NAMIBIA: My safari went like a dream!!! what an experience!

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Raseni, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Raseni

    Raseni AH Senior Member

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    So I am back in Denmark after 16 days in Namibia.
    One week of hunting and one week of driving around.

    What an amazing country, and what an amazing place to hunt. I hunted with Japie Engelbrecht, and he was super professional and had some great hunting areas. Especially kudus was abundant on his land. And this was the whole reason for chooseing him, a 60" kudu bull was my dream. I saw many big bulls in the 55"-57" region, and I shot the biggest one we saw the two days hunting for it, a 59,05" bull, so as close to 60 as it could be almost.

    I also shot 2 springbucks, a blue wildebeest, an oryx, a plains zebra, a duiker, a steenbuk, impala and a warthog. Also shot a jackal.

    I will be posting the story from there, along with photos within the next few days.

    But I will highly recommend Japie Engelbrecht to anyone looking for a nice guy, a very professional hunter, and a great lodge to stay....all at fair prices.

    best regards
    Rasmus Nielsen
     
  2. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Congrats Raseni, Always good to hear when a hunt goes well. Love to see some pictures.
     
  3. Dox

    Dox AH Veteran

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    Great!!! Awaiting pics
     
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to more Rasmus!
     
  5. kuduman

    kuduman AH Veteran

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    i spent 2 weeks on a self drive myself. where did you drive? sounds like you also had a great hunt. that kudu is a monster. awaiting the pics.
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations on your hunt Rasmus.
    Sounds like it was very productive.
    Look forward to the Kudu picture.
     
  7. ndbwhnter

    ndbwhnter AH Enthusiast

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    Congrats on your hunt Rasmus. Can't wait to see some pics.

    nd
     
  8. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Congrats on your hunt Rasmus. Awaiting pictures. Hilsen fra Norge.
     
  9. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    Welcome to the site Rasmus.

    Very nice to hear the good news of a successful trip. So now you are dreaming of a return trip.

    Waiting the pics.
     
  10. Raseni

    Raseni AH Senior Member

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    Biiiip biiiip sounded far away in the distance, and my tired eyes slowly opened up. The first morning here at Neuhof Safari, and after the warm welcome I got on arrival yesterday, I was still somewhat tired. The night progressed quietly, at least what I can remember but it is now sure I have looked after both kudu and springbucks in my dreams It is 05.30 and the coffee has just brewed. We (me and my ex-girlfriend) live in our own little hut with a small kitchenette, and I sit on the porch, enjoying the suns red rays that color mother Africa's soil, slowly ascend at the same pace as my eyelids when the alarm clock rang. In the distance between some bushes, I can see a couple of springbucks grazing.

    It's a fantastic feeling to sit here half an hour east of Gobabis in Namibia, and know that the next week I need to hunt most of the exciting antelopes one finds here in the area. It is now nine months since I first emailed with Japie Engelbrecht, my PH for the next 7 days here at the lodge, and now I am here, it?ï½´s all hard to believe.

    We have agreed on some species of which we will attempt to hunt, but I've said that I am open to other animals,if we stumble upon some great trophies. As it is mostly the hunting I've come and I want to take things as they come, and not shoot from a shopping list. But if all goes as planned, the trophies we will go after are; Kudu, Oryx, Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Springbuk, Steenbuk, Warthogs and if we get a chance for a good Eland bull, Impala or Duiker, then we will try for them too.

    The first morning would prove to be difficult. We saw many animals, but everyone was very difficult to reach. We saw both Red hartebeest, black and blue wildebeest, grey duiker, steenbuck, springbuck, eland, kudu are and zebra, but mostly female animals or young males. We decided to stalk through a dense area to see which tracks we could find. It did not take long before our tracker Ben was on the trail of what would prove to be a good herd of wildebeest. When we reached approx. 200m from the flock, most of the animals were lying down in the shade of some trees. We looked long at them to search for a good bull. Meanwhile, the wind shifted around in their direction, resulting in they got scent of us and was rapidly away through the dense bush. It was about lunchtime and we decided to drive back to the lodge to get some food and a cool drink.

