NAMIBIA: May 2024 With Kowas Adventure Safaris

What an excellent hunt. That gemsbok is a stud. Heck of a kudu. Beautiful impala.
 
Post 5: Day 4 of Hunting

We were greeted Saturday morning with a cloud dappled sky and cool temperatures. Between an eland mount I had seen at a home back in Ohio just before leaving for my trip and watching/reading many exciting reports of eland hunting, I had decided that a nice eland bull definitely needed to be added to my list. We would head just a few kilometers east from Kowas to hunt the same property where I had taken my red hartebeest.

On our way in we would stop perhaps half way to the hill that had been our day 1 glassing point. First stop was a windmill that Jacques would use to survey the surrounding area. There were definitely animals in the area and we would move on just down the road to use a nice hill to glass the plains. The landscape was different here than many of the other spots we had hunted. It was dominated by larger bushes, most shoulder high, and low trees. There were more grassland beyond that, but that was probably a couple of miles off.
IMG_3867.jpeg
IMG_3871.jpeg
IMG_3875.jpeg
IMG_3877.jpeg
IMG_3878.jpeg

Bigger than it looks from a distance.
IMG_3879.jpeg

Our truck down below and miles of trees and bushes.
IMG_3880.jpeg

Joseph glassing east.

We glassed from the hill and did spot a herd of eland that included at least one blue bull, but they were near the far reaches of the tall bushes and trees. It would be a tricky stalk as there were a ton of zebra between us and the eland. Joseph would return to the truck and wait to hear from us as we stalked towards the eland.

There were points that we were surrounded by zebra on three sides. We may have been seen by them a couple of times, but not enough to cause a panic or a stampede that could scare away the eland. We also had a giraffe off to our left that watched us like the eye of Sauron. :)

A good clip to give you an idea of the zebra and terrain.

We made decent time and ground, steadily closing on the eland. I could get glimpses of them, but the brush kept them fairly well hidden. We found a good tree and Jacques was up for a good look. After studying the bull for a bit he told me we could do better than him, thus ending our stalk. Our quickest way out was to continue heading as we had been, east, until we intersected a low fence with a road running along it where Joseph could find us.
IMG_3890.jpeg


We were walking along the fence, now heading south, towards where Joseph would approach with the truck. Alerted perhaps by the sounds of the truck, a cow eland popped out in front of us, maybe 100-150 yards further up the road, and started trotting down the road...right at us. It was obvious from the way that she was coming on that she had no idea that we were there. Soon a female oryx and calf came out of the brush just on the other side of the fence, also turned towards us and proceeded to run along the opposite side of the fence in the eland's wake. The eland just kept coming and I was getting to the point of deciding which tree I was going to dive behind. When she was really close, maybe 40 yards and still coming, Jacques waved his hat and you could see the startle travel through that eland like a shock wave. She did an immediate 90 degree turn/jump to our right and disappeared back into the bush.

The two oryx however kept coming, albeit on the other side of a waist high fence. The large female basically got 5-10 yards from us and cut to our left. Jacques said "that's a tank of a female" and threw up the sticks. I got on them and followed her. He said that she would stop, and she did, but she just looked back over her shoulder and didn't turn broadside. She began running off again and I came off the sticks. She would stop again and I probably could have taken her had I stayed on the sticks, but that was ok. I was looking forward to finding an eland.

Joseph got to us with the truck and it was probably midmorning now. We continued into the property all the way to the same hill that we had used on day 1. This area is much less densely vegetated, and what is there is much lower.

We glassed from our familiar hill and there were indeed eland at this location as well. By This point in the day the clouds had dissipated and the full sun was bringing the heat to man and beast alike. There was a large blue bull with the eland group that was easy to spot, even at 2+ miles away. They were all beginning to bed down for the heat of the day, so we go a bead on where they settled and headed back to Kowas for our own midday respite.
IMG_3896.jpeg

Zoomed shot on the landscape from the glassing hill. Our eland group was on the border of the light tan and the green area closest to the viewer.
IMG_3899.jpeg


We left Kowas at about 3:45 to head back to this glassing spot. The eland were now back on their feet and feeding, but still 2.5-3 miles away. We decided to put on a stalk so headed down to the truck. We took it into the plain as far as the road would allow before going on by foot. We still had a good mile and a half to go I would guess.

