NAMIBIA: Dangerous Game Hunting with JKO Hunting Safaris - Africa 2020

GA Hunter

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After a while back in the US my mind has finally settled down and decided to allow me put this tale to pen. I’m still struggling with how to start or finish the story but here we go.

Quarry – Non-exportable elephant. The government mandates that it must be a bull at least 35 years of age. 100% of the animal goes to the local community.

Destination – Ja’qna Concession, Tsumkwe, Namibia (AKA Bushmanland). We were adjacent to Khaudum National Park and only about 30 miles from the Botswana border.

Travel went as follows:
  • United Airlines from Atlanta to Washington DC (Dulles) – 2 hours
  • Overnight stay
  • Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa – 13 hours
  • 2 hour window to get through customs and get on the next plane
  • The airline had a representative escort me to the baggage handling area to check my weapon.
  • Back through security and a sprint to the gate
  • Ethiopian on to Windhoek – 7 hours
  • Quick and easy through customs and firearms check
Jan Van Wyck’s smiling face managed to pick me out of the crowd as I wandered aimlessly out of baggage claim. He’s a young guy but full of personality and all the enthusiasm you would expect from a 20-year-old PH. After a quick 2 hour drive to his family farm he got me settled in and invited me to join him and his family for a quick excursion. We settled down to sundowners and biltong on the famous red dunes of Namibia. The sun was sinking and creating an amazing scene. After a few minutes, my outfitter and camera man, Jaques and Chris Esterhuizen came chugging up the hill and joined us for the last few minutes of the day. We spent the next hour or so getting acquainted and enjoying our surroundings. After darkness chased us back to the farm, we enjoyed a hot shower, a fine dinner, and soft bed for the night. I’m in heaven.

1608130188189.jpeg
 
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cpr0312

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Nice bud, looking forward to hearing about it!
 

PARA45

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Nice beginning to what I expect it to be a dream of an adventure. Keep it coming. :)

Once you are back to normal, we need to get together and meet.
 

Firebird

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Excited to read more and dream vicariously through your story and pix. :D Pop Popcorn:
 

buck wild

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Riksa

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Looking forward to the rest of the story. Keep it coming (y)
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I know part of this story, but looking forward to hearing it all from you!
 

gillettehunter

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Looking forward to reading about your adventure.
Bruce
 

Ridgewalker

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And the anticipation and excitement build! I’m so needing this!
 

cls

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whitetail

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Looking forward to the rest of the story!!! Wishing I was back with Jacques and Chris now!!!
 

Brent in Az

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An Elephant hunt with a top notch Safari operator. Sounds like a good story in the making.
 

Randy F

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Aaaaaannd? ;)

Living vicariously through you, need a hit!
 

Royal27

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Looking forward to it Bobby!
 

GA Hunter

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The following day we got on the road around 8:00 AM with a daunting journey ahead of us. Add in stops for provisions, health breaks, food, a quick vehicle repair, and picking up a fellow traveler and it would total close to 14 hours. Somewhere around two hours into it I started feeling bad, not terrible, just bad. As the day progressed so did this feeling. The only thing I managed to consume was water and electrolytes, which I did so liberally. Further into the journey I was feeling nauseous, my head was pounding, and I ached from head to toe. I decided to keep all this to myself because I had no clue what was wrong and didn’t want to alarm anyone. At around the seven or eight hour mark the nausea was getting the best of me and left me no choice but to grab Jacques by the arm and mumble “please pull over”. He turned to me with a confused look but didn’t ask any questions as we skid to a stop on the shoulder. After a few minutes on the side of the road I had gathered myself and the feeling passed. On we went.

After what seemed like a week, we finally turned off the paved road and pulled over for a quick health break. As I stepped out of the vehicle my head swirled and the nausea racked me. I fought it for a moment but this time I lost the battle and the inevitable happened. As the heaving subsided, Jacques approached with a fresh bottle of water and insisted that I take all the time I need. My condition had continued to get worse, but I still didn’t tell the guys how bad it really was.

The cruiser pulled back out onto the dirt road and I felt a small sense of relief thinking we were almost there. Little did I know but we still had over 90 long, dusty miles left to travel. Three very quiet, very miserable hours later we finally pulled into camp and were greeted with singing, warm face towels, and the offer of an alcoholic beverage. I managed a smile for the duration of the event but declined the drink as well as the invitation to dinner that followed.

As I collapsed onto the bed the two ladies that had escorted me to the tent disappeared quietly. A few minutes later they returned with my bags and asked if I needed anything. All I could think was water, lots of water. Just as they left, Jacques tapped on the tent and unzipped the flap in almost one motion. His first question was, “how are you”? As I struggled to sit up he didn’t wait for a reply and asked whether or not I had evacuation insurance. This was a sure sign that he now knew the reality of my condition. My affirmation probably made him feel a bit better but did nothing for me. Earlier he had explained that the normal wake up call for these hunts was 4:30 AM. I was quite relieved when he pulled the zipper down to leave and said he would request breakfast at 7:30 and I should “come out when I can”.

The night crept by as I prayed for any relief and just a wink of sleep. None came. The sounds of the night in remote places have always fascinated me however in this case I couldn’t enjoy them. Even though the nausea had left me after a couple of hours the body aches and pounding head were constant and had only been christened by a constant trickle of sweat. The only relief I had the entire night was when an occasional breeze would move through the tent and cool the sweat. Around 4 o’clock the camp slowly began to stir. Over the course of the next hour or so I listened as the activity increased with my mind spinning. All I had ever been told about hunting elephant was that there was a price to be paid and the only currency was boot leather and sweat. With that thought playing over and over in my head a cold, harsh reality began to sink in. I am in no condition to hunt……
 

Ridgewalker

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Awful! I sincerely feel for your misery! Only hoping you survive!
 

Royal27

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Oh crap :A Banana Sad:
 

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