NAMIBIA: Two Safari Rookies Travel To Uhlenhorst Hunting Safaris

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Thanks for sharing some very nice trophies
 

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Bivy

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Any game fences or was this mostly free range with some cattle fences?

Nice report. My next hunt will be similar to this.

My hunt took place on operating cattle and sheep farms with pastures divided by low fences, so my trophies were all free-range.

Uhlenhorst does have a high fence area and they hunt additional high fence areas, but all the species I wished to pursue this trip are readily available free-range. Eland and waterbuck, as well as some up and coming lechwe, are hunted almost exclusively within high fence properties with their operation. I will note that these high fences are the perimeter for extremely large tracts of ground, and I will likely hunt within them on my return.
 

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*Once again Gemma Dries with Discover Namibia assisted with planning Rebekah and I's self-drive. She booked the rental car and hotels based on my preliminary itinerary and supplied a detailed travel packet with travel tips, gas station locations, points of interest, and maps.

Day 9: Windhoek to Okaukuejo Camp

...We awoke from our room at Ti Melen Bed and Breakfast, had a quick breakfast, and packed our bags for the arrival of our rental car. The driver was extremely detailed in his review of the vehicle and description of various features, additionally he assisted us with our initial fill-up in Windhoek...

(Gemma knows her stuff. We spoke to other tourists that had major issues with their rentals, but we were supplied a Toyota Hilux 4-dr pickup. The pickup was equipped with two spare tires on rims, an additional unmounted spare, two fuel tanks (~1250 km per fill-up), and solid body, lockable topper. Our luggage was perfectly secured in the bed of the truck and hidden from thieving eyes!)

...4.5 hours to Etosha. Discovered in Otjiwarongo that Africans don't believe in detour signs! The road was closed to paving and we spent a half-hour discovering our own detour around the construction. Entered Etosha via the Anderson Gate. The park is DRY! Springbok and oryx abundant. Upon our arrival to Okaukuejo, we checked in and headed to our waterhole chalet...ELEPHANTS!





...had dinner and Windhoek Lager. Waterhole was lit on our return...Giraffes AND 6-BLACK RHINOS...speechless...

Day 10: Okaukuejo Camp

...Woke up and headed east. Lions (3 males and 1 female) at Gemsbokvlakte (waterhole). Springbok, oryx, Burchell's zebra, black-faced impala, white rhino, giraffe, kudu, red hartebeest, steenbok, elephants, and blue wildebeest observed! Drove to Namutoni...note to self: never stay here in the future! Returned to Okaukuejo for the night. Favorite waterholes: Olifantsbad, Aus, Kalkheuwel, and Klein Namutoni...


















...Arrived back to camp at ~4:30pm. Relaxed in the chalet and headed to dinner reservation. Ordered a couple lagers-to-go and headed to the waterhole to grab a seat and enjoy the show. Elephants present upon arrival, but a single black rhino arrived soon after dark. Watched the rhino and eles for 2-hours. At times the rhino was within 20 yards...we could smell him!...



Day 11: Okaukuejo Camp to Dolomite Camp

...Awoke early, had breakfast at 5:30 am and headed to the pickup. Third in line for the morning opening of the gates. Decided last night to head out to where we had observed the lions yesterday in hopes of encountering them closer to the road. The plan worked! The young males were not present, but a great maned lion and his lioness were ~100 yards off the road. They slept, they played, and they mated...ah the life of a lion in Etosha...





...Returned to camp, packed bags, and headed for Dolomite Camp; ~5 hour drive. The drive took us through many different habitat types and transitioned into a rolling topography with the occasional dolomite rock outcropping. LOTS OF GAME AT THE WATERHOLES! Springbok, warthog, Burchell's zebra, oryx, giraffe, elephant, leopard tortoise, ostriches, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, etc. Encountered a big, lone bull elephant today. He was close to a mile away when we first parked and he walked within 75 yards of the truck. He was impressive, and while the desire to hunt and harvest an ancient bull elephant is still a very real goal, I recognize that taking the life of an elephant while breed intense emotions within me. I display reverence for all animals I harvest, but I feel that the day I take the life of an elephant my eyes will well...








...Dolomite is AMAZING! The perfect place to decompress and enjoy your surroundings! From our secluded chalet I could see: elephant, kudu, zebra, springbok, ostrich, giraffe, baboons, and 1-black rhino at one time!
Eland for dinner...and a lager...



Day 12: Dolomite Camp to Swakopmund

...Headed for the coast this morning...Anxious to see the Atlantic's eastern shore! Hartmann's mountain zebra in the park; didn't realize they were present in Etosha...





...Drove through Damaraland...beautiful country between Kamanjab and Uis (Would like to hunt in this area someday). Elephant tracks just south of Khorixas. Roadkill caracal just south of Kamanjab. Lots of Himba people along roadway. What an incredible shock to drive by the women of this tribe; topless with their braided hair and skin coated with the red natural sunscreen they make! I would of liked to of stopped and visited, but was uncertain of their customs when it comes to photographs and was concerned that communication would be difficult...





...Arrived in Swakopmund. Drove through desert between Uis and coast...road graders were clearing the constantly blowing sand from the road surface the last 150 kilometers. Very little vegetation and lots and LOTS of sand! Lots of fog. Cornerstone Guesthouse is fantastic and extremely helpful. They assisted us with dinner reservations (phenomenal sushi) and tomorrow's kayak trip!...

