NAMIBIA: Namibia's "Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris"

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Velo Dog, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Guten Morgen,

    After 3 days flying, including layovers in various cities such as, Johannesburg, London, Atlanta and Seattle, I finally arrived home here in Anchorage, yesterday in time for supper.
    Having to use mileage awards, in order to better afford this latest safari, I was stuck flying with British Air, for much of the way and the seats available included some long layovers here and there.

    However, all that helped to make my # 5 African hunting trip possible.
    If you can afford to actually purchase your airline tickets, I recommend you avoid British Airlines, as they are all drinking the standard issue Coolaide from the Earth Worshiper's Anti-Hunting Cult (they "lost" my son's quite expensive archery tackle.)
    Hit but not staggered, he pressed on with a bow borrowed from his excellent PH, name of Errens there in Namibia.
    No delusional, oatmeal slurping follower of Wicca can ever hope to stymie one of my sons.
    Unlike the darkness loving roaches of Earth Worship, my boys cling to the light and therefore they fear no evil.

    ANYWAY !.........

    DAY #1:
    Old friend of 50 years now (Dale, known him since age 14 and now we're both 64, where did those years go?), and my eldest son, Danny (writing in this forum as, "DoubleLunger"), arrived at Windhoek (about the size of Boise Idaho) and were met by the Manager of our chosen safari company, (refer to thread title) name of Philip Hennings.
    He is a friendly fellow, with a good sense of humor and a keen hunter.
    Philip speaks at least 3 languages fluently, one of which is English.
    We gathered up what belongings that British Air had not stolen from us and walked out to the vehicle.

    There we met a German client named Sasha who, had taken a large Tom leopard, as well as a large brown hyena, with Philip as his PH, hunting over bait.
    Sasha was rightfully grinning from ear to ear as we congratulated him for his well done safari.
    We also met a French PH named Benjamin who, also spoke perfect English, among other languages.
    He was in Namibia until the political unrest plays out in Cameroon.
    His usual thing is forest buffalo, Lord Derby eland, bongo, giant forest hog, harnessed bushbuck and such in Cameroon.
    He rents a CZ .375 to clients and he usually carries a CZ .458 Lott to back them.
    But he also has a Kreighoff ejector double in .50o NE that, he said sometimes is a little stubborn to open in the wet jungle conditions when it's very hot and two rapid shots are fired.

    MOVING RIGHT ALONG:
    After stopping at a store for essential groceries, (such as beer,) we rolled out to the "Farm Heusis".
    It's what us North Americans would definitely call a "cattle ranch" (pronounced Farm Hoy-sis).
    It's only perhaps 1.5 hours drive up into the mountains from the city but very "bush Africa" begins within 20 minutes after leaving the city limits.
    We began seeing warthogs and baboons right about 10 or 15 minutes out of town as well.

    Located inside the 4 million acre Khomas Hochland Highlands Concervancy, sprawling Farm Heusis is not technically in a desert but rather a "mountain savana / mountain bushveld ecosystem".
    I.E. these hills and valleys are grassy, with small earthen dams here and there, to hold water.
    And, there are plenty of trees, not unlike the foothills of northern California's Sierra Nevada mountain range.
    Except instead of California oaks, these were camelthorn and other African trees.
    Our hottest day was about +85 degrees Fnht, our coolest about 75.
    Typical mountain weather, nights were much cooler, perhaps in the low 40's ?
    Nearing the end of dry season, so the plentiful grass was parched, except near the dams.
    The beef cattle and game animals, numerous diversified birds, etc., were very healthy looking, well fed, etc.

    We unloaded our belongings into a guest house of 4 bedrooms, 3 bath, and open floor plan, (living room, dining area, kitchen, all one room).
    Complete with a vault to secure our passports and rented rifles in, when not out hunting (nice touch).

    We marveled at the endless rolling landscape and the multitude of antelope spoor near our new home, as we cracked open each a cold Windhoek Lager out on the veranda, just outside our front door, as the Namibian sun was setting.
    There are no game fences there, only belt buckle high live stock fences, such as are common on any cattle ranch.
    And these were not especially common either.
    After passing through 2 or 3 gates during the first 10 minutes or so of leaving the house and kraal area, even low cattle fences were many miles apart and seldom seen.