The nice thing about this setup was that we didn't have any other animals to really worry about other than the eland themselves. We had seen a lot of red hartebeest neared our glassing hill, but they were not in the picture now. The clouds were back and the wind was in our favor. Our target bull was relaxed, feeding near but not with the large group of cows.

IMG_3911.jpeg

Taking a break during the stalk to watch the group and ensure that the situation was playing out the way we expected.
IMG_3912.jpeg

Getting close now. The bull is probably 100 yards or so in front of this bush.

Jacques told me the bull was very old, had a huge body, a great comb with a dark face, and a big dewlap, but that we could perhaps find better horns if I didn't want to shoot him. I told him that the bull had everything I wanted and that I would be happy to take him. We stepped out from behind our bushy cover and setup the sticks. Jacques grabbed my cellphone out of my back pocket as I setup on the sticks. Just like with the kudu, what I didn't know was that Jacques had started filming. This time he captured the entire event!


As you can see from the video my first shot was into his left shoulder, likely breaking both front shoulders. The bull begins plowing on his brisket, unable to get back up on his forelegs. I reload and follow him intently in my scope. He passes just behind the remnants of a small dead tree and I've already decided to put another round into him if possible. Turn up the volume on the video and you hear Jacques beginning to say "If you get a good..." boom. The second shot anchors him for good and within a couple of seconds he rolls over onto his side. This video is one of the best things I brought home with me for sure!

IMG_3915.jpeg
IMG_3921.jpeg

At some point he had damaged his right horn. It gives it character and greater girth at the top!

IMG_3923.jpeg

These two small red dots are the entries of my two shots. The first shot is the one that looks a little larger. This was the only blood anywhere!!!

IMG_3928.jpeg
IMG_3934.jpeg
IMG_3941.jpeg
IMG_3942.jpeg

This zoomed in shot shows the shank of one of my bullets just under the skin of the offside shoulder!

IMG_4479.jpeg

This is that bullet shank and two petals from a 258 grain Hammer bullet.

IMG_3956.jpeg
IMG_3978.jpeg
IMG_3988.jpeg
IMG_3993.jpeg
IMG_3994.jpeg

Fascinating watching a 1600+ pound animal being loaded into the short bed of a Land Cruiser!

Back at the farm that night spirits were high! The other group had taken a nice bull oryx during their afternoon hunt and we were all looking forward to our relaxing Sunday off.

IMG_4001.jpeg

Cigars and bourbon to celebrate!

Sunday would be an off day, but it turns out that there would be dangerous game that needed to be taken anyway!...
 
Last edited:
Post 6: Mother's Day

Today was dedicated to catching up on some rest and call wives and mothers back home. We had a nice brunch at 10:00 and Jacques was able to put some birdshot into an Angolan cobra that had been leaving tracks around the farm.

After lunch we took a ride to look at the Kowas cattle.

We capped off the day with a sunset watch from one of the western hills on the Kowas property!

IMG_4005.jpeg


Coffee and sunrise on a quiet Sunday morning.

IMG_4007.jpeg

Measuring the "mostly" dead cobra

IMG_4012.jpeg
IMG_4015.jpeg

The "mostly" dead cobra now starting to move around.

After we had all gathered around for our photos

IMG_4019.jpeg
IMG_4027.jpeg
IMG_4031.jpeg
IMG_4038.jpeg
IMG_4040.jpeg
IMG_4041.jpeg

A fiery sunset, even a little rain in the air it looks like.

Tomorrow we will be back at it. Jacques will be away at a NAPHA meeting so I will tag along with my hunting buddies on their hunts Monday...
 
Great report, I hunted with Jaques in 2019, Kowas treated us great, I hope to get back some day.
 
Post 7: Observation Day

With Jacques out of pocket on Monday, today I would tag along with my hunting partners, a father and son pair. So far they had taken a black wildebeest, an impala, a kudu, and an oryx. Still on their list were a blue wildebeest, a Hartman's zebra, and perhaps a second oryx.