    Back out in the bush, we saw very few animals, but as the sun was just about to go down, Japie spotted a large flock oryx. There were approx. 25-30 animals in the flock, but they had seen us and ran away. We decided to try to stalk after them anyway. We walked and walked at a brisk pace, but it did not we gain many meters on the pack. They stayed about 400m ahead of us the whole time.. In the last sunlight we finally got good contact with the flock and a fine bull was free of approx. 200m, but in the yellow high grass, it was very difficult to judge where to put the shot and I decided it was time that to stop for the day. Japie respected my choice and said it was better to stop if I was not sure. We went back toward the car, knowing that there would be more chances in next days hopefully.
    I was thinking on the way home in the car I was surprised how good senses the African game have and how hard it can be to get on shooting range of the the big herbivores. The evening passed with good food, grilled wildebeest and accessories in the form of cold beer and Amarula, and talks abount the country, hunting and wildlife.

    When it was about 10pm, the bed was calling, and the first day in the bush in Namibia was over, but without any trophies.

    D. 27/8-11
    Today we stood up a little earlier than yesterday as Japie believed that if it was so hot it would not hurt to go out a bit earlier. He was right. We started with a light breakfast meal at. 05.30 and was already on the go at. 6am. Even though it may be very hot during the daytime, even as cold it is during the night and this morning was incredibly cold. We drove out on the terrain, and after approx. half hour of driving we ran into a herd of wildebeest at about 30 animals. We tried to stalk to them, but they had already seen us when we stopped the car, then they quickly disappeared into the thick scrub. We drove on down the dusty road and soon we saw four goryx, it was a single bull and three cows, but the bull was very short in the horns, so we decided not to try to stalk him. Shortly after our experience with oryx, we found two lone wildebeest, and they looked like two fine animals, it was hard to judge them accurately as they walked in tall grass and quite dense bushes, so we decided to try to look more closely at them. We began our approx. 500m long stalk into the bush. First, Ben our tracker, then Japie, and finally me. When we got to about 200m from the wildebeest they had still not discovered our presense and Japie did not think it would be wise to stalk further as our cover would disappear. He folded up the shooting stick, and said it was the back one who was the best bull, and should I take if I felt safe shooting. We stood around 10min and looked at the two grazing bulls, who stood in line with each other half covered with bushes, making a shot to them impossible. But with patience one walked in front of the other, and was now completely free, unfortunately it was the smaller of the bulls. We had to wait about 5min more for the next one who still stood behind a large bush. Japie said when it gets out of the bush; you just keep right on the shoulder blade, and just make a good shot. The bull stepped forward with his head down while it was grazing and I could see it might reach the next bush before it put its head up again. I could feel the adrenaline flowing in my body, and the fever began to announce his arrival. I closed my eyes, told myself that I had not travveled all the way to shake as aspen-leaf, and I could that afterwards shooting. I opened my eyes, held right on the blade, and let the bullet go. The bull went straight into the ground. I quickly repeated my cal. 270win if I had to give another shot. The bull was staying down, and Japie said: "Great shot!" We waited a few minutes and began our walk toward the bull. Emotions tumbled around inside me, first time in Africa hunting, and now my first African animal had fallen for a good shot. When we reached the bull, I think I was one of the happiest people on the planet. Both Ben and Japie congratulated me, the great bull that Japie thought was about nine years old and outcast of the flock, so the perfect animal to shoot. We took the obligatory trophy pictures, before the driver came with the car and picked us all incl. the bull. On the way home from the lodge, I could not help but smile, joy and relief at having shot the first African trophy was bigger than my words can describe here.

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    After driving home with wildebeest bull we drove back out now after hartebeest or oryx. The sun began to bake down and it meant very few animals were out , we saw one herd of eland, and a few steenbuck which unfortunately was female and a young male, but they were all beautiful.

    We agreed that most animals probably had sought shade, and drove to a very enclosed area. There we found a huge flock of animals. There were some hartebeest, oryx, eland and Burchell's zebras. Most had seen us come in the car and was already moving away. We tried anyway, and came in at approx. 120m of a small flock oryx who stood in close thickets under some large trees. Again, there was only one bull, which was not a good trophy, and the rest were females. We drove home to the lodge, and talked about that it could be the oryx who was the shy and difficult for me, and not the kudu which otherwise is like a ghost for many.
    Back at the lodge waiting Japie's wife Lize with lunch.

