Namibia Plains Game Hunt in September 2016
This narrative is provided to augment my report submitted to The Hunting Report on November 30, 2016. In summary, this was an extraordinarily good unit with great people in a beautiful land. I have hunted around the world for decades, so am not easily impressed. Furthermore, I have hunted with Bennie Boshoff of Duiker Safaris previously and knew him to be a top-quality outfitter and professional hunter. Bennie has generously donated to our Hawaii chapter of SCI, and I, along with three other chapter members, had hunted with him in July 2012, taking excellent animals. We had planned a return hunt in 2015, and I hunted in Zimbabwe and the U.S. in between. My wife's illness prevented me from going with my comrades in 2015, so I traveled to Namibia alone to hunt in 2016, my third hunt there.
My expectations were high, and Bennie and his associates exceeded them. About the time I arrived in Namibia, Bennie and his family were returning from Alaska, so by prior agreement, I was met by a talented PH, friend and neighbor of Bennie's, Peter Schalk Grobbelaar. We traveled west from Windhoek to a wonderful ranch (farm in Namibia) in the Khomasberg. This property, of hundreds of thousands of acres, is only low-fenced for cattle and the game is native and free-ranging. The owners, Nico and Ronel du Toit, are as pleasant, fun and accommodating as anyone I have met, anywhere. We stayed at their lovely home, with attached cottages for guests, enjoyed excellent hospitality and food, and hunted well. The weather was dry and cool in the mornings, but heated up rapidly, rising to over 100 degrees (41 Celsius) on at least one day. That said, the terrain, while hilly, is quite accessible and you can plan a stalk on what you see. In the first half of the hunt, we took an excellent old and wide Kudu, about 55 inches on each side, a heavy old Gemsbok male after a great stalk near dusk, an ancient Warthog, and two good Steenbok. I saw but did not take a Hartmann's Mountain Zebra. We did stalk a few, but I already have a big stallion, so that was not a priority on this trip. That said, if you want a Hartmann's (and you should want one), this is THE place for them.
Namibia has great roads, so we then drove to Bennie's farm near Grootfontein, about a seven hour drive. Bennie's place is much less hilly but the brush is quite dense, making for good stalking. If Nico's place is ground zero for Mountain Zebras, Bennie's is paradise for big Eland. Ergo, we chased Eland on most days, just for the joy of stalking these wary animals. I was not after a trophy bull, having taken several including a monster at Bennie's in 2012. I did want the Eland hunting experience, and love to eat Eland, so we did take an old cow for meat (and also a cow Blue Wildebeest for meat). Great fun watching Bennie and his superb trackers, Dam and Kapuko, sort out Eland spoor on the dry ground and carpet of leaves. These guys can think like an Eland! We found a huge old Burchell's Zebra stallion and took him, proving once again, several shots later, that these are tough animals, even if well hit on the first shot. We found and got a very nice heavy Springbok ram, with horns near 15 inches. Finally, we traveled to another farm near Tsumeb, where Bennie had obtained a tag for a Damara Dik-Dik. After a short hunt, we took a wonderful ram. I don't measure animals for the record book, but this Dik-Dik was heavy and the horns were around 9 cm, so I'm sure the animal would score well in any record system.
Bennie and his great family are superb hosts, and the ambiance and food is wonderful. Accommodations are all you could wish for, and it felt good to be back "home" with my friends in Namibia. These good folks have my highest recommendation. In fact, a Hawaii hunting buddy and I will be back to hunt with Bennie next September, this time for dangerous game in the Caprivi. Namibia and Zimbabwe have the two most rigorous PH training and apprenticeship programs in Africa, so their PHs are top-notch. Add Namibia's safe, stable conditions, relatively economical hunting, pleasant weather, and excellent infrastructure, and a hunt there is hard to equal. I am most happy to endorse Duiker Safaris, (and Bernie and Peter) as superior hunters and PH's. I also know that you will thoroughly enjoy your stay at the Boshoffs and the du Toits. Tip: bring good coffee they love it!!