NAMIBIA: Namibia With Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris May 2019

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Chris35w, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Chris35w

    Chris35w AH Member

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    May 2019 hunt with Khomas Highland Hunting Safari

    First my apologies to Philip for the long delay in finally getting around to my hunt report. Work and dealing with back issues kept me occupied. Now that I’m recovering from spine fusion surgery, I am finding time to get it done.

    I want to thank a few people for their help in making the decision to book my first hunting trip to Africa with Khomas Highland. Paul (Velodog), Roger and Adrian you were key to that decision and spot on.

    As far as Khomas Highland goes, Philip, his crew, and wonderful farm I could not have made a better choice. Thanks to everyone there, My PH Adab, his assistant Charles, the house staff and cooks. Adab’s wife heads the cook staff and I will say everyone at the lodge never had a bad meal, simple outstanding. Thanks to Jan, Roy and Ralf you were wonderful company at dinner and around the evening fire.

    Gareth, Peter, Paolo, Alejandro, and Doc from Houston I could not have asked for better companions in camp to share my experience.

    I was on the ground ten days and hunted eight. The weather was perfect, if not dry due to the terrible drought they are suffering in Namibia, but it didn’t affect the hunting as far as I could tell. There was plenty of game and I was amazed at every turn at the variety of wildlife. For some reason I was particularly fascinated with the bird life, I saw Kori Bustards, francolins, sand grouse, guineas, all manner of song birds and birds of prey. Not to mention the grey lourie, they were very ubiquitous and noisy but I would have hated not to have been around them. If one is a bird hunter Africa should be on your places to visit.

    As far as the country I hunted it reminded me of central Texas where I have spent a fair amount of time hunting. Needless to say, I felt quite at home. I currently live in northern Colorado and the elevation was just about the same and I had no trouble with the altitude. It is hilly and ankle turning rocky country. Adab made walking this country look like a stroll in the park while I tripped and slid and stepped on the flat rocks laying about making them sound like dinner plates clattering together when I lifted a foot. Texas mesquite has nothing on all the acacias, everything has thorns.

    The minutiae of each hunt/stalk have faded but the entire experience stands out as a grand adventure. Fortunately, I was able to take all the animals on my list, never putting a tape to any of them just taking what Africa offered and I was pleased. In all I got my Red Hartebeest, Warthog, Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, Impala (at the Okambara Lodge), Oryx and Kudu with a guinea hen thrown in on the last day. The days ran together but they passed far too quickly. I had been hunting successfully and overcoming my initial jitters about performing, when one day about midway through the hunt, I was riding in the high seat coming back to the lodge when it occurred to me, “By God I am an African Hunter”. Something I had dreamed about for most of my life.


    There was plenty of other game to be seen; Blue Wildebeest, Steenbok, Springbok, Jackals and even a Honey badger. On Philips private reserve I saw Sable and Red Lechwe, there are also Giraffe that I did not see. While at Okambara I saw Eland, Burchell’s Zebra, Giraffe, baboon, Waterbuck, two Cheetah and Elephants on the ground at 40 yards. To say I way stunned and in awe is an understatement.

    While not the greatest or most experienced hunter I’ve always thought I was pretty good at spotting game, but for some reason Africa was different. What Adab could see as plain as day I struggled to find, even Kudu standing in the middle of a ranch road. I’d like to think it was because I had just blown two shoots at two kudu (one truly magnificent) and was rattled as well as irritated with myself. This is where I should say that even though my shooting could have been better, the practice I did in the three months leading up to the trip did pay off in the end. Practice off of sticks. It is a must in my opinion.

    For those interested, I took two rifles: a .35 Whelen on a commercial 98 Mauser action and an Interarms Mark X in .270 Win. Both in a Boyd’s laminated stock. They performed well. I took everything except the Impala with the Whelen shooting Barnes 225 grain TSX. In the .270 I was shooting Hornady 150 grain SP Interlocks.

    I flew on South African Airways out of JKF and returned through Dulles. Domestic flights were on Delta and United. I can recommend contacting Jennifer Ginn with Travel Express to make your travel arrangements. She was invaluable when Delta cancelled my red eye route from Denver to JFK. She was able to reroute me through Salt Lake City to JFK with the properly coded flights to ensure my guns were checked straight through to Windhoek. It is cheaper to hire brains than grow them.

    I hope you all find this report helpful and once again thanks to all who helped to make this trip a hunt of a life time. Of course, they say once you’ve been to Africa you will go back. I don’t when that will be but three days after I got back, I bought a Safari Grade Winchester Model 70 .375 H&H, just saying.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2020
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  2. Chris35w

    Chris35w AH Member

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    Pardon the pictures that are skewed. I have no idea how to fix them. Iphone issue i think.
     

  3. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congrats on the hunt! Looks like you had a great time, hope the back is feeling better!
     
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  4. Chris35w

    Chris35w AH Member

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    Thanks, I had the time of my life. Back is doing fine.
     

  5. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    And that is what it is all about.

    Congratulations!
     
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  6. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you for the report. I had a fantastic hunt with Philip and his team, I can't wait to get back to his ranch.
     
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  7. Rick Cox

    Rick Cox SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for the report! You have nice trophies there. I love Namibia...
     
