Last Minute Namibia Caprivi Hunt Safari

Dewald

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I'm trying to get export permits for my firearms...RSA has just recently changed their laws....now application must be done 3x months before!!!;
Will try to arrange use of PH rifles...need two as going with my son!!
Bruce

Enjoy!

There’s plenty space for 2 rifles in a Land Cruiser spare water tank
 

cpr0312

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Fantastic @Bruce ! Best of luck!
 

Bruce

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Ja...was about to enlighten your response, but you picked up on it!
I have hunted out of RSA for MANY years and always had the temp expiry permit done AT THE AIRPORT ON DEPARTURE!!
NOW for some strange illogical reason, we have to APPLY via CFR in Pretoria 90 days before departure...that ABSOLUTELY sucks...another way of enforcing their will to disarm the public??????
So, for an opportunity like this in Caprivi, I cannot do it with my own rifles!!
Even worse, I'm take by my son to hunt the Ellie and buff, so need TWO PH rifles for DG, as I don't walk that ground without a suitable rifle in my hands...
 

C.W. Richter

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Is the hunt taken? Please advise. Thanks.
 

Bruce

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Oops, I just realized you live in RSA! Best of luck!
Well, given up on taking my own rifles, so now going to use the PH rifles.
Leave for Caprivi on Sunday taking my son Thomas with me!!
 

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I wish I was going on such an adventure. Bruce, good luck to you and your son. Look forward to a report.
 

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Thanks, buddy. I have always wanted to hunt the Caprivi and this offer was too good to let go. Fortunately travel distance for us is easy, and being retired I can go at the drop of a cartridge!!!
 

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OK, so the hunt is over as of this morning when I took the second zebra.
All in all 1x elephant, 1x buffalo,2x hippo and 2x zebra.. last day and a half will try the Cobe River for some fishing.
Report will follow shortly
 

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Bruce, I am sooooo envious! Can’t wait for the report! And lots of pictures I hope?
 

elephantmaster29

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Congrats Bruce! Would love to see the picture and report. Elephant has always been a dream
 
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Bruce

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We waiting to board the flight from Katima Mulilo to Windhoek and then connect to Cape Town. The report is in draft form and I’ll complete/ edit when home and add fotos!!!
 

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OK, so the hunt is over as of this morning when I took the second zebra.
All in all 1x elephant, 1x buffalo,2x hippo and 2x zebra.. last day and a half will try the Cobe River for some fishing.
Report will follow shortly

(y)(y)

Looking forward to the report!!
 

rinehart0050

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Can't wait for the report! Congrats on your success!
 

Mort Hill

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Congrats on your accomplished task. I am sure the festival will be a grand feast thanks to you! Looking for to the report.
 

Roan

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Great stuff!! Hou so aan!
 

C.W. Richter

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So, 'going to try and compress this one as I tend to get too caught up in the story and write too much! 'Took my Son as an observer (and backup!) on this trip with Magdel & Jaco O. of Game Trackers Africa, with Byron Hart as our PH on most days. 'Saw LOTS of elephant, buffalo, and hippo. You could not look in any direction without seeing herds of Zebra any time of day. 'Also saw kudu, blue wildebeest, duiker, one big male leopard (hunting in broad daylight-He did not spot us!) and many crocs-several in the 13'-15' range (one of which was bagged by departing hunter Bruce from Spokane, WA.)

Before more is said about the hunt, we generally go on safari every couple-few years and with everything that transpires in-between we forget things like (British Airways and many smaller African airlines) do NOT allow firearms as baggage! Don't forget that, as it can cost you a pretty penny in re-scheduling flights!

This trip got off to a somewhat rocky start (in the US) as I was still dealing with complications from tick-borne lyme disease, but thanks to good doctors and modern meds, I actually felt fine by the first day of the hunt!!! :) Even though 3 flights were involved, if you schedule strategically, you will still arrive in a day or so. We had a layover of 1 day, so GTA set us up at the Windhoek Country Club (Very Nice Accomodations! lol reportedly constructed as a base for ceremonies once the world began realizing just how beautiful and talented those Namibian gals are....Miss World, Miss Teen Namibia, et. al. My Son didn't seem to mind at all.) Also, don't take too-broken-in boots to Africa as you will invariably be doing a fair amount of walking. 'Had learned that lesson the hard way on a prior trip, so had a freshly broken-in pair of Kenetrek Safari Hikers (which are like a padded cage that protects your feet-even when injured prior to safari!) The trip out was quite rapid-3 flights in 1 day and home the next in the early a.m. Seamless!

So we were basically back in Namib this time for elephant...After a fair amount of "power-scouting" and walking after big tracks, we finally came upon a big herd of ~100+/- jumbo in a heavily forested area. Not wanting anything in the way of quick rifle handling, I shed the long shirt, the binos (binocular bra as Mark Sullivan used to call them! lol) et. al. and my rifle became the binoculars that day. With my 1-6x "monocular," 'looked over every single elephant I possibly could see in this relatively thick environment: Cows, calfs, cows, calfs, immature bulls, HUGE Trophy bulls (one we named DSC-after the Dallas Safari Club logo!) Some of the older cows are HUGE with very long tusks; they're just a bit slimmer than the bulls' so you have to pay careful attention. After this slow process of sneaking from tree to bush to tree to scan the next row of ele, I became exceptionally calm in pointing my .416 and aiming at whatever angle the herd presented itself. Finally the very last two bulls after 100s of yds/meters and sneaking for 2.5 hrs were DSC's twin and another just as tall and heavy, but with slightly more modest teeth. The conservancy game scout and PH agreed that we should have a go at him....

