NAMIBIA: Amazing Trip With Kowas Hunting Safaris

Mike B.

AH senior member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
51
Reaction score
56
Media
17
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Namibia, British Columbia, Western US
Dates - June 5th to June 19th
Outfitter - Kowas Hunting Safaris
PH - Matheus Theofelus and Jacques Strauss
Target Animals - Plains Game

I started researching outfitters and locations in early 2015 for my first safari. I eventually found some posts about Kowas and so I reached out and talked with Ansie Strauss. After quite a few emails and a call from her, I decided this is where we will go on our first Africa safari. Somehow I talked my sister and her husband and my parents into going with me. Not one of my friends would spend the money to go! That summer we put down our deposit and so the wheels were set in motion. The bad news...my sister set the date that we could not go sooner than June 2017. I had to wait a very long 2 years before I could go to Africa! We also decided that in conjunction with hunting that we would also add the photo safari to Etosha National Park. In the latter part of 2016, my uncle decided that he wanted to join us on the trip as well.

After two years of waiting and reading tons of information on this site, the time to travel to Namibia was finally here. We left Salt Lake City on June 3rd and flew to Johannesburg on Delta. We then overnighted there at Africa Sky Guest House. This was a good decision as well as we had no problems whatsoever. The next morning we flew to Windhoek and we were met at the airport by Ansie. After the brief meeting we loaded up into our touring vehicle and headed to pick up Danie Strauss in town. Danie and Ansie would be our tour guides as we traveled through their beautiful country. We would then continue our drive to Erindi Game Reserve where we stayed for the night before heading into Etosha. We thoroughly enjoyed this part of the trip, learning about all of the animals we saw as well as Danie providing information on the history of the country and it's people. After spending several days in Etosha seeing well over a hundred elephants, 11 rhino, several lions, and the countless other species of animals, our next stop was Danie and Ansie's beautiful home.

As we arrived at Kowas, the sun was just setting. We got settled in to our new home for the next 10 days and i was getting excited for the next day. We had conversations about what animals I wanted to try for so we set my wishlist and the plan for the next day was born. It was now my time to fulfill one of my bucket list items. I had decided early on that I would not be taking my own rifle. For my first trip over, it was a headache that I felt I could do without. I was happy with this decision as the rifle I used was a good condition Winchester 300 win mag with a Leupold VX-6 scope. The next morning I met Matheus, my PH for the next few days. I absolutely enjoyed hunting with Matheus. We went to the range and I got sighted in quickly. I was comfortable with the setup and shooting off of sticks. I shoot the same caliber in a Weatherby rifle with the same scope. My experience off of shooting sticks was ok but not nearly as much as I probably should have. I carry them here on elk and deer hunts as well.

After the shooting session, we all jumped in two different vehicles and went on a photo game drive. We got a great overview of the property and saw all kinds of animals. We then came back and had a wonderful lunch. One thing that I can guarantee to everyone, you will never go hungry and the food will always be amazing. Every meal we had was top notch. That afternoon we went out on our first hunt. We went out looking for impala, springbok or black wildebeest. Matheus decided that he wanted to take a look for a black wildebeest we had seen earlier that day on our drive. He took off and hiked halfway up a hill. He quickly came back down and said he spotted it and 4 blesbok. Blesbok was also on my list but these were all females. So we went off and started our stalk. As we started to get close, the blesbok were between us and the wildebeest. We thought this was going to be a major problem but eventually the blesbok changed directions and fed away from us. Shortly after the black wildebeest came out in a good shooting location. Matheus got me on the sticks and i was able to seal the deal on my first African animal.

blackwildebeest.JPG


That evening was spent around the fire reminiscing on the first safari experience. The next morning we went after springbok and impala. We had seen some springbok not far from where we found the black wildebeest the night before. We headed off in that direction and we eventually stopped as Matheus spotted a small herd a long ways away. It was impressive seeing his spotting skills. We set off on a stalk from about 500 yards away. We got into some thicker bushes and we stumbled onto a nice impala. Matheus took a quick look and said it's a good one and he quickly put the sticks up. I quickly got on the ram and took a shot. I quickly said I don't know how well I hit him. The impala ran off and we lost sight of him. We went looking for blood and quickly found his tracks. We started the tracking job. We went 75 yards or so and were getting close to the edge of a hill. At this point we were not certain he was hit very well as there were only small drops of blood. As we got closer to the hill side, the impala jumped up and ran off again. We were all caught off guard as Michael, our driver, was up on that same hillside right above where the impala had bed down. Unfortunately I was not ready to take a followup shot and I actually never saw him run off. Long story short, after a 2 and a half hour track job and thinking we probably lost this animal, we got to a thick set of thorny bushes. At this point I was standing with Michael as Matheus had gone off around to see if he could see anything. It wasn't long before Michael decided to double back about 50 yards and as he did, something caught his eye. He bent down and quickly got my attention, He had a big smile on his face and he said, there he is. The impala had fallen and died in some nasty thick stuff. I had shot really low and I must have hit the brisket. I can only suspect the bone fragments is what caused the animal to bleed out. Definitely a bad shot and one I would not try to repeat. My second animal was now down.

