Finally, I received some sad news from South Africa regarding the untimely death of young PH Devlin Barber of Xomaqua Lodge and Safaris (www.xomaqua.co.za/). Barber, 26, was murdered in an apparent robbery at a bed and breakfast in White River, located just outside of Kruger National Park. According to Barber's uncle, the PH had just completed a safari with US clients in the Limpopo Valley and accompanied them to Kruger along with his wife for a few days of game viewing. Due to an annual event in the park there was no accommodation available in Kruger itself, and they stayed at a lodge bordering the park, traveling in and out of Kruger each day. On the second evening, Barber and his wife were accosted in their room by a gunman who shot Barber and escaped with a handbag. There were no other witnesses, and as this is written no arrests had been made yet.
A commemoration for Barber was held in August just outside of Johannesburg. A licensed PH in South Africa at 21, Barber had been an apprentice PH since age 16 and hunted the Big Five. He hunted South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Cameroon, as well as Texas and other destinations. According to his uncle, Barber desperately wanted to experience an Alaskan brown bear hunt. Barber had a Bachelors degree in Game Ranch Management and was in the process of completing his Masters Degree in conservation studies.
The Barber family expressed their appreciation for the many messages of comfort and support they received from clients and friends around the world. Anyone wishing to send condolences may contact the family at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephen@xomaqua.co.za.