NAMIBIA: 20 Days With Keibeb Safaris

Jeffro

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I first met Steph Marais a few years ago, and knew immediately that I wanted to hunt with him. In the fall of 2016, I sustained a serious hand injury which ruled out 2017. In 2018, I went on a camping trip in Botswana and the Caprivi, which really opened my eyes...just going hunting was not enough, so I asked Steph if he could put together a tour, too. Did he ever!

My buddy, his daughter, and son-in-law and I touched down in Windhoek on May 3rd. After we collected our belongings, we drove to our lodging, Arebbusch, cleaned up, and headed downtown. Steph and his wife Lara, took us to a few nice spots, including the crafts market on Post Street. Their presence was invaluable in terms of knowing where the good stuff was, and in terms of effective haggling. As we were all pretty tired from the flight, we kept the shopping short, and capped off the day with a great meal at Joe's, a real must for any tourist in Windhoek. This was the beginning of a wonderful tour, featuring excellent food and accommodation, lots of laughs, and a good look at the incredible natural beauty of Namibia.

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Jeffro

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The next day, we departed for Sossuvlei, and got our first taste of awful roads. Although Namibia has some very fine paved roads, many of the major gravel roads are simply awful. Over the days, the mirrors were rattled off our vehicle, and "spot the auto part" became an amusing game. Luckily, Steph has the patience of Job and the rest of us maintained good humour and did our part to photograph every animal and stone in the country. Sossusvlei is amazing. We climbed the dunes in the 35 Celsius heat, and got some amazing photos. As the day faded, we returned to the rooms Steph and Lara had chosen, had a beer or two (or more) and another great meal before retiring.

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Jeffro

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We then went to Swakopmund, a really lovely city, where I found it really cool to be able to speak German. Much of the population there is of German descent, and the city certainly has a German feel. One thing that made an impression on me, a history buff, was the statue memorialising the German soldiers who died during the 1905 war against the Herreros, which resulted in the first genocide of the 20th century. We were based here for a couple days, as we also visited Walvis Bay and did a boat tour of the harbour. One interesting feature of Walvis, is the red/pink colouration of the white birds. The high iodine content in the water causes this phenomenon. We had a very good guide who plied us with drinks and stories, making for a very enjoyable day. The frequent visits from the pelicans and seals added to the enjoyment. We were cold for the only time on the trip.

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Jeffro

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The next stop was a big surprise. We were on out way to Tweifelsfontein, when Steff pulled off the road and drove a small distance to a Himba village. Of course, we all bought a few trinkets, but I was more interested in the village itself, so I got to tour it. Very interesting. We then went on to our destination, the site of important art, in an astonishingly harsh environment...but so beautiful. The contrast between the Himba village and our accommodations could not be more stark. A striking feature of the Himba's is the women's hair. They cover it in a mixture of clay, goat dung, and ochre. They never wash it; instead, they just add a new segment as the hair grows out.

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Firebird

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Loving your pictures and learning more about a place I very much want to visit someday-keep it coming!
 

Jeffro

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On our way to Etosha, we stopped at a Damara village (not surprising, as we were in Damaraland). This was even better than the Himba village, because a couple men spoke English. The guy who greeted us, spoke to us in his click language, which was fascinating and utterly disorienting. One can only imagine what the first explorers felt! The guy was absolutely hilarious, explaining everything in a very funny way. Our guide explained how the Damara chose their sites, showed us how they made metal, medicine, fire, jewelry, and so on. He even explained the game depicted on the rock art at Tweifelsfontein. I'd love to go back. As we continued our trip to Etosha, we managed to encounter some desert elephants, which was a very nice bonus

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Jeffro

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Etosha, as you can imagine, was fabulous. Maybe the terrible drought conditions concentrated the animals? I do not know, but we saw everything one would want, and from real close quarters. I will only post a few photos, because I took thousands!
Etosha really is a treasure, and we were all very happy that we stayed a few days in the area. After we had worn out our cameras, the journey continued to the Keibeb property, so that the non-hunters could get a taste of what my buddy and I would be doing after they left. We then returned to Windhoek to put them on the plane before we began hunting. The report will follow soon, I hope. In the meantime, if you would like to tour Namibia, contact Steph and Lara. You won't find better value for your money, and they are great to tour with.

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tay50

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Very nice, I like learning about the area I'm hunting, a little touring before the hunt also helps with the time change, did this last time I was in SA. Looking foreword to the hunting report.
 

Ridgewalker

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Excellent! Could you possibly mark your route on a map and add a photo of it on here? This just sounds like something I would like to add on to a hunt.
Thanks for posting this!
 

BRICKBURN

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You sure hit the highlights....
 

machinistbutler

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Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing. Scenery there is unbelievable.

Wish I had a good way to capture the skies at night, I have never seen anything like it.
 

IA diver

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Thanks for this great review...will certainly add Keibeb to my radar as I look at Namibia for 2021.
 

CAustin

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Thank you for sharing
 

gillettehunter

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Sounds like a fantastic tour. I'm sure that everybody enjoyed it. Nice pics. Looking forward to the hunt report also.
Bruce
 

Jeffro

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Thanks for the kind words. Ridgewalker, I will do the map in a few days after I get some work done! I'll post a night sky photo, later, too.
 

Philip Glass

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I was just at Sossusvlei and what an iconic place. Awesome trip!
 

Hank2211

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Thanks for the pictures. Beautiful.
 

Neale

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Thanks for sharing your adventure and the photos are excellent.
 

Jeffro

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20 Days with Keibeb Safaris: Hunt Report.

A few words about the place. The accommodations are very good, and next year Steph and Lara should have their new visitors lodge finished. The boma and lapa are beautiful, and Lara prepares outstanding meals. There is a pool, and very well stocked fridge for the thirsty.

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Jeffro

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So, on day one, we went through the familiar process of checking the rifles and then it was "game on". We began by heading off in the ubiquitous Toyota just to see what we could see. The first thing we learned, that this is a large property and the hunting was not going to be a cake walk. Much of the area is overgrown bushveld with more kinds of thorns than I have encountered before. I gave more blood than in a whole life time of donating to the Red Cross! We would have to hunt hard, which is good. I have no interest in drive up and shoot hunting. About noon, we encountered a group of Hartmann's zebra crossing a road, and we decided to put a stalk on them. Fortunately, they did not duck into the thick stuff, and in about 30 minutes, Steff had maneuvered us into a perfect ambush spot; all we had to do was wait. Before long, a nice stallion grazed his way into the right spot, and our first animal was down. I have to admit, that as a long time horse lover, I had mixed emotions about shooting the big fellow, but elation soon had the upper hand. We loaded him and dropped him at the skinning shed, before enjoying a great mid-day meal and light nap. We continued our search for game after our snooze, encountering many animals, but not what we were looking for. As the day wound to a close, we found another small group with what Steff determined were a couple suitable stallions. It did not take long before my buddy, Randy, was in position, and the day closed with both of us having taken a Hartmann's stallion. I should note, that Keibeb has lots of zebra. We encountered dozens every day. Then, of course, the hard work of enjoying a few beers around the fire, and Lara's masterpiece of the day began.

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