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  8. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Congrats on a successful Safari and thanks for the report
     
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  9. fish hunter

    fish hunter AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading everyone’s hunt reports especially to the places I’ve been, brings back good memories!
     
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  10. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Nice trophies and good memories.
     
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  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Some very fine trophies!
    Glad to hear you’re healing well! Back issues can make life extremely difficult!
    Happy to read you bought a 375 H&H for your return trip and I hope it’s soon. You won’t be unhappy with the old 375 as your cartridge of choice for Africa. Mine has served me well.
     
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  12. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Enthusiast

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    Very nice! Thank you for the report! Beautiful trophies.

    Longest and shortest shots?

    You might as well just tell us now what your plans are with that .375, the sooner that you verbalize the plan, the more quickly it will happen...
     
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  13. Chris35w

    Chris35w AH Member

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    As far as my next trip, I hope to hunt Cape buffalo and maybe Nyala or a Waterbuck. But before that happens there will be several honey do trips with my wife.

    The longest shot was maybe the hartebeest, 170-180 meters. The shortest was the warthog at about 80 meters.
     
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  14. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Congrats on some nice animals and what sounds like was a great hunt.
    Bruce
     
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  15. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Greetings Chris35W,

    Thank you for the great hunting report and the kind words you’ve submitted regarding Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris.
    I’m glad you found my comments and those of Roger and Adrian helpful.

    Also, it’s good to learn that your surgery turned out well.
    When your back hurts, everything seems to hurt.
    It pretty much even hurts to blink your eye lids.

    That drought was brutal for sure.
    The saving grace of Philip’s place and the rest of the massive conservancy up there is that, the Khomas Hochland Highlands are not technically a desert.
    It is a Bushveld Ecosystem so, they get more rain than a desert.
    Plus as you no doubt noticed, there are deep wells on Philip’s land every so many kilometers/miles, keeping the lakes and ponds watered.
    Water, wild grasses, trees, and seemingly endless brushy canyon habitat, are the reasons that game (and leopard) is quite plentiful there, even without fencing in the whole conservancy.
    In fact when the low desert lands become too sparse each dry season, gemsbok/oryx and two species of zebra migrate up to the conservancy, for grass and water.
    The critters thrive there and are a delight to see, even for the non-hunter.

    Your choice of the 98 Mauser in .35 Whelen is a very fine one.
    The Whelen, loaded with 125 grain bullet is IMO, one of the best choices for long shots on African “plains game” if not most game, world wide.
    For larger animals such as eland, moose and similar sized ones, the Whelen is again quite a good choice with 250 grain bullets.
    It is a puzzle as to why more hunters haven’t discovered the .35 Whelen.
    As “premium” soft points go, I like Swift A-Frames but, as you have demonstrated, there are other brands out there as well.
    These days, we are thankfully living in the “golden years of bullet selection”.

    As for your new Model 70 in .375 H&H, again you have chosen wisely.
    With today’s premium / super tough bullets, the .375 has developed a very good reputation on African and Australian buffaloes.
    I have never shot a buffalo with one but, I have shot a large pile of other game, in Africa and Alaska both, with the incredible .375 H&H.
    It is my favorite hunting cartridge.
    Mine is a simple Brno Model 602 Mauser, with an equally simple 4x Zeiss scope on it, in stout rings.
    However, if instead it was a Model 70 Winchester like yours, I would be quite satisfied.

    Best regards,
    Paul.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  16. Chris35w

    Chris35w AH Member

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    Paul,

    Thanks for the reply. We actually talked, for quite a while, about Khomas Highlands and your input was most helpful. I could not have made a better choice on where to hunt. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

    I agree on the Whelen, it is a mystery as to why it isn’t more popular. It is a wonderful cartridge. Never tried 125’s but have shot 150’s but not on game. May have to try them on hogs, but I have three other rifles to blood first.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Chris
     
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  17. Bob Nelson 35Whelen

    Bob Nelson 35Whelen AH Enthusiast

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    Chris35W
    You got some great trophies an memories mate. We had a great time as well in Namibia (different outfit).
    I applaud your choice of the 35 Whelen as that is what I used.
    You might want to check out the 35 Whelen project post on new stories.
    Once again congrats on a great hunt I have only heard good things about Kowas.
    Cheers mate
    Bob Nelson
     

  18. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi again Chris,

    You are of course totally welcome.
    Also, I guess you figured out that my typo of “125” grain was supposed to be 225 grain.
    And for that mystery of the Whelen never really gaining the popularity in Africa that it’s performance deserves, I suppose it could be that the 9.3x62 Mauser cartridge had pre-dated it on The Dark Continent by many decades.
    But with so much proper game management and therefore better hunting now happening in several African countries, maybe the Whelen will finally become a rising star yet.

    Anyway cheers,
    Paul.
     
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  19. Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris

    Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you very much for the report! we hope to welcome you back in Namibia soon!

    Best regards from Namibia

    The whole Khomas Highland Hunting Team
     
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  20. Chris35w

    Chris35w AH Member

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    It’s no wonder the Whelen isn’t popular in Africa, it would be a handloading proposition only and the 9.3x62 is a classic there and getS the job done. I just don’t get the lack of interest in the good old USA.

    I’m fairly dense and I just assumed 125 as I have shot 150’s, just not on game. I’ve always used 225’s for hunting, just the ticket for whitetail, pronghorn, javelina and hogs.
     

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