NAMIBIA: Cheetah Hunting Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris


AH veteran
Dec 29, 2012
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Hunting reports
Finland, Cameroon, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Poland, Sweden
Opening words

I’ve had the pleasure to read many good reports and gain valuable knowledge from this site so maybe it’s time to give back.

I’ve been in Namibia once before to hunt leopard and as I didn’t get it, it’s still number one on my list. However as I wanted to conduct the hunt this year during Easter time and wanted to go to Ozondjahe, I could not get leopard on my list (reserved for this year already). So I opted for another cat, cheetah. That would be the main target for the hunt. Besides the cheetah I was after zebra, eland, oryx and maybe impala (and like I told to PH Francois Roberts, anything exceptional).

Hunt was 12 days combined with 3 off hunting days to have more time to spend with the family. Partially accompanying me were my wife and daughter, brother and parents.

Main equipment for the trip:
· Sako L691 Rifle in .338 WinMag. GRS rifle stock.
· Zeiss Victory HT 3-12x56 scope with option to replace the scope with Aimpoint red dot sight
· Ammunition: Sako factory loaded 275gr Swift A-Frame
· Trigger stick tripod
· Pelican iM3300 Storm Case
· Leica Geovid HD-B 10x42 binoculars
· Panasonic DMC-FZ72 camera
· Family
· Twisted sense of humor


Important for me is ethical and fair hunting. I don’t mind working hard for the trophies. I will shoot jackals from the car and wounded animals if needed, but otherwise no shooting from the car. Especially not cheetah. I’m not hunting for high quantity. Quality of the hunt is way more important. This was also explained to Francois and that’s how we hunted.

Friday 27.3 “Nice to be back in Namibia”

Arriving to Windhoek from Frankfurt early in the morning. Air Namibia flight seems to work pretty well. I quickly got through customs and got import permit for the rifle. Francois was waiting for me and trip to Ozondjahe started. First stop was in Windhoek. I wanted to buy a pair of Courtney boots. They aren’t easily available in Finland (read: 1 model only with quite high price), where I live, so I decided to buy them locally. I tried both Courtney Selous and Patrol and went for Patrol as it fit my feet better. I also thought that a little higher boot might provide better protection as I don’t want to use gaiters. I actually had bought gaiters, but never used them during this trip and left them to Ozondjahe. Hopefully someone will have better use for them.

Car ride to Ozondjahe went well. We talked a little and I got a small nap. It was good to see some game close to the lodge and the waterhole in front of the dining area is really nice. I unpacked, we had lunch and a little rest. Then we went to the range to check the rifle (and shooter). Range is conveniently located next to the lodge. Good, I was eager to get behind the rifle. I shot 3 shots from prone position and no need to adjust sights. Grouping was not that good (maybe 5 cm), but quite typical when position is not ideal and heartrate is up. It’s weird why I seem to have challenge keeping heartrate low when I’m tired and high on caffeine. Well, I guess it simulates real hunting situation. Throughout the hunt I used setting where scope is zeroed for 150 meters and scope magnification is 6. This set up is then changed if needed, but I should be able to shoot everything from 0-200 meters with reasonable accuracy without adjusting the scope. The trajectory of heavy bullet is not great, but for antelope sized animals it should be good enough. And as usual, the biggest variable in the actual bullet hit point is the shooter. At least in my case.

After visiting the range, we continued to our first drive in the property. Search for the cheetah has officially started. Ozondjahe has large property. That was one of the reasons I wanted to hunt there. I don’t want to be in a small area feeling that fences are limiting the hunt somehow. And although game can jump over low fences, the fact that Ozondjahe has no internal fences was a big plus.

During the drive we found cheetah tracks from area called New Market. It was remote location and required minimum 30 minutes drive from the lodge. The tracks were a little old, probably around 2 days, but there was cheetah in the area. We spotted plenty of other game during our drive too. We weren’t really hunting yet, but it was great to be again in the bakkie spotting game and smelling the fresh air. I can’t wait the next days.
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Ok Riksa, I think I can see where this is going. I'm going to be at Ozondjahe in June to hunt cheetah. Tell me you left one behind!
A "twisted sense of humor" is necessary on any hunting trip!
Saturday 28.3 “Do we need to buy more ammunition?”

Typical schedule throughout the hunt would be to wake up 5:30, breakfast 6:00 and start hunting at 6:30. I was already awake when the wake up came. Too excited to sleep I guess. Well, people tend to sleep when they are tired so clearly I was not tired enough. That would be fixed in the coming days.

