Continue reading to find out all about hunting in Namibia.
Africa is a truly a gigantic and diverse continent. The hunting opportunities vary across the continent and are as diverse and varied as the continent itself. Because of this, there is unfortunately no “one size fits all” solution to hunting there. In my next few articles I plan on describing hunting conditions in African countries where I have hunted, starting with Namibia. These articles (on Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) are not meant to be a review of the specific outfitters. Instead, I intend to describe hunting conditions, seasons, species available, weather, as well as travel to and within these countries.
Namibia is a medium sized country, slightly larger than Texas, located in southwestern Africa. The country is bordered to South Africa to the south, Botswana and Zambia to the east, and Angola to the north. English is the official language of Namibia.
Namibia Climate And Geography
In Namibia, the hunting season runs from February through November with the peak of the hunting season occurring during the winter months of May through August. Luckily, Namibia has generally mild winters; during July, the weather is great for hunting: usually 45-75°F and sunny. Summers in Namibia are typically hot and rainy. Unfortunately, northern Namibia is a malarial zone, especially during the summer, and travelers should take malarial drugs when visiting.
The terrain one will encounter while hunting varies across the country. The southern and eastern portions of the country are very arid, with small patches of vegetation. The vegetation consists mainly of patches of low brush with very few trees. In these conditions, hunters must be prepared to take long range shots (200 yards+), since long distance identification of game is typically the rule and it is difficult to closely approach most animals. The further north one goes in Namibia, the thicker the vegetation gets.
In the area where I hunted in northern Namibia, I encountered much thicker brush and more trees with occasional openings where I could see for several hundred yards. In these areas it is possible to get much closer to game and I took shots at game at ranges between 10 and 350 yards. The Acacia tree is a very common plant across Namibia and is extremely thorny. Keep this in mind when planning your wardrobe and wear sturdy clothing; many hunters have had their clothes shredded by these plants.
Travel To Namibia
Being both a former German colony and former possession of South Africa, Namibia maintains close economic and political ties with both countries. As a result, the most practical ways to travel to Namibia involve flying through either Frankfurt or Johannesburg. When I traveled there, there were no direct flights to Namibia from the United States, which obviously complicates matters somewhat for American tourists. Fortunately, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, South African Airways, and Air Namibia all provide good airline service for Americans to Namibia through either South Africa or Germany.
Namibia has a pretty well developed infrastructure and travel within the country presents few problems. Hunters travelling to the eastern and northern portions of Namibia can expect their PH to pick them up at the airport in Windhoek and drive them to the farm, which is typically within a few hours of Windhoek by road. Those traveling to the Caprivi Strip should consider booking on a regional airline and flying from Windhoek to the Caprivi and driving the rest of the way to the concession, this will reduce travel time by a considerable amount.
Trophy Hunting in Namibia
When I visited Namibia in 2006, Namibia was still a pretty well kept secret in the American hunting community, though the country was a popular destination for many Europeans. Since then, more Americans have discovered Namibia and the country has increased in popularity as a hunting destination due to the wide variety of game available at reasonable prices. However, Namibia is still not on the level of >Tanzania or South Africa as far as popularity goes, which is a good thing for hunters looking for a reasonably priced hunt. Finally, very few of the hunting concessions in Namibia are high fenced, which is also a plus for hunters looking to pursue free range game.
In Namibia, one can hunt a wide variety of plains game including, but not limited to, steenbok, warthog, springbok, red hartebeest, gemsbok (Oryx), blue wildebeest, greater kudu, both plains and mountain zebra, and common eland. Namibia is known for producing excellent quality steenbok, red hartebeest, kudu, gemsbok, and eland. Furthermore, Namibia is the only country where one can hunt the very rare Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.
In addition, Namibia is one of the few countries where one can hunt all of the Big 5. Cape buffalo, leopard, lion, elephant, and black rhinoceros are all present in huntable populations. With the exception of leopards, the majority of the remaining dangerous game hunting is conducted in the Caprivi Strip, a narrow protrusion of land that extends east from the Okavango Region for nearly 300 miles. Bordered by four rivers, the Caprivi Strip is considerably different from the rest of the country due to the presence of so much more water. Unfortunately, due to the relatively small size of the Caprivi Strip and the limited number of animals that live there, there are only a few buffalo and elephant tags available each year.
My personal experience was that Namibia is a wonderful country, and one that I should like to visit again someday. Due to the plentiful game, reasonable prices, and excellent trophy quality present in many of the plains game species, I cannot recommend the country highly enough for hunting plains game, especially for a first Safari. However, if you are looking to hunt dangerous game other than leopard, I advise you to look elsewhere due to the relatively small number of buffalo, lion, and elephant successfully hunted in the Caprivi each year. While there are many hunters who successfully hunt dangerous game in Namibia, the country is simply not the powerhouse for that sort of hunting like Zimbabwe or Tanzania.
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The map of Namibia was obtained from the CIA World Factbook.
The World Factbook 2013-14. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013.