NAMIBIA: Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris February 2020

Dudders

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So it was November 2019 and it occurred to me that the end of January 2020 would be the our twenty year wedding anniversary and in march would be the wife's 50th birthday, I thought perhaps we could mange a trip away together our last being I think in 2014 to Italy. Now the kids are old enough to look after themselves and our dogs and with the school half term break at the beginning of February would be a good time to get away. Various options were looked at and discussed and with a bit of help from the kids the wife was persuaded that a trip to Namibia would be just the ticket. Before there was time to find an excuse not to go I made contact with Philip to see if he was available got the all clear and booked the flights. We were to depart the UK on the 4th February and spend until the 11th with Khomas Hunting team.

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Dudders

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We arrived in Namibia on the 5th of February after a pretty uneventful trip apart from the screening for some virus thingy that the Chinese had discovered and lots of airport staff walking round with face masks covering their chins. We collected our luggage and headed out to find Philip who as usual was waiting for us and we headed out to find the truck. Philip had also just flown back that morning from Germany so the guys from the farm had loaded the truck and driven down to pick us all up as we were to begin our trip at Okambara before traveling onto farm Heusis later. Gear stored away and loaded up we headed off catching up on developments since my last visit. During the conversation Philip dropped the bombshell that Dietmar his Father had suffered a heart attack and died just before Christmas it certainly put a dampener on the mood for a bit but Philip retold the story of the circumstance surrounding the events and that lightened the mood. We stopped at a small shop as we turn off the main paved road for biltong and some pop for everyone well apart from me I get a beer. Each time I make this trip it gets shorter as it did not seem to long and we were at okambara.
 

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Dudders

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We arrived just as afternoon tea was being served much to my wife's delight while we sat and enjoyed a nice cup of tea and perhaps a couple of slices of cake we discussed our plans for the next couple of days. We would take some time to settle in and freshen up before heading out to zero in the rifle for this trip I would be using Philips .375 it had been away for some work to be carried out and needed checking.

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We headed out to the newly built range and got set up first two shots low and left quick adjustments and the third shot low on the centre, a few more clicks up aiming for one inch high on the target and test again. The next two shots went wild so I decided to let Philip shoot and see if it was me or the rifle. Philips next shot answered that question it was dead on centre. I changed the way I was holding the rifle after some pointers from Philip and tried again perfect one inch high dead centre all good. Job done and with the light fading we headed back to the lodge all set for tomorrows challenge tracking down an Eland bull.
 

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So it was November 2019 and it occurred to me that the end of January 2020 would be the our twenty year wedding anniversary and in march would be the wife's 50th birthday, I thought perhaps we could mange a trip away together our last being I think in 2014 to Italy. Now the kids are old enough to look after themselves and our dogs and with the school half term break at the beginning of February would be a good time to get away. Various options were looked at and discussed and with a bit of help from the kids the wife was persuaded that a trip to Namibia would be just the ticket. Before there was time to find an excuse not to go I made contact with Philip to see if he was available got the all clear and booked the flights. We were to depart the UK on the 4th February and spend until the 11th with Khomas Hunting team.
Thank you for your kind report! I am very happy to hear you enjoyed your time with us!

Best regards from Namibia

Philip
 

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Can’t wait to read the rest.

Had all gone as planned we would have been landing in Namibia about 55 minutes from now.
I am so sorry for you that you couldn't come to Namibia because of the virus! But we will still go hunting together as soon as everything calms down! I am looking forward to see you in Namibia for a great hunting adventure!

Philip
 

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Well we had the lodge all to ourselves almost. Philip had another couple hunting okambara an American and his wife They had arrived earlier in the day and were also hunting an eland. They had gone out that afternoon to hunt. We pulled into the lodge from sighting the 375 and we could see that Philips other truck was at the skinning area we pulled in and saw they had been successful that afternoon and had taken a nice eland bull. Now the pressure was on for Philip to come through.
 

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The alarm woke me at 6am by 6.30am we were loaded up and heading out Philip had not hunted Okambara since august the previous year so was unsure what wildlife was around and where it was to be found so the plan was to drive to various area's and glass for a while and see what the situation was. As we drove around it was obvious just how little rain they had received. On my previous trips although Namibia always looked dry there was always plenty of grass and forage available for the wildlife, This time the ground was bare just rocks and dust and almost no leaves on the bushes. There had recently been some respite as they had had some patchy rain, in those areas there had been a flush of growth but already this had began to burn off. Without more rain this would soon return to just dust and rocks. The most noticeable thing was the lack of game this was my third trip to Okambara and the reduction in game numbers was very obvious. That said the animals we did see were all in really good condition. After spending time glassing from various vantage points Philip decided we should go look at an area that consisted of a group of narrow valleys that ran into each other and see if the eland bulls were hiding out in this quiet area. We spent the next couple of hours walking up and down these steep valleys bumping the odd group of zebra which still seemed to be in large numbers. Now I had just recovered from a dose of mild flu caught from the kids and this little bit of exercise and the 30+ degree heat certainly took its toll, to the extent that my wife was able to walk ahead of me well until she would lose sight of Philip and Hendrick and I would have to point her in the right direction. We descended to the bottom of one of the valleys and Philip sent Marius to fetch the truck and meet us in the next valley. Philip decided that the Eland rut must have started and the bulls had moved to join the females as we had seen no signs of eland in the gully's and that we should call it a day as it was now very hot and try again this afternoon. Now I was pleased to hear that, just one valley to negotiate the climb up was gradual but the slope down to the track where the truck was waiting well that felt like something else lets just say I made it down just in those two hours I did just over 12500 steps. Philip just thought I was taking my time because I was keeping an eye on the wife.
 

