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About Waterberg Plateau Hunting Concession In Namibia

(Editor Note: Hunting Report subscribers know I have been chasing after the list of operators who successfully bided for those trophy concessions the government of Namibia finally auctioned off this past April. Well, I'm still waiting for the complete list, but I heard from one of the lucky operators who sent me the following description of what he is offering in the Waterberg Plateau National Park concession. Just take a look at the photographs he took of game while recently on reconnaissance there. - Barbara Crown.)

Waterberg Plateau National Park, Namibia: The Forgotten Playground

As sent to The Hunting Report by Jofie Lamprecht of Hunters Namibia Safaris

In the red Kalahari sand a puzzlement of tracks lay before us - buffalo, roan, sable, white and black rhino, eland, leopard and many others. Even as a professional hunter, we sometimes have to stand back and watch in amazement as the trackers unravel the mystery that lay silently alive with tracks of those already gone.

Waterberg National Park is open for hunting at last!

Joof and Jofie Lamprecht of Hunters Namibia Safaris have secured this prime area as an exclusive trophy hunting concession at the recently held Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism hunting concession auction.

After a delay of many years, the MET finalized the required legislation, and anticipation amongst Namibian registered trophy hunting operators had grown to such a level that the competition for this excellent concession was fierce! Waterberg Plateau National Park is centrally located, totally safe and offers superior quality and quantity of game. This rare jewel in the Namibian trophy hunting crown attracted so much interest that the price was much higher than expected, but exclusivity and quality do not come cheap!

Situated just over two hours north of Namibia's capital city Windhoek, the Waterberg Plateau National Park is a particularly prominent location, elevated high above the plains of the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia. The Plateau towers 1,200 feet above the surrounding plains, and 5,650 feet above sea level, dominating the landscape for miles around.

Over 190 million years ago dinosaurs still populated this area, yet all that remains are their tracks etched into the petrified red stone. Now abundant protected wildlife roams freely in this national park, not hunted for the past eight years.

On Hunters Namibia Safaris' pre-hunting scouting missions to the park, abundant herds of all the huntable species were found. With the hunting philosophy of taking animals past their prime, this area has shown great promise to fulfill this most basic but important principal. A unique feature of this park is arguably the highest population of both white and black rhino found in the world today, with a density of approximately one rhino per 1,000 acres.

The terrain is varied and fascinating, with open savannahs interspersed with thick Terminalia forests, red boulder outcrops and koppies of petrified sand dunes. Hunting is conducted in the classic style of tracking on foot in this area with a sparse road network, the red Kalahari sand is ideal for this method of hunting.

Trophy quality:

White rhino - This rhino population has never been hunted. Expectations are for good long trophies with heavy bases. A condition has been imposed by the parks department that all trophy rhino must be post productive.

Buffalo - Historically, the widest buffalo to come from this area was 49 inches. Expect very good buffalo with deep curls and extremely wide bosses.

Sable - On the scouting missions, extremely massive sable were encountered. Old bulls well over the current trophy hunting benchmark to top record book trophies can be expected.

Roan - Very common in this area and trophy expectations are exceptionally high.

Eland - This is eland country, with this being the dominant species on the plateau. Trophy expectations are world class.

Questions and Answers About Waterberg National Park Hunting Concession:
Q.  How will these hunts be conducted?
A.  Waterberg Plateau is an enormous concession, the hunting predominantly being tracking on foot / walk and stalk. There are roads, but they are limited.

Q.  What the terrain is like?
A.  Beautiful grassland savannah, thick terminalia forests and red rock outcrops / koppies. The area is relatively flat - you are on top of the plateau already, so there will be no mountain climbing here.

Q.  What camp will you be using?
A.  Hunters Namibia Safaris will be using a luxury lodge in very close proximity to the national park.

Q.  How many hunters do you anticipate taking each season?
A.  We are anticipating taking 8 - 10 hunters per year in this national park concession. Hunters Namibia Safaris holds the exclusive hunting rights to Waterberg National Park.

Q.  Have you taken any clients yet?
A.   Our first major safari will be conducted in October 2009. The concession contract was signed in July 2009.

Q.  What trophy quality can be expected?
A.   This area has NEVER been commercially trophy hunted, with the last hunting having taken place more than 8 years ago. Scouting has shown Hunters Namibia Safaris that there is EXCELLENT trophy quality in this National Park. It is our policy to not quote trophy scores or make promises of trophy quality - anyone that guarantees a trophy in the safari industry is either lying or cheating in our opinion. See pictures taken on Waterberg in the last few weeks as trophy quality evidence.

Q.  Do you have openings for Waterberg yet this season or next?
A.   Hunters Namibia Safaris has some availability for 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2009 opening season prices are lowest, with a Government imposed 10% annual price increase in prices.

Q.  What species are on the quota in the National Park?
A.   The annual quota for Waterberg National Park includes Cape buffalo, white rhino, roan antelope (Southern), sable antelope (Southern), eland and giraffe.

Q.  What other species are huntable with Hunters Namibia Safaris?
A.   Huntable species available on Hunters Namibia Safaris Rooikraal hunting area include: blesbuck, cheetah, Damara dik-dik, common duiker, eland (Cape and Livingston), red hartebeest, black-faced impala, common impala, klipspringer, kudu, leopard, oryx, springbuck, steenbuck, warthog, waterbuck, black wildebeest, blue wildebeest, Burchell zebra and Hartmann zebra.

Q.  What other aspects makes this concession interesting?
A.   This area is a safe environment; there is no malaria or other nasty diseases. Waterberg is centrally situated an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from Windhoek on excellent roads. No need for charter flights! The scenery is unparalleled in Namibia!

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