Right after leaving the lodge we spotted 2 jackals. They were just white spots against the dark ground. The closest jackal was roughly 60 meters from the road. I quickly took aim using the side of the bakkie’s metal frame as support. Loud bang and first jackal was down. I quickly looked for the other jackal, but he was already making his escape and was saved for the future hunters. What a way to start the hunt and good practice to test both hunter and rifle.

We continued the search of cheetah and were also looking for zebra. After driving some time trying to spot game we decided it was time to make a short walk to area where game can usually be found. There were some oryx and blue wildebeest as we headed deeper to the bushes. We got to 20 meters from a young oryx bull. “Are we close enough” asked Francois. I took my knife and replied “could you get me a little closer”. And the stalk continued.

There would be leopard hunter coming after me to Ozondjahe so there was a need to get some baits and warthog meat so we had also warthog on the list. In the end of the stalk we got to a little more open area. We found a 2 warthogs, stalked close and shot one at 80 meters. Warthog was in high grass and I needed to aim high. Shooting position was something between kneeling and standing. I could not set the Trigger Sticks to correct high to shoot from kneeling or sitting position. So the shot was taken from really awkward position. I hit warthog in spine, a little high up and too far back compared to where I tried, but clean 1 shot kill in any case. In a few hours we had 2 animals down. Not a bad way to start the hunt!

The search of zebra continued and we found big mushrooms that were eaten as part of the dinner (taste was excellent with cream, bacon, black pepper and some onions). We were back at lodge for lunch around 11:30. No zebras spotted and not even tracks of zebra. They seemed to be hiding well. I guess they knew we were after them.

No photos as the camera was left home. But there will be some later...

Afternoon hunt started 15:30. Lesson learnt from shooting the warthog: Trigger Stick tripod was replaced with Francois’ set of sticks (three sticks bound together with a rubber band). Best support I have tried up to date. We couldn’t go to the area we wanted due to some heavy rain (got wet several times during the afternoon anyway). So we went to the same area where we were the day before. In 30 minutes we spotted the first herd of Burchell’s zebras. They ran away and we drove onwards to get better wind direction and started the stalk. After walking less than a kilometer we were right on the zebras. Distance to the closest female was 100 meters and she had not spotted us. “Do you wish to shoot a stallion or is female OK?”. What do you think… Sticks go up and I take aim. She was nicely broadside, but probably senses something is not right. She turns and is now quartering towards us. I take aim and aim a little too high and too much to the center of the chest. A shot goes off and she is down on the spot. Not perfect shot but hit 1 lung and spine. But another 1 shot kill and the first trophy animal on the salt.


Other zebras don’t know what happened (they were roughly 150-200 meters from us) so we continue being still and looking what happens next. Suddenly a pair of warthogs comes in. One shot through a bush (around 80 meters distance) and we have another warthog down. Better shot overall, hit right height, a few centimeters too far on the back, but broke the offside shoulder and both lungs. All 4 animals have been down on the spot so far. Let’s hope the track record continues. In the picture below you can also see our hunting dog Max. 3 months of age and plenty of actions.


The zebra was a really old female. I love the way she looks with all the marks of life in her skin. Pictures, loading and off we go. After 200 meters of driving we spot a jackal that is running. Bakkie stops and we see him around 150 meters from us. Another quick shot at awkward position and I hit too low (only sand). Well, doable shot, but difficult one. Anyway, hunting is proceeding nicely. We drop of the game at the skinning shed and despite some rain head out again. There is a large heard (100+) impalas at the waterhole. There is 1 good bull and 1 exceptional bull in the heard. This is the biggest Impala I have seen up to date. I hope to come back to you later…

Whole heard and below the ONE in more detail

After a short drive a jackal is spotted. 1 shot from 50 meters ends his day. Cheetah hunt continues. We also spot now plenty of zebras. They are bolder now that we already have one. Probably they don’t know that I’d like to have 2 zebra rugs. However I wish next one to be a mountain zebra stallion.

We continue to hang bait for a leopard hunter coming after us and driving around in search of cheetah. Suddenly there is again a jackal. I shout to stop the bakkie. A rushed shot from about 5 meters (let’s call this a warning shot) is fired. Missed! I’m surprised that the jackal didn’t die of laughter. Anyway, he makes mistake of giving another try at around 25 meters and after an off hand shot he is down. Francois immediately tells there is another jackal at the opposite direction. I turn around and take support from the bakkies roof. Jackal is about 60 meters from us. Quick aim, bang and down he goes. 2 jackals in less than 10 seconds. We were wondering why the jackals didn’t make their escape earlier. When jumping out of the bakkie we find out potential reason. There was a rabbit between the jackals. It might have been so that the jackals were focusing on the rabbit and didn’t notice us arriving before it was too late.