    DINNER IS SERVED:
    Over in the large, main farm house, we sat down to:
    Zebra cutlets, simmered in peppered gravy, braised carrots, green salad with vinegrette dressing and feta cheese crumbles, baked root vegetable medley, Fat Bastard penotage red wine from Capetown South Africa, water and / or mango juice, whatever you preferred.
    I had heard that Hartmann or Mountain zebra was quite good eating and found this to be quite true.
    It was very tender and the mild flavor somewhat reminded me of expensive veal.

    Danny's PH, Errens arrived late for supper (his elderly mom was in the hospital from a sudden bout with very high spiking blood pressure).
    In spite of his family emergency, he put in his best party face and turned out to be a perfect Hunting Guide for Danny's archery plans.
    This in delightful contrast to British Air's best efforts toward stopping this holiday.

    Owner and fearless leader of Farm Heusis - Philip's father, Dietmar Hennings, always presided over the supper festivities, proposing toasts to this or that and a fountain of knowledge regarding Namibia, as well as most any world topic.
    A jolly and very well read fellow who, also spoke multiple languages, including Spanish among others.

    After that fine supper, we all went off to our respective sleeping quarters to be ready for 7:15 AM breakfast, zero the rifles and go hunting.

    PHOTOS:
    With my apologies, try as I have, nonetheless I'm unable to outsmart the computer gremlins (they probably work for British Airlines) in regards to posting photos.

    Therefore, you must rely on Danny and perhaps Philip to post photos of our grand times up in the Khomas Hochland Conservancy.

    TO BE CONTINUED...

    IMG_1265.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2017

  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Ambassador

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    "No delusional, oatmeal slurping follower of Wicca can ever hope to stymie one of my sons.
    Unlike the darkness loving roaches of Earth Worship, my boys cling to the light and therefore they fear no evil."


    You never fail to make me chuckle at the start of one of your threads, look forward to the rest of the report.
     

  3. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    This is shaping up to be an unmissable thread so have subscribed as will many others I expect.
    coffecomputer_zps3ac713db.gif
     
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  4. Wheels

    Wheels AH Legend

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    Always enjoy reading what you post vd.

    Looking forward to the rest.

    Glad you had a great hunt in the Hochland
     
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  5. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to the report also!
     
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  6. DoubleLunger

    DoubleLunger AH Enthusiast

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  7. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    L to R:
    Dale Raisbeck, Danny aka DoubleLunger, PH Carson aka Scooby Doo, Dietmar Hennings, Philip Hennings, Jon Hennings, PH Benjamin.
    And, I took the photograph, to avoid breaking the camera by posing in front of it.
     

  8. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    So often the result of us "being in carge" is that we are holding the camera while the other pose so we end up not having a lot of pics with us in them (y)
     
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  9. MAdcox

    MAdcox GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Lucky for me, being a rookie, our outfitter warned us against flying through Europe with guns or bows. Sucks about your son's bow. Looks like you guys are sure making the best of the situation though. Keep having fun and thanks for letting us share it with you.
     
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  10. DoubleLunger

    DoubleLunger AH Enthusiast

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    I was told the same thing about Johannesburg but not until it was too late. Just based on what I experienced, I would avoid Johannesburg but even more so I would avoid British Airways and Com Air
     
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  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    DAY #2:

    They had suggested that we sleep in a bit, as breakfast was set for 7:15 AM (an hour later than normal for hunting with this outfit).
    After supper last night, Dale, Danny and myself had returned to our place and indulged in a "couple more" gin & tonics.
    I'm not the brightest light bulb in the hardware store but, already having oinked down more libations than necessary, I decided to keep filling my glass with ice cubes, water and lime slices as we celebrated our triumphant arrival in Africa, until the wee hours.
    Then when the alarm rudely jolted me awake at 6:30 AM, I was feeling fairly smug and fancy with only a very slight hangover to accompany my jet-lag related fatigue and sleep depravation - lol.

    BREAKFAST:
    Bacon, a fried egg, toast, butter, cactus jam, hot coffee, fruit juice and there was even some vegemite on the table (donated by a previous client from Australia - I've liked every Aussie I've met so far in my life and the vegemite was one more gold star for them IMO).