We must've been no more than 50 yards away when we snuck parallel to, and looking over the entire herd in the bush. By the time we arrived at the last two bulls, we were at about 40. We took a few steps forward, in the 30ish yard range and the bull was at first broadside, but then noticed my movement and turned slightly towards me. I had planned on the "safe" heart/lung shot, so followed through with one shot in the end of the crease at the top of, and behind the leg...He immediately spun and 10,000+ lbs and 10+ ft of massiveness was looking straight down on me for just a second...then, the deafening "Guns of Navarone " began to go off at a rapid pace, a bit too close for my left ear's liking...the bull was shot in the head twice and a raking peripheral lung shot-all as it ran away into the shadows of the forest. I had thought that each the PH, tracker, and my son had fired, but as it turned out my Son and his .375 functioned as that too-close-to-me machine gun to my right! The PH was certain that we had our Jumbo, but now it was getting dark and all agreed that nighttime was no time to follow up a wounded bull elephant. At dawn the next day we went to the closest watering hole to where we shot the elephant, and there he was, a keeled-over heap of dark gray-black mud with decent ivory. He did get his last drink, as he fell facing the forest where we first encountered him. My Son is still sending me messages to the effect of "I still can't believe that we really did it!" :)

My Son helped skin and gut the elephant with the help of local villagers, and all of it was delivered in several truck/trailer loads to some very happy, hungry native African tribal members! All were so nice and a lot of fun to be around. I gifted my favorite fall and winter hunting gloves to the game scout and tracker, selfishly because their hands were way too cold for me to shake every morning in the southern African winter! :p

We also bagged the zebra and a huge, olive baboon we dubbed King Kong. We did sneak into several pods of hippo on backchannels of the Chobe river separating Namibia from Botswana, but they are wary and I really wanted to bag one out of water. It was quite cool and windy some days and only eyes broke the plane of the choppy water that resembled a small ocean or the great lakes. On a calmer, sunnier, warmer day our luck improved and two big bull hippos were spotted. The game scout and PH gave the approval to take either. I really wanted to bag the larger of the two (he actually had teeth marks that looked like the letters KIK, so I saw that as a sign from the Gods to kick him if possible.) Well, that didn't happen as the other one stood somewhere between broadside and quartering towards us on a small sandbar in the River. I set up, steady as a rock with the forend in the crotch of a tree and the PHs sticks under the butt of the .416. We were whispering, discussing the fact that I had read (when suffering from lyme-akin to American Malaria) in Kevin Robertson's most famed book (The Perfect Shot) that a soft-point is ok in broadside shots, so the PH agreed. (As it turns out, upon return home I re-read Kevin's prose and he said that a solid copper Barnes "soft point" bullet is fine, only for broadside shots!!!) In any event, to conclude this sad portion of the story I placed a good quality Swift A-Frame (a tougher version of the Nosler Partition) 400 grainer right inside the shoulder-perfect placement. The bull submerged and spun around under water and then the river calmed. All agreed that he would expire, but not that afternoon (our last day out.) I'm sure some fishermen, crocs, and maribou storks found themselves quite a prize floating up in the reeds adjacent to this channel in the days to follow...

Also during the trip, we were able to hunt along the mightier Zambezi River for kudu, wildebeest and other plains game (saw a monster croc sunning itself along the white sand banks but it was not on license for this trip.) We additionally saw Victoria Falls downstream, after a drive through national parks in both Botswana and Zimbabwe-seeing much game along the way! Lunch at the lodge in the park was simply amazing!!!!! I want to retire to that place (decks overlooking waterholes and an open mopane forest teeming with game, excellent food and drink-including that Amazing African coffee,) not to mention all the friendly, happy people waiting on you hand and foot!

Buffalo. As we had scored rather large buff in prior safaris, that was the lesser concern of this trip. Now, that said, we saw herds of hundreds every single morning and evening we went out for Mbogo/Inyati, but our trip seemed to coincide with the time/light and moon phase where they were making it back across the safety of the Chobe River to Botswana before we could get a crack at them. They are definitely in the Caprivi/Zambezi region in good numbers, you just have to put in the time and the timing has to be just right! Seeing a huge tom leopard hunting on the other side definitely made our day the one morning, despite all the Syncerus with their tongues hanging out at us!

The organization, lodging, food, hospitality, etc. of GTA is exceptional. This could be an entire chapter of the story to itself, one that's To Be Continued!

As a closing remark, I'd like to pay respects to a great man, one that all Namibian PHs and hunters should thank for helping to set up one of the finest examples of safari-wildlife conservation-communal benefits in all of Africa- R.I.P. Volker Grellmann, PH, Rancher, APHA Pres. and Author. I posted a note about him earlier today, when a PH texted me from the bush to share the sad news about this man I revered...
 

cagkt3

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Congrats, would love to see some pictures of your exploits!
 

superdutch

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Please post some pics of this adventure!
 

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What an adventure! So nice your son was there to share it with!
I’d love to see some pictures if you had a chance to take any.
Thanks for sharing with us!
 

C.W. Richter

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Of course-lol 'was having issues uploading photos but had been on for so long I was logged out.
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