DSC00012.JPG


After a hearty lunch, we set off that evening looking for blesbok. I was happy that things had a happy ending that morning and wanted to do everything I could to make better shots. We had gone to a different part of the property this time and we had come to an area that we were seeing oryx, springbok, eland and zebra. Matheus then quickly signaled to stop the truck and he threw up his binos. He had spotted some blesbok within a herd of springbok. We got out of the truck and started the stalk. This is when I thought things went bad. As we got closer to the blesbok, we stumbled onto some oryx that we didn't see. The oryx took off and that made the springbok and blesbok move as well. Luckily they didn't know what was happening so they ran only a short distance and started feeding again. We kept inching closer and finally the male turned around and started feeding back towards us. I was on the stick and this time I made a perfect shot. No tracking this time.

blesbok.JPG


The next morning we headed out to look for a nice waterbuck we had seen while looking for blesbok the night before. This was not on my wishlist but it was quickly added to my list when I had finally seen one in person. We got to the general vicinity of where we saw him and we eventually put eyes on him. Matheus quickly worked up a plan and off we went. The waterbuck was running with a smaller male and a few females. The stalk worked great as we were able to get slightly in front of them as they fed through a small opening. Everything again worked out perfectly and I had another animal down.

Since we finished as quickly as we did, we still had some good morning hunting to do. We had gone to an area where Matheus knew mountain zebra liked to hang out but we did not see anything. As we continued to drive, Matheus spotted some zebra a long ways away. We got out of the truck and started to hike up the mountain side. We got to within about 500 yards and the zebra had seen us and pushed up the hill side away from us. We started walking away from them to try a different angle and as we walked a few hundred more yards, we heard loud crashing. Matheus said that is going to be another group right above us that we never saw. We got on their tracks and followed them to the top of the mountain. At this point we had been walking slowly for a long time. As we crested the top, we spotted the first zebra feeding away from us. We were not in a good position as it quickly disappeared into the brush. We moved further down and that's when the entire hillside came alive. Zebra were running everywhere. We were busted! I am pretty sure I let out a four letter word and we then decided to continue. Not 20 yards further and Matheus quickly stopped. One lone zebra had stuck around. It knew something was wrong but he made the wrong choice and turned back and stopped. A quick shot and I now had a great trophy to add to the rest. On a side note, I had zebra several times while on this trip and it was by far my favorite meat. Since we were so far from the road with no way to get the truck up here, we had no choice but to call in for reinforcements and the animal was processed in the field.

DSC00051.JPG


DSC00022.JPG


That evening we went out looking for springbok. We found a nice male and the stalk commenced. As we got close, we got pinned down in a location that didn't allow for us to move any further. We had really good cover in front of us but that was as close as we could get. Matheus said lets be patient and see if they continue to feed in the same direction. Not too much longer after that and I said to him, they're running the other direction! He set up the sticks and I waited for the male to clear the females. I took a shot and sure enough, a complete miss! The springbok ran for a really long ways. We called for the truck to come get us and we ventured on to find another option. We came across another group later that evening and we tried another stalk. We got busted and the herd ran off. We packed up and went back for dinner. The "elusive" springbok won this round.


The next morning we set off looking for red hartebeest. We drove to an area and started walking in hopes that we would come across a good male. As we were walking, we ran into a group bedded down and they spotted us. The group ran off and we continued our walk. All we saw in that group were females. We didn't see anything else so we called for the truck to pick us up and we drove off. We saw a bunch of blue wildebeest but not our target animal and no big bull to go after. Not too long after we ran into a hartebeest worth chasing. We put on our stalk and Matheus threw up the sticks. I got confused and thought he said to move further to the left when what he was telling me was to shoot the one on the left. So after a short song and dance done by me, I finally got on the sticks. Matheus was saying hurry, shoot! shoot! and I finally got a shot off. The other two smaller bulls had already ran off and it was just a matter of time before this bull took off. The bull went about 50 yards and another animal on my list was down. I had made another marginal shot as the animal was quartering towards us but it was still good enough to get the job done quickly.

