibia.com info@napha.com.na