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PG in Namibia (Waterberg Plateau)
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Picture of Orvar
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Date: 30 June – 9 July 2011
Outfitter: S&S Safaris (Namibia)
PH Buzz: Willem Serfontein
Location: Waterberg Plateau, Namibia
Species Taken: Oryx, Springbok, Warthog, Blue Wildebeest… Girlfriend (more later on that)
Species Not Taken: Brown Hyena

Have recently returned from a great trip with my girlfriend (now fiancé) to the Waterberg Plateau region of Namibia. This was my girlfriend’s first safari and our goal was really for her to hunt some PG and get a feel for Africa.



Flying to Namibia was a bit of a pain the way we did it (Paris –> JoBurg –> Windhoek); next time, might try the route through Frankfurt, as a 2hr layover is not really enough time, even having bought the “through-ticket” (which means no change of terminal and everything is supposed to be handled – which it was not). In any event, we made it, both ways, which as OK. The drive from Windhoek out to the Waterberg is really amazing, and with the arrival in Windhoek early afternoon, the drive was done during the dusk hours, with lots of animals lining the road in the various farms passed along the way.







The house we stayed in was very nice and well appointed. Very much what I was hoping for in this first safari for her (no sneaking off to the toilet in the night with a flashlight… and the game-scout not far behind…)



Right off the bat, first morning out, we went to the range to check the zero on the rifles… and no kidding, this is what we saw (see targets in background…)



We got right to it the first morning, with a nice spot & stalk into her first Oryx, a very nice and heavy male, which she put down with a very well-placed shot.



We spent the rest of the day walking and driving around the place looking for a Warthog, but didn’t find what we were looking for. Very beautiful though









We also spent time during the day scanning roads and known “hang-outs” for Brown Hyena tracks, and having come across some, we started “ringing the dinner bell”



The following day, still out looking for her Warthog, which we didn’t find, we did come across a super old bull Oryx, which after a nice one hour stalk took. Great afternoon and everything I love about hunting in Africa.



Saw some nice animals in the evening as well.









Next day, early morning came across a nice Blue Wildebeest, which had been on my “wish list” for the trip.





Notice the Bavarian Mountain Hound, patiently sitting next to “his” Wildebeest? We had started to walk off to get the truck, and she just stayed there patiently. Great dog the whole trip! That breed is great. My girlfriend has wanted one for a year now, and looks like we finally may be getting one in the very near future.



Spent some time in a blind, looking for a good Warthog (who know this would be this difficult to find…) and we saw other animals







This does not look comfortable!



And this was plain rude (look @ the tongue)…



Also, we were quite amused to see a number of very young Oryx, born probably only a few weeks before. Quite interesting: Oryx are the only animal born with their horns already out; this one was no more than 2 weeks old.



Anyway, we’re now about halfway through the trip, and having bought the engagement rings (yes rings, she is Swedish, and the tradition is the other way around, with “the rock” only being presented on the day) a week before the trip, it was time to pop the question. I’ll spare all you big softies the details, but under the African stars, she said yes. How could I not: she’s been on quite a few hunting trips and never complained about the sub-zero temps and rain, nor the hours spent in blinds; she passed her Swedish hunting exam, and was doing really well in Africa… a keeper in my book.

Now, the next day, that done, it was back out to the velt…







And, having found some promising Brown Hyena tracks, we started getting ready to sit for her (yes, based on track size)



We also finally were able to get two Warthogs, one each, which were not big, but fun and we both enjoyed our stalks into them





Now, that evening, we started to sit @ around 4:00pm, thinking that on this first night we’d not have a great chance, but I was quite excited, never having seen a Brown Hyena before. And, at about 6:45, just as the last light was almost gone, while just chatting away, she walked in… Now, this is why I love hunting so much… I was super exited (and while it’s not “buck” fever, I had it bad…). We were pushing the limit of the light, and I thought / had been told that they were quite skittish… and I screwed it up! I took an iffy shot, which I thought was only through a few blades of long grass, but was actually “through” a heavy bush. Needless to say, it went about two yards high, and the Hyena was gone. Now, I was super upset with myself as I usually don’t rush shots at all, but I did it. It was a mistake, and I paid for it. But, it’s also why I still love hunting so much… still gets my blood pumping.

Anyway, we sat the rest of the evenings, but never did get another one to come in. I great reason to go back though, as would definitely like to hunt Brown Hyena again, as well as Cheetah (which we didn’t see a single one during our stay – although the previous group did…).

We had to go to another farm for the Springbok, and ended up having a really lovely early-morning stalk into a good ram. A very happy huntress with probably the animal she was most interested in hunting during the trip.



All in all, we had a great trip. Magda and Willem, along with the whole team, were great and made the eight days super enjoyable and relaxing, all the while providing some great time in the velt and lovely animals. This is definitely a great first African trip for a new hunter, and I obviously should calm down too… A memorable trip on so many levels. And I came out of it with engaged to a wonderful woman, and hunter to boot.

… oh, and she had already agree to spend our honeymoon on safari, so while I get pounded with questions about flower-arrangements, menu selections, and bridesmaids’ issues… I will be planning our next trip to most probably Tanzania or Zambia (which let’s face it, is a much better use of my time).