DSC00062.JPG


That evening we were after oryx. We drove a ways onto a neighboring property that is part of the conservancy and we glassed from the top of the mountain down into a large flat open plain. They had seen a nice male there previously and we were hoping to find him again. After about 20 minutes of glassing, we finally found some oryx. They were a really long ways away. We started walking. A few minutes later and we had got to the edge of the thick bushes and small trees that lined the mountain side and we were stuck with nothing but grassy plains and random trees. Matheus said there was a good bull and it was running with a few others as well. I do not think I will ever be able to tell a male from a female oryx as they all look the same to me. We slowly worked our way closer and got to a point where I thought we were going to need to shoot from about 250 yards. Instead we crawled the last 75 yards and got to a tree that worked great as a rest. I got setup and after a little back and forth about which one I was supposed to shoot at, I took a shot. He ran off and they all mixed together. I told Matheus I have no idea which one is which. Luckily no follow up shot was needed as he said to me, don't worry it's down.

DSC00081.JPG


The next morning we went after Blue Wildebeest. We spotted a group of 4 feeding. We started the stalk and the biggest bull laid down. We were stuck again where we were at. We waited for about 10 minutes to see what they were going to do. The 3 smaller bulls were feeding away from us but the big bull stayed bedded. Suddenly, the big bull got up and quickly started coming right at us. The other 3 bulls started following and without having to work any harder, the big bull walked right past us at 50 yards.

DSC00101.JPG


My wish list was quickly shrinking in size. I had gone to Africa with 3 animals that I really wanted. Those being oryx, kudu, and mountain zebra. I had 4 more days of hunting and I had already taken two of my must have animals. This is when things started to slow down a bit as we set our sights on Kudu. The first evening out, we sat and glassed a large mountainous area. We saw a few cows and one small bull. We decided to go back to this same area and look in the morning. We glassed a bit and then took off on a very long walk. We saw a couple of cows in the distance but no bulls. While the size of the mountains we were in were huge, we were walking in very sandy conditions. It was like hunting on a beach through thorny bushes and trees. After a very long morning, we went back to camp at around 1pm. That evening we went to yet another area looking for a big bull. We walked to the top of a very rocky mountain and glassed the other side. Just below us were a few cows but no bulls. We kept searching that evening without any luck. The next morning we decided to go back close to the previous mornings location. We ran into quite a few animals that morning but no bulls big enough. After a lot of walking through grass up to my hips and big boulders, we set off to get back to camp. Matheus had to go to town and got a flat tire in the process. He would not be back in time to leave for the evening hunt so Jacques lead the way. That first part of the evening we saw a few cows and one small bull. The sun was going down quickly and as we were close to calling it a night, we spotted a nice bull. Things happened quickly because we had daylight fading fast. We hustled as quickly as we could without making too much noise and I got setup on the stick. My first shot hit and the bull ran off. I quickly tried to get more shots on him and I was able to connect two more times. The third shot dropped him in his tracks. We then went off in search of where he laid. As we approached, we saw the bull lying there. We saw no movement and we got closer. Jacques walked around the bull and we were admiring the size. Jacques grabbed onto the horn and suddenly the bull started standing up. We scattered a bit and the bull finally stumbled onto his feet. I got another shot off and it ran about 10 yards. I had hit it in the neck on the shot that dropped the bull in its tracks and it had finally regained control of his body. The shot as it stood up hit it in the neck again. Finally we had a kudu on the ground. We worked hard for this bull and it was a great hunt.

DSC01705.JPG


I now had the 3 animals that I really wanted to come home with. I couldn't have been happier with what had already taken place as things worked out so well for me. I did however, still have 2 animals on my wishlist. The "elusive" springbok and warthog. The next morning Jacques and Matheus took me out looking for Springbok. We drove a ways to a property that held good springbok. I had already missed on a decent buck and that was constantly going through my mind. As we drove this new area looking, we found a few bucks roaming roaming together. One buck stood out as Jacques and Matheus said we should try for that one. After some time, we were in position. That morning was exceptionally hot and I was sweating badly. We got on the bigger male and I took a shot. I had pulled the shot what felt like 5 feet to the right. I had missed again. The springbok ran off and we went after them. I did not think we would see them again. Luckily they had stopped about 500 yards away and I got another chance. Sure enough, another miss! This time, they didn't take off and I was able to quickly reload. I told myself to calm down and breath and I calmly pulled the trigger. Finally a hit. He ran about 30 yards and it was over. I finally got a springbok after it eluded me for some time.

DSC00175.JPG


That evening Matheus and I set off on a long walk to look for a warthog we saw on a previous hunt. We were walking through an area that had a slight hillside on both sides of us. I kept telling myself that there is no way we are going to find him in this. If he is even slightly over the hill we will never see him from where we were walking. About an hour later of walking, sure enough that warthog was right on the edge of the hillside where I could get a shot. We quickly maneuvered to get behind some cover and got to within 60 yards of him. I took the shot. The warthog spun around and quickly went behind a bush. He walked out from behind the bush and I took a second shot. I had now taken 11 animals, and everything on my wish list.

