NAMIBIA: Namibia's "Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris"

Velo Dog

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DAY #14:

Breakfast at 6:15 AM, with the usual very good board of fare; Chilled fruit juice, meat, cheese, toast, fried egg, jams / jellies and blazing hot, strong coffee.

6:45 AM, I was sent out with Adab and Eric to "shoot something for the kitchen".
However, the wind had begun to blow about that time, gusting to perhaps 30 - 35 mph.
And, although we had begun a couple of stalks on a suitable critter here and there that morning, the game was so spooky in this strong gusting wind that, we were unsuccessful to get close enough for a positive and humane shot.

LUNCH:

Meanwhile, back at the farm, if my memory serves me for once, around noon we gathered on the main veranda for sandwiches, chips, salad, refreshments and such (I was getting lazy about writing notes toward the end of this excellent safari, and I mean lazy).
Afterward, I don't recall what the others did but I took an afternoon geezer nap.

AFTERNOON COFFEE:
3:15 PM, we again gathered on the main veranda for coffee and cake or cookies (one or sometimes both, hahaaa).

SIDE NOTE:
Incidentally, I took it easy on the sweets and only gained surprisingly just 3 pounds, during this fun break from my year in, year out, daily routine.
This is a great endorsement for generally staying up wind from sweets as much as possible and likewise, for walking as much as possible.
Believe me, I ate like a proverbial pig, as the savory foods served there were so perfectly prepared that resistance was futile.
Nonetheless, only gaining 3 pounds was a very happy surprise for me when I arrived home and eventually mustered the courage to step onto my bathroom scale.

FOWLING:
Around 3:45 PM, Philip issued to me a good looking Miroku over / under 12 bore and took me out bird hunting with himself and Adab.
It had about 2.5" drop at the heel which, is good enough for me and my spastic shooting style.
Any less than 2.5" drop at the heel and I begin to often shoot high, over the top of flying targets.
Philip brought a fairly new looking 12 bore semi-auto of some type for himself but, I do not recall the brand anymore (Benelli perhaps ?)
Also, we brought one of the Bavarian Mountain Hounds with us, as our retriever.
The ammunition was Rottweil high velocity 3MM lead shot.

We began by exiting the bakkie behind a tall, narrow earthen dam and taking up our positions at opposite ends of same, just below the top of said dam, on the outside (IE: on the dry side of it).
Adab then went wide, around to the other side of the small water hole and, walked back toward it.
This effectively caused both redbilled ducks and Egyptian geese to fly.
As I recall, only one goose flew within range of my position here and these wary birds did not seem to like Philip's specific hide out spot very much at all (I think they recognized him as someone who had bagged some of their brethren waterfowl many times before).
Anyway, that 3 millimeter lead shot crumpled my lone goose like a lightening strike and he was easily retrieved by our splendid doggy.
A flock of about a dozen or so redbills, flew directly over my position, perhaps only 20 meters up but, my instructions were to avoid shooting this specific specie, (they should've gone to the roulette tables because it appeared to be their lucky day, heh heh).

THE HUNTING DOG:
Being the World's Smartest Security Guard and all, it is surprising that I had never before heard of a "Bavarian Mountain Hound", until this hunting trip.
This breed is an impressive performing, very well behaved, will track wounded game on foot and likewise, swim out to retrieve downed waterfowl type of gun dog.
And yet, it is what I'd call only a "medium sized dog".
My best guess is that the females weigh about 45 pounds, (males perhaps 55 pounds) ?
I'm guessing by having picked up one of the females, just to see how heavy these fine hunting dogs might weigh.
At any rate, they appear large enough to be sturdy but if badly injured, a hunter could conceivably carry one back to the vehicle.
My personal hunting dog is an Irish Terrier male that, weighs 42 pounds.
And, one of several reasons I chose this breed is because I can carry him if I absolutely had to.
Blah, blah, blah, whatever.