    After lunch, Japie thought the oryx cheated us enough, so he thought we should try for kudu. We had agreed before I came here that the most important trophy for me was a big kudu, and our goal was around 60 inches. We drove to an area about 30km from the lodge where they had cattle. The terrain was quite hilly, and when we got well into the bush, we began to see one kudu after another. We saw many fine bulls at about 50-55 inches, but the really big one, we did not see. We drove a few hours, and saw around, without exaggeration around 120-150 Kudu?ï½´s inc. females, but many fine bulls too. Suddenly when we got on a little sandy path, Japie asked Leon our driver to stop. Approximately 200m ahead sits three cheetahs which has just caught a young kudu female. We drove slowly, while Japie says that it would be the perfect position to shoot a cheetah. He says that they almost always come back to a fresh "kill" and it is the best chance you have for cheetah, but it is a situation, which rarely occurs. He said that in about a weeks time a spanish hunter is arriving, who comes to hunt cheetah, and that we should be very happy to have experienced it on our first safari. The blood is still quite fluid in kudu and Japie believes that is 15-20min since they made their kill. We stay a few minutes and look for the cheetahs, and see one a few hundred yards away in the tall yellow grass. It was so well camouflaged and we praised ourselves lucky not to be prey for a cheetah.

    The rest of the afternoon was spent looking for the big kudu bull, and first at the last moment of the day when we went over a small hill where we could look out over a lake, we looked at the other side of the lake and saw three bulls, one was really great . Japie ment between 57-60 inches, unfortunately it was quite impossible to try to get to it because all three bulls had seen us. We watched them disappear into the dense thicket, and began to drive home.

    Next morning we were ready at 6am to try the area around the lodge after the oryx and hartebeest. But the oryx would prove to be extremely difficult to find. When we finally found some oryx it was either females or males who did not bear a good enough trophy in Japie's opinion. We decided to try to stalk into the area, where we the day before we had seen several oryx. On the way in there, we encountered a steenbuck, also one of the species I would love to shoot. We tried to get close to it, but it disappeared all the time for us in the long grass. Suddenly it was there at around 60-70m, but most of the animal was still covered in grass and Japie said it was probably the best chance we got. I put up on Japie's arm that held by the foldable shooting stick, found the little animal through the binoculars, and let the shot fall. It ran approx. 10m as if nothing had happened, and unfortunately I had to admit I had missed the steenbuck. We moved a little closer and the little buck continued a little further away from us. After only a few minutes more of stalking, we could again see it at around 60m. Japie's folded the shooting stick out, I put up. One might even suspect that it stood broadside to the grass, I found it in the telescope, was slightly down on it and let the shot fall. The buck disappeared into the binoculars, and I felt safe. Japie and Ben congratulated me and we started walking toward the place it fell. There we found the little steenbuk dead, the shoot was a bit low, but deadly. Japie's was happy and felt quite certain that it would get a gold medal with the approx. 10cm long horns. I was happy to get the little steenbuk, the chances for them are usually from the car, and only a few seconds to find the animal and shoot before they are gone, or sit at a waterhole and wait, so I felt very fortunate to have had a stalk on it.

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    We let Leon go home with it to the lodge. We continued throughout the morning after the wild oryx, but unfortunately without success. Neither Japie or I had imagined that oryx should cause us so many problems.

    As we drove on around hunting area we spotted a really big red hartebeest bull, but unfortunately it had also seen us come driving, and disappeared into the bush. In our ongoing search of a good oryx we also saw a really good Duiker, but unfortunately he was also too fast for us.

    After lunch we decided to try again after kudu, but in a different area one yesterday. Japie told that they had shot a 63-inch kudu bull on the field, and three weeks ago had another client shot a 55 inch out there. We drove off full of hope, but had to realize that a large kudu was not to find out the day. We again saw several kudu bulls about 50 inches, but nothing bigger. Don?ï½´t get me wrong, a 50 inch kudu bull is a great trophy, but I was looking for the granddaddy! As we drove around the area we saw some warthogs, but again only young animals and females. Suddenly, Japie's says "stop" to the driver Leon. There about 80 meters from the car ran a big warthog, I laid up the riffle automaticly up to the car body, and Japie's said it's an old pig, just shoot, and in the same second as Japie's gave the green light to shoot, I let the shot fall and hog collapsed in the tall grass. "Yes" Shouted Japie, it is a very old hog, with a good thick trophy. We went through the withered grass and thorny bushes, and there he was laying in the tall grass. What an old hog, what a body on these animals. Japie and Ben congratulated me, but he repeatedly said, "perfect shot, perfect shot." The hog was hit right on the blade, and had died in the shoot. It was a pretty old hog, Japie said because it had huge warts on the head, and was extremely thick in the teeth. The teeth were worn down from rubbing against the hard red earth, but still a super trophy.