20170617_165650.jpg


I can't say enough good things about the experience we had with the group at Kowas. Danie, Ansie, Jacques and Elleni Strauss have a great operation there. Hunting with Matheus was an honor to me and it killed me that he couldn't be there for the kudu after we had worked so hard the prior few days. They truly were tremendous people. I absolutely loved the small family feel of the entire operation. I never once felt like I was in some huge commercial operation where I was just that weeks paycheck. I am glad that we chose them for our first trip to Africa and I am already scheming on when I can go back to join them again.

DSC_1733 (1).JPG
DSC_1741.JPG
 

Attachments

  • DSC_1733.JPG
    9.4 MB · Views: 163
  • DSC_1741.JPG
    12.2 MB · Views: 134
Last edited by a moderator:

MMAL

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
555
Reaction score
858
Location
New Jersey
Media
52
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
New Jersey, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, Mexico, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Namibia
Great story and congrats. Thanks for the report.

Where did you stay at etosha?
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
9,469
Reaction score
10,297
Location
North Carolina
Media
346
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Congrats on your safari and thanks for sharing!
 

Jfet

AH elite
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
1,806
Media
66
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Member of
Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation,NRA, Life Member DSC
Hunted
Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Namibia, South Africa, and Now Spain
(y)(y)(y)

Great Trip!!! Team Kowas does a magnificent job. I had the privilege of being there right after you.:)
 

blacks

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
532
Reaction score
1,079
Location
South Australia
Website
www.facebook.com
Media
251
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Australia/NZ
2
Member of
Australian Deer Association, Australian Association of Wildlife Artists
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, South Africa
Congrats on your fantastic trophies, everything you say about Kowas is true, especially Matheus' amazing eyes. I have also had the pleasure of stalking Kudu with Jacques, and it was one of the highlights of my hunting life.

Well done!
 

cagkt3

AH legend
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
2,926
Reaction score
2,018
Location
Texas
Media
87
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, SCI - West Texas Chapter, HSC, NRA Life Member, Ducks Unlimited
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, OK, TX, UT, KS

JGRaider

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
602
Reaction score
530
Location
West Texas
Media
15
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
B&C, DSC
Hunted
US, Mexico, S Africa, Namibia
Mike B, congrats to you ! Glad you had a great time with the Kowas crew, and I'm hardly surprised, as they are world class people and hunters. It doesn't get any better IMO. I've been with them 3 times and you made me homesick to return.

Glad to see those meerkat pics! Aren't those the coolest little creatures? Thanks for sharing your story and pics.
 

cls

AH elite
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
1,588
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Alberta, Canada
Media
61
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, AHEIA
Hunted
Canada(AB, BC, SASK, NWT)), USA (WY, MN, TX), South Africa (Limpopo and Eastern Cape), Zambia
Thanks for the report, you did great for a first time safari it will be hard to match that the next time. Some great trophies there.
 

Mike B.

AH senior member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
51
Reaction score
56
Media
17
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Namibia, British Columbia, Western US
Thanks everyone. I ended up taking over 7000 pictures while on this trip. A lot of them while on our photo safari at Erindi and Etosha. While we were at Erindi, we did an evening game drive and then sat at the water hole that night and the next morning. It was exciting as this was our first time devoted to actually looking for animals. Obviously, our excitement level was pretty high so every time something new showed up, I got all giddy inside. Our next stop was at Okaukuejo camp inside Etosha. We had some funny moments to remember while here. I have what some people call a slight fear of spiders. The rooms were setup where there were a lot of hiding spots for those vile creatures, and they grow really, really, umm really BIG!!!! Our next few stops were at the Halali camp and then on to Mokuti Lodge. While the camps inside Etosha really aren't all that spectacular in any way, I don't think I would change anything about the trip. The experience was something I will never forget. I liked seeing all of the different areas inside Etosha.

Seriously...what the heck is this all about! This was not my highlight of the trip! :)

DSC_0287.JPG


I had a few highlights of the trip, one of them was getting to be around meerkats at camp. The two larger females were overall pretty friendly. They were hand raised and then released. They went out and found a mate who also came around as well but would not let you get too close. He would basically stay inside the burrows near camp and would watch your every move. The 3 youngsters were a bit more friendly but still were pretty leery of people. The other was a half day trip to Ukutula Lion Park just outside of Johannesburg where I was able to interact with some lion cubs and cheetahs. I had missed the cheetah excursion while at Kowas so I was happy to get a similar experience later in our trip. We also spent some time in Cape Town where we tried to do a cage dive with great whites and got to spend time on Table Mountain.

