Safari, Namibia 2016: Next Link In The Chain. Blog #18 “One More Time”

by david on June 13, 2017

Got to sleep in until 5:30 this morning, and were in the truck by 6:00. We found a group of wildebeest early but the sun was just peeking up.  Try as I might, the glare from the sun behind the animals kept me from seeing well enough for a shot. When we tried to get around them, they winded us and were off for parts unknown. We decided to climb that God-awful road back up to the observation spot to see what we could see. We saw a small group of wildebeest not too far off and back down we went. The rapid ascent and descent was a mixed blessing of sorts as my heart-rate increase had not quite normalized, and therefore I did not have to climb quite so much to achieve its lofty levels of a few minutes earlier. Glassing the herd revealed a lot of good bulls with a few having the potential to be very good for the near future. Great news for Johann and his future clients but not for me at the moment. Finally in the back in the shadows there is one that just may be what I am looking for. Sneaking closer and more glassing confirmed this wildebeest was what I was looking for. Not much in the headgear department but, since it was not an animal trying to prove its dominance, the hide was in great shape.  If I could do my part, it would make a beautiful rug and the meat would feed folks for several weeks. At my shot the animal took off in a dead run. I felt good about the shot but since it took off so rapidly I was beginning to doubt myself. Remembering what Johann told me years that African game was “supposed” to run when hit properly was somewhat comforting but we had some tracking to do. It took a bit to pick the track but when we did it was evident the wildebeest was hit hard. We tracked for some twenty minutes and finally found the animal some 300 yards from where we started. It still amazes me how Johann and his trackers can follow the trail so easily. Turns out my round went through both lungs and exited the other side. Remarkable the distance some game can cover after sustaining a mortal wound. This turned out to be the last stalk and hunt for us at Ekongo, as we never found a springbok for brother Doug. We made it back in time for lunch and it would be nice to have one last meal with my friends. Hobie, Steffi, Sonya, Doug, Johann, and I enjoyed every moment. Poor Ben was back in the skinning shed taking care of my wildebeest. We did manage to get him some lunch before we headed back to Tualuka about 1:30. None of us had the energy to hunt that afternoon upon returning to Tualuka.  Ilouwna, being the gracious hostess she is, took the opportunity to set up scenic sundowners for us.  The location was actually the top of a koppie on which Johann was considering building a house.  We were a good 300’- 400’ above the flat bushveld below us and the view was breathtaking.  She thought of everything. We had South African brandy, Namibian beer, biltong, meat sticks, crisps, and a fire to sit around.  The trip had been phenomenal so far and as it wound down there were lots of stories to relive and experiences to talk about.  As the day slipped away, we were treated to one of those rare evenings in the bush that everyone visiting Africa should be treated to.  The sun took its time dipping below the horizon except for the last few minutes when it seemed to sink like a rock tossed into a pond.  The dusk wore its best colors and changed them often, starting as a yellowish orange, and progressing to brilliant reds.  As night took over, the reds combined with the blues to make an unimaginable purple before surrendering to the bluest of blue and finally the black of night.  With no light pollution, the stars were diamonds strewn about the sky.  This is my favorite time on safari and tonight’s performance did not disappoint. God had surely smiled down on us and granted blessings.

What a view! What a view!


What a spread. What a spread.


The stage is set for Mother Naures nightly show abnd the daytime view is not bad either The stage is set for Mother Natures nightly show and the daytime view is not bad either


Though not from this trip it shows just how spectacular the night sky can be without light pollution. My wife Janice took this in the Caprivi in 2014. Though not from this trip it shows just how spectacular the night sky can be without light pollution. My wife, Janice took this in the Caprivi in 2014.

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