NAMIBIA: Hunting With Kowas Hunting Safaris

Bwana Bob

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I just returned from hunting with Kowas Safaris in October and thought I would share my experience. My wife and I flew from Dulles to JFK to J-burg and finally to windhoek. An uneventful but long journey. Arrival: arrived in Windhoek around 11:30 am, and after clearing customs, we were met by Ansie Strauss. Loaded up the truck for the 2 hour drive to the property. Upon arriving, we were greeted by Danie and Jacques wife Ellini. After cleaning up a little bit, we were taken for a game ride around the property. Once back, it was drink's around the fire pit followed by dinner. We retired early to our cottage in order to unpack and get ready for the first day of hunting.

Day 1: ate breakfast and then headed to the range. I won't go into detail, but due to a problem with weapons on my flight from Dulles to JFK via jet blue, I decided at the last minute to rent a rifle from Kowas, a Winchester model 70 chambered in 300 Win Mag. I would advise not to fly jet blue as they are not gun friendly. After shooting off the bench and then taking a couple shots off the sticks, I felt comfortable with the rifle. Spent the morning looking for black wildebeest. After looking over several small groups, Matheus, my PH, felt that the first group we saw had the best one we had seen. After a long stalk consisting of walking, crouching and crawling, we were able to close the distance to 160 yds. Matheus set up the sticks and I took the shot. Had to take a second shot to put him down since my first shot was a little back. After pictures, we loaded him on the truck and headed back for lunch. Headed back out around 4pm to look for impala. We made several stalks but were unable to close the deal. As with every night, we had drinks by the fire, ate dinner (oryx) and retired to our cottage for the night.

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Day 2: As part of the Dordabis Conservancy, Kowas has access to over 400,000 acre's to hunt. This morning we decided to head to a different ranch to look for springbok, blesbok and red hartebeest. Matheus located a herd of blesbok early in the morning and after a short stalk we were able to get within 70 yds. After setting up the sticks, I managed to drop him in his tracks with the first shot. On the way back to Kowas, Matheus spotted an exceptional steenbok. Although not an animal I had originally planned to hunt, he was too nice to pass up. We went back to where we had last seen him and finally relocated him bedded down in the brush. After a short discussion concerning the direction he was facing, I got on the sticks and made the shot. We continued back to the lodge, had lunch, relaxed by the pool with my wife, and headed back out in the afternoon to try again for an Impala. After several close calls, Matheus located a group of six rams just before dark. Finally got close enough just as we were losing light. Set up on the sticks, and after a discussion with Matheus as to which one I should take, the shot put him down in his tracks. What a successful day to say the least. Had black wildebeest for dinner, sat by the fire and then called it a night.

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Day 3: As the previous mornings, breakfast is served at 6am. At 6:30am, Matheus and our driver, Michael, are ready to head out for the morning hunt. Today we are looking for MTN Zebra. Although we saw several herds, and made a few stalks, due to one thing or another, we were never able to get close enough for a shot. We had Impala that night for dinner, sat around the fire with the Strauss family for awhile, and then my wife and I jumped into the hot tub before heading to bed.


Day 4: it's back after MTN Zebra this morning. Got on one herd on the mountainside early but they spooked before we could get a shot. While coming off the ridge, Matheus spotted another herd about 2 miles away so off we went. Things were going great until Matheus set up the sticks and a steenbok spooked and sent the zebra running. After some searching, Matheus was able to locate them at the edge of a pan on the property. After waiting for a group of springbok to clear, we got within 275 yds until we ran out of cover. Although a long shot for me, they had no idea we were there so it gave me plenty of time to settle in for the shot. I was happy to see him drop after 30 yds. After loading the zebra on the truck, we headed back for an early lunch. Spent a tough afternoon lounging around the pool with my wife before heading out for the evening hunt looking for oryx. Mateus told me he had been seeing a wide horned male that he thought would be a good one to go after. We did find him in some low brush where we couldn't put on a stalk. We actually got pretty close to him when we were in the truck and my wife was able to get some photos of him. What I like about Kowas is their ethics and fair chase philosophy. They will not allow you to shoot from the truck, or for that matter, get off the truck and set the sticks up and shoot close to the truck. In my mind making a long successful stalk is much more satisfying. As it was getting dark, we headed back to the lodge for the night. As with every evening, we had drinks by the fire, ate, returned to the fire for conversation and a night cap before heading to bed.