DSC_2479.JPG
DSC_1957.JPG
DSC00036.JPG
 

jeff

AH legend
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
2,041
Location
Salmon Idaho
Media
36
Hunting reports
Africa
19
Member of
sci P&Y
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa in Kwazu Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape , Northwest Province, USA Ariz, Nev, Mont, Ida, Ore, Cal, Mich,Wash, AlasKa
I would love to bowhunt Kowas!
 

PARA45

AH elite
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
1,567
Reaction score
2,214
Media
47
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
2
Member of
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Hunted
South Africa, Nicaragua, FL, CA, SD, GA, SC, CO
Well done, some fine trophies you got. Congrats!!!!
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,479
Reaction score
3,285
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
3
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Sounds like a wonderful trip with some very nice trophies. Lots of good memories there. Congrats Bruce
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,133
Reaction score
8,533
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Congratulations on your hunt. You picked a quality outfit to hunt with. Thanks for the report.
 

Neale

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Messages
496
Reaction score
532
Location
Cape York, Queensland Australia
Media
102
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia, South Africa ( Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo,KwaZulu Natal )
Well done on your trophies. Thanks for putting a report together as we all enjoy reading about the hunt. Congrats.
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,133
Reaction score
6,862
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Kowas safaris always seem to end the same way.

A great trip report and a repeat customer!

You had a snorter of a trip!
 

Bwana Bob

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
73
Reaction score
81
Media
10
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Dates - June 5th to June 19th
Outfitter - Kowas Hunting Safaris
PH - Matheus Theofelus and Jacques Strauss
Target Animals - Plains Game

I started researching outfitters and locations in early 2015 for my first safari. I eventually found some posts about Kowas and so I reached out and talked with Ansie Strauss. After quite a few emails and a call from her, I decided this is where we will go on our first Africa safari. Somehow I talked my sister and her husband and my parents into going with me. Not one of my friends would spend the money to go! That summer we put down our deposit and so the wheels were set in motion. The bad news...my sister set the date that we could not go sooner than June 2017. I had to wait a very long 2 years before I could go to Africa! We also decided that in conjunction with hunting that we would also add the photo safari to Etosha National Park. In the latter part of 2016, my uncle decided that he wanted to join us on the trip as well.

After two years of waiting and reading tons of information on this site, the time to travel to Namibia was finally here. We left Salt Lake City on June 3rd and flew to Johannesburg on Delta. We then overnighted there at Africa Sky Guest House. This was a good decision as well as we had no problems whatsoever. The next morning we flew to Windhoek and we were met at the airport by Ansie. After the brief meeting we loaded up into our touring vehicle and headed to pick up Danie Strauss in town. Danie and Ansie would be our tour guides as we traveled through their beautiful country. We would then continue our drive to Erindi Game Reserve where we stayed for the night before heading into Etosha. We thoroughly enjoyed this part of the trip, learning about all of the animals we saw as well as Danie providing information on the history of the country and it's people. After spending several days in Etosha seeing well over a hundred elephants, 11 rhino, several lions, and the countless other species of animals, our next stop was Danie and Ansie's beautiful home.

As we arrived at Kowas, the sun was just setting. We got settled in to our new home for the next 10 days and i was getting excited for the next day. We had conversations about what animals I wanted to try for so we set my wishlist and the plan for the next day was born. It was now my time to fulfill one of my bucket list items. I had decided early on that I would not be taking my own rifle. For my first trip over, it was a headache that I felt I could do without. I was happy with this decision as the rifle I used was a good condition Winchester 300 win mag with a Leupold VX-6 scope. The next morning I met Matheus, my PH for the next few days. I absolutely enjoyed hunting with Matheus. We went to the range and I got sighted in quickly. I was comfortable with the setup and shooting off of sticks. I shoot the same caliber in a Weatherby rifle with the same scope. My experience off of shooting sticks was ok but not nearly as much as I probably should have. I carry them here on elk and deer hunts as well.

After the shooting session, we all jumped in two different vehicles and went on a photo game drive. We got a great overview of the property and saw all kinds of animals. We then came back and had a wonderful lunch. One thing that I can guarantee to everyone, you will never go hungry and the food will always be amazing. Every meal we had was top notch. That afternoon we went out on our first hunt. We went out looking for impala, springbok or black wildebeest. Matheus decided that he wanted to take a look for a black wildebeest we had seen earlier that day on our drive. He took off and hiked halfway up a hill. He quickly came back down and said he spotted it and 4 blesbok. Blesbok was also on my list but these were all females. So we went off and started our stalk. As we started to get close, the blesbok were between us and the wildebeest. We thought this was going to be a major problem but eventually the blesbok changed directions and fed away from us. Shortly after the black wildebeest came out in a good shooting location. Matheus got me on the sticks and i was able to seal the deal on my first African animal.

