now browsing by category
Johnny Vivier entered the hunting industry as an apprentice PH in Zimbabwe in 1978 and has hunted ever since. Being a PH runs in the family. Johnny started shooting with a pellet gun, at the tender age of 5 years, under the watchful eye of his father. He shot his first animal, a Roan antelope bull at the age of 7 with a 30-06 rifle whilst on Safari with his dad in Zambia. His first dangerous game specie was shot at the age of 10 years – a rouge Buffalo bull in Zambia – that had been mauled by Lions and was chasing the villagers away from the waterhole. According to Johnny, he knew from that day that he too, will one day become a Professional Hunter like his father.
“I love hunting Buffalo most out of the dangerous game animals, especially Bulls that are in herds where cows, that have calves, are present.” Johnny also feels that hunting Kudu bulls on foot is his specialty out of all the antelope species. He says that he has taken on average about 15-20 trophy bulls per year with his clients spanning over a period of 30 year throughout Southern Africa. The magical mark of 60+ inches being broken only 11 times!! He uses the same old open sighted .458 Ruger bolt action as a backup. It holds 3 rounds in the magazine with 1 up the spout.
Although he loves his career as a PH, Johnny is also a family man and treasures his wife Beverley and his daughter, Kelly. “Before Kelly was born, Bev would go with me on every safari, to help transport clients to and from the hunting areas and in most instances Bev would handle the catering and camp for me as we were a team.”
On the topic of hunting highlights, Johnny had this to say: “I would say the very first time that I actually stalked up to an Elephant Bull knowing that … I … Me … Myself … was about to shoot my first Elephant at only 18 years old. I had only ever viewed these enormous land giants on foot at a distance, or within the safety of my Dad’s hunting truck.”
Johnny feels strongly about quality hunting and to make the client at ease. “As a PH, you want to teach the client how to hunt in Africa; to show him the little things in the bush that we as PH’s take for granted, which means so much to the client. Explain to the client why your hunting vehicle is rigged the way it is; teach the client about skinning, salting, boiling of horns and trophy care. As a PH stand tall that you have completed yet another quality hunt and know that you have just set the stage for a return bout with the same client, which is what it is all about!!”
Johnny – The Legend
Johnny is a PH with vast experience. “I was very fortunate that back in the early 70’s, I was able to go on safaris into countries like Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. It was during that time, that I was able to view game in numbers unheard of today and see some incredible hunting areas. I fondly recall certain experiences like watching three huge, heavily manned Lions walking together in Mumbwa Zambia.”
Johnny Vivier joined Wintershoek Safaris 25 years ago and has since been an integral part of Wintershoek. He is currently in the USA to meet new and old clients. If you are interested in meeting this legend, please let us know, so that we can put him in contact with you!
(Information used from johnnyvivier-professionalhunter.co.za/about-me/around-camp-fire/).
To some, hunting is second nature. But if you haven’t hunted before, it might feel a little overwhelming. And even if you have hunted before, there will always be something new you can learn. All of us have to start somewhere. Here is a couple of pointers and tips to help you keep ahead of the game!
Firstly, you need to prepare well in advance for your first hunting trip. When you do go out into the bush for the first time, you will need to be educated and familiar with your chosen equipment.
Find a Mentor / Be an Apprentice
Find someone to go on a hunt with. Go without your gun and simply watch them hunt, and learn from them. This will let you get a feel for it and see what it’s like. If you respect the hunter and nature well enough, he might even let you in on some of his secrets.
Check the Law and Regulations
Ensure that you are up to date with the latest hunting and rifle laws in your area/country and that you understand them. Also, ensure that you have the right licenses.
Gun Safety Rules
Before you handle a gun, make sure you read and understand the rules of basic firearms safety. It’s always a good idea to review these rules from time to time, even if you are experienced with guns. Depending on where you live, there might even be some hunter’s safety courses available.
You need to practice shooting to become proficient. It is important to get comfortable with your choice of rifle or bow. Head to the range and get started.
Don’t hurry out to buy a gun. You can practice with borrowed guns. If you have friends and family who will go to the range with you and let you shoot their guns, that’s great. If not, try calling some local ranges. Tell them you don’t have a gun but you would like to try shooting. Many ranges and farms offer guns for rent.
Gear for beginners
You will need some basic gear in order to begin hunting, including comfortable clothing, a strong sharp knife, good footwear, etc. But you absolutely do not need to go out and spend lots of money on the latest camouflage or equipment. Expensive gear simply is not necessary. Make sure you can stay warm and dry and comfortable, and that you can perform all the tasks you need to do.
Small game hunting is often a great way for a beginner hunter to learn because it usually offers more opportunities and a greater chance for success. It also provides a successful hunter with a taste of what’s to come, should he or she keep on hunting and move on to larger animals in the future.
Enjoy every moment
The most important is to get out there and enjoy yourself. Hunting is one of the very best ways to spend time. It will provide you with a better understanding of (and a greater appreciation for) wildlife and how animals live in the wild and a deeper appreciation for all types of life.
A trip to South Africa must be on every person’s bucket list. Nowhere else in the world, will you get to see the same magnificent wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and a variety of cultures rich in art and history.
Enjoying your visit to South Africa is paramount and your safety is therefore a priority to us.
Luckily, the Northern Cape Province, where the four areas of Wintershoek Safaris are situated, is a malaria free area. This means that you do not have to worry about extra medication that might make you feel bad on your safari trip.
When touching down at OR Tambo Airport, remember that you are now in Africa. Here are some general safety tips to help you ensure an enjoyable trip.
General Safety Tips
Like many places in today’s world, crime may be a problem. By taking the necessary precautions and following some basic safety guidelines, you can make your trip hassle free and super special. You can decrease your chances of becoming a target by not being flashy. It is advisable to leave your jewelry and valuables at home. Try to avoid walking alone, especially at night. Some people have a dummy wallet, with only a small amount of cash. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts!
As a driver, be on the alert when coming to a halt at traffic lights or stop streets, as well as when arriving at or leaving any premises. Car doors should always be locked, and valuables are better kept in the boot or under the seats. Plan your route beforehand. Make sure the map you consult, is a current one.
When parking at night, choose well-lit or security-patrolled parking areas. Street security guards will usually ask whether they can watch over your car, and in return should be paid a small fee – anything from R5 upwards.
Travelling to the Wintershoek Hunting Areas
O.R. Tambo International Airport is Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, facilitating approximately 19 million passengers a year. More than 50 percent of South Africa’s air traveling passengers are facilitated through the airport.
Kimberley Airport lies at the heart of the Northern Cape, in a town most famous for the ‘Big Hole’, a landmark carved into the earth by early diamond prospectors. When your safari starts at Karreekloof or Linksfontein, you need to take a domestic flight from OR Tambo International airport to Kimberley airport.
Upington airport has three runways, the primary one measuring 4,900 meters (the longest civilian runway in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the few able to land a space shuttle).
When your safari starts at either Thuru or Gamagara, you will need to take a domestic flight from OR Tambo International Airport to Upington Airport.
When your safari starts at Gamagara and you are not traveling with rifles, you can take a domestic flight to Sishen Airport. Sishen airport is a mere 10-minute drive from Gamagara.
There are landing strips at Thuru, as well as Karreekloof. If you take a private charter from OR Tambo Airport, you can fly directly to these areas.
It is recommended that you do not travel without travel/medical insurance. One never knows when an accident can happen. It is better to be prepared than not!!
When planning the traveling part of your next Safari, we recommend Jill Potash of Esplanade Travel from Boston USA. Wintershoