NAMIBIA: Great Hunt With Michael & Tiene Duvenhage At Uitspan Hunting

gesch

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I just got back from a great hunt with Uitspan Hunting with Tiene and Michael Duvenhage in the Kalahari of Namibia. We also made two different stops in the Khomas Hochland area around Windhoek. I will post more details of the hunt in the days ahead. For now here are a few details that may be interesting:

Dates of hunt: April 9-18, 2018
Location: Namibia--Khomas Hochland and the Kalahari
Outfitter and PH: Uitspan Hunting/Michael and Tiene Duvenhage
Species hunted: Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Blesbok (cull), Springbok, Gemsbok(cull), Eland (cow cull), Blue Wildebeest, and Warthog--all taken!
Rifle and Ammunition: Ruger Model 77 Mark II in 300 Winchester Magnum shooting 180 grain Nosler
Partition and a Tikka in 308 (outfitter's rifle--used when my sling broke!)
Travel: Lori Spears of Travel Express

My travel started in Chicago at Jet Blue. Checking in the firearm was uneventful. The Jet Blue folks were very mellow and all was well for my trip to Kennedy Airport in NYC. I took a cab from Kennedy to the Radisson for my overnight. I had a decent meal at the restaurant in the hotel. Lori Spears took care of the reservations and all the flight details. The next morning the shuttle bus got me to the airport on time and the check in was smooth. I simply went to the South African Air counter and declared I would be traveling with an unloaded firearm. NYC's finest met me and walked me over to the people who inspected my rifle and we checked it all the way to Windhoek, Namibia. By checking my bags and rifle all the way to Windhoek I did not need to import them into South Africa. It saved a lot of paperwork. Thanks Lori for the good suggestion. The flight from NYC to my first stop, Johannesburg, was uneventful. When I arrived in Johannesburg, I was informed that I was bumped from my connection to Windhoek. I found a helpful SAA employee who understood my predicament and booked my on a connection with Air Namibia. He assured me that the firearm and luggage was transferred. I called Michael and Tiene to let them know I would be two hours late. They said no problem as they had had a delay of their own. No Harm. No foul! When I arrived in Windhoek my rifle was waiting for me. The check out at the police office was simple and friendly. I had the paper work filled out in advance. No problems. Then came the luggage! No luggage. This is the third time in my last international travel that my luggage was lost. Both times to Namibia and once to Israel! A kind man helped my with my rifle and when we got out of baggage claim there were Michael and Tiene. What a nice reunion. I had hunted with them two years prior and feel like a family member. It turns out the porter knew Michael and Tiene and helps them with any luggage snafus. Tiene got my suitcase for me the next day. So no problem.

After a bit of meet and greet we started out for our first stop one and one half hours west of Windhoek in the Khomas Hochland. The owner of this property is a friend of the family and would be our hosts for the first night and our Mountain Zebra hunt. The evening meal was superb--Zebra Schnitzel mit spatzel! Prior to supper we sighted in my rifle at 100 yards--2 inches high at 100 yards. I then hit the steel target at 300 yards. We were up bright and early the next morning to hunt the Mountain Zebra. The land is rolling mountains of a high of 6000 feet. It had rained and the land was all green. This is unusual for Namibia as they had experienced a significant drought for four or five years. We saw several small herds of Zebra but the wind was wrong or the Zebras had seen us first. Then we saw an approachable herd and began our stalk. We got close to them by sneaking up behind a smaller hill. Michael peaked over the top of the hill and laid his back pack down for me to use as a rest. He told me to look at the two at the rear of the herd. I could take either one. I sighted up on the second to the back as it was standing broadside. I sighted in on the sargent stripes and fired. The Zebra went down and struggled but never got back up! It slid down the hill a bit, but it was done. I had my Mountain Zebra. It was the best shot of the trip. I was really happy how the ammo performed and that I didn't blow the shot! I have attached a few photos of the Zebra and the recovery.


When we arrived back at the ranch the workers began the butchering process immediately. They then started a camel thorn wood fire. This was to cook some Zebra meat while working on the animal. Michael told me to go over and get some for a snack. It was tremendous. We then chatted with our hosts and started out for the Kalahari!

We stopped briefly in Windhoek to retrieve my luggage. Tiene is great at working with the airlines and also a myriad of other details. It is really a great service to have the outfitter know the lay of the land. They take care of all the detail. I could just relax and enjoy myself.

After a long ride(6 plus hours!) we drew near to their farm Uitspan--it means place of rest in Afrikaans. Suddenly the skies were opened and it poured rain. This is a tremendous blessing for these people. They received over 5 inches of rain in their immediate area. The pans(normally dry lakebeds) were full of water. The rivers ran (normally the bridges go over dry river beds)! You could sense the excitement over this blessing from God. When we got to the hunting camp we went right to bed. What a great day.

Day 2 began with a typical breakfast of rusk (a dried bread cake that is a staple of Afrikaaners) and yogurt. We then left to drop Tiene off at the home farm so that she could see to the many details that an outfitter needs to deal with as well as the management of a ranch. On the way we spotted a big Red Hartebeest bull. We drove beyond it and got out and made a plan. We stalked back to the area and got to about 150 yards away. We were hiding behind a bush and Michael set up the sticks so that I could sit. I was quite well situated when the bull turned broadside and Michael called to get him to stop. One shot later and I had a big Red Hartebeest!

After a break for lunch--we typically took a break from 11:30 or so until about 3:00 to avoid the heat of the day--we went looking for a Blesbok cull. I did some bad shooting but a great tracking PH can make up for bad shooting from the hunter! We got close enough and I finished the job. After the bad shooting I was glad when we came upon a herd of springbok. The tracking was great because all the rain made the sand hold the tracks. Michael put up the sticks and I had a good frontal shot. He went down right there! I used Michael's Tikka 308. That is one nice rifle. The trigger is smooth--not too heavy not too light. Another day in Africa! A trophy Red Hartebeest, a cull Blesbok, and a nice Springbok. Wow!


The next day we spent chasing the elusive Warthog! No go. They are way more challenging than I ever would have thought. But on the way for a nice Braai (Afrikaans for a barbeque) at Michael's father and mother's ranch we came across a herd of Gemsbok. One of them had only one horn. Michael said we should take her for meat and so the 308 did the job at about 200 yards! Another remarkable day in Namibia. The next day was going to be our attempt to get me an Eland cull. When I asked Michael and Tiene if I could try for an Eland cull (it wasn't in my package) they graciously said "yes". I couldn't wait to try for one of these majestic animals. Michael's home ranch is 17,000 acres and is high fenced. The Kudu and Eland and jump the fence. The second property they own is 7,000 acres and is only low fenced for the sheep. So we were hunting the Eland in the other property. After a long stalk and tracking job by my PH we were able to get ahead of the herd and wait for them to come through an opening. I had about a one hundred fifty yard shot and hit the eland in the spine. It went right down. What a magnificent animal.

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After that Eland hunt what could possibly top that? Well the next day we went after Blue Wildebeest. Yet another adventure!

As I mentioned the sand was wet and held the tracks very well. Michael suggested that since I had taken several Kudu on my last hunt perhaps I would rather try for a Blue Wildebeest on my last day in the Kalahari. I have learned to listen to my great PH and so the hunt was planned. We found tracks and began following them. We got to within 250 yards when Michael put up the sticks. The bull we wanted was facing us and Michael said I could take the shot. At the shot he went down and I lost him in the scope. Michael said we hit him,but he got up and ran. We started tracking the herd. After several miles we lost the blood. We back tracked for several hundred yards and found where our bull had left the herd. He was still bleeding. I couldn't believe he was still moving. I thought the shot was good, but I was discouraged he was not down. Michael said "we will find him". Well we did find him thanks to the PH's great tracking ability. I had a 100 yard shot to finish him off. An amazing hunt. This PH is incredible. We tracked by his estimate over 5km. Again WOW!

