Hunting Concession Opens on Waterberg Plateau National Park in Namibia Buffalo / Roan / Sable / White Rhino And Plains Game Hunting A Hunters Paradise In the red Waterberg sand a maze of tracks lay before us - buffalo, roan, sable, white and black rhino, eland, leopard and many others. Sometimes even a Professional Hunter can only stand back and watch in amazement as the trackers unravel the silent mystery of hoof and paw prints, bent grasses, sand ripples and tufts of hair. As they sort out the puzzle, we have time to reflect and marvel... Waterberg Park is open for hunting at last! Just two and a half hours drive north of Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, Waterberg Plateau National Park lies almost a thousand feet above the sweeping plains of eastern Namibia and a mile above sea level, dominating the landscape for miles around. This reserve was established in 1972 for eland, which were then being heavily hunted for the pot. Over time, the Parks Department added other species, including, in the late ‘70s, white and black rhino, and then sable, roan and Cape buffalo. All have thrived. Recently the eastern half of the park was opened up as a commercial hunting area, and Hunters Namibia Safaris was very fortunate to secure the first rights to this concession. We had the honor of taking our first trophy hunter into the Waterberg in October 2009. A limited number of safaris are available in 2010 and 2011. Abundant wildlife roams freely in this huge (270 square miles), undisturbed protected area. Even the open, western half of the park is lightly visited, and only two game-viewing vehicles are allowed to enter at a time. A unique feature of this park is the densest population of both white and black rhino in the world today. On our scouting trips, we found plentiful herds of all huntable species - Cape buffalo, sable, roan, eland, rhino, giraffe - including many impressive mature bulls. Our hunting philosophy is to take animals that are past their prime and have already left their genes behind, and the Waterberg is ideally suited to this most basic but important principle of good stewardship. Dinosaur Track on the Waterberg Plateau in Namibia Hunting is in the classic style of tracking on foot. The red Waterberg sand is ideal for this, especially in this area of very sparse roads. Hunters should be physically fit, able to walk for miles. Although generally level, the terrain is varied and fascinating, with open savannah interspersed with thick Terminalia forests, red boulder outcrops and koppies of petrified sand dunes. White rhino - This is one of the last areas in Africa where hunting free-range, truly wild white rhino from a natural population is possible. We expect long horns with heavy bases. While scouting, we saw huntable white rhino with horns exceeding 26 inches. (Namibia’s Parks Dept. stipulates that all trophy rhino must be post-productive males.) Our first client in the Waterberg, in October 2009, took the new No. 3 Namibian white rhino. Cape Buffalo - Hunters can expect very good buffalo with deep curls and extremely wide bosses. Four of the top 10 buffalo ever taken in Namibia came from the Waterberg area; the biggest one measured 49 inches. Sable - We have encountered giant sable here. We expect to take old bulls, well over the current trophy benchmarks that will top the record books. The largest known sable to come from this area was 49 inches. In October 2009, our very first Waterberg client took the new Namibian No. 10 sable, measuring 45 inches. We scouted a 49 or 50 inch sable. Roan - Very common here and trophy expectations are exceptionally high. While scouting we found a roan that had died of old age; it measured 30½ inches long with 9½-inch bases, which would have put it in the SCI top 20. The biggest roan ever recorded in the Waterberg was 31½ inches, and five of the top 10 roan registered in Namibia came from this area. Eland (Livingstone, the striped eland) - This is eland country, and the eland is the dominant species on the plateau. We have seen herds of 300-plus animals. Trophy expectations: world-class. Frequently Asked Questions about Hunting in the Waterberg Plateau National Park in Namibia How are your safaris conducted? Our Waterberg Park Plateau concession is enormous (some 86,000 acres, or 135 square miles) and roads are limited. Hunting is largely “walk and stalk” - classic tracking on foot and challenging stalking, with lunch in the field. What is the terrain? Beautiful grassland savannah alternates with thick Terminalia forests and red-rock outcrops and koppies. The concession lies atop the plateau, so the area is relatively flat - no mountain climbing required. Are there fences? There is only a short section of game fence that separates the park from the cattle ranches to the east. Otherwise, the edge of the plateau forms a natural border that protects the wildlife on it from diseases carried by cattle and other domestic species. The eastern and western halves of the park are divided only by a two-track road. What is the camp? At present, we use a luxury lodge close to the park. How many people can hunt the Waterberg? We anticipate taking 8 to 10 hunters into this unique area each year. Hunters Namibia Safaris holds the exclusive hunting rights to the Waterberg National Park concession. When did hunting begin here? This area has never been hunted commercially. The only (very limited) private hunting took place in 2001-‘03, when a Spanish couple had bought the hunting rights for themselves. Our concession contract was signed by the Namibian Government in August 2009. Our first hunting safari took place in October 2009. What trophy quality can be expected? Our scouting has shown excellent trophies. We do not quote trophy scores or make promises of trophy quality (in our opinion, anyone who “guarantees” a trophy is either lying or cheating), but these photos, taken by us in 2009, speak eloquently of quality in the Waterberg. Are there still openings in the Waterberg? Hunters Namibia Safaris still has places available in 2010 and 2011. Prices will increase in 2011 because the Namibian Government has imposed a 10% annual price increase. What species are available in the Waterberg? The annual quotas for our Waterberg National Park concession include Cape buffalo, white rhino, roan antelope (Southern), sable antelope (Southern), eland (Livingstone) and giraffe. What else makes this concession interesting? This is a very safe environment, free of malaria or other diseases. We hold exclusive rights, so there will be no other people in the concession. No charter flights are needed; the Waterberg is an easy 2½-hour drive from Windhoek on excellent roads. The landscape and scenery are unparalleled. Namibia is extraordinarily peaceful and offers First World infrastructure, yet an extremely low population density. How fit does one have to be to hunt this area and enjoy it? A hunter must be in good physical condition, able to walk on sandy ground for three or four hours at a stretch. When it comes to physical ability we like to say, “We will walk as far as your condition will allow.” What other species do you offer? At Rooikraal, our property south of the Waterberg, hunters may take superb Kudu, Oryx, Eland (Cape and Livingstone), Springbuck, Steenbuck, Warthog, Waterbuck, Black wildebeest, Blue wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra and Hartmann’s zebra as well as common Impala, Black-faced Impala, Blesbuck, Damara Dik-dik, Common Duiker, Red Hartebeest and Klipspringer. Leopard and Cheetah, though relatively abundant, are closed by law across Namibia in 2010. For prices please visit our website, feel free to contact us for further information.