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    I was happy how the day had passed, both with the fine steenbuck and a really old hog. The day was nearly complete. We searched a little further after a good kudu bull, but unfortunately again without success. Finally we got our tracker Ben spotted what seemed to be a good bull at about 500m distance. But just as quickly as it stood in the middle of the thicket, it was gone, although it has no clue about our presence had. They were really like a ghost, but the oryx still had the record of disappearing into the blue.

    We drove about 20km to the lodge a little frustrated we had not found the big kudu, although we both knew that a 60 inch kudu is not an everyday thing in any districts throughout Africa.

    Next morning we drove from the lodge at 6am to the hunting area to look for oryx, but also this morning, Diana did not smile on us. We saw only one bull who did not wear a particularly good trophy. When the time approaching 8am, Japie said that he thinks we should drive out to his other districts and look for a big springbuk. There was approximately 60km drive, and when we reached the hunting area which proved to be a cattle and sheep farm, the owner of the farm greeted us. He was something of a special character, very loud and boastful. But otherwise seemed nice. After the obligatory small talk which all Namibians have time too, we continued into the area. Fairly quickly we saw a small flock springbucks and a little from the herd stood a very good ram. We jumped of the bed of the pickup and began to stalk towards the ram. It had, however, lured us, and ran about 100m away before it was stopped up and secured. We tried to stalk further for it, for about 20min, but it remained constantly more than 200m away from us, which I think was slightly too long. We headed into the wind to look for other springbucks. After about half an hour walk where we had met several springbucks and impala. On a small dirt road we found a really good springbuck cross the small path we walked on. He stopped and looked straight at us three strange characters when sat in the middle of his path. He had stared at us for about 5 minutes, he decided that there was no danger, and went on the path to the pasturing. We began our approx. 400m long stalk. We tried always to keep ourselves hidden behind bushes and small trees, but it was very difficult, fortunately the wind was good. Every time he saw us, we stopped and waited until he graze again. When we were at approx. 200m he turned and walked back the way he had come from. Japie thought maybe he would go over to another small herd standing in a small clearing in some brush, and true enough. We stalked towards the others and when we got into the ca. 120-130m Japie said it was too risky to try to come closer. He folded the three-legged stick out, and said when he got clear of the bushes I had to take him. I held right on him, but could really feel the fever start to come, more than with any of the other animals so far. The waiting seemed like an eternity, but suddenly he was free, he stood with his head down, but Japie's said it should be now, and I should just relax and take a good shot. I struggled desperately with my shaking that topped the Richter scale while Japie's said "calm breathing, and good shot." I let the shot go and buck jumped out about a meter into the air before he ran at full gallop away. Shit, I thought I had made a bad shot. I asked Japie what he thought he replied, doubtful, "you hit him, but probably a bit far back." Shit, I thought I had wounded, which is a hunter's worst nightmare, but something that most will experience in their hunters life. We went up to where I shot him, where we quickly found a rather large puddle of blood. Japie smiled and said, "it is good enough." Ben led us along the trail of the buck, with clear sign of blood. After we had followed track approx. 120m, we found the buck. And what a buck. Large thick horn with ends not folding in towards each other but are curved backwards almost like a chamois.

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    Japie's joy was not to hide, and mine neither. It was a really great springbuk. The shot was back a little, but nothing critical, but the buck had stood a little angled, and the exit wound was around the middle of the animal. Happy we had a Coke to drink and talked about the details of the stalk and how much wildlife there was on the hunting area. After the cold refreshment, we agreed that we would look for a good impala as Japie knew there were some good rams in the hunting area. It was not really my plan to shoot an impala, but as I had said to Japie, I came to hunt, and not shoot on order. I would take the chance that presented itself, and hopefully return to Africa for another good time for the things I did not get this time. After a short drive, we found four impala rams that grazing together, where one was very good. They saw us on the car and started running, but fortunately not more than 100m ahead, where they again began to graze. We began our stalk full of hope and excitement and in good wind. When we got about 80m from the rams, hiding behind a small bush, we could see the four rams, where the best one just lacked a little to get clear of a bush, it was a perfect situation. Japie put the shooting stick up, and when the ram stepped forward and stood free, I let the shot go, and the ram sank directly into the ground. We shouted of joy, and continued forward and Japie thought it was a good impala. Japie was right! The Impala was a gold medal, with nice horn that was almost perfectly straight and parallel to the to each other.