View attachment 194894

That evening was spent around the fire reminiscing on the first safari experience. The next morning we went after springbok and impala. We had seen some springbok not far from where we found the black wildebeest the night before. We headed off in that direction and we eventually stopped as Matheus spotted a small herd a long ways away. It was impressive seeing his spotting skills. We set off on a stalk from about 500 yards away. We got into some thicker bushes and we stumbled onto a nice impala. Matheus took a quick look and said it's a good one and he quickly put the sticks up. I quickly got on the ram and took a shot. I quickly said I don't know how well I hit him. The impala ran off and we lost sight of him. We went looking for blood and quickly found his tracks. We started the tracking job. We went 75 yards or so and were getting close to the edge of a hill. At this point we were not certain he was hit very well as there were only small drops of blood. As we got closer to the hill side, the impala jumped up and ran off again. We were all caught off guard as Michael, our driver, was up on that same hillside right above where the impala had bed down. Unfortunately I was not ready to take a followup shot and I actually never saw him run off. Long story short, after a 2 and a half hour track job and thinking we probably lost this animal, we got to a thick set of thorny bushes. At this point I was standing with Michael as Matheus had gone off around to see if he could see anything. It wasn't long before Michael decided to double back about 50 yards and as he did, something caught his eye. He bent down and quickly got my attention, He had a big smile on his face and he said, there he is. The impala had fallen and died in some nasty thick stuff. I had shot really low and I must have hit the brisket. I can only suspect the bone fragments is what caused the animal to bleed out. Definitely a bad shot and one I would not try to repeat. My second animal was now down.

View attachment 194895

After a hearty lunch, we set off that evening looking for blesbok. I was happy that things had a happy ending that morning and wanted to do everything I could to make better shots. We had gone to a different part of the property this time and we had come to an area that we were seeing oryx, springbok, eland and zebra. Matheus then quickly signaled to stop the truck and he threw up his binos. He had spotted some blesbok within a herd of springbok. We got out of the truck and started the stalk. This is when I thought things went bad. As we got closer to the blesbok, we stumbled onto some oryx that we didn't see. The oryx took off and that made the springbok and blesbok move as well. Luckily they didn't know what was happening so they ran only a short distance and started feeding again. We kept inching closer and finally the male turned around and started feeding back towards us. I was on the stick and this time I made a perfect shot. No tracking this time.

View attachment 194897

The next morning we headed out to look for a nice waterbuck we had seen while looking for blesbok the night before. This was not on my wishlist but it was quickly added to my list when I had finally seen one in person. We got to the general vicinity of where we saw him and we eventually put eyes on him. Matheus quickly worked up a plan and off we went. The waterbuck was running with a smaller male and a few females. The stalk worked great as we were able to get slightly in front of them as they fed through a small opening. Everything again worked out perfectly and I had another animal down.

Since we finished as quickly as we did, we still had some good morning hunting to do. We had gone to an area where Matheus knew mountain zebra liked to hang out but we did not see anything. As we continued to drive, Matheus spotted some zebra a long ways away. We got out of the truck and started to hike up the mountain side. We got to within about 500 yards and the zebra had seen us and pushed up the hill side away from us. We started walking away from them to try a different angle and as we walked a few hundred more yards, we heard loud crashing. Matheus said that is going to be another group right above us that we never saw. We got on their tracks and followed them to the top of the mountain. At this point we had been walking slowly for a long time. As we crested the top, we spotted the first zebra feeding away from us. We were not in a good position as it quickly disappeared into the brush. We moved further down and that's when the entire hillside came alive. Zebra were running everywhere. We were busted! I am pretty sure I let out a four letter word and we then decided to continue. Not 20 yards further and Matheus quickly stopped. One lone zebra had stuck around. It knew something was wrong but he made the wrong choice and turned back and stopped. A quick shot and I now had a great trophy to add to the rest. On a side note, I had zebra several times while on this trip and it was by far my favorite meat. Since we were so far from the road with no way to get the truck up here, we had no choice but to call in for reinforcements and the animal was processed in the field.

View attachment 194899

View attachment 194898

That evening we went out looking for springbok. We found a nice male and the stalk commenced. As we got close, we got pinned down in a location that didn't allow for us to move any further. We had really good cover in front of us but that was as close as we could get. Matheus said lets be patient and see if they continue to feed in the same direction. Not too much longer after that and I said to him, they're running the other direction! He set up the sticks and I waited for the male to clear the females. I took a shot and sure enough, a complete miss! The springbok ran for a really long ways. We called for the truck to come get us and we ventured on to find another option. We came across another group later that evening and we tried another stalk. We got busted and the herd ran off. We packed up and went back for dinner. The "elusive" springbok won this round.