Day 13: Swakopmund and Walvis Bay

...Cornerstone Guesthouse organized an early breakfast to accommodate those heading out on kayak or 4x4 excursions. We had breakfast and then drove the 40 km to Walvis Bay to meet Jeanne, owner of Eco-marine Kayaking. Awesome half-day kayaking tour. Great birdlife (including wild flamingos), jackals, dolphins, and LOTS of seals. The pups are extremely playful and would nip at the paddles and our water bottles. They supplied coffee, tea, and sandwiches after the kayak...all for ~$55 US per person...what a deal!...







...Spent the afternoon bartering the last of my Namibian dollars away at the Swakopmund market...GREAT market! Dinner at The Tug...2-appetizers - Escargot and Chili Pesto Stuffed Baby Squid, 2-seafood entrees, 2-cocktails, 2- beers, and 1- dessert...$65 US...Wow! Excellent last dinner in Nam!...

Day 14: Swakopmund to Windhoek/Airport

...Awoke early, breakfast, and down the road for Windhoek. What a great trip! Dropped rental off and they loaded us in their shuttle for the ride to the airport. Stopped by Trophaendienste Taxidermy to collect my rifle from their safe. Airborne...America in 24 hours...
 

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ROCKET

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Ooohhh.....what enjoyable hunting report, incredible pics, great trip for sure.....thanks for share here.....!!!!
 

H50

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Bivy- Your hunt and report have been amazing reading. Your pictures were extremely professional! Enjoyed the self drive Namibia report as well and the recs on your agent. I hope to take the family on a self drive of Namibia in the near future and will contact Discover Namibia at that time. Best of luck to you and your prospective bride..you have a hell of a future ahead of you.
 

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Brilliant report and useful too as we are embarking on a self drive after my hunt next month which is roughly a similar route to yourselves.
We're going Windhoek > Etosha > Uis > Swakopmund > Sossusvlei > Windhoek.
 

BRICKBURN

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Thanks for the Great report. The self drive review will be helpful for a lot of people.
Some incredible wildlife shots. Good eye.

In Namibia the warning signage is interesting in spots:
6073601200_43c4105755_o.jpg
 

CAustin

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Thank you for sharing the report. You got some nice trophies!
 

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Congrats for a great experience, and thanks for sharing !
 

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Nice report and congratulations on your trophies. LOVE your Hartebeest . Hoping to add one to my trophy room in September.
 

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Thanks for the outstanding report! I really enjoyed reading- and the photos are amazing.

What sort of camera do you use?
 

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Bivy ~ thanks for sharing your safari with everyone, what a great adventure and some amazing photography!
 

Bivy

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Well done!!!

Gread trophies and pictures!

So when is the next trip? :)

Honestly it would be next year, but at the moment other events are taking priority...our wedding in 2016 and a Dall sheep hunt in the Northwest Territories that Rebekah won for 2017.

As I stated in my initial introduction a few months ago, the money I used to fund this trip was the culmination of a year working ~25-30 hours a week at McDonalds in addition to my full-time employment with the Fisheries Division of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The point being...I like to do things right when I do them, but it requires some additional sacrifice to accomplish these hunting goals.

Also, I have decided to leave the Fish and Wildlife Management field and pursue a nursing degree. I'm in the process of cleaning up a couple prerequisites over the next academic year in order to enter an accelerated program Fall 2016 with graduation with a BSN in Spring 2018.

Soooo my future plans....wedding, sheep hunt, another BS degree (no pun intended), and what better graduation present to myself than a return to Africa.

I'm once again back to my rigorous work schedule to set aside the money for our 2018 return before entering school full-time. I would go back to Uhlenhorst in a heartbeat, but it will all depend on the quotes I recieve for the desired species. I also wouldn't mind hunting different country, both physically and politically, and plan to complete another self-drive after the hunt that will take us into Botswana and end in Victoria Falls.

The primary species of interest is eland, but Rebekah wants to hunt warthog and hartebeest and I am also interested in nyala, bushbuck, lechwe, etc. We may end up back with Uhlenhorst or with Tholo in Botswana, or with some outfit in KZN, or so many of the great companies represented in this site!
 

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@Adrian and @rinehart0050

The camera I used was a reasonably priced entry-level DSLR; a Canon EOS Rebel T5i equipped with a Canon 18-55 lens and a cheapo Tamron 75-300mm lens.

The 18-55mm was used for the majority of the hunting photos, and the 75-300mm was used for the majority of the Etosha pictures.

I do plan on upgrading to a Canon 75-300mm with stabilization for the next trip. The cheapo Tamron made it difficult to capture clear max-zoom images even when using a tripod.

I also brought along a Canon Vixia G30 camcorder and was able to capture some incredible footage during both the hunt and self-drive, but I won't wade through that until the dark evenings of Winter.
 

Bivy

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Thanks for the Great report. The self drive review will be helpful for a lot of people.
Some incredible wildlife shots. Good eye.

In Namibia the warning signage is interesting in spots:
View attachment 45194

Ha! And when the signage warns of a waterway/riverbed/ford/etc. DO NOT casually dismiss as in the States! They are to be taken very seriously. Fortunately we encountered such crossings during the hunt while Hoekus was driving, so I understood the importance of slowing way down when I was driving!
 

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Thank you for your camera information, I have a similar camera but a Nikon and with the same Tamron lens.

Did you use the settings installed on the camera such as auto, landscape etc or go all out and adjust f numbers, aperture and length of exposure settings?

I can never figure out how photographers capture images if they need to faff about with all that stuff.
 

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Im off on a self-drive safari in Zimbabwe and the end of the month, starting at Vic falls. Don't hesitate to get in contact for info on vic falls upon my return.
 

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Thanks for the report.
 

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