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    A super morning after the failed hunt for oryx.

    We sped home, while we talked about what the afternoon would go like. Japie thought it would be best to go for kudu bull, after several years of experience, he seems to shoot most late afternoon.

    After lunch we drove back towards the districts where we had seen very nice bulls two days earlier in our pursuit of a 60-inch kudu. We had only just come into the hunting area and then began to see kudus everywhere. Females and bulls, but all the animals were either young bulls or bulls at maximum 50-55 inches, which is also very nice trophies, but it was the biggest we were after. Suddenly we see far ahead a kudu in the shade of a tree, Japie taps the cars roof for our driver to stop, looks through his binos. ï½­rrrh It's a really big kudu, but unfortunately only has one horn. "Damn" I thought, I wonder if we ever get the chance to a big bull with both horns. We continued to drive, and met several big bulls over 50 inches and even a really big kudu, but again only with a horn. I asked if he Japie usually se a lot of abnormalities or lack of horns, he promptly replied "no" and that he also was surprised to have seen two on the same day. We continued our whereabouts, and suddenly I see a jackal from the the car. Japie is not so fond of jackals, probably like most other African farmers, and I put the rifle up on the back of the car, whistled, and it stopped at approx. 70m and then I shot. My cal. 270win. caused the jackal to go directly into the ground. Now I had also shot a jackal, a bit like our own foxes home, which I also think is very exciting to hunt.

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    After picking up the jackal up, we drove on while the sun was slowly setting. We then again saw lots of kudus, but nobody quite had the trophy what we had planned. Suddenly in the last light we see a bunch of her animals with a bull, Japie looks quickly at the bull from the car, and says "50, maybe 52 inches, He Will not quite make it". We drive about ten feet forward, and we see a bull anymore. Japie look around 30sec. the bull and the burst out, "Yes, This is a nice kudu". Today's light is at its absolute darkest and in what would be called civil twilight, and I realize a stalk to the bull is impossible. Japie says it is the best bull we've seen out of all the many bulls we have seen, and it is our best chance. I decide to shoot from the rear of the truck because the females had already started to, and the bull was walking further away from us. The distance I estimateded with Japie to be around 250m, which I think is a quite far shot for me, especially on walking animal, but I had trained my shooting well before the trip, and felt quite safe about taking the shot. I Put I put the riffle up on the side of the car body, and followed the bull that is constantly behind branches from shrubs. We backed up 5-10m, from where I had a more clear shot. I wait until the bull was out in the open, Japie whistled and whistled to try to get the bull to stop, but in vain. I thought this is the last chance, and I can see a few meter ahead of the bull the shrub begins again which would prevent a safe shot. Japie whisper; "make a good shot" as it would be difficult to track the bull into the darkness. I find the shoulder on the bull, let the shot go. The moment I shoot, I saw only a flash of light in the scope from the rifle, and then total darkness. I reload quickly, trying to find the bull again. I looked at Japie who looks a little worried. Oh no I think it happened. The wounding of a large animal in almost total darkness, a very bad combination. I felt sure of about my shot, but asked Japie if I hit, he replied "you hit, but I think a little too far back." We begin promptly at a brisk pace to search for place where I shot at him, with two trackers in front. When we arrived at the place where we think I shot the bull, Japie sends one tracker in one direction and the other in another, and I was going with Japie in a third direction, where he says he saw the dust whirl. Japie was approx. 10m in front of me when he says "Yes". There he was, approx. 50m from from where I shot him, a fine bullet slightly behind the blade. Emotions pass over me. From having the feeling of a good shot, to total uncertainty, and fear of having wounded a kudu bull, he lies right at my feet. A huge kudu, beautiful and majestic as the biggest member of spiral horn family should be.

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    the bullet after being pulled out of the kudu bull.


    All the trackers, Japie and I cheer. I catch myself shouting out a loud, Wuuuhuuuh! While we watching majestic animal. We are debating about the size. Japie says dry, "over 55 inches." Ben says "if it is under 58 inches, he would stop hunting," and Leon our driver and the second tracker says, "59 inches". It is so overwhelming that one's dream of a big kudu has come true that my shot was good and that the giant animal that walked so regal over the savanna a few minutes before my shot went, now lies at my feet. I was on the verge of tears. One can debate whether to shoot from the car or not, but this was a chance for my dream trophy and the reason I chose to hunt with Japie, and then you have to take it in my opinion. When we with much difficulty got the large animal loaded on the back of the pickup, we drove home. All the way home I sat on the bed of the pickup and thought about how lucky I was, that I had gotten the kudu in the last light, just as Japie and I had talked about. When we reached the lodge, Japie immediately ran in after some measureringtape. 59.05 inches on both horns, and the curls would to fit a 1 L cola bottle. He said with humor in his voice, "It is not 60 inches, but if you want, we can say you shot it for free, and then I keep it and head mount it. I had to say a polite no thank you, and say that I could easily "do with" with a bull of 59 inches.

