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Hunters Safaris: NamibiaÔÇÖs premier hunting spot

Mon, 8 August 2016 17:18
by Donald Matthys
Tourism

 

Deep in the Kalahari, surrounded by the “Kameeldoring Boom” (Camelthorn tree: Acacia tree species) lies Hunters Namibia Safaris, a rich game hunting environment with at least 500 head of more than 30 species of wild game visible in a day when out hunting.
The vast and pristine land is a haven for the wildlife, geography, and cultures that embody Africa, and yet is uniquely Namibian. Established, in 1984, the game hunting farm covered with the red, gently undulating dunes of the Kalahari situated in Eastern Namibia between Omitara and Steinhausen is currently experiencing their record year with international trophy hunting clients.
This, despite perceptions by the ‘prophets of doom’ who predicted that the unfortunate saga of ‘Cecil the lion’ would mean the end of international trophy hunters coming to Africa.
Noting the fact that Namibia is a pro-wildlife country, Hunting Namibia Safaris’ Co-Owner and hunting enthusiast, Marina Lamprecht, echoed that the progressive national Constitution is the first in the world to formally enshrine the sustainable utilization of living natural resources.
She added that Namibia is also a hunter friendly nation with a proud hunting heritage, with its trophy hunting fraternity being well respected by the government and fellow Namibians as an essential and integral part of Namibia’s wildlife conservation, tourism, agricultural and business sectors.
Sharing her observations on domestic and international interest on hunting, the fiercely patriotic trophy hunting outfitter said that locals focus on meat hunting, referred to as ‘biltong hunting’, while international hunting clients come to Namibia for trophy hunting.
The horns and skins of game killed for trophy hunting are exported to the countries of origin of the hunters,      while the meat remains with the land owner/concession holder for the benefit of local communities.
“Our focus is on fair chase hunting, and do not shoot out of blends, at waterhole or from vehicles at all.  We are dedicated to a pure and real Namibian wildlife experience, and have not time for intensive breeding of colour variants and freaks of nature. Farm hunting is a very popular form of trophy hunting here, especially amongst our trophy hunting clients from Europe. Species offered depend on the area, but are usually limited to common Namibian game species such as kudu, gemsbok, hartebeest, springbuck, warthog, Hartmann zebra, duiker, steenbok. Jackal and baboon, cheetah, leopard and caracal are often hunted as well. Farm hunting has been developed by stock-farmers who wish to diversify their income sources; so hunting usually takes place alongside normal farming activities amongst domestic livestock such as cattle, goats and/or sheep,” Lamprecht says.
Lamprecht says that Namibia offers a variety of hunting opportunities to meet most requirements and budgets, at quality related prices. With comfortable accommodation facilities, either in specially built and well-equipped facilities or the main farm homestead with the landowner’s family, Lamprecht notes that hunting in Namibia is the ideal way to get to know the people of Namibia, and be exposed to the unique and charming Namibian lifestyle, cultures and traditions.
Hunting Namibia Safaris offers very diverse trophies animals such as such as sable, blesbuck, giraffe, Cape eland, Livingstone eland, Black wildebeest, Blue wildebeest, waterbuck, Southern impala, Burchell zebra, steenbuck, duiker, Tsessebe, White rhino, Roan, cheetah, leopard, caracal and the endemic species including Damara Dik-Dik, Black-faced impala, Mountain zebra (Hartmann), as well as all the common species.
Namibia offers excellent hunting on Big Game Concessions on State-owned land, which includes game parks, protected and communal areas. Lamprecht notes that statistics show that the introduction of trophy hunting here in the early 1960s was one of our country’s most successful wildlife conservation initiatives. Trophy hunting has since developed into an extremely lucrative form of land utilization as well as a most effective wildlife management tool.
Although there has been a lot of negative comments on hunting, Lamprecht says that there should be no reason for hunters to be defensive or to hide their passion. She adds that sustainable hunting has proved to be a major conservation tool in the 21st century, contributing towards maintaining wildlife populations and biodiversity in general by giving wild animals a value far greater than that of their meat.
Communal Conservancies cover approximately 120 000 square kilometers, or 14 % of our country. These hunting concessions are in tribal areas where, until recently, communities often found themselves in direct conflict with wildlife for the natural resources. Most hunting for the Big Five takes place in these areas, which have produced some of the largest elephant taken on our continent during the past decade. This is the ideal hunt for the adventurous trophy hunter who wants to experience ‘old Africa’ in rugged, remote, very sparsely populated areas.
“As far as I am concerned, one of the most appealing aspects of hunting in Namibia is that you will, inevitably, hunt with a true Namibian – a hunting professional whose heart and soul are Namibian, and who is dedicated to our country, our people and our environment,” Lamprecht says, inviting hunters to join in on conservative hunting practices in Namibia.
Being involved closely with the Otjivero Primary School, which Hunters Safaris Namibia regularly supplies with meat attained from hunting to feed the 320 learners, Lamprecht believes that trophy hunters interact with local communities and make a big difference at grass root-level.
The Namibian hunting season is currently underway, (takes place from the 1st February to the 30th November annually). Namibian hunting legislation dictates that a hunting professional may hunt with only two clients at a time, and must be present at all times during the actual hunt. Trophy hunting clients may only be accommodated in Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) approved and registered establishments. Hunting may commence half an hour before sunrise, and must end half an hour after sunset. It is illegal to hunt at night and/or with artificial light.  Further rules and guidelines are available on the Namibian ANAPHA website.