The next morning we set off looking for red hartebeest. We drove to an area and started walking in hopes that we would come across a good male. As we were walking, we ran into a group bedded down and they spotted us. The group ran off and we continued our walk. All we saw in that group were females. We didn't see anything else so we called for the truck to pick us up and we drove off. We saw a bunch of blue wildebeest but not our target animal and no big bull to go after. Not too long after we ran into a hartebeest worth chasing. We put on our stalk and Matheus threw up the sticks. I got confused and thought he said to move further to the left when what he was telling me was to shoot the one on the left. So after a short song and dance done by me, I finally got on the sticks. Matheus was saying hurry, shoot! shoot! and I finally got a shot off. The other two smaller bulls had already ran off and it was just a matter of time before this bull took off. The bull went about 50 yards and another animal on my list was down. I had made another marginal shot as the animal was quartering towards us but it was still good enough to get the job done quickly.

View attachment 194901

That evening we were after oryx. We drove a ways onto a neighboring property that is part of the conservancy and we glassed from the top of the mountain down into a large flat open plain. They had seen a nice male there previously and we were hoping to find him again. After about 20 minutes of glassing, we finally found some oryx. They were a really long ways away. We started walking. A few minutes later and we had got to the edge of the thick bushes and small trees that lined the mountain side and we were stuck with nothing but grassy plains and random trees. Matheus said there was a good bull and it was running with a few others as well. I do not think I will ever be able to tell a male from a female oryx as they all look the same to me. We slowly worked our way closer and got to a point where I thought we were going to need to shoot from about 250 yards. Instead we crawled the last 75 yards and got to a tree that worked great as a rest. I got setup and after a little back and forth about which one I was supposed to shoot at, I took a shot. He ran off and they all mixed together. I told Matheus I have no idea which one is which. Luckily no follow up shot was needed as he said to me, don't worry it's down.

View attachment 194900

The next morning we went after Blue Wildebeest. We spotted a group of 4 feeding. We started the stalk and the biggest bull laid down. We were stuck again where we were at. We waited for about 10 minutes to see what they were going to do. The 3 smaller bulls were feeding away from us but the big bull stayed bedded. Suddenly, the big bull got up and quickly started coming right at us. The other 3 bulls started following and without having to work any harder, the big bull walked right past us at 50 yards.

View attachment 194904

My wish list was quickly shrinking in size. I had gone to Africa with 3 animals that I really wanted. Those being oryx, kudu, and mountain zebra. I had 4 more days of hunting and I had already taken two of my must have animals. This is when things started to slow down a bit as we set our sights on Kudu. The first evening out, we sat and glassed a large mountainous area. We saw a few cows and one small bull. We decided to go back to this same area and look in the morning. We glassed a bit and then took off on a very long walk. We saw a couple of cows in the distance but no bulls. While the size of the mountains we were in were huge, we were walking in very sandy conditions. It was like hunting on a beach through thorny bushes and trees. After a very long morning, we went back to camp at around 1pm. That evening we went to yet another area looking for a big bull. We walked to the top of a very rocky mountain and glassed the other side. Just below us were a few cows but no bulls. We kept searching that evening without any luck. The next morning we decided to go back close to the previous mornings location. We ran into quite a few animals that morning but no bulls big enough. After a lot of walking through grass up to my hips and big boulders, we set off to get back to camp. Matheus had to go to town and got a flat tire in the process. He would not be back in time to leave for the evening hunt so Jacques lead the way. That first part of the evening we saw a few cows and one small bull. The sun was going down quickly and as we were close to calling it a night, we spotted a nice bull. Things happened quickly because we had daylight fading fast. We hustled as quickly as we could without making too much noise and I got setup on the stick. My first shot hit and the bull ran off. I quickly tried to get more shots on him and I was able to connect two more times. The third shot dropped him in his tracks. We then went off in search of where he laid. As we approached, we saw the bull lying there. We saw no movement and we got closer. Jacques walked around the bull and we were admiring the size. Jacques grabbed onto the horn and suddenly the bull started standing up. We scattered a bit and the bull finally stumbled onto his feet. I got another shot off and it ran about 10 yards. I had hit it in the neck on the shot that dropped the bull in its tracks and it had finally regained control of his body. The shot as it stood up hit it in the neck again. Finally we had a kudu on the ground. We worked hard for this bull and it was a great hunt.