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Day 5: Heading to a different ranch this morning to look for red hartebeest. Got on some early but Matheus thought we could do better. Decided to get out of the truck and head out on foot. About 2 miles into the hike, Matheus spotted an animal that he thought we should try to take. After avoiding some springbok and kudu cows, were able to get within 90 yds for a shot. The shot was high but broke his spine so he didn't go anywhere. I guess sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. I asked Matheus how far we walked and he said around 3 1/2 miles. After pictures, we loaded the hartebeest on the truck and headed back to Kowas for lunch. Relaxed in the afternoon, swam in the pool and headed back out around 4pm. Went back to look for the wide oryx we had seen the previous day. Found him with a group of 15-17 animals in a good location for a stalk. Unfortunately, in order to get the wind in our favor required having the sun in our face. When we got within range and I set up on the sticks, I couldn't see through the scope due to the glare. They didn't see us so we backed out and watched to see what they would do. By the time the sun went down below the ridge, they had grazed 400-500 yds away. We managed to get within 200 yds for a shot. Unfortunately, I made a terrible shot. Matheus thought he was hit but wasn't sure. Matheus followed his tracks until it got dark without finding any blood. Like all of you, the thought of wounding an animal is the worst part of hunting. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep that night.

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Day 6: headed out to pick up the tracks with Matheus as well as our driver, Michael. Just about the time we thought it was a clean miss, Michael found some blood. It was decided that Michael would continue to follow the tracks while Matheus and I would go back to the truck to see if we could spot him. With the exception of a break for lunch, we spent the day looking for him. Fortunately, right before dark, we found him and managed to get him before we ran out of light. What a relief. Found out that my first shot hit him in the hindquarter. Loaded him on the truck and went back to the lodge a lot happier than the night before. Had one or two more drinks than normal that evening, had eland for dinner and called it a night.

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Day 7: sat in a blind at a waterhole this morning to look for warthog. Saw several but none were mature enough to shoot. After a break for lunch, we went back and sat the same waterhole until dark with the same results.

Day 8 & 9: decided to take a break from hunting and do an overnight trip to Erindi preserve. We left with Ansie for the 3 1/2 hour drive. Upon arriving, we ate lunch at the restaurant overlooking a waterhole and immediately saw elephant, hippo, crocodile, giraffe and a hyena. After checking into our room and cleaning up a bit, we went for an evening game drive. During that drive we saw a leopard, elephants and a cheetah. When we got to where the cheetah was, he was starting to head into the bush. We were about to leave when the driver noticed a herd of springbok close to where the cheetah was headed. All of a sudden the herd of springbok take off followed by the cheetah. A couple minutes later the cheetah walks back by the truck carrying a springbok. It's one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Had a sundowner and then headed back to the lodge for dinner. Went on a game drive at 6:30 am the next day and saw a male and female lion as well as a white rhino. Came back to the lodge, had some lunch, and headed back to Kowas.

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Day 10: last day at Kowas. Spent the morning and evening looking for warthog at a different ranch. Saw plenty of them but they were either too young or had broken tusks. After dinner, we sat by the fire well into the night and then headed back to our cottage.

Departure day: spent most of the morning packing. After lunch, we said our goodbyes and Ansie drove us to the airport. 36 hours later we were back home.

Conclusion: I can't say enough about the great time my wife and I had during our stay at Kowas. This is my second Safari and both have been at Kowas. Our first visit was in 2011 and we had such a great time then that it was an easy decision to go back again. The food, accommodations, as well as the quantity and quality of game is exceptional. For an average hunter from central Pennsylvania to be able to take the trophies I did is a testament to the Strauss families wildlife management practices as well as the quality PH's they have that can get you close to the game. That being said, the Strauss family themselves are what make this place special. They made us feel comfortable and at home during our stay. Thank you Danie, Ansie, Jacques, an Ellini for another memorable experience. Looking forward to seeing you again in the near future.
 
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gillettehunter

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Sounds great. Yo know what they say. Without pics it never happened. Congrats on a great hunt.
Bruce
 

Lbarr265

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Pictures? You said you took some and I’m dying to see them
 

Whiskey1

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Sounds like y'all had a great time. I, like the others, would love to see some of your photos.
 

Neale

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Thanks for sharing your story. Nice trophies.
The photos are very nice and they appeared to load up very quickly on my poor internet service.??????
 

Ridgewalker

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Sounds like another great Kowas hunt! I am especially impressed with your steenbok!
Thanks for sharing!
 

cls

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Thanks for the report and congrats on a successful Safari.
 

MAdcox

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Looks like a great hunt. Congrats. Thanks for the report and the pictures.
 

Nyati

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Congrats for a great hunt and some very nice trophies.

That Steenbok is huge !
 

blacks

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Amazing trophies, and everything you say about the good folks at Kowas is spot on. I thought my Steenbok was good, but that man is a thumper! Trophy of a lifetime there, congrats!!

And that Hartebeest, wow!

Cheers
Tim
 

Pheroze

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I enjoyed your report! Thanks sounds like a great time.
 

cpr0312

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Congrats on your hunt!
 

superdutch

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Great hunt, great trophies! Kowas is first class!
 

geoff rath

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What a great hunt, done in the best tradition of spot and stalk. I'm on Kowas' mailing list; this is just making my trigger finger itch!!!
 

enysse

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Congrats on the great trophies! I love the wide horns of the oryx and that steenbok is HUGE!
 

rinehart0050

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Congrats! Sounds like great fun
 

MMAL

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Well done and fabulous trophies.
 
 

 

 

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