BACK TO FOWLING:
Onward to another dam / large water hole (lake) which, I had described as having been productive for me on geese, that time I went there with a .22 rifle.
At this one, again Philip and myself placed ourselves, on the outside of and more or less at opposite ends of the dam, just below the top.
And again, Adab went to the far end of the water to inspire the geese to fly.
As a goose here and there flew over within range, my 3 MM shot always crumpled them, no problem.
And, upon firing, I heard others take flight that, must've been floating just on the other side of the dam, very close to my hiding place.
As these began to appear above the dam, I would in turn shoot them down.
I do not recall that I shot very many in total numbers but, my wasted years as a waterfowler in the Upper Sacramento Valley, (1970's, when I was a Colusa County Deputy Sheriff ) paid off, because I did not I miss or cripple a single goose.
All wend down hard with one shot each and stayed there, until el doggo was summoned to fetch them back to us.

On our way back to the house, we stopped a couple times and used our shotguns to shoot some guinea fowl.
The meat from these ended up as schnitzel and was hugely popular, no surprise there.

OUR FINAL FARM HEUSIS SUPPER:
I may have forgotten to mention that, on the day I had originally shot geese with the .22 rifle, I had then cut the fillets out of each one (incidentally, their skin is like shoe leather) with my knife and back in camp, I requested they be thoroughly pounded, seasoned and deep fried as schnitzel (first time I have actually needed a knife in 5 African hunting trips).
Likewise, I kept the legs, as these are also a delicious and meaty part of waterfowl (sadly, many North Americans throw this part away).
So, the fillets were indeed served as schnitzel, and were a big hit, now todays bag was destined for the same treatment.
And, our innovative Cooks slow-cooked the legs into a brown sauce that, where I'm from would be called "gravy" and the meat was almost falling off the bones because it was so tender (no easy thing as a wild goose is a tough bird by any standard).
Likewise, there were just a few thin strips of breast meat in there for variety as well.
I will guess that it was perhaps made with, olive oil, chicken broth, tomato pulp/juice, onions, flour, salt and black pepper plus, some savory spices that, I could not quite identify (among others, perhaps sage and rosemary ?).
Anyway, suffice it to say that these "goose legs in sauce" were gobbled up so fast that the large bowl they were served from almost caught on fire from myself and fellow diners moving the large serving spoon through this treat so fast.

Just about the time this serving bowl was making the third time around our table, in marched one of the Cooks, with a huge steaming hot platter of braised eland medallions (prepared from either the tenderloins or backstrap or both).
Likewise, it was in a delicious "sauce" or "rue", which although lighter of color and somewhat different flavor than the goose leg version nonetheless, it was absolutely perfect and again, this meat was very tender as well.
The other Cook brought a separate platter, heaped with oven roasted root vegetables (I think there may have been turnips, rutabagas, carrots and potatoes), seasoned to perfection as usual.
There was also a fresh green salad and I cannot remember what all else.
But, I can say that it was better than food I have paid good money for, in more than one restaurant, over my lifetime.

NEXT MORNING:
Danny had already departed back to the USA a couple of days before Dale and I did, as his career is a demanding one.
So, on our final day there, Dale and I handed out gifts to employees, as well as cash tips to each one, according to their job description.
And, I also did not forget our venerated Hunt Manager, Philip.
He worked hard to make it all happen for us and we appreciated it greatly.

FAREWELL NAMIBIA:
Cash tips and other gift giving concluded, as well as our good-byes to new friends, then it was off to Windhoek Dale and I rolled, to begin our long journey home.

El Finito.
 
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Ridgewalker

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So, what’s the difference in a sauce and a rue? Where you’re having it?

The end? Bummer! This has been my morning read for quite awhile now. I hate for it to come to an end:cry:!

Grand trip with son and bud! Thanks for taking the time to write it all down!
 

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I really appreciate the narrative. As someone looking for a possible hunt w/ 2 sons in the future its nice to see how well you were taken care of. Nice trophies and a great hunt. Thanks for sharing. Congrats
Bruce
 

Von Gruff

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Been a good read. Thanks for posting such a well written piece.
 

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It was a great trip and a fine read sir. Thank you
 

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MORE PHOTOS:

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Photo #1. Philip and myself with some of the guinea fowl and Egyptian geese we sacked with our shotguns (Philip's shotguns actually, lol).

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#2. One of the several Bavarian Mountain Hounds that are employed by Farm Heusis / Khomas Highland Hunting Safarais.

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#3. View out the front door of house we used as our residence on this 14 day Safari.

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4. "The Wild Bunch" as they returned from checking paper targets.

