African Safaris… what are they like?
I get asked all the time about what it’s like to hunt in Africa. Africa is an amazing continent with many different locations to hunt, with a wide array of game to go after. From free range to high fence, rifle concessions to archery concessions, plains game to dangerous game, I’ve been fortunate to experience it all. This article will talk about hunting in Namibia.
Namibia is an amazing hunting destination
Namibia is an incredible country, with striking landscapes and diverse wildlife. It’s primarily an agricultural country, with roughly 80% of the population dependent on subsistence farming for a least a part of their living. For some of these farmers, wildlife does pose a constant threat. Elephants raid crops, and predators such as hyenas, lions and even wild dogs will go after livestock. Wildlife though is seen as an asset in this country. Hunters pay to hunt, and with the advent of the conservancy system, the money from hunters goes to conservancies, which compensates farmers for their losses. Farmers see the balance of healthy game management through hunting, and reduced human/animal conflicts.
The wildlife population was around 2,000,000 in the early 1900’s, but with no regulations or quotas, no value on animals, and lack of funding, the population of wildlife plummeted to under 500,000 animals by the 1960’s. With hard work, strict quotas, and using hunting as a conservation tool, the wildlife population today stands around 3,000,000, proving that controlled, legal hunting is the best method to not only sustain, but also increase, animal numbers. Revenue from hunting also goes to fund anti-poaching efforts, as another way to protect wildlife.
The term “trophy hunting” always gets a bad name, especially when talking about Africa. But trophy hunting is what brings the revenue into this country, giving it the resources to not only help protect wildlife, but also meat to utilize for camps and for those who are less fortunate. I can tell you that nothing goes to waste in Africa. I once was with a tracker who took the stomach from a gut pile of a zebra we had shot, and opened it up, and cleaned it out. He told me his wife uses the stomach lining as casings for meat, so they can make sausages. He said that without this, and some meat from the zebra, they would only have maize as their primary diet staple. I’ve also been part of meat distributions to local schools, and have seen the kids faces light up when they see us pulling in with all the meat. It’s pretty incredible!
Hunting in Namibia is very economical. Most people think that these trips will cost $25,000 and up, but that is just not the reality. Most people can do a 7-day safari in Namibia, with 4-6 animals included and pay LESS than 1 mule deer hunt here is the USA. The memories you will create while hunting there will last a lifetime. You can also design any package that fits your time frame, animal bucket list, and budget.