The morning was cooler than it had been any of the previous week, which felt just right to me. The focus of the morning hunt would be the blue wildebeest. Four or five people on a stalk would be a bit much, so I would ride along and then stay back with their driver/tracker while father and son put on any stalks with PH Matheus.

We stuck to the Kowas property and I would see parts of it that I had not seen yet between our first afternoon game drive and my springbuck hunt. The particular part of the property where we would drop them off to start their stalk was a pretty vast plain but with an abundance of small trees/big bushes. There was plenty of game to be seen from the truck at close range, but on foot nothing but the giraffes were easy to spot. While they were hunting, Humphrey and I would drive around the surrounding area looking for other game should their stalk not be successful.

It was a relaxing morning for me, with lots of game to take in.

Warning, kudu crossing

Oryx on the run

Giraffe, always watching

IMG_4058.jpeg

Someone looks chilly

IMG_4066.jpeg
IMG_4063.jpeg

Another beautiful Namibian sunrise!

Namibia 2024-139.jpg


By mid-morning we got word that they had been successful in their blue wildebeest hunt and we soon rejoined them for pictures and loading the trophy up in the truck.

IMG_4085.jpeg



We were back at the barn well before lunch. Just before we were going to head out again for the afternoon we heard that Matheus had spotted another snake out near where the staff lived on the property. We weren't sure if it was a cobra or a mamba, but it managed to get down a hole before the shotgun could be employed. A little gasoline, pitchfork, and a shovel later and it was indeed another cobra, though not as impressive as the one the day before.

A herd of sable that tended to visit the small watering hole just behind the compound each day. This area is not used for hunting.

After a lunch break and snake hunt we would head back out on the Kowas property again, this time looking for Hartman's mountain zebra. The area we went to was the western hills, the same general area where I had gotten my springbuck and where we had watched the sunset on Mother's Day. We glassed from one hill top to the face of an adjacent hillside and there were a good number of zebra active there. The challenge for the PH and hunter would be getting into position. They gave it a good effort, but it was not to be this evening.

It did allow for another perfect sunset in the great outdoors though!
IMG_4106.jpeg
IMG_4109.jpeg
IMG_4110.jpeg
IMG_4114.jpeg
IMG_4123.jpeg
IMG_4125.jpeg
IMG_4129.jpeg
IMG_4133.jpeg



Tomorrow I will be back on my own hunt for a second oryx, and perhaps another target of opportunity! ...
 
Thanks for taking us along on this outstanding adventure. I've gotten to hunt with Kowas 4 times, and would love to come back, as I can't get enough of those big kudu bulls. Kowas has a great team, great properties, just absolutely first rate folks. Glad you're having a great time.
 
Sounds like you are having a great time and have taken some really nice animals. That Eland is just something else though!

Kowas puts on a heck of a good safari.
 
Post 8: Last Day of Hunting

We still had time in our trip for a couple of additional hunting days should we need them, but today would be the last one for me. If you watched the videos from the last report you may have noticed the wind starting to pick up. That trend continued into this Tuesday morning. The sky was a little overcast but the wind would be up all morning. Jacques said this would make hunting more difficult as it would limit animal movement.

For our morning hunt we would head west again, back to the same general area (this is a very large area) where I took my oryx bull the week prior. We were greeted by a terrific sunrise and a lone red hartebeest standing on the main entrance road to the property. Soon we were at the bottom of the hill that we would glass from all morning.

The one thing that was not hard to find this morning was more kudu. They were on both the far end of the same hill we were climbing but also several places around the base of the hill. The majority of the morning we spent circling the hill top and glassing in each direction. We saw some individual oryx, but nothing to go after. The day stretched on towards lunch time a good sized herd of oryx did move into the low trees just at the base of our hill.

We watched them for a good hour or more as they moved slowly through the brush and eventually started to bed down. There was one mature female in the group, but her horns were not the longest nor symmetrical so we decided not to put a stalk on this group.
IMG_4136.jpeg
IMG_4140.jpeg

The amazing sunrises here never cease to amaze!

IMG_4143.jpeg
IMG_4145.jpeg
IMG_4149.jpeg

Waiting for an opportunity that would not materialize this morning.