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5. Guinea fowl were very plentiful.

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6. An oryx in the hand is worth three in the bush.

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7. One more water hole (we didn't shoot geese here though).

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8. Adab rigging my warthog for photos.

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9. Typical bush track, aka 4 wheel drive "road" if I dare call it that.

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10. One of the "stegosaurus scale" rocks I mentioned (these things were everywhere, in varying sizes).
 

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Rob404

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So, what’s the difference in a sauce and a rue? Where you’re having it?

The end? Bummer! This has been my morning read for quite awhile now. I hate for it to come to an end:cry:!

Grand trip with son and bud! Thanks for taking the time to write it all down!
Well a Sauce is a Sauce and a Roux is usually never used, However a Roux which is made with 50% Fat (butter) and 50% Flour (I like mine a little Looser)is used to tighten up a Gravy or a Cream Soup or is cooked until dark brown and is used in Cajun Cooking such as Etoueffe. Corn starch and water is also used(cheaper) to thicken. JMTC
 

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I’m impressed Rob404! Except since I can’t even boil an egg, I don’t understand what you wrote:(! But I think you’d do well in the cook tent in elk camp(y)!
 

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Thanks for a great Hunting report Velo, Your Bird Hunting is giving me some thoughts about taking a shotgun to Africa when I go next time along with my to yet to be determined Rifle
 

Rob404

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I’m impressed Rob404! Except since I can’t even boil an egg, I don’t understand what you wrote:(! But I think you’d do well in the cook tent in elk camp(y)!
Thanks, I Cook for a Living, and even though I went to a Culinary school I still learn something new every now and then
 

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Thank You for the great report Paul.
 

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Fantastic report, I very much enjoyed reading it.
 

Velo Dog

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Thank you each and every one for the positive comments on my most recent and long-winded posts here.
You fellows are the best.

And Rob404, I too enjoy learning new things, such as: Roux is not spelled "rue" (oopsie) and that, roux is more of a very specific ingredients combination type of base, (perhaps for starting sauces in Cajun style cooking?).
At the least, it is not really just a very thick brown gravy, as I had previously thought.

Well anyway, all of you are good chaps for reading my posts.
If any of you would like to hunt on a huge piece of the earth where there are no tall fences, except what's left of the one formerly surrounding the farm house itself (left over from the 1980's SWAPO conflict).
Here, there are zebra and oryx, migrating up to the mountains and later on, down to the lower flat lands again each year, according to the rains / grass availability.
If you want free-range hunting at a very reasonable price, but you don't need to stay in a super fancy "Hunting Lodge", then I recommend Philip's safaris company.
You will stay in a stone and mortar farm house, with clean and comfortable rooms, daily laundry, etc. and you will eat your meals with the family.
The food is wonderful and best described perhaps as: "European Farm Food with a Gourmet Twist".
There is a vault at your disposal, to keep firearms, passports, cameras and such in, when you are not using them.

Phillip Hennings is the Owner / Manager of "Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris" which is physically located within the 4 million acre, "Khomas Hochland Highland Wildlife Conservancy".
If you wish to contact him, Philip is a Sponsor here within The World's Greatest Forum (he also offers various salt water species fishing, including but not limited to shark fishing, down on the Atlantic Coast of Namibia).
Game and vermin, waterfowl and upland game birds are quite plentiful there in The Highlands but, I'd say most wildlife except the waterfowl, will be spread over vast areas.
This is real hunting, with conditions such as you would expect to have in places like Wyoming (except that you will not have to compete with a mob of other people sporting out of state license plates on their vehicles LOL).
The only other "Hunters" any of us from my group saw in 14 days, were two well armed white fellows, driving about one evening, on anti-poaching / anti cattle theft patrol, that Dale had thought were either Land Owners themselves or, perhaps hired "Game Guards" to give the bad guys plenty to worry about.
They stopped and chatted in German or Afrikaans with Dale's PH, Isaak then, they went on their way.
Isaak told Dale that, the two gun slingers were doing a sun-down anti-poaching / anti-theft patrol.