    SIGHTING IN:
    Out to the rifle range, which was a sturdy shooting bench, sand bags and a dry cut bank, across the river bed as our back stop.
    Dale was issued (rented from Philip) a Sauer bolt action in .300 Winchester, with large, variable power scope of German or Austrian make, (I think it was 4 to 12 power ?).
    He is a good shot and did very well with it at both 100 and 200 meters respectively.
    I think they said Dale's issue ammunition was loaded with 180 grain Nosler Accubond bullets.

    My likewise rented rifle was Dietmar's good old Brno Model 602 Magnum Mauser, (holds 5 in the magazine) .375 H&H, exactly like the one I have at home.
    He has a larger scope on his (Zeiss 2 to 8 power Dialyt model) and mine is but a simple 4 power (also a Zeiss brand though).
    And so, after leaving the range, I just left this one set on 4 power for hunting.
    Initially the plan was for me to use Philip's pet hand load of 250 gr Sierra Spitzers at 2600 fps.
    However, Philip had some Federal factory live ammunition on hand (left by a previous client ?) of 270 grain round nose softs and so at his suggestion, I zeroed the Bruno with these.
    However, I shot very poorly at first, to include (finally at age 64 now), joining the "oops, I cut my face with a rifle scope exclusive club".
    Anyway, after several willy-nilly shots, I settled down and began to get the hits, adjusting the scope to zero at 200 meters.

    My PH, "Adab", was patient with my shooting of not so tight groups, until I finally got my ducks in a row and began shooting straighter, then away we rolled in the Toyota Bush Cruiser (heavy duty pickup truck, not readily available in the USA because of our Government-With-Too-Much-Time-on-Their-Hands style of "Safety" Regulations.)

    Adab seemed to approve of me in spite of my first shots fired not being anything to brag about.
    Perhaps it was because when he asked me what trophies I wanted to get, I told him I was not concerned with big trophies or needing to shoot any particular species, I just wanted to go hunting and "you tell me what to shoot, then I will shoot it and be happy with whatever it is", he grinned and said "you are a goot hunter!"
    We became friends and I shall miss him now that I'm home again.

    Driver, "Eric" at the wheel, with myself and Adab standing in the bed of the truck, rifle in the rack that's welded to the roll bar, 5 in the magazine but empty chamber.
    A few kilometers from "camp" (aka: our historic and comfortable farm houses), we unhinged ourselves from the baakie (bakkie ?) as pickup trucks are sometimes called in Africa, in order to stalk a red hartebeest bull that was grazing with his fellow comrades and lady friends.
    However, we were discovered, with about 400 meters yet to go and the herd thundered off in typical hartebeest "rocking horse" fashion.
    I enjoyed the walk anyway and was glad I had put quite a few miles on my boots, starting several months prior to this hunting trip.

    LUNCH:
    We drove back "home" and enjoyed pizza, salad and cold drinks, outside on the main house veranda.
    Dale had rolled in for the lunch break, sporting a gemsbock (German spelling), aka: oryx bull and Mountain Zebra stallion both in the bed of his vehicle.
    As I recall, Danny and his PH (Errens) stayed out through the lunch hour but, my memory might be off on that, not sure anymore.
    A plan was made to regroup at 3:00 PM for coffee.
    So, still not quite over the jet-lag, I wandered off to bed for a couple hours sleep.

    COFFEE TIME:
    At 3:15 PM, we all gathered again on the main veranda and enjoyed hot coffee, fruit juice and cake.
    Then off to hunting again.

    GEMSBOCK / ORYX:
    Sometime around 4:00 PM, Adab noticed some oryx loitering about, half a kilometer or so from the track we were driving along.
    They were slightly up hill from us, fortunately with some very thick thorn bush to conceal our approach.
    So, we quietly exited the truck and began our stalk, keeping the almost no breeze to our noses, Adab gently kicking the dust a couple times as we went, to test the air direction.
    About 250 meters short of the herd, we stopped behind a tall thorn bush while Adab glassed our quarry for an older animal so, I chambered a round, slowly and as quietly as possible.
    We very slowly moved closer, closer.
    Myself no longer looking at the animals but instead, watching Adab's feet so that I could step exactly where he stepped each time, thereby avoiding snapping a stick or scraping a stone.
    At last, he set the sticks when we were somewhere around 75 to 100 meters and had already whispered for me to take the bull with a rumpled horn.
    Quartering to us, he smelled a rat and just glared intently at his intruders for a moment too long.
    I shot him on the shoulder and he bolted fast away with the rest.
    Only making it perhaps less than 50 meters before piling up, el finito.

