NAMIBIA: Khomas Highland Safaris Dream Trip

TheWhitetailNut

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Like many on this forum, I've read all I could on Hunting Africa. After years of "someday" my wife and I decided that someday would be an excursion to commemorate my 39th Birthday. I've hunted every whitetail pocket within a days drive of my Indiana home and even made a trip to New Mexico for elk, but this would be something entirely different. What I expected was but 1 layer or dimension of what would unfold over 11 days from port to port.

Before I get into the fun stuff a couple notes for those that may consider this trip. First, Lori Spears of Travel Express ensured I was well prepared to travel abroad and everything she planned went off perfectly. Second, Africa is not like the US. As the owner of a service business I'm accustomed to response in minutes, and I found myself more than a little aggravated at the slow responses to my random queries. Bush contact is spotty I would discover. In fact, In the last 2 weeks I was unsure if everything was set and my documentation was in order. On pure faith I boarded the plane with my Christensen .300 Win Mag. Imagine my relief when I exited the gates at O.R. Tambo and found Philip's bright red head bobbing thorough the crowd to meet me! We tossed my bag and case into the LandRover, and motored north to Farm huesis. Philip invited me to clean up and meet him on the veranda for some lunch.

It was there I met my PH, Errens. It took me half a day to cut through the accents and pronounce his name, as I sit here I doubt I'll forget it. Here I also met a young sheep guide named Cole from Alberta who was in Namibia working for Philip. Cole and I made fast friends and the three of us would have a terrific time at Huesis. I sorted my gear and we went down to a dry riverbed to check my rifle. Wherever I go, I grab a handful of dirt and feel it in my hands. I've dreamed of executing this tradition in Africa many times and as the sparking mica rich silt slipped between my fingers I found myself entranced and giddy because it didn't even seem real. My first shot was 1.25 high and an inch left, but the second was a perfect 1.25" high and Top Dead Center. Errens looked my in the eyes with a coaxing grin and said "do you want to see if we can find something".

Shortly down the trail we encountered a very nice Steinbok doing his biological duty with a pretty little lady he had at roadside. After they bounded off, we would as well to a crest to glass. A band of about 20 Gemsbok were just down from the next ridge and before I knew it we were low zig-zagging through another creekbed and up to the animals on my first stalk!

Their horn were so long, so surreal. Tails flagging as light began to dim we followed them to the next ridge where they disappeared forever. Errens and I made our way back to the truck and we started back to Huesis. Along the way we saw a Black Wildebeest on an open plain guarding anything from entering. As darkness fell I sucked cool Africa through my nostrils.


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cls

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Good start, keep it coming.
 

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Like many on this forum, I've read all I could on Hunting Africa. After years of "someday" my wife and I decided that someday would be an excursion to commemorate my 39th Birthday. I've hunted every whitetail pocket within a days drive of my Indiana home and even made a trip to New Mexico for elk, but this would be something entirely different. What I expected was but 1 layer or dimension of what would unfold over 11 days from port to port.

Before I get into the fun stuff a couple notes for those that may consider this trip. First, Lori Spears of Travel Express ensured I was well prepared to travel abroad and everything she planned went off perfectly. Second, Africa is not like the US. As the owner of a service business I'm accustomed to response in minutes, and I found myself more than a little aggravated at the slow responses to my random queries. Bush contact is spotty I would discover. In fact, In the last 2 weeks I was unsure if everything was set and my documentation was in order. On pure faith I boarded the plane with my Christensen .300 Win Mag. Imagine my relief when I exited the gates at O.R. Tambo and found Philip's bright red head bobbing thorough the crowd to meet me! We tossed my bag and case into the LandRover, and motored north to Farm huesis. Philip invited me to clean up and meet him on the veranda for some lunch.

It was there I met my PH, Errens. It took me half a day to cut through the accents and pronounce his name, as I sit here I doubt I'll forget it. Here I also met a young sheep guide named Cole from Alberta who was in Namibia working for Philip. Cole and I made fast friends and the three of us would have a terrific time at Huesis. I sorted my gear and we went down to a dry riverbed to check my rifle. Wherever I go, I grab a handful of dirt and feel it in my hands. I've dreamed of executing this tradition in Africa many times and as the sparking mica rich silt slipped between my fingers I found myself entranced and giddy because it didn't even seem real. My first shot was 1.25 high and an inch left, but the second was a perfect 1.25" high and Top Dead Center. Errens looked my in the eyes with a coaxing grin and said "do you want to see if we can find something".

Shortly down the trail we encountered a very nice Steinbok doing his biological duty with a pretty little lady he had at roadside. After they bounded off, we would as well to a crest to glass. A band of about 20 Gemsbok were just down from the next ridge and before I knew it we were low zig-zagging through another creekbed and up to the animals on my first stalk!

Their horn were so long, so surreal. Tails flagging as light began to dim we followed them to the next ridge where they disappeared forever. Errens and I made our way back to the truck and we started back to Huesis. Along the way we saw a Black Wildebeest on an open plain guarding anything from entering. As darkness fell I sucked cool Africa through my nostrils.
I am in the planning process to hunt at Khomas Highlands. Please be as detailed as possible. I am really anxious to hear your story.
 
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TRAVEL EXPRESS

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Thanks for the kind words - look forward to the rest of the story.........
 