There are eland up in the Highlands but few and mighty far between.
If you want to hunt eland, you will be taken down to a land holding in the Kalahari that does have a game fence around it but, it is 37,000 acres, known as "Elephant Camp" as mentioned in one of my earlier posts (and that lodge is fancy but not in a prissy or offensive sort of way, just "up-scale" and geared toward "African bush and wildlife tours".
Once you pass through the gate, onto the property, you will not know you are on private property, as it is African bush, miles and miles and miles of it.

When we perched ourselves on "The Escarpment" for over an hour, glassing for eland, I looked for a fence but could not see one in any direction, anywhere out there.
Conclusion: "37,000 acres is huge" ... by any standard (not quite 60 square miles).
And if that still freaks you out, just hunt the other diversified species, up in the 4 million acre Conservancy, on and around Farm Heusis (Philip's home place) where there are no game fences.
The hunting on either geographic location is work, but not so much that old men like Dale and myself could not succeed, we did indeed succeed.

If you are suffering a physical set-back and cannot get into hunting shape, I am positive Philip and crew will see to it you get some great opportunities on fine animals, over water holes and positioning you with your PH to watch heavily used game trails, etc., etc.

Here are some more photos, some of which are a tribute to my PH "Adab" and our Driver / Tracker, "Eric", both jolly expert hunters.
Also, they were teaching their sons to be Professional Hunters as well.

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MAdcox

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Great report @Velo Dog . A friend of mine and I have been following you and your son's reports. We are planning a Namibia hunt for 2019 (maybe 2020) and have reached out to Philip already as we narrow down our choices based a lot on these two reports. You guys seem to hunt and enjoy yourselves a lot the same way we do and Philip'soutfit looks like a good fit.
Thanks for letting us follow along on a great hunt with your son and friend.
 

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Wow, fantastic stuff. Sure makes a guy homesick for Namibia, that's for sure. Thanks for the wonderful writeup and pics, and congrats to you guys on a wonderful experience.
 

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I really appreciate the narrative. As someone looking for a possible hunt w/ 2 sons in the future its nice to see how well you were taken care of. Nice trophies and a great hunt. Thanks for sharing. Congrats
Bruce

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the knuckle bump.
Philip's place is definitely worth bringing your sons to for hunting.
It is "real hunting" there, as the game although plentiful, is spread over vast tracts of land (about 4 million acres) and it is very wild / alert / wary.
It's not the kind of hunt where if something gives you the slip, you can be totally sure to find him in the same place again tomorrow, probably not going to be that simple (or easy).
There are still free ranging cheetah living and hunting up there, not to mention what I suspect are more leopards than needed as well, explaining why the antelopes and such are very sportingly hard to sneak up on (I wouldn't have it any other way).
That said, if you are reasonably fit for walking and patient, and if booked for at least 10 days of boots-on-the-ground hunting, you will have plenty of opportunity to take a menagerie of diversified species, good "trophy class" specimens.

I know you are not like the following, but for others reading along, this hunt is not for the person who simply must shoot a 60" kudu otherwise they'll just go home pouting.
Philip told us that, in his LIFETIME on that mountain range, he has seen perhaps one or two kudus which might have been so large of horn.
However, there is at least one huge horned one up there that I saw, as mentioned in one of my posts that, made good his getaway while Adab and myself were hiking up the back side of a mountain, toward his last observed browsing spot (again, this is real hunting, not simply "pick and shoot").
Also, when Dale finally sends to me his photos, I will post one of the very large horned kudu that he took.
I'm not a tape measure / record book follower and so, I do not recall what it measured out to but, if my feeble memory serves me, I think it was in the mid-50's somewhere ?

One of my son's could not go this time, because he had just bought out his two business partners, leaving him short on "fun money".
But now being the sole Proprietor, he has high hopes of being able to put more money aside each year for such things.
Not sure he will ever do an African Safari because, he is not a super serious hunter like myself and Danny are.
He does own a couple rifles and does sometimes hunt moose with his buds however, not every year and his other hobbies, according to himself, generally take priority over hunting and fishing.

Well anyway, blah, blah, blah, whatever.

PM me if you want to rattle back and forth about tiny and tedious details.

Cheers,
Paul.
 
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Thanks for sharing, have really enjoyed going along if only in my mind !!
 

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Great report on your hunt Paul. I returned home yesterday from the Khomas Hochland and I will have a hard time keeping folk as entertained as you.
 

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