These jackals would make a nice full mount pair. .338 from close distance to a small animal leaves its’ mark. Rest of the trip is mainly rain and spotting blue wildebeest (there is plenty) and oryx. Good food, some drinks, tales and bedtime. We’ll continue at 6:30AM tomorrow. Let’s see if we can find the cheetah.

First day of hunting resulted in a zebra, 2 warthogs and 4 jackals. 9 shots fired on the first day of the hunt. I brought 60 rounds with me. I have still 11 days to go. Francois is asking “Do we need to buy more ammunition?”. I take that as a sign of a successful first hunting day. Based on the jokes about missing the jackal at 5 meters it could also mean that I need to seriously work on my shooting and/or stop shooting warning shots.
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Ok Riksa, I think I can see where this is going. I'm going to be at Ozondjahe in June to hunt cheetah. Tell me you left one behind!
You'll just need to wait and see :)
Sounds like a lot of fun. Keep it coming. Bruce
You seem to have a lot off rain on your trip so far , I will be in Namibia in a few weeks and
was a bit worried about the condition of the animals because of the drought they are having .
It looks really green in some of your photos .
How much rain have they had ?
Sounds like Jackal heaven!!!
Enjoying the report.

Looking forward to the rest.

keep writing , lad ,
Good stuff so far.
Everyone educates Jackals...
Awesome keep it coming great pics as well.
Great hunt so far! I also like reading that your family is sharing Africa with you!
I like this hunt report. Shooting varmints is always fun and that zebra is very nice.
Sunday 29.3 “Eland at sight”

Plenty of driving around. A lot of animals in the morning and they seemed not too jumpy. There has been plenty of rain so animals are not around waterholes. No signs of cheetah, spotted a few leopard tracks. We did a 5 km stalk in the bush following some zebra and oryx, but could not get close. Warthogs and blue wildebeest are plenty (also in shooting distance). Despite the rain there is game on the run. Just not the ones we are after.

In the afternoon plenty of driving around to look for cheetah. No sign of cheetah though. When it is getting dark we find a herd of bull eland. There was around 12 of them. Stalk is immediately on. They are making their way through some thicker bush. We can hear them, but no visual contact yet. We come to a little more open area. We can now spot the eland around 150-200 meters from us. They are walking away from us. Not really running, but their walk is faster than ours. And the darkness is coming fast. We increase our speed to get a chance to catch them before dark. Then there is the grunt from the blue wildebeests and our stalk is blown. The darkness arrives and Francois is on the phone calling the Ozondjahe Express to pick us up. Tomorrow we will come after this heard again.


Monday 30.3 “Eland at sight II”

Heavy rain during the night. Rain started 21:00 previous day and lasted until 4:00 in the morning. And we are after the eland again. Plan was to find the heard from previous day where we were left off and stalk them. Due to the rain we searched a little more fresh tracks nearby and started following them. We followed the tracks for a couple of kilometers, but they were not fresh even then so we stopped tracking. After driving a little we found a fresh set of other eland tracks and the stalk was on. We followed the tracks roughly 500 meters and found the elands, but unfortunately they spotted us first. Or one of them did. The small herd split into 2 and we continued tracking 2 elands. We got to roughly 40-50 meters from them, but swirling wind busted us before we could see them in the thick bush. Stalk continued as eland were not running on full speed. We got to them once again and the distance was roughly 100 meters, but no chance to shoot as they were heading through the bush after sensing something was not right. They went to a more open area and joined with the 2 that had split earlier. They spotted us in the opening roughly 200 meters from us and that was the end of the stalk. Walked in total close to 3 kilometers with the eland. In the end there were also oryx and blue wildebeest ruining our stalk. We had nice time in the bush anyway! Rest of the morning we drove around looking for eland, but found nothing.

During lunch break we had a heavy rain shower. Luckily the sky cleared before we got out to our afternoon hunt. But everything was soaked. In the afternoon my brother joined me for hunt and took the camera out. We spent 4,5 hours driving around, but could not see a single eland. Some zebras and plenty of oryx, wildebeest and impala. Spotted also a small leopard track which was fresh.



No sign of cheetah today and no shots fired in the past 2 days. A little bad luck in the air, but that’s how it goes. New experiences for me every day and I am still hunting. It’s great to be out in the open air. In the end of the day we agreed that we will start 6:30 the following morning and 7:25 to have the eland down. I’m looking forward to holding the agreement. Let’s see what happens in real life…
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Tuesday 31.3 “Would you like to shoot that Eland as cull?”

6:30 we are in the baggie. So far everything as agreed. I hope the eland to stick with the agreement. Or do they know that we have an agreement? We leave the lodge and after a couple of kilometers two eland cross the road 200 meters in front of us. We can not see the horns, but they are both males. Car stops and off we go. Stalk is on. We immediately notice that there is also a small herd of oryx at the same direction. The oryx notice that something is wrong and slowly make their escape to the direction where we think also the eland went. We follow the oryx and the eland. Close by are also some blue wildebeest grunting and trying to find out what is approaching them. Not a promising start to our stalk.


