2015 newsletter and hunting year in review

It was and still is a very dry all over the country and especially in the west where most of the hunting takes place. As 2015 draws to a close and the dust finally settles over the bush and veld, I now find I have the time to look back and reflect on the year and share with you some of the high lights and what to look forward to in 2016.

Gert van der Walt Safaris News Letter December 2015_page4_image2

2015 safaris highlights

The year started with some new hunters and a friend from Australia who did a Safari in the Puros Conservancy and what a great time this was. 3 Oryx over 38 inch were harvested in this hunt along with 2 Kudus, one of 56 inches and another of 58 inches. Fantastic examples of the trophy quality in this area. Our safari concluded with a Letchwe and some other trophies as we ended the hunt in my Waterberg area.

As I dropped this wonderful group of hunters off at the airport, I met my next client, a fellow from New Zealand. This also turned out to be one of the nicest hunts for the year, where he experienced a dream hunt and harvested a Leopard that ranks in the Top Ten of Namibian records. With the cold winds blowing and nothing going by plan, the leopard showed himself one morning on a hill side and the hunt ended with a wonderful long range shot.

But as this was only the beginning of the Safari Season, I know that it will be a wonderful and busy year with some great hunts still to come.

Gert van der Walt Safaris News Letter December 2015_page4_image1

One of my next Clients was Jim Shockey and he had a very successful hunt harvesting a Brown Hyena in 3 days in broad daylight on bait and a 37 inch Oryx in Puros conservancy with his rifle. This was a great hunt and what a wonderful time we had in just a few days.

Old friends arrived next and we once again headed back into the desert. Now the drought started to catch up with the hunting areas and it was really getting dry. Even with the continuing drought and persistent cold winds blowing we still hunt and had a great time. We tracked a leopard to where he had lain down in the thick bush and even with this we still got a good springbuck as the day closed.

As the drought worsened and the game started to move to new areas, we had to hunt harder and further than we have experienced in many years. Even in places like Waterberg our hunts took us deeper into the mountains for Kudus and Eland.

In August, I conducted hunts with 2 clients, Brain and Thomas, these were 2 Eland hunts 14 days apart, where we were tracking the Eland and on each hunt the clients were able to shoot the Eland on the first day of the hunt.

Gert van der Walt Safaris News Letter December 2015_page4_image3

When I had some time between the hunts during the year, I located and obtained a new hunting concession, Uukawaidhi. This concession borders another one of the new hunting areas of last year, Okangoro, and both these areas it turns out contain some wonderful elephant and leopard hunting opportunities. With these new areas we conducted a very good hunt where we spent many hours of excellent walking and tracking. After 10 days of sweat and dust, Michael harvested a magnificent old bull elephant that turned out to be 61 pounds one side and 53 pounds other side.

As the year draws to a close with the relentless heat never taking a break, the drought forces us to slow down and a wonderful giraffe hunt is completed in Puros. These are totally free roaming Giraffes and we finished this hunt with a Spotted Hyena in my new areas.

The last hunt of the year was with a very good friend and hunter who came to join me on his hunt of a life time. With our persistence we were able to harvest his elephant on day 3 of his safari and we ended the hunt on the tracks of lions, but simply ran out of time to pursue the lions any further.

This is a brief summary of the highlights of the past year.

Gert van der Walt Safaris News Letter December 2015 Photos (c) by Becky McCray

Looking ahead to 2016 hunting

What’s in store for 2016? First, I plan to make my North-Western hunting areas larger, more productive and to establish a hunting camp of my own in the area. It seems the drought is slowly starting to break and I hope and pray the rain keeps on coming.

Second, another area I plan to expand and make a bigger part of my Safari Company in the coming year will be conducting bird hunts. Bird hunts will be done over most of Northern and North-Western Namibia with luxury tented camps and good accommodations. Hunts will consist of a morning shoot, then some driven hunts in the middle of the day and an evening shoot where hundreds of Sand Grouse and doves come to the water holes.

Still available for big game in the coming year is an Elephant and/or Crocodile hunt in the Kunene River Concession.

There are still many opportunities left for Plains Game Safaris in the various concessions of North-Western and Northern Namibia where the clients may custom tailor a safari of their dreams.


Gert and family

When I am back out hunting, my wife Ronel is doing the office work, as most of you have noticed by now. My kids grow bigger; Arizhia will go to school next year and Geremy is growing up very fast and wants to come along hunting every time I go out.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016. May we see one another in “Wild Africa”, where the sun sets beautifully and the camp fires make us forget all problems.

May the winds blow true to you in 2016,