This video is to give you an idea of the wind. The orange open area you see at the bottom of the hill is where the herd of oryx would eventually pass through.

Luckily after lunch the wind had dies down. We went west again to the same area, but on the south side of the main road vice the north side where I had been two times before. We were going to travel a few kilometers into the property to get to our first glassing point so I was not expecting any immediate action, then we passed a watering trough beside the road ...

It was just a quick flicker to me off to the right of the truck and our direction of travel, but Jacques quickly turned to me and said "that's a very good warthog if you're still interested..." I certainly was and so we continued on up the road about another 100-200 yards and got out to stalk back to where we had seen him. The we got close enough we could see the big boar leaving the trough area heading back towards the open plain, moving from our right to left.

I would guess that we were a little over a 100 yards at this point and Jacques threw up the shooting sticks. I got up quickly and took aim on his front left shoulder. He had noticed our movement by this point and was not walking, but took a step and turned slightly towards us just as I shot, so my shot was just behind the shoulder and quartering back through him. I did not see his immediate reaction but Jacques said he hunched up for a second and then started running.

At this point all I could see was the dust trail, moving from our right to left. Jacques had seen where he stopped, but we weren't sure if he was in a hole, just injured, or was expired. We approached where he had seen him stop quickly, but cautiously. Luckily even with less than ideal shot placement the 9.3 had done a good job and the boar was dead by the time we got to him.
IMG_4166.jpeg
IMG_4172.jpeg
IMG_4185.jpeg
IMG_4197.jpeg


At this point I wan't sure if we would head back to Kowas immediately, but Jacques assured me that the warthog would be fine staying in the back of the truck with times as comfortable as they were.

After loading the warthog in the truck we continued south, into the property before taking a branching road that took us towards the wester edge and the line of hills there. As we were getting close to our destination we would come across a troop of baboons running along the road ahead of us. I had seen some baboons at great distance on a couple of other occasions this trip, but certainly not this close. We had some fun following them for a bit before getting to our first destination hill.

We went up and glassed from that hill for some time, but didn't see any sign of oryx. The baboons were still pretty thick below us, which wasn't the greatest setup anyway, so we moved on. This time deeper into the property (south) and back towards the eastern edge hills. For one of the few times on the safari I was the first one to spot what we were looking for. Out the left window (passenger's side there) I caught a glimpse of the large white bodies of oryx running along the base of the hill, through the trees, parallel with the road we were traveling. Soon we stopped the truck and started glassing from the back, the only high vantage point we had right now.
IMG_4208.jpeg

Some warthog blood on the tailgate as Jacques and Joseph assess the oryx transiting in the distance.

The group would continue to move south, on our left side, before crossing out access road perhaps half a mile or more ahead. We were going to put on a stalk, but it would be tough getting close due to lack of cover and we were also raising sunset.
IMG_4211.jpeg


We got close, still probably 500 yards away, but Jacques was able to confirm that there was a very nice, mature female kind of bringing up the rear of the group. We would have to pick our windows carefully and try to get closer in order to have a shot by the time she crossed the road.

We managed to get within 250 yards despite a group of bat eared foxes trying to give us away as they ran up the road ahead of us. We couldn't get much closer and they knew we were there by now. Jacques asked if I was good with 250 yards and I said that I was. The big female was in the open and had turned our direction, so was now facing right to left as we looked at her. I adjusted my CDS dial to 250 yards and I put the cross hairs on her lower left shoulder and made the first truly bad shot of my trip. It wasn't a clean miss, but I did hit her below the chest area in her left leg, badly breaking it but nothing more.

Of course by this point she is running off to our left, not at full oryx speed but fast enough. She did stop at one point at around 350 yards, and I tried two shots which Jacques said hit well in front (to the left) of her. I should have just aimed center mass and tried any hit, but I was still aiming vitals. So now she had made it to the trees and we would have to start tracking. I was also out of ammo in my rifle having not topped off after shooting the warthog, so I quickly reloaded from my belt carrier and we were off after her.

The only good thing about this whole scenario unfolding was that it was my first opportunity to see what an amazing skilled tracker Jacques is. In what looked like a sea of oryx tracks and random lines in the sand, he was able to keep us on her tracks through the thick trees at this point. We were getting glimpses and she was stopping periodically, so we knew there would be shot opportunities. Did I mention it was getting dark...fast?