P1020290.JPG


The next day we left for a new property that Michael and Tiene wanted to try out. It was a large (30,000 plus acre) cattle ranch. It had not been hunted in years for trophies. It was on the east side of Windhoek about one hour's drive. It had a remarkable diversity of landscape. There was desert like terrain. There were foot hills (Koppies) and some mountains. The variety of game was amazing. We saw Mountain and Burchell Zebra, Giraffes, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Black Wildebeest, and Warthogs. Yes the elusive Warthog! After settling in, my goal for the next several days would be a warthog. After a long and exhausting walk we came upon a good boar. I hit him a bit far back and we had to track him for the final shots. But I finally had my warthog.

P1020311.JPG


The last two days in this camp I was joined by two French hunters. Really nice guys. They made the last two days even more fun. Also I should mention that Michael brought in an additional PH--Dawie Van Aard. What a great man. He had an unbelievable sense of humor as well as being another great PH.

The next day Tiene took me to the airport and helped with the details. Again, this was a great service. She didn't have to wait with me but she did. The trip home was blessedly uneventful and my wonderful wife Kathy was there to pick me up at O'Hare airport in Chicago. We then went to the great homeland of Wisconsin, USA!!

In summary, my hunt with Uitspan and Michael and Tiene Duvenhage exceeded my expectations. The hunt was fantastic. But I must say that the people, the culture, and the beautiful land were so amazing I want to go back as soon as possible. The Duvenhages run a small intimate operation. They let you live with their family. I have gotten to be friends with their fantastic children. As I mentioned, I had Braai with their parents and the friend of the parents. What a great opportunity. Every morning we had devotions. I was really impressed. I feel that I am a part of the family.

I can whole heartedly recommend Uitspan and the Duvenhages to any of you who want a wonderful safari with great people. Thanks for letting me tell of my adventure. I hope Lord willing to go back to the Kalahari again.
 
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Hunter101

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Great warthog with mass
 

gesch

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Sorry. These are pictures that should have been interspersed in my report. I think they will be self explanatory. I'll do better on my next report. Main point: Hunt was fantastic. PH and team were fantastic!
 

cagkt3

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Great stuff, and sounds like you had a great time! Congrats and thanks for sharing!!
 

Lee M

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Sounds like a great trip. I head to Namibia in exactly 2 months! Can’t wait.
 

gesch

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Great decision! It is a fantastic country. Have a wonderful trip
 

gesch

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Thank you Dr. Ray
 

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Congrats on the hunt and thanks for sharing!
 

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Thanks for sharing such a grand hunt! May your next one be as great!
 

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Nice writeup, thank you for sharing your advenutre. Looks like you had an amazing trip. Namibia is on our short list for a safari.
 

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Here I have a few more pictures that got omitted earlier. The hunting camp pictured here is very comfortable. There is electricity, private showers and bathroom facilities, hot water and some of the best meals you'll every have! Tiene and Michael Duvenhage--great people/great outfitters. Michael with a family friend. One horned cull Gemsbok.
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Congrats and thanks for the great report
 

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Congrats on your hunt !
 

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Congratulations on a fantastic hunt! Great writeup.

I love hunting with Michael and Tienie at Uitspan..... so much that I've been four times and the 5th trip is in the works. Everything Gesch has said is absolutely true. Michael and Tienie have become tremendous friends and they are absolutely the best hosts. The hunting is what dreams are made of. Your mountain zebra and warthog are fantastic...... well, all of the animals are really.

Just yesterday my wife made up another big batch of rusks from Tienie's recipe. She will be making her first trip to Africa with me on the next trip. I love seeing photos of the hunting camp. It has become a home away from home on the other side of the world. I can't believe they had that much rain. What a great blessing.

I could go on and on........

I hope you didn't believe any of Dawie's stories.

;)
 

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