View attachment 194906

I now had the 3 animals that I really wanted to come home with. I couldn't have been happier with what had already taken place as things worked out so well for me. I did however, still have 2 animals on my wishlist. The "elusive" springbok and warthog. The next morning Jacques and Matheus took me out looking for Springbok. We drove a ways to a property that held good springbok. I had already missed on a decent buck and that was constantly going through my mind. As we drove this new area looking, we found a few bucks roaming roaming together. One buck stood out as Jacques and Matheus said we should try for that one. After some time, we were in position. That morning was exceptionally hot and I was sweating badly. We got on the bigger male and I took a shot. I had pulled the shot what felt like 5 feet to the right. I had missed again. The springbok ran off and we went after them. I did not think we would see them again. Luckily they had stopped about 500 yards away and I got another chance. Sure enough, another miss! This time, they didn't take off and I was able to quickly reload. I told myself to calm down and breath and I calmly pulled the trigger. Finally a hit. He ran about 30 yards and it was over. I finally got a springbok after it eluded me for some time.

View attachment 194907

That evening Matheus and I set off on a long walk to look for a warthog we saw on a previous hunt. We were walking through an area that had a slight hillside on both sides of us. I kept telling myself that there is no way we are going to find him in this. If he is even slightly over the hill we will never see him from where we were walking. About an hour later of walking, sure enough that warthog was right on the edge of the hillside where I could get a shot. We quickly maneuvered to get behind some cover and got to within 60 yards of him. I took the shot. The warthog spun around and quickly went behind a bush. He walked out from behind the bush and I took a second shot. I had now taken 11 animals, and everything on my wish list.

View attachment 194908

I can't say enough good things about the experience we had with the group at Kowas. Danie, Ansie, Jacques and Elleni Strauss have a great operation there. Hunting with Matheus was an honor to me and it killed me that he couldn't be there for the kudu after we had worked so hard the prior few days. They truly were tremendous people. I absolutely loved the small family feel of the entire operation. I never once felt like I was in some huge commercial operation where I was just that weeks paycheck. I am glad that we chose them for our first trip to Africa and I am already scheming on when I can go back to join them again.

View attachment 194915 View attachment 194916
Sounds like you had a great time. I hunted with Kowas in 2011 and will be heading there in October. Can't wait. Like you, I am trying to decide whether to take my rifle or eliminate the hassle and use one of theirs. I am flying out of Dulles to JFK and then on to J-burg. The first flight I am using Jet Blue. What a mistake. They will only check my firearm to JFK. I will then have to go down to baggage claim, and do the same process over again with SAA. From the looks of your photos, using one of their weapons worked out pretty well for you. I also have a mountain zebra on my wish list. Sounds like that is going to be a challenge. Good hunting. Bob
 

Ragman

AH elite
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
1,331
Reaction score
1,805
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Media
209
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
2
Hunted
Canada(Sask./B.C.), Namibia, RSA(Eastern Cape) USA(Texas)
Excellent report...what an awesome bunch of animals you were able to get! Namibia is a wonderful place. It's where I went on my first safari and I loved it. On my first night there, I found one of those spiders on the wall beside my bathroom mirror. I tried to kill it, but it was too fast for me and it escaped. The next night it was right back beside the mirror. I figured it wasn't hurting me and left it alone...by the end of the trip, I was getting to enjoy seeing it there! Lol. I'm jealous that you got to play with meerkats! I think they're the cutest things and I never saw any. Looks like @Kowas Hunting Safaris is a top notch outfit!
 

Mike B.

AH senior member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
51
Reaction score
56
Media
17
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Namibia, British Columbia, Western US
I ran into the spiders the first night in Etosha at one of the camps. They totally freaked me out. Just like you, I tried to kill what I saw but they are very fast! I also found out that they don't seem to move more than a few feet at the most. Came across a couple more once we got to Kowas and the spiders and I talked for a bit and came to a mutual agreement, if you stay on your side of the line and I stay on mine, all will be well. :LOL:

The meerkats were amazing little creatures. I'll never forget the noises they make and the personality that they showed. When I go back I hope that the little ones and I cross paths again.
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,681
Reaction score
3,028
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
116
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
Congrats for a great hunt, and some very nice trophies.

Thanks for sharing !
 

Edge

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
806
Reaction score
1,228
Location
Between dreams and reality
Media
468
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
PA, NM, ND, Al, FL, MD, Eastern Cape South Africa, Zimbabwe x 2
Great animals and nice write-up! Thank you for sharing,

Edge
 
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

I’ll never hunt Africa, but give me please a Jack O’Connor hunt up high in the Canadian Rockies!
Just came from a hunt and already longing for the bush
JPmbogo wrote on yhc's profile.
I have factory loaded Hornady 450 NE 3 1/4 DGS that I am selling for not much more than the brass itself at $75/box - see my listing for same.
Justbryan wrote on Rafter JK's profile.
Get Crazy Larry yet? Wishing I had shot Alpine Ibex too!
 
Top