 
Posts: 1486 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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Very nice!

Congrats on the engagement. Looks like a great trip for you both.
 
Posts: 733 | Location: Helena, Montana | Registered: 28 October 2009Reply With Quote
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Great report! A family that plays together, stays together!


~Ann



 
Posts: 15500 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Very nice report and pics. Congratulations on your engagement. I was there with Willem and Magda less than 30 days before your arrival. It was my third visit to Okawaka. Great place and great people.

Geoff


Shooter
 
Posts: 571 | Location: Mossyrock, WA | Registered: 25 April 2004Reply With Quote
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those are some nice trophies.

Now for the mroe important question.


Does she have a sister?

Big Grin


DRSS
Kreighoff 470 NE
Valmet 412 30/06
 
Posts: 649 | Location: Denver | Registered: 31 May 2010Reply With Quote
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Great report, I love the old Gemsbok.


Frank



"I don't know what there is about buffalo that frightens me so.....He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money."
- Robert Ruark, Horn of the Hunter, 1953

NRA Life, SAF Life, CRPA Life, DRSS lite

 
Posts: 11851 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Quote: I will be planning our next trip to most probably Tanzania or Zambia (which let’s face it, is a much better use of my time).

It looks like you used your time in Namibia rather effectively. Good hunt and good luck, or is it congratulations ... I can never keep that straight.
 
Posts: 7550 | Location: Houston, Texas | Registered: 26 December 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for sharing your pictures.
 
Posts: 535 | Location: Greensburg, PA | Registered: 18 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Congrats and welcome home.
 
Posts: 1851 | Registered: 12 May 2009Reply With Quote
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Picture of Orvar
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Thanks everyone! We're both very happy, about the trip, as well as this new journey together.

Hasher: nope, no sister

Now: anyone got suggestions on a 14-18 day safari first 2 weeks of March? Buff, Lion (preferably not over bait - call or s&s), PG for her, and maybe something bigger with IvorySmiler
 
Posts: 1486 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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Nice safari, nice trophies and nice pictures!

Congratulations on the engagement.

Do you mind me asking what camera you used?
 
Posts: 2359 | Location: London | Registered: 31 May 2003Reply With Quote
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Actually, forgot to add that: got a new camera for the trip: Canon SX30 IS (w/the x35 zoom ~ 800mm)

I have to say, its just a bit bigger than my "pocket" point and shoot... but a whole hell of a lot smaller and lighter weight!

As I was the one walking behind the group, was still about to get nice long shots of animals... and with that super-zoom it really gets out there (that baby Oryx was probably 80 yds away).

I would definitely recommend it.
 
Posts: 1486 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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Well done!

Just never forget which is trophy is the most important (not that she would let you!)

Congratulations and good hunting,

Cole


H. Cole Stage III, FRGS
ISC(PJ), USN (Ret)



"You do not have a right to an opinion. An opinion should be the result of careful thought, not an excuse for it."

Harlan Ellison

" War is God's way to teach Americans geography." Ambrose Bierce
 
Posts: 378 | Registered: 28 September 2010Reply With Quote
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Posts: 2266 | Registered: 17 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Posts: 1486 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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Congratulations on a great hunt and a wonderful engagement.

Does S&S have a website? I am interested in taking a non-hunter woman to Namibia and the house is definately her style!

Ski
 
Posts: 822 | Location: Kalispell, MT | Registered: 01 January 2004Reply With Quote
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Ski,
Website: sssafaris.com

The current PH, Willem Serfontein, is leaving by the end of August. The property featured is Peter Sohrada's Okawaka Farm, which is very upscaled. Until a replacement PH is found, there will be no hunting there.

You may wish to try a Google search later to see if a new website has been established to replace that of S & S Safaris (Serfontein and Sohrada)

The big house you see is a duplicate of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

Geoff


Shooter
 
Posts: 571 | Location: Mossyrock, WA | Registered: 25 April 2004Reply With Quote
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I've hunted that property several times and seeing photos of it again was wonderful. When I first hunted there (in 1996) that house of Peter Sohrada's consisted of only the front steps.

Was the location of my first two hunts to Africa and recognized several of those views. Thank you for posting them and writing such an excellent account of your trip.
 
Posts: 3051 | Location: Western Slope Colorado, USA | Registered: 17 August 2001Reply With Quote
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Congratz on your successful safari with your fiance! Nice facilities on that property!


On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of ten thousand, who on the dawn of victory lay down their weary heads resting, and there resting, died.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling

Life grows grim without senseless indulgence.
 
Posts: 6969 | Location: Victoria, Texas | Registered: 30 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Nicely done Gongers, she's a treasure that one. tu2 tu2
 
Posts: 11731 | Location: London, UK | Registered: 02 September 2007Reply With Quote
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Great story and pictures, whish you all the best clap


Arild Iversen.



 
Posts: 1868 | Location: Southern Coast of Norway. | Registered: 02 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Great pics!!! Congrats on engagement!!!
A gemsbuck calf is not born with horns it is just a old Namibian myth... the start growning horns just after birth that is why people think the are born with horns.


Speak the truth and nothing but the truth.
 
Posts: 19 | Registered: 21 June 2010Reply With Quote
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