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Please, the next episode!
 

TheWhitetailNut

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The next day started early, much too early. I paced about the main house where I was staying quietly for about 2 hours before the next person, Johanny (sp?) Phillip's brother stirred. In due time a spread of smoked game meats, eggs, bacon, and wonderful homemade bread would be washed down with good hot coffee. Before I knew it we were up on the truck and the morning sunrise gave great promise for the day. Cole and I were as 2 good friends seeing Africa for the first time, our eyes full of wonder as she unfolded before us.
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We covered many miles that first morning climbing much higher than I knew the hills in Namibia would take us. A young Kudu stood statuesque until we were perhaps 30 yards away before departing. I'm pretty sure he knew we didn't know he was there. Jackals and another Steinbok were sighted as well. I noticed many Baboons along the way and never even considered shooting one but they were our most common sighting. we rounded a curve from left to right and the lookout lingered too long from atop a high stone above us. I scrambled to get steady for the 130ish yard shot. Settling in the crosshairs on his chest the scope didn't even go black and I saw him roll forward off the rock.

Although I'd never dreamed of killing a Baboon outside of Capstick's account of vengeance on a troop, it was my first African animal so I took the time to take it in. One day that skull will reside on my desk. View attachment 250163

After morning turned fully to day we were back to Huesis for some Wild Game Bolognese lunch, and Philip invited me to take a siesta. Siesta?! I've worked 18 hour days for years to do this, I don't want to sleep now! Well, when in Namibia I guess....

After waking there was cookies and coffee waiting on the veranda to restart the day. Cole, Errens, and myself were off to see what we could find. This afternoon we would hunt Erren's family farm a few miles, er kilometers away. We started picking our way through a low thorn choked draw and as if a glimpse in a cedar swamp Errens hissed shoot that Oryx! There was a hornless Oryx in full flight from right to left disappearing long before I could do anything about it. It was becoming evident decades of slowly and methodically hunting small parcels would hurt me here.

Back on the trail we began to climb. Errens farm was steeper and tighter with deeper pockets and coulees. This was a bit like my aforementioned elk hunt. I was pretty excited when the truck stopped and we went to poke about on foot peering down in those pockets. As we rounded a steeper face to our left there was a band of Zebra on a mesa diagonally across the canyon perhaps 6 or 700yds. We took our time slipping along in the opening cover up high for a better look. A young warthog shuffled along the creek bed below. Shortly we would run out of hillside as it spilled off below. We settled in and noticed 2 Oryx at a water hole directly below and slightly left of us. One was a terrific bull with well rounded tips and I resolved to take him. Gemsbok have long been a favorite of mine and I felt a surge of adrenaline as I settled the crosshairs on his shoulder. Errens leaned in and said "those Zebra are coming to water". "This is a great bull, but much easier to find another Oryx than Zebra, let's just wait a little". The zebra were very spooky and whenever they seemed to relax and come down, they would retreat a bit.

Eventually a Stallion well in front gave me his right shoulder at 200 Yards. I put the vertical wire of the Swarovski in the front crease and squeezed. It was dusk now and I was a little surprised at the muzzle flash. My sight was regained in time to see the zebra down making his last kick. Errens went to collect the truck and I was on my own to climb down the face and up the other side. For the first time ever my line in the dark was true and I climbed right up to the animal. My first African trophy and I had about 45 minutes all to myself to admire it slowly and carefully. I noticed the markings on the face and along the spine near the tail. A stunning animal with copper stripes on his face. I ran my fingers over him also noting the stiffness of his mane contrasted with the softness of his muzzle. For the last 20 years I've mostly hunted alone so I was quite thankful for this time with the southern cross cresting the ridge above me. View attachment 250164

Errens and Cole were motoring slowly up the creek and after we had an abbreviated photo session we rolled the Stallion down the mountain. Soaked in sweat and shredded by thorns the zebra was finally loaded and we were headed for Huesis for a most appreciated Tafel, or so I thought.

I'm a terrific fan of tradition. I noticed Errens searched for and picked up a rock while loading the zebra. I was curious but not enough to ask. In Errens family when someone has taken their first trophy on the family land a rock is placed on a stack. I felt apart of something as I placed my rock on that giant stack. We stopped at Errens parents home for a visit and am thankful for their hospitality. We shared a beer and I admired several leopards and other assorted trophies that they had taken. It was like being at my family farm visiting my grandparents in deer season in its heyday. I pray Namibia is always that way.

A group of 3 Germans arrived and joined us for an amazing cream of mushroom soup. I hoped for, and perhaps expected good hunting but I had no idea the dinnertime festivities would be so fulfilling. Terrific cuisine served in courses and Phillip would orchestrate toasts over the day. Lastly out to the fire for more Tafels and a giant ivory moon in the clearest of skies with new friends it seems you've known forever...

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cpr0312

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Congrats on the zebra and baboon!
 

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Very handsome stallion! I am jealous of both your trophies so far! I’m enjoying this Namibian adventure! Hopefully I’ll get to hunt Namibia.
 

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Keep the tale coming.
 

jasyblood

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Congrats on the baboon and zebra! Enjoying the story....keep it coming!
 

Jeffrey Masters

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Nice Zebra and Baboon. Can't wait to read the rest!
 

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Hopefully more coming with the weekend?
Bruce
 

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