Safari 2012 Journal Entries: Day 10 – Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 (Osonjiva part 1)

by david on September 14, 2012

Today we are heading to a new camp, one I have never seen before.  It is called Osonjiva.  The property belongs to my Namibian taxidermist, Sylvia, and her husband, Tinus.  I will be hunting waterbuck there and it will be a new experience for me.  I am a little anxious about the learning curve but, as I have a good teacher in Johann, I feel assured of a positive outcome. 

The drive will be about three hours’ total driving time, and another six to make a few stops along the way.  First off, we head to Outjo to bid farewell to Johann’s parents, Vellies and Clarissa.  I am pleased to hear Vellies say he is feeling much better and will be back to his old self and regular activities in another day or so.  I try not to let on that I see Clarissa giving him the evil eye as he tells me this.  I think it will be slightly longer than that before his better half lets him out from under her watchful eyes.  As with all of the goodbyes in Africa, this one is bittersweet because I know it will more than likely be two years before I am back in their company.  The whole Veldsman family has welcomed me with open arms and I always hate to say goodbye.  

Next, we are off to see Sylvia at her shop at Otjwarongo.  Otjwarongo Taxidermy has done great work for me, and getting to visit with Sylvia for a few minutes will be an added bonus.  We drive into the back of the shop and have no more than gotten out of the truck before her staff is there to unload the truck.  I make my way through the workshop to the showroom to find Sylvia.  She is gracious, as always, and I am soon given a cup of fresh coffee while I wait.  She and I catch up on past and current events while Johann completes the mountain of paperwork necessary for the taxidermy work to begin.  I never knew there was so much paperwork to be completed.  The name of each hunter and species I can understand, but the location the trophy was taken and a host of other details has to be reported to the government and it all has to go down on the correct forms.  Sylvia explains that it all has to do with making sure each area does not go over the quotas set by the Professional Hunters association and the Namibian game department.  I guess it is all well and good as Namibia maintains a good game population.  That makes me happy both as a hunter and a conservationist.      

Her shop is always a place of wonder to me and her creativity with the trophies never ceases to amaze.  There is a chair made from kudu horns and cushions from its hide.  There are pillows made from just about every African animal.  Pedestal mounts, European mounts, gun racks, and footstools, are all among the items on display.  She also has artwork from local artists for sale.  It is truly a sight to behold. 

With goodbyes and hugs, we take our leave and head a short ways down the street for a quick bite of lunch.  Over lunch, Johann and I talk about the past successes of this safari and our hopes for the rest of the trip.  With two exceptional animals taken, my hopes are high for a very good waterbuck.  We talk about the animal itself and strategies for the upcoming hunt.  My hopes are high and we soon set sail for Osonjiva.

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