Botswana Tuli Block with Koch Safaris Aug 2019
This trip is the second part of my wife’s and my trip to Namibia with Sebra Hunts and Botswana in the Tuli Block with Koch Safaris this Aug. Just to quickly recap……
A friend/client and I hunted with Koch Safaris in June. We had such a good time I knew I would have to take my wife there. She is a hunter and has nearly a hundred head of various plains game under her belt. Including Namibian Fields Game Gold Medal Gemsbok (two actually with best 40 ¼”), Gold Medal Blue w/b, Gold Medal Red h/b and Kudu (59 7/8”) and a boat load of culls. She’s also hunted cull Asiatic water buffalo with me in OZ last year and between the two of us, killed 32 and recovered 30 and she took 12 of those via head shots with a 375 H&H.
So, we had already semi-committed to going back to Sebra Hunts and Jan & Mariesje’s in Aug of this year, mostly just to visit and do a little culling. We’ve been going there at least once a year since 2008 and have rented a car after every hunt and spent 10-14 days playing tourist and have covered just about the entire place. This year’s Namibia trip plans changed a bit as soon as I told her about Bob and my June trip to Botswana’s Tuli Block with Gerhard & Maggie’s Koch Safaris. Instead of renting a car and touring Nam for 10-days, we’d hop a flight from Windhoek to the Botswana capital Gaborone and hunt there again.
Gerhard set us up and confirmed our dates would work out and we booked a mini eight-night, six full hunting day cull hunt - 10 impala and 10 blue w/b. I mostly want my wife to see the area and meet Gerhard, Maggie and their two terrific little girls.
Rifles: We just used the same Ruger 77 RSI and her Husqvarna 51L, both in 30/06 and both shooting the same 180 gr Speer Grand Slam bullet with tailored loads for each rifle.
Travel from Windhoek was on Air Namibia direct to Gaborone. Air Namibia check-in and rifle clearance out of Namibia when off without a hitch and the flight was via an Air Bus regional jet. Took off and landed on time. As mentioned in my June trip notes, by the time we made the short walk from the a/c to the terminal, the luggage and rifle cases were already coming out on the luggage carrousel. Same quick little immigration form, quick passport check and visa stamped in and Gerard had his neighbor (retired Botswana Army Regimental Sargent Major) with the rifle import permits and to collect us up and take us “to camp”. Same two-and-a-half-hour drive and we were there in time for a late lunch. Maggie’s cooking is really spectacular!!!
This time Gerhard and Maggie had us stay in a different lodge then where Bob and I stayed. This one was maybe 600 meters from the other and just as nice. Very nice rooms, queen size bed, lots of closet/shelf space, nice bathroom and shower etc. In June, Bob and I stayed in the other because he had a group of 5 ZA biltong hunters on this side with PH’s. To give you some idea of the size of this property, the ONLY time we ever saw them or heard them was when I killed the giraffe. They came to see the field butchering process.
We spent a little relaxing time, did a little unpacking and about 3:00 we hit the range and a short familiarization drive for my wife. She was astonished at the quantity of game we saw – ESPECIALLY all the giraffe!!!
Back to the lodge early to enjoy a couple of sundowners around the fire and just enjoying the company and the kids. And did I mention - Maggie’s cooking is really spectacular!!!
Next morning up at 0600, a light breakfast (by choice – we ate way too much the night before) and off on the hunt. We stayed down along the Limpopo river lowlands and after 15-20 min ride away from camp, we got off and started our first walk. Within 10 min, Gerhard had my wife up on the sticks, 140yds, thru the vitals and she drops a very, very nice non-typical impala ram. His horns actually had a twist/curl like a kudu. Gerhard didn’t know until just then, that was her first ever impala. He immediately GAVE it to her as a trophy!! We did the obligatory pictures and not even trying to be quiet. He marked the spot on his GPS and we started hunting again. Long story short, within an hour and a half, my wife had taken three very nice old impala rams. Collected them up, delivered to Gerhard’s butchery facilities and back in camp by noon.
No real need to go into the rest of the shot-by-shot details as this was a cull hunt. In the end, because I had already been there earlier in the year, I let her do the bulk of the shooting. All I took was 6 of the blue w/b and she filled the rest of our quota.
Trip home was a little exciting. The afternoon before our return flight from Gaborone back to Windhoek, we are making an animal drop off at the butchery and I happen to pop my email. One from Air Namibia stating our flight tomorrow was cancelled. Gerhard got on the phone and in a couple of hours and a few more emails and it was sorted out. Take an earlier SAA flight from Gaborone to Johannesburg, 90-min layover and into Windhoek on Air Namibia. Our luggage and rifle cases would be checked all the way to Windhoek so no SAPS temp import permit required. I KNEW there was no way in **** our luggage would make that tight of a connection in Johannesburg even IF it was staying with the same airline. Didn’t really have any other option so took the booking.
Down side was, by the time we go this sorted out, we pretty much had to end the hunting to start packing because we would have to leave camp by 0600 to make the drive to the airport and catch our initial flight. Little bit of a rodeo getting the luggage checked between SAA and Air Namibia reps but, it all got sorted out and we got on the flight. Transit J’burg just fine. In fact, as we were getting off the SAA a/c, I actually saw our luggage and rifle cases come off the a/c and were sitting on the tarmac to be collected by security. Maybe at least a little hope they would make our connection! Sadly, no luck. We arrived in Windhoek but, no luggage or rifles.
Won’t bore you with the details other than the bags didn’t arrive on the next three frights from J’berg and the next morning the lost baggage guy said they had been found and he had confirmation they were loaded on the flight leaving J’berg at 1 pm and would arrive in Windhoek by 3pm. Just enough time to collect them and recheck it all for our KLM flight to Amsterdam and then Delta home. Again, lots of stress, but in the end, the KLM people were TERRIFIC and the Namibian Police were extremely helpful and we made the baggage check-in time with 10 min to spare!! We cleared outbound Immigration, security and I immediately hit the air side snake bar and had a double scotch!! Then had a couple more on the flight before dinner and then slept all the way to Amsterdam!!
Had a six-hour layover in Amsterdam and had a nice breakfast and they check in to the Yotel airside hotel for one of their shower rooms. Best $20 we spent and then our Delta flight home.
My wife and I are already plotting our adventure next year to Botswana. We’ll hunt for a few days with Gerhard and Maggie (did I mention - Maggie’s cooking is really spectacular!!!) and then rent a car and spend 10-14 days car touring Botswana. Want to see the Okavango delta from the Bots side and also the Chobe NP and maybe a day or two in Vic Falls again. That’s our plan.
I’m also looking to put together a 3-4 guys who’d like to go on a separate hunting only trip. The nicest thing about Gerhard is, he will do a custom “package” for each person in the “group” and we’ll each have a dedicated PH (1x1) and you can add trophies on while there. I don’t have his normal trophy fee list with me but, I’ve seen it and this isn’t one of those deals where he sells you a deeply discounted cull package and then sticks it too you on add on trophy fees once you’re there. As mentioned before, Bob added a SCI bookable Limpopo bushbuck for $800.00
Anyone interested in going, let me know and I’ll help you get there.
Normally I NEVER post any photos of any kind on-line EVER. Making one exception this ONE time.