Just a gratuitous Sunday morning bump up. As I mentioned previously, this sub-forum (Organize Your Hunt/Shoot/or Get Together) doesn't get a lot of activity. I'd hate for someone to miss out because they just never thought to look this far down the forum lists.
Still a window open for this June but, airfares for June bookings have taken their normal high season price increase. When I originally posted this, airfares for this June could still be booked, depending on city of origin, for $1500 or less r/t. Right now, it's difficult to still find economy class seats for this June for under $2500 r/t. If you check yourself, be very careful because a number of lower cost airline offers, those airlines don't allow firearms or charge $100-$200 extra per rifle case each way.
I've asked Jan to pencil my wife and I in for a two week window the last two weeks of this Aug to the first two weeks of this Sep. Airline tickets can still be had for the normal "shoulder season" prices of $1500 or a little under. We're leaving this sliding window open till around mid May to allow anyone else who'd like to go to fit their schedule into that window. Once we purchase our tickets, our dates will be locked. Others will still be welcome but, will have to match our dates.
I am still willing to go with anyone who'd still like to go this Jun or remaining open dates this Aug or Sep.
As always, feel free to PM or public post with any questions.
Quick update - I've committed to mid Jun hunt but, Jan still has some windows open for late Aug-early Sept.
He has also extended the 25% discount on the daily rates for anyone who books a hunt from now to the end of next year's (2020) hunting season and confirms/locks the trip by paying a deposit by the end of 2019. The discount means the daily rate for a 1x1 hunt will be $262.50 and 2x1 will be $206.25 per day. Trophy fees are unchanged.
The June hunt I mentioned above was with a twice previous hunter to Jan's place in Namibia. He wanted to go "some place different". So, I found an PH/Outfitter in the Tuli Block of Botswana. We organized a combination plains game and trophy hunt. Had such a great time, I booked to go back again with my wife this past Aug and just returned home just before Labor Day weekend. I'll post more about the Botswana hunting in a new and separate post.
My wife and I also went to Namibia for 10-days and did a little cull hunting (zebra only) at my friend's place above before we went over to Botswana. This was more of an Anniversary getaway for us than a dedicated hunting trip. I hadn't been to Namibia for two years and my wife hadn't been able to go back for three.
We flew into Windhoek direct on Delta/KLM via Amsterdam. Relatively easy connections - overnight flight to Amsterdam, 11 hour layover in Amsterdam and then KLM direct (one hour fuel stop in Luanda Angola) to Windhoek. All the luggage and rifle cases were checked all the way through. Since we had both "seen the city" several times, we just booked a day room inside the airport. Long hot shower and stretched out flat on a queen size bed for several hour nap, I nice dinner at the airport and then overnight flight into Windhoek.
Arrived at 11 am, cleared Immigration and customs, collected and cleared our rifles in less than 30 min. Had per-coordinated with my regular taxi guy Willie who was waiting for us in the arrival hall. Then about a 30 min drive to the Heinitzburg https://www.hotelheinitzburg.com/ for three nights before Jan picked us up Monday morning. We just spent the weekend shopping and eating and seeing all the new construction and development going on around the Capital from our previous trips.
The drive to Jan's was very surprising. The entire country has been in a very bad drought and the complete lack of grass all the way from Windhoek to his place was very disheartening. We still saw a few game animals along the way but fewer and farther between than in the past. He explained that it was so bad this year, that even the few large high fence properties just decided to take down sections of fence and open gates and let their animal go. Was more humane to release them than to try and keep them as there wasn't even any feed to feed them and what was available was very high $$ and being directed towards the ranchers with cattle and small stock (sheep and goats). Personal note/thought on this is letting those high fence animals roam free in the short term is a negative thing but, in the long term, when/if the rains come this year, it will mean game animals that previously were only available on the high fence properties will be truly "free range" over most of the country.
Jan and Mariesie were great as always and enjoyed seeing all the improvements they have made to the grounds, bungalow and the property in general. Still plenty of water available for the game and livestock, but forage for the cows and goats is pretty much gone. There is still some forbs and vegetation to support game but, the game populations are down country wide. The first day, we just spent a leisurely morning "catching up on ol' times" and just before lunch did the customary sight in checks at the range.
Rifles we took this time were just 30/06's. Mine was a Ruger 77 RSI that I put a single set trigger in with a old classic Zeiss compact 6x33. Her's was a J.C. Higgins (Husqvarna) 51-L that I found in a local pawn shop earlier this year for less than a "song" and restored it. Had my smith shorten the stock LOP cut to fit her and nice thin rubber recoil pad. I re-blued it, installed a match trigger and a set a bedded Warne Maxima steel rings and their Maxima QD rings holding a Leupold 2-7x33 Rifleman scope. Ammo was hand-loads I worked up for each topped with 180gr Speer Grand Slams (FANTASTIC BULLETS - will never spend money on Partitions or TSX's again!)
For the hunting, Jan was having a bad problem with hyena so, we spend a couple of nights out in permanent blinds he has set up and had been baiting before we got there. He was in one, his son in a different one and us in a third one. All told, between the three sites, three confirmed dead and one likely with a lethal wound.
After three night of this, we were supposed to go to a neighbor's property and cull everything we could for the rest of our time there. This plan ran into a little bit of a last minute glitch in that the culling permit was denied. The reason the the govt gave was there was so much game meat hitting the market, it was driving down the price of beef which was already very low because the ranchers were selling all the cattle they could before they died. Since the game was better able to survive the conditions then that cattle, the beef ranchers had priority. In the end, we took a half dozen zebra and a few jackals. Was still a good time because it was low pressure and we got to see some new areas we had not seen before. Despite the sever drought, the scenery of the mountains and koppies and sunsets was still as remarkable as always.
The last day, we packed early so we could drive back to Windhoek early and have time to see some of the new shopping malls in town and also HAVE to check out a couple of the gun shops and fondle some DBL rifles!!! That last night we celebrated our anniversary with Jan, Mariesje and there son Lourie at Joe's Beerhouse. He had just turned 18 this year and turned out it was his first time to Joe's. We did dinner early because we had to catch an early flight and 6 am taxi ride to the airport for the next leg of our trip to Botswana. That story will be posted separately.
While conditions were very tough for all of Namibia this year, the winds off the west coast have FINALLY changed and gotten back to their "normal" pattern. Usually, August has high/strong winds that have been absent the last couple of years. This August, the "winds were good". Several days saw winds where you couldn't keep a hat on your head and lots of dust blowing. Difficult hunting but the locals were happy as hell and hopeful for good rains this year. All said, that if they get good rains the game will very quickly come back to their "normal" locations and populations will rebound very quickly - "it's the Kalahari way" they say.
As always, if anyone has any questions please feel free to PM or ask in the open forum. I'm always willing to organize a trip for anyone wanting to go and go along if you'd want.