The first shot opportunity I was not nearly quick enough to drop down to a knee and get off a shot before she was on the move again. Another 50-100 yards winding through the trees and I got another quick opportunity, dropped to a knee, and 'click'. My second bonehead moment of the evening. When I had reloaded I had kept my finger pressed down on the last round when closing the bolt, like I had done every other time I loaded a rifle this trip, instead of actually chambering a fresh round. Not intentionally, just habit at this point.

I managed not to lose my crap too badly, chambered a round, and we set off again after her. Finally, the next time we got her in sight Jacques quickly verified it was indeed her and I was able to put a shot into her off hand, center mass. She spun around a couple of times right there in that spot before going down. We gave her just a minute and approached. She was thankfully out of pain and no more shots would be required. Not my proudest hunting moment, but what a magnificent oryx she is.

The pictures aren't the sharpest because it really was last light at this point, but her secondary growth is very nice. She was on old lady, much older than my bull. Surprisingly she would end up measuring 39.5" to my bull's 40", but they will make a superb mounted pair!

IMG_4217.jpeg
IMG_4228.jpeg
ca16a02d-a28f-4b6f-b48c-8a166e592d2a.jpeg


Back at the barn that night we would learn that my hunting partners had gotten their Hartman's zebra that afternoon as well!

2496f99b-fcc6-4ad2-9ee8-7f0c0c25e907.jpeg
4195f21a-fd88-4151-a058-98e575bd96e8.jpeg

More oryx shots and a toast with both old and new friends!

That would conclude the hunting for me. In total I got two oryx, a red hartebeest, an impala, a springbuck, a kudu, an eland, and a warthog; all in five days of hunting. And each animal would measure Gold Medal or Game Fields Medal by NAPHA age related trophy measurement system.

The next morning my hunting partners would go out and also get their second oryx, also a female.

Next post I will provide some additional pictures from the end of the trip as well as some lessons learned on my part. Thanks for following along!
 
Great write up! That’s a great old gnarly warthog.
What are your plans on taxidermy?
 
The long wait begins! Are you having it done in Africa or the States?
 
The long wait begins! Are you having it done in Africa or the States?
The euro mounts on plaques will be done at the taxidermist that is doing the dip and pack. All of the shoulder mounts will be completed at my taxidermist here in the states.
 
Post 9: Final Days and Final Thoughts

The last two days would be spent relaxing, starting to pack for the trip home, finalizing our invoices for what we had taken, and of course making multiple trips to the salt shed to look at our trophies again.

Kowas is also a major sponsor of the local school and hostel. One of the things we really wanted to see was where the meat that we didn't consume went. A lot of it goes to support the Kowas operation, staff and guests, but a lot also goes to the school. On the last full day before our departure flight day we got to go visit the school and take along a couple of large coolers full of frozen meat. This was certainly a highlight of the trip.

My final thoughts:
- If you want an absolutely first class hunting safari where you feel like part of the family, you could do no better than Kowas Adventure Safaris. https://kowasadventure.com/. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a safari, whether it was their first or tenth.

- Namibia is a safe, stable, affordable country to visit and hunt. I have not hunted any other African country so I can't comment on any others, but I can tell you that travel in Namibia should not give you concern.

- If you choose to go US to Namibia via Frankfurt, which I would do if I were (when I do) going back again, I recommend United over Lufthansa. Lufthansa charges additional fees for rifles but United does not. My hunting partners were on Lufthansa and I was on United, which are both Star Alliance, and they had more issues than I did. Your experience may vary.

- If you do go via Frankfurt, no matter how you got to Frankfurt, the final leg of your flight will be operated by Discover Airlines. You do need to notify them ahead of time (before starting your trip) that you will be traveling with firearms and they do charge a fee. I would make sure you pay it up front and have the receipt with you. I had notified them but not been charged yet when I started my travels. I had no issues getting all the way to Windhoek. When I went to depart at the end of the safari it came up that I had not paid the fee yet. There are no actual Discover Airlines reps in the Windhoek airport, so it took quite a while on the phone to get through to someone who could take payment so that the airport would take my bags.