    The entire evening was spent laughing and talking for the days that had passed, three fine gold medals and a jackal, we were delighted. Japie and I agreed that the whole day next day would be spent on the oryx and hartebeest, and we went to bed some whiskeys later, ready for another day in the African bush.

    This morning we started as usual at 6am, with more peace of mind when we had all day to look for it oryx and hartebeest, now that the kudu was in the house? We had only just arrived at the hunting area when we met five goryx, two bulls and three females. We managed to stop the car quick, but they became suspicious, though they around 250 m away, they started running into the thicket. The rest of the morning we drove around the hunting area in search of an honest oryx, but they were sunk in the ground like most of the other times we searched for them. I was nervous whether I would manage to get a chance to get an oryx on this trip. We saw both eland, Burchell zebra, white-tailed and blue wildebeest, ostriches, springbucks, waterbucks, kudus, giraffes and steenbucks, but not a single gemsbuk. Japie had bad stomach problem this day, but insisted that we kept going.

    At around. 11.30 am we decided to finally return home for lunch, and talk through our options.

    After lunch we drove back out and we had agreed to try to seek for the oryx in another part of the hunting area. After about an hour, Leon suddenly stopped the car. There inside the thicket ahead was a herd of 10 oryx, and they had not yet seen us. Japie and I jumped quickly of the car, and reached only about 20 meters closer to the herd before one stopped and saw us. Japie was quick to put the shooting stick up, and I laid my up rifle. "Number two from the left is a fine bull, take it!" Japie said. I found the bull in my riflescope, the bull was around. 130m away, but it was walking with the rear end to me, and I thought the shot was too risky. The entire herd was now walking away from us, I laid up the crosshair on the bull, while I waited for him to become in a little better angle for the shot. One of the females went in front of him, and in the same second he changed direction a bit, so now the female just cleared him. At that moment the bull was clear from the female, I kept the crosshair on the shoulder, and let the shot go. The smell of gunpowder rose up in my nose and I saw the bull pulled up the front leg, I was sure it was a good bullet, and Japie said immediately "perfect shot! Very good! ". Japie had previously mentioned to me that oryx was pretty strong against even a good shot, and if you don?ï½´t make a really good shot on them, you must often track them long.

    The bull ran only about 40 meters before he sank into the ground. Finally, we managed to get a chance to oryx, and it was utilized as well as it could. I was deliriously happy when we came up to the bull, not the biggest in the world, but definitely a good trophy, and with all the time and trouble we had with getting a shot at an oryx, I could not be happier. The bullet had entered just at the back of the front leg, and had almost gone all the way through the animal, you could just feel the bullet under the skin on the opposite shoulder.

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    We drove back to the lodge with the bull on the back of the car, loaded it off to the skinner which were waiting at home. We drank a cold beer for a good hunt and a nice bull oryx, and drove back out to look after the hartebeest. We tried most of the afternoon before we saw a small flock of hartebeest with a good bull in there, and we tried the last hour of the day to stalk to them, but never within shooting range on them. Our stalk was destroyed by a herd of giraffes that could easily see us from their 4m high bodies, and when they started running, the hartebeest followed. We went back to the car and agreed to call it a day. When we got to the lodge and it was time for dinner and Japie came to me and told me he had some bad news. The place where we tomorrow had to hunt for mountain zebra, the other professional hunter who Japie shares the consession area with, had not reported the last two licenses on mountain zebra he had received, and therefore we could not get a license for a mountain zebra for me. Japie was terribly sad, but there was nothing to do. It was one of the reasons I had come to Namibia as it is the only place you find Hartmann's mountain zebra. Of course I was somewhat disappointed by the bad news, but told Japie we could look for a Burchell's zebra stallion instead and Japie was pleased with my suggestion. With the acceptance of the mountain zebra was not going to happen this time, I went to bed.

    This morning it was a little difficult for me to wake up for some reason, it was so nice to lie in bed and I could easily tell I was beginning to be tired after the past several days' experiences. But I had to get up and go and look for the zebra, and if we were lucky, even the hartebeest. We drove out after breakfast and coffee, and had not been driving long before we saw a large herd of hartebeest. We looked at the herd through our binoculars for a few minutes before Japie stated that there were no bulls of the size he thought was good enough for harvesting. We continued in the Toyota for approx. 20min, and suddenly Ben sees around 600 meters ahead, a herd of a eland, wildebeest and zebras. If we tried to stalk to them, our scent would be carried down to the herd, so we had no choice, we had to drive well past them, and stalk back against the wind. As soon as they spotted the car, they began to seem unsettled and as we were about 300 meters from the herd, they took to the run. When we had reached well past the crowd, we decided to try a stalk on them. We walked with our bodies bent to blend in as good as possible, and walked quietly as we could through the very dry grass. This morning was strangely cold, and even through my thick knit windbreaker I could feel the cold. We could begin to see the herd in the distance. Sudden Japie stops up. Approx. 130 meters ahead was two kudu bulls, staring straight at us. We remained standing, as did the bulls, but after a few minutes, the bulls seemed to have had enough of us, and ran directly for zebras and the other animals in the group, which only resulted in all the animals running away into the dense thicket. We were back to scratch! On the way back to the car Japie and Ben talked together in Afrikaans, and it sounded as though they were both frustrated, although my Afrikaans is just as good as my ability to read hieroglyphics, with that I mean non-existent. On the car again, driving through the savannah we saw one nice steenbuk after another, but since I had already shot a gold medal steenbuk, it should be really great if I had to shoot another. After half an hour driving, and seeing no animals, the sun was starting to heat up well, so Japie thought maybe the animals had begun to seek shade already. Now in shorts and shortsleeved shirt, I could already feel the heat well, and was thinking that all those furry creatures out there might also begin to feel quite warm. We ran into something that I can best describe as the shrub forest, relatively low trees and quite dense. There about 130 yards inside were five zebra stallions. We jumped off the bed of the truck, and only reached the side of the car before two of the stallions saw us, ran a few times around themselves and then stopped. I would have to be fast to a chance to one of them, because they seemed very nervous, but still acting as if they were not quite knew sure what we were. I put up the rifle over the hood of the pickup, when Japie said, "the one to the right", I tried for a shot, but some branches were in the way, so no clear shot. The stallion ran about 20 yards and stopped again, now standing perfectly broadside in a slight angle. I kept the crosshair right on the shoulder of him, and shot. He jumped to the side, and sped away in gallop into the bush. I was pretty sure of my shot, but with the speed he disappeared with, made me doubtful. We immediately went toward the place of shooting and found only a few drops of blood and the trackers Ben and Leon began to walk on the track. After about 200 meter walking into the bushes, we finally found a little blood again, and further 30m ahead we began to find a lot of blood. The stallion had run more than 250m with a ball right on the blade, and what would later prove to have split the heart into two. So definitely a species that is very strong, when shot at.

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    After lunch we drove out again to look for a hartebeest, or a good duiker. We drove around from pm. To 14.30 pm. 16.30 without seeing any hartebeest bull, only cows with calves, we also saw a total of six duiker, but only one of them was good, and he stopped behind a tree which made a shot at him impossible. It is really only seconds one has with the small Duiker to judge the trophy, and also give a good shot. We decided in the late afternoon that we would try to sit in a hide by a waterhole to see if a duiker would come by, but after sitting there for about an hour and only seeing two small warthogs, we got bored, and Japie thought we should have one last drive back into the area where we had seen three duikers earlier. We drove quietly, but no duikers where to be found. In the very last light we saw a duiker about 70m from the car, I took aim immediately, and when Japie said it is a good duiker, I let the shot go. He sank into the ground. Japie congratulated me on the shot! I had held back on the body to avoid damaging the cape, and when we reached him, I could see that I shot very far to the back and high, but the speed of the bullet had even pulled some lung tissue outside, so it was perfect. Japie took out the measure tape, because he thought it was a big one, and he was right. It was 12cm high and 7cm around the boss. Normally they are 9cm high and about 5cm in circumference in this area, so it was a giant.

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    What an end to my life's first safari, but certainly not my last. It is the biggest hunting experience I've had since I shot my first roebuck in 2007 when I began to take up rifle hunting.