    The shoulder was broken, heart torn and my bullet recovered in the stomach contents.
    It had lost it's core, only the badly mangled jacket was found.
    Before anyone gets the vapors, this bullet did impact at close to full velocity and broke through the shoulder bone, tearing vital organs (heart-lung) and only stopped in the substantial wet grass of the paunch, after approximately 3 feet of penetration.
    Federal used to load Woodleighs in their "regular" (not premium) hunting round nosed ammunition for this caliber.
    But, evidently now they load a non-bonded core bullet in same.
    Not to worry, because I was happy with it anyway.

    SPRINGBOCK:
    Around 4:30 PM, as we were rolling back to camp with my elderly "one sable horned" oryx bull, I noticed a single animal, standing way out in a grassy area.
    I notified Adab and we stopped to glass it good.
    He declared it an old springbock ram and so we again quietly dismounted, just as before, to begin another stalk.
    We ran out of bush at about 230 meters, with which to cover our approach so, Adab set the sticks.
    This ram saw the motion and his head popped up from grazing, to glare intently at us.

    I shot him on the shoulder and he dropped dead in his tracks.
    The bullet barely expanded evidently as the exit hole out the far side ribs was only about the size and shape of my thumb print.
    I attribute this to both lowered impact velocity of 220 meters from the muzzle and, the relatively small size of this target.

    SUPPER:
    We all gathered by the evening fire for "sundowners", appetizers (various game meats, fried dumpling-like hors d'oeuvres and stories of the day's hunting).
    Supper itself was a wonderful "goulash" of oryx ?, (tender little cutlets of meat, simmered in gravy and root vegetables, sort of a very thick stew - delicious), mashed potatoes, green salad, etc., etc.

    Off to bed, breakfast is to be at 6:15 AM sharp.

    TO BE CONTINUED.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017

  12. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Veteran

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    wish i could write as slick as you "old man"
     
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  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    V.D., you do have a way with words.
     
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  14. MAdcox

    MAdcox GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I told my PH I just wanted representative, mature trophies and I think he busted his ass to get me studs because of it. Like you, I gathered he appreciated a hunter who just wanted to hunt more than one who was all about inches and records. (Not to cast any aspersions on guys looking to shoot big animals)
    Loving you and your sons reports. Keep them coming.
     
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  15. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks MAdcox,

    Great minds think alike.

    Much like your experience in this regard, most of the animals I took were declared "gold medal", even though I never asked to hunt for any particular tape measure status ones.

    Likewise, even though I did not choose to receive these medals, I definitely appreciated how hard my PH worked 14 days in a row to put my elderly butt in position for each shot.

    Instead of spending $60.us each on some medals, I gave my PH and the hunting Manager each a slightly healthier cash tip.

    I was not stingy with the driver/tracker, the kitchen crew or house keeping staff either.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  16. DoubleLunger

    DoubleLunger AH Enthusiast

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  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ABOVE PHOTOS:

    Top:
    Standing in the bed of the truck is Driver / Tracker, Eric.
    On the ground with my bull "sable-oryx hybrid" LOL, is my PH, Adab.

    Bottom:
    Adab pointing at entrance hole on shoulder of springbuck ram, from quartering toward us shot.

    Danny,
    Thanks for posting my photos, you're the best.
     

  18. Adrian

    Adrian AH Enthusiast

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    Interesting Gemsbok, was the horn bent but full length or broken after the bend?
     

  19. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    It was about half length and the end appeared to have been an old fracture, as it was slightly worn, presumably from living in thick bush much of it's life.
    Aside from the sort of "bush polished" look, it somewhat resembled a bighorn sheep's "broomed off" horn end.
     
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  20. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks Don but, from what I have seen, you do write at least as well as I do, if not a bit better (I often tend to ramble-on more than needed).
     

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