- Strangely when I was checking my bags to leave Windhoek they asked the expected questions about my ammo: number of rounds brought, number of rounds leaving, etc. Then they asked if I had any empty cases, which I did (all of them). I had read elsewhere that some countries make you show all your empties to prove you haven't left behind any live ammo. Anyway, I said yes and they told me that I could not leave with empty cases. So I had to open my ammo case and discard my EMPTY cases. Seems strange!

- I was concerned about ticks being an issue. I pre-treated my clothes and took plenty of deet with me. I didn't see a single tick the whole trip. Not even on any of the animals taken, including the eland which would normally have them. I'm not saying they aren't there, but I have found more ticks crawling on me here in Ohio since being home than I did on safari. Mosquitoes were also not an issue at all, but this is the dry season in the dry area of Namibia so this is certainly not always going to be the case.

- Take a journal and take notes AS SOON AS YOU CAN following your hunts, at least daily if not twice a day. You will do and see so much that it will quickly get jumbled in your memory if you don't write it down. Also take tons of pictures!

- Preaching to the choir here, but an African safari is probably the best bang for your buck you can find in today's world. The number of opportunities you will have on a wide variety of game is unmatched. You only pay for what you take and the first class treatment you get in camp is a downright bargain! Go early and go often!!!

IMG_4272.jpeg

The hill behind the Kowas camp lights up red with the coming sunset.

IMG_4274.jpeg

Looking west from the Kowas camp.

IMG_4276.jpeg
IMG_4278.jpeg
IMG_4279.jpeg
IMG_4280.jpeg
IMG_4282.jpeg
IMG_4283.jpeg
IMG_4292.jpeg

Classrooms at the local school.

IMG_4299.jpeg


IMG_4239.jpeg

Our two kudu bulls and my eland drying after coming out of the salt.
IMG_4250.jpeg

Standing by our individual kudu trophies. Jeremiah's measured 2" longer than mine if my memory is correct. Mine measured 54".

IMG_4327.jpeg

My two oryx, bull on the left and cow on the right, 40" and 39.5" respectively.

IMG_4355.jpeg
IMG_4345.jpeg
IMG_0604.jpeg
IMG_0619.jpeg
Namibia 2024c-27s.jpg
IMG_4357.jpeg

A final hill top sunset.

IMG_4370.jpeg
IMG_4372.jpeg

Last night around the camp fire.

Namibia 2024c-29s.jpg


The Kowas team!!! Can't wait to get back...
 
Great report, and congratulations on a wonderful hunt! My first safari was with Kowas in 2015, and they put on a fantastic experience!
 
Great report, and congratulations on a wonderful hunt! My first safari was with Kowas in 2015, and they put on a fantastic experience!
Thanks! I see you are in Jacksonville. I've lived there more than anyplace else during the last 30 years (Navy). We were in Hidden Hills on the north end of Monument Rd for many years and then lived on Mayport base for my last tour there.
 
Congrats for a great hunt.

And thanks for your report and very good pics !
 
Last edited:
Thanks! I see you are in Jacksonville. I've lived there more than anyplace else during the last 30 years (Navy). We were in Hidden Hills on the north end of Monument Rd for many years and then lived on Mayport base for my last tour there.
Small world - I am in Mandarin. Are you still in the area?
 
Small world - I am in Mandarin. Are you still in the area?
No, I'm in Ohio now (yes there are Navy jobs here) but we'll be back down to visit old friends in July. We may be there for the Gate River Run next March too.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
55,672
Messages
1,184,529
Members
97,150
Latest member
lapjie
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

I am game for a meat and eat. My attempt at humor.
rigby 416 wrote on rifletuner's profile.
Come from cz like that.
John A Flaws wrote on Horbs's profile.
500 schuler magazine.jpg
500 schuler bore.jpg
500 and 425 rifles.jpg
500 and 425 magaizne.jpg
cwpayton wrote on Goat416's profile.
Goat416 welcome to the forum ,youve got some great pics and Im sure trophy's
ghay wrote on professor's profile.
Hello,
Would you consider selling just the Barnes 235's and 250g TTSX's?
 
Top