Thursday, March 10, 2016

A bit about our hunting safari in Namibia


When we landed in Windhoek, Namibia, I was surprised how quiet it was. There were no taxi drivers trying to grab our bags. There were no local people trying to sell us something. It was quiet. No one there but the people coming off the plane and a few people picking them up. It was very similar to landing in a North American airport.  I was a bit in shock. It was modern. Again nothing like I expected. You'd think I'd start researching places that we will be going to.......

The south part of Namibia is more like the Africa I had in my mind. It is dry and desert-like. We drove 6 hours south of Windhoek. I'm not sure how far it was, in Canada it would have taken longer to drive. But we drove 160km /hr. Yes, 160km/hr
There are speed limits (120) but most people don't follow them. 
On this 6 hr trip, 3.5 hrs was on gravel roads. We passed 4 other vehicles during this time. 
We are in the Kalahari desert. 
Red sand.
And there is wildlife
Blue hartebeest
Red Lechwe 
And more.....
 1000's and 1000's of animals running around this area

We were there to hunt. Our goal was to hunt for Gemsbok, Springbok and Kudu.
They are all beautiful animals and they are also very good to eat. Our red meat diet at home is mainly wild game. So this was exciting to be able to try different species of deer type animals.

All of the meat is used. The hunting lodge that we stayed at is a family run business. The father and son work together as hunting guides and the daughter in law took care of paperwork and food and other organization when she isn't out in the field with the guys or endurance racing her horses. 

My favorite part of this week was meeting the Kotze family. They are amazing! We loved them and the other people like their uncle Johan and Aunt Ena. We spent time at their ranch hunting and fell in love with them. The people who settled this area alongside the people that come down from North Africa at the same time are the German Dutch people. They came down in search of new lands and found many tribes of bush people. Alongside the North Africans they settled this area. It was so interesting to meet so many "German" type people that look and somewhat sound like my family. They all speak English and Afrikaans language, which is a dialect of German/Dutch. So before long I was picking out German words and told them they needed to start watching what they were saying about us, because I was starting to understand. Lol

Our days were spent getting up early (again) and heading out before the hot, 38degree heat came. Some days we went all day through the heat, bombing over the red Kalahari sand dunes in search of game. Hendrick, our PH (hunting guide) was so amazing at very quietly telling whoever had the gun, which animals needed to be hunted to keep the herd healthy. They manage their herds by taking out the older stock and make room for the younger ones to mature and keep the group healthy. They always leave the females, unless they are injured or sick. 
My job was to take help spot game, take pictures and most importantly try to get Hendrik to smile or laugh. I was successful! 

The rest of our time when we weren't hunting, we hung around with the family. They took us out on drives to see all the animals they raise on the farm. They took us out for a sundowner. Which is where we drove out to a high red sand dune before sunset and hiked around looking for bushman artifacts till sunset. We then sat on the dune drinking a glass of wine watching the sun set. It was a beautiful evening. 

We will miss this family and have already been thinking of others from home who might want to have this same hunting experience and maybe we could go back with them one day. :)

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