We come to a road and stop to listen. When eland bulls walk their hoofs make a clicking sound. We can’t hear anything. We walk the road a little further and spot fresh leopard track on the road. But no eland tracks anywhere. So the eland have not crossed this road. We start heading back to the direction where the car is. Suddenly Francois stops. Then also I can hear the sound of the elands. When we continued going directly earlier, elands had made a 90 degree turn to their left. But now we are on to them. The area is a little more open and we can see one eland about 200-250 meters ahead of us.


We are downwind and the eland is eating grass and moving slowly away from us. But there is only one eland. Where did the other one go? Francois is looking through binoculars and I am doing my best to keep calm and not to get too excited. “The eland is a very old male and has one horn broken, would you like to take it as cull?” After 2 days of hunting without getting even close to the sticks I immediately reply “Yes”. We start closing the distance and suddenly the second eland is in front of us. Francois is immediately checking it through binoculars and thumb goes up. He is seemingly excited. We have a good bull in front of us!

The eland still have no idea we are on them and wind is in our favor. No other animals between us and them. Is this it, do I get the chance for an eland? I feel my heart racing as excitement starts to take over. Sticks go up and I double check with Francois which bull is the right one. I take aim through the scope. The eland is so far that I want to have more magnification. I twiddle with the scope and everything is good. The bull is slowly walking and eating grass as it moves. It’s behind some bush, but coming to a small opening. Francois shouts next to me. The bull lifts its head from the ground and stops perfectly broadside on the opening. Time seems to slow down and everything is calm. No excitement, no shakes, nothing. I am fully concentrated, place the crosshair just behind the shoulder and squeeze the trigger. Shot is off and I know it’s good. I can see the place of the crosshair in my eyes when recoil throws the gun off balance.

I’ve been there before. I can be nervous and excited, have shakes and high heart rate, but when the moment to pull the trigger comes, I’m totally calm. A little like nothing but me, the rifle and the target exists. That’s a feeling I can not describe, but I believe it comes from focus and concentrating. And that’s when I shoot best. It’s not always like that though. But these are the moments I will remember the rest of my life.

The eland lifts his head and runs away. It disappears behind the bush. The other bull seems confused. It takes a sprint to follow it’s fellow and stop almost to the same place where the fellow was when shot took place. We can hear the bull go down. Due to bushes we can not see it, but it’s down. The other bull is now making his escape to the other direction. I haven’t seen the bull to go down so I still can not fully believe we got him. We start walking and then I see him. He is down. And what a bull he is. You can not understand the true size of the eland until you are really next to him. It’s also a sad moment to see him down. I have a huge respect for these big animals.


The shot is perfectly placed behind the shoulder. We measure the distance where the shot was taken and it’s between 150-170 meters. Bullet didn’t penetrate through. I can feel the bullet just under the offside skin. We start moving him and it’s time for photos. We are not in a hurry anymore. The stalk must have started before 7:00, probably around 6:45. The shoot took place 7:30. The schedule that we agreed previous evening was kept almost to the minute. How on earth did that happen?


We are back at the skinning shed by 8:30.


By 10:00 we are stuck in the mud. I don’t care. This has been a great morning.


After the eland we decided to focus on oryx bull. Afternoon included plenty of driving around looking for signs of cheetah and hanging some baits for leopard. We saw some pretty big oryxes but unfortunately only female. The big bulls were not present.



In the morning we got the biggest antelope. In Ozondjahe you can also find the smallest. I had not seen damara dik-dik before


Kudu might be the master of camouflage, but these Kudu ladies could have selected a little better hiding spot. Top of the small ridge with sky in the back is not ideal. Maybe they were lining up for the kudu bulls that were starting to pair with the ladies.


We saw plenty of animals and had a nice afternoon. The sticks weren’t needed after the eland, but the day was great and it ended in a beautiful sundown.

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You seem to have a lot off rain on your trip so far , I will be in Namibia in a few weeks and
was a bit worried about the condition of the animals because of the drought they are having .
It looks really green in some of your photos .
How much rain have they had ?

I don't know how many millimeters they had, but there was plenty of rain at least in Ozondjahe. It was a little more dry before I came but apparently I took the Finnish weather with me and everything was soaked...
I was wondering how long it would take after that amount of rain before you would be doing Bakkie recovery.
Amazing to see a dam that was totally empty, save a very small puddle, being so full.

Very nice Eland.

Great looking Eland Congrats! your doing great keeper coming.

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