NAMIBIA: Bwabwata With KOU KUAS ADVENTURES

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A first hunt report about a last Elephant hunt. I had told myself that I was finished with Elephant hunting after my last hunt several years ago. I suppose that most people who have hunted Elephant will agree that the hunting is a profoundly emotional experience. But that hunt simply did not work out as I had planned. I got my elephant but frankly the hunt was quickly over and I missed a side brain shot. I left that safari with the feeling that was not the way I wanted my last Elephant hunt to be.



Nov 1st a hunt was posted @KOU KUAS ADVENTURES on AR for an elephant hunt in the Bwabwata area of the Caprivi strip. An area just north of Botswana and a prime area for Elephant. It was very short notice but I decided to go. I contacted Emile Kierke the proprietor of Kou Kuas Adventures. Emile is a lifelong PH living and operating in Namibia. He has a tremendous amount of experience. With his and his wife’s help planning went very smoothly for such a short notice hunt.



The flight: I used travel with guns to schedule. Lufthansa Houston to Frankfurt. A lay over that allowed me to get a in airport hotel room, shower and sleep for several hours and then off the Windhoek. I was picked up in Windhoek and driven to Rundu. There Emile picked me up and the Adventure began.



Animals: I was simply amazed at the number and different species of animals observed on the trip.

Buffalo, we saw buffalo daily on the 10 day hunt

Sable

Roan

Herds of Impala

Duiker

Steenbok

Civet

Bat eared fox

Eland on multiple occasions , On one particular day we had a massive herd run right by us while tracking Elephant

Red Lechwe

Wart hogs

African wild dogs

Leopard seen in broad day light

Lions. There is a pride of lions that hangs out in the area around camp. They are not of quota and we saw them most days coming back into camp.

Monitor lizard

Crocodiles Hippo’s they are in the Kwando river just in front of the camp they are constant companions.

Elephants, lots of Elephants



Camp: The camp is brand new. Solar powered electricity. Cell phone coverage is great. I was able to call my wife every morning. Hot showers with propane water heaters. All in all just a great comfortable camp. The front porch on the Chalets sit right on the Kwando river. In the river there were always hippo’s noisily going about their business and usually croc’s quietly cruising by on their business and some times just sunning on the other side of the river. Lots of time buffalo would come for a drink. The camp is a magical place.
Kwando rier just off the porch.jpg




Guns: I am a gun guy but since this hunt was such short notice I elected to use the camp guns. The gun I chose to use was a CZ 550 that had been lightly customized. The action smoothed, Glass bedded, Trigger adjusted and a 1 x6 Leopold scope mounted. It was in 416 Rigby and the ammo was Federal Trophy bonded solids and Hornady DGX. It worked perfectly though out the hunt.



The Hunt: This hunt turned out to be exactly what I wanted it to be. Just before I arrived the first rains came. This dispersed the Elephants away from the river and the first day of hunting was not very productive. By day two Emile and his trackers had figured out the new patterns of the elli’s travel to and from the newly filled water pans and the hunt was on! Perfectly classic Elephant hunting. Picking up tracks and following. If there was a problem it was too many Elephants. The bulls were moving in groups usually 5 to 15. Groups of Cows calves and immature bulls were everywhere.



We spent a lot of time dodging cows. I got to experience something I have read about and had Ross Seyfried tell me he had have happen to him but I had never experienced before. We were walking across a relatively open area with scattered bushes when we walked up wind from a herd , about 20 to 25, cows calves and young bulls. The oldest cow in the group lifted her trunk like a periscope and tested the wind. She then began marching straight towards us. We moved cross wind for probably 75 yards and ducked into some brush expecting her march on past. When she got to where we were originally she dropped her trunk to the ground picked up our trail, turned and started trailing straight towards us. There was no doubt she was looking for us. That was an eerie experience. We ducked deeper into the bushes and beat feet out of there.



We were into Elephants every day. Emile’s patience was just phenomenal as was his work ethic. We hunted long and hard and I enjoyed every minute of it. How can you not! The African sun and air and the plants and animals. Walking with a rifle over your shoulder. Always before you the Elephants and THE Elephant. The one you came all this way for. Slipping in, close, watch the wind , watch your step, looking over the group and shifting a little to look past the rump of this one to try to see a glimpse of the ivory on the one on the other side of the group. The decision. The one is not here and back out quietly leaving them undisturbed. And so it went. Every evening was relaxing and I was tired enough to sleep well. I was also very grateful that at 71 I was still able to keep up.



A request came in that the game scouts were out of meat. So on the morning of the 4th or 5th day we took a morning to shoot a hippo and 2 impala. Shooting the 416 for that was a good chance for familiarization and confidence building.

IMG_6419.jpg




On day 8 we picked up the track of a solitary bull. His tracks were the tracks of a not just mature but old animal. That was what I was looking for. Catching up to him was not easy but we did. As said before Elephant hunting has a emotional component. I knew before we even saw his tusks that this was the elephant that I wanted to harvest. I just had to do my part. At 18 yrds I was able to. Things had worked out perfectly. I always ask to spend time alone with any elephant I have taken. A time to be grateful to the animal, nature itself and the wonderful team that had worked so hard to make this happen. A time to be humbled to be in the presence of one of the most magnificent creatures on our planet . A time for some sadness at the death of the Elephant and for me a time to close , properly, a chapter in the book of my life that has meant so much to me. Will Africa call again? There is no doubt it will and as long as I can physically and financially manage I’ll probably head back but not for elephant.



I can’t say enough about Emile , his crew, operation and his amazing concession. I hope soon to go back to the Bwabwata.



Good hunting



Ernest







portrait elephant.jpg
 
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Awesome! Thank You for sharing
 
Ernest............that was a special report, for sure...............thanks for taking the time to share......FWB
 
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 
great write up and thanks for sharing. congrats on a successful hunt!
 
Thank you for sharing and congratulations. Looking forward to my elephant hunt and having that experience for myself.
 
Congrats for a great hunt, and thanks for sharing !
 
Congratulations! Very nice hunt report, glad you had a good hunt & I enjoyed reading it.
 
Very nice and glad it all worked out for you.
Did the bull have two full tusks?
 
Thanks for sharing your report. I’ll be after my first elephant in 2025 and expect there to be some emotional ups and downs during that hunt. Your report just emphasizes what I already expected.
 
Outstanding, thank you for the report.
 
Great report! thanks for sharing.
 
I think hunt reports are my favorite part of this site.
 
Thank you for your responses! best wishes to the hunters out there!
 
Very nice, the Caprivi is a dream location!
 
I appreciate the essence of your hunt.
Great tale, well told.
Thank you.
 
Congrats on an old bull!
 

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