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Excited to read a hunt report! Thanks in advance Dudders! Looking forward to this!
 

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Keep it coming! :)
 

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:A Popcorn: A hunt report , nice !
 

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So after a well deserved rest we met for afternoon tea at 3pm with plans to head out at around 4pm. We were going to head out onto the flat part of the property where it was very sandy and had a lot of scrubby cover and hopefully we would pick up some eland tracks or maybe spot a group. This area would also enable the wife to hopefully see the rhinos and elephants that they have , This was one was on the of wife's wish list as she had still not seen a rhino for real. We were ready to depart at 4pm and I decided to wear a special piece of equipment. I have an acquaintance in the East Cape of South Africa Who is of the impression that the hats he supplies have the ability to bestow the power of luck to any hunter who dares to believe. Well today I put this to the test, I placed the cap on my head and we set off. We drove to the rear of the property and began to work our way back using the various tracks that crossed the property. We were travelling a rough section against the boundary fence when no more than 15 feet ahead of us a young female leopard stepped out onto the track, I did not know who was more surprised us or the leopard. We stopped the truck and watched her for a few seconds but before we could sort a camera or phone she took off through the fence and disappeared into the scrub. That was mine and the wife's first sighting of a leopard in the wild and I have been on 8 trips to Africa, perhaps there is something in this cap thing. After that excitement we continued our travels the next was also a first I was busy talking to Philip when he slammed on the brakes and I nearly chucked the bottle of water that I had in my hand everywhere. What's wrong I asked Philip pointed just ahead of the truck there was a black mamba crossing the track it was about 2.5 meters in length we watched as it slid past and went down the nearest warthog hole. So once again we set off and then found the elephants and stopped to watch for a couple of minutes.
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So the wife was now content having seen a leopard and the elephants and starting to believe this trip was not just an excuse for me to go hunting we set off after the elusive eland we had not gone far when there came a tap on the roof and we came to a stop. After a quick chat with Hendrick on the back of the truck Philip said there were some eland in the scrub ahead of us and we should go take a look. Philip, Hendrick and I decamped form the truck and headed off.
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at this point I still had not seen the eland Philip directed me to where they were located I could see females with just their horns showing above the scrub and every now and then a head would appear in a gap, I could not see a male but Hendrick said he had seen one in the heard so we should move in for a closer look.
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With the wind in our favour and using the scrub as cover we began our approach keeping low as we slowly move in on there location.
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As we disappeared into the bush so did our quarry as we neared the area we had last seen the eland they had vanished nothing was said but the look on Philips and Hendricks faces said it all as we began to stand upright again Hendrick dipped back down and waved for us to do the same. Hendrick had caught sight of a female just beyond where we had first seen the eland there was a hollow and the eland had just dropped down into this area and were still unaware of our presence. We back tracked a way so we could alter our approach just to keep the wind in our face's. we changed positions Hendrick leading followed by me and Philip bringing up the rear. We slowly began to move in closer moving from scrubby bush to scrubby bush Hendrick checking each time before we moved all of a sudden the sticks were up, I placed the rifle on to them still unaware of where the bull was then I caught sight of him 60 yards away he stood the eland bull was between to bushes looking straight at us, I asked is that the one looking straight at us both Philip and Hendrick replied yes at the same time , I placed the cross hair on him and squeezed the trigger there was a resounding thud and the bull took off and vanished into the scrub I reloaded and turned to Philip as the heard took off to our left and we watched to see if the bull was with them there were about 15 females and two bulls running away but the Philip said that he was sure that neither were our bull then at the same time me and Hendrick spotted a big cloud of dust rise off to the right and we headed off in that direction as we closed in I could see the horn just above the bush the bull was down but not quite done I gave him a second shot just to speed him on his way, he was a magnificent eland. He was everything I could of wished for.
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Great write up!!!!!!


Beautiful animal. Sounds like an amazing place and amazing trip.


How old is an eland like that guessed to be ?
 

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So the truck arrives and the work begins luckily Philips winch is just about man enough for the job although as the strain was taken up it was decided that the application of the hand brake may be of some benefit.
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The first attempt out of winch cable and not enough space in the rear of the truck .
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After the removal of the legs at the knee and repositioning of the winch cable we tried again. With lots of heaving, pushing and pulling and a fair amount of laughter we managed to close the tail gate on the truck. We gathered up our equipment and headed back to the lodge. The clouds had been building all afternoon and was now starting to turn quiet dark. Philip said it was looking promising for rain.
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as we neared the lodge the rain began to fall
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With the eland accounted for my part of the trip was complete but we still had to find the rhinos for the wife.
With that Philip said the American couple wanted to hunt a giraffe so in the morning he would go with them and there team and we could take Hendrick and Marius and go see if we could find them with the other truck. It would also be useful if we were near by if they were successful with the giraffe hunt as they would need both trucks and Hendrick and Marius to help deal with the Carcase if we were ok with this. So a plan was made and we would set off early and take some breakfast with us.
 

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Congratulations on a very nice eland! And thanks for your account.
 
 

 

 

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