    In the me and Japie talked about all our experiences the last week, and a new Spanish hunter had just come in, who was be there 10 days to shoot cheetah. We talked about the three cheetahs we had previously seen, and about how good a chance it would have been for him, but I was sure Japie would make it happen for him.

    It had been a fantastic experience both to stay with Japie and Lize, and hunting with Japie, and tomorrow morning I would have to leave. We spent the last night with a few drink and cozy talks.

    Next morning, Annemarie the mother in law to Japie, drove us into Windhoek, where we had to get our Toyota Hilux with a rooftent we would live in the next week. After the formalities were signing the lease, we said goodbye to Annemarie and drove toward a mall where we could buy food for the week. After we had bought our necessities, we set away towards Okuhanja and Etosha. There landscape had been relatively flat east of Gobabis, but it began to change the longer we went north to Etosha, where the terrain became hillier. It is incredible how many animals you see when you just drive around in Namibia, on the road to Etosha we saw several springbucks, steenbucks, and the several of the tiny antelope Damara dik-dik. When we reached the entrance of Etosha and paid our fee, we drove only short time before we reached the place we would be camping. Inside the park we saw huge flocks of Burchell's zebra, huge herds of springbucks, giraffes walked delicately plucking the fresh shoots of trees and a lone elephant who marched in the distance on the savannah, it was an incredible sight.

    When we arrived at camp, we struck at once our tagtelt up, which went surprisingly easy, and put tables and chairs out of the small fire. We had been told by reception that there was a pond only about 30m from the camp area, and it was lit at night so you could see the animals coming to drink. We are a walk down there and was greeted by an amazing sight of a herd of giraffes stood and drank, and a little gemsbukke in the background. It also ran a 6-7 jackals around to see if they might be lucky to take one of the many sandgrouse who also came to drink. After having seen the giraffes in half an hour, we heard it tooted short distance away, and suddenly we saw them. An entire family of elephants who now had become thirsty. Giraffes vigede the elephants as they came closer, which you can understand the hold up is where the big animals. After spending two days in Etosha with huge herds of animals ranging from zebras to wildebeest, the rare black impala heads, lions, spotted hyenas, black rhino, we drove to a city far west, called Purros. The trip over there was fantastic; we crossed the high passes and drove into the large open grasssavannas of Damaraland. Here we mountain zebras, and much more. When we reached Sesfontein, we still had about 110km to Purros, a very bad road, but it was well worth the trip. We were lucky enough to encounter a flock of the rare desert elephant, close to the camp on a dry riverbed close to Purros. The bush camp were we stayed the elephants often come through, so it was a bit nerve-wracking, as there was on one Spaniard killed 2 weeks earlier by an elephant there. We also visited a small Himba village close to Purros, and it was really exiting to see how the tribe lives, so remote and different to anything we know from home. From Purros we drove to the westcoast of Namibia. All the way to Terrace bay in the north, spent a night with all the fishermen there, and then left for Swakopmund the next day, stopping at cape cross to see thousands of fur seals that live in a big colony there. The weather was very bad in swakopmund, so we called up Japie again, to hear if we could stay with him the last to days in Namibia. As warm a person as he is, he off course said yes. So we started the drive all the way from Swakopmund back to Gobabis area. The last two days we spent relaxing in the garden, and I went out hunting zebra with Japie and the Spanish client. The Spanish client was so happy, because he had shot both a cheetah and a 57 kudu only few days earlier, hunting with Japie. The last morning of our stay we went out to look for a good springbuck for the Spanish client, and he shot a very nice ram. Japie asked me if I wanted to shoot another sprinbuck, and I could not resist. So I ended my safari with another very nice springbuck, and two good days og hunting with Japie and the Spanish client.

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    Anyone thinking of going to Namibia, I will highly recommend Japie Engelbrecht! He was very kind, professional, and a very good hunter that never gives up. The service and food was great, the staff friendly and helpful, and the prices were very fair. Japie made sure my African dream came through, and I have not only had a great experience there, I have also made a good new friend in Japie in Namibia.

    Anyone hunting with Japie will for sure have the time of their lives!

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    The trophies only missing my second springbuck I shot the last day

    Hope you will enjoy my trip, I sure did.

    Best regards
    Rasmus Nielsen
     

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  11. richteb

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    Great story...... Fantastic Trophys
     
  12. Raseni

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    Great report, Beautiful kudu!!!! Thanks a lot.
     
  15. AfricaHunting.com

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