PH Willie Engelbrecht

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by sestoppelman, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Anyone here ever hunt with the old PH Willie Engelbrecht either in East Africa or in Botswana? I hunted with him in the Okavango in 1990 for lion, sitatunga and plains game when he was hunting with VIRA Safaris. He is a real character. A new book is due out in 2011 written by Steve Christenson and he apparently talks much of Willie who mentored him. He would be about 72 now as he was 50 when I hunted with him when I was 36. Had an unforgetable hunt in the "Jewel of Africa" which I understand is being slowly shrunk in size by the Botswana govt. and being turned more and more over to eco-tourism.
     
  2. TerryR

    TerryR AH Veteran

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    Your post takes me back to 1998. I was on my first African hunt, with Mark Kyriacou's outfit, in the Okavango Delta. We were hunting out of splash camp and Willie was guiding a group out of tsum tsum. One day we stopped at tsum tsum and had lunch with Willie and his group. When Willie heard that I had just taken my first African trophy, and actually first animal that didn't have feathers on it, a cape buffalo, he looked at me and said "that's like going to a cathouse for the first time and getting the Madam". What a character. Willie was suffering from cancer at the time, as was my brother, who knew Willie rather well. When David flew in to join me later that week, Willie made a point of meeting the bush plane. I treasure a picture of the two of them greeting each other. Sadly, they both lost their battles not long after that. I have an order in for Christenson's book and look forward to reading it.
     
  3. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    TerryR

    I gather from your post that Willie has passed on, which I did not know. Really sorry to hear that, he was a real wild one. When I was there in 1990, the son of PH John Kingsley-Heath, Hugh showed up to visit with Willie and he told me in private that Willie was a "real rogue". I think that would be an understatement! I dont think I ever heard so much colorful language than I did spending two weeks with him. Thanks for the info.
     
  4. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Willie

    Few photos of Professional Hunter Willie Engelbrecht

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    Monish
     
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Monish,

    Thanks for the photos. This guy was a real character!
     
  6. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    You are welcome ..... Yes, he seems to have had been be a real flamboyant gentleman... Where can I read more about his hunting accomplishments , can you recommend any ???

    Monish

     
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Other than the new book coming out next year, not much. He does have a chapter in the Safari Press book Botswana in the Africa Country Series I guess though I have not read it. Its called "How it all began", referring to the safari industry there. If indeed he has passed away as TerryR says, perhaps more will come out. I wrote a little about my time with him in an article some time back in Gun World magazine. Thanks again.
     
  8. TerryR

    TerryR AH Veteran

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    sadly Willie did pass away. I have asked Linda Eaton, on facebook, to log on, or have Clive log on, here and share a few stories. I'm not sure how good their internet connection is in Ghanzi but i hope that we will hear from them.
    One story That I heard was that Willie had to take a test to renew his PH license. as part of the test he was asked what was the first thing that he would do if his client was attacked by a buffalo. Willie replied that he would go to the truck and get his axe. When asked why, he replied so that he could cut down the tree. when the confused examiner asked "what tree" Willie replied "the F***ing tree that my f***ing trackers climbed up, so that I can get my F***ing rifle and shoot the F***ing buffalo!"
     
  9. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Terry,

    LOL , Willie had a classy sense of humor, I believe . Wish to read more about his life , he was seemingly quite similar in nature & flamboyance to the "MAHARAJA OF MAYHEM" the famous PH Eric Rundgren . ...

    Monish
     
  10. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Terry,

    Thanks for the confirmation of Willie's passing, sure sorry. The story you relate certainly would be true, thats just the way he would have put it!

    Scott
     
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    In case anyone is still looking at this thread, when I hunted with Willie in 1990 in the Okavango, we had just laid down an impala on my first day. When we walked up to it I got my tape out to measure the horns. Those who know Willie know what happens next. He said to me "You may as well know right f**king now that I am NOT a tape man!! If you want to go around measuring things you can measure my big dick!" I rather sheepishly put the tape back in my pocket but when I was trying to get a rise out of him for fun I would pull it out and threaten to measure something! He would say "Oh F**k man, dont do it!" What a guy! We were hunting out of the MacFarlanes camps, VIRA Safaris. Willie didnt much care for the way they ran things and had plenty of red-faced, choice words for his feelings about "Alistair's c**t camps!" Hunting with him was a real hoot, thats for sure!
     
  12. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Hi Sestoppleman,

    LOL He must have been a character & a great PH to be hunting with ........

    Monish
     
  13. Lee Kapps

    Lee Kapps New Member

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    Willie Engellbrecht

    Willie was an amazing guy. I hunted and visited with him on multiple occasions and remember him as an extraordinary PH and human being--learned much about hunting dangerous game from him--including about tracking leopards in the Kalahari--something we did for a few days together as well. The best description I heard of Willie was one made by a very proper British older lady--daughter of a famous WW2 general-- who's American husband had hunted with Willie numerous times. She said: " Willie is one of the last true gentlemen left in African hunting--he is a timeless classic- he has always been a gentleman around me".
    I also remember Willie for guiding me to a huge 200+lb leopard trophy,
    and some of the biggest Kudu I have seen anywhere.
    Another great story I heard from a friend/client of Willie's--has a buff standing in the trail and charging the vehicle--butting the front and getting stuck in the brush guard after tearing up the radiator. Willie is furious of course, cussing up a storm (no ladies around), gets out of the Toyota, gets his axe and begins chopping off the head of the buff....his client had to remind him that they should shoot it first---which they did--and then proceeded to finish chopping off the head.
    Willie is buried on his ranch in the Kalahari--under his favorite tree there. May he rest in peace..
     
  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Lee Kapps,
    Thanks for posting that story, sounds just like him! He was a ballsy guy for sure. We were hunting lion one day, when we came upon a bunch of females on a fresh buffalo kill. He says, "lets go get some fresh meat". So he takes his hat off and starts yelling and cussing at the poor lioness's which faced with this madman, quickly bolted for the brush! He wasn't even carrying a rifle! I had mine but frankly if the lions had come for us, we would have been toast, we were outnumbered like 3-1! A couple weeks with Willie was very interesting indeed.
     
  15. Lee Kapps

    Lee Kapps New Member

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    That was Willie....Another great guy and outstanding PH when I knew him -one I learned a great deal from and hunted many good trophies with in Botswana - was Mark Kyriacou of Bird Safaris (Willie worked with him). They don't make them like those guys anymore. They were part of a different age. And Chitabi and Splash and Voumbra and other Okavango hunting areas were paradise on earth...Its a shame all that has come to an end for hunters. Glad I was able to experience it--all those of us who did were blessed.
     
  16. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I hunted out of Oomdop and Xcoricum camps and I believe we launched our fleet of makoro's from Voumbra for Oomdop camp if memory serves, been a while, 1990. I have heard of MK of course and also Willie Philips another of Willies E.'s contemporaries. Like you I am glad I hunted there when I did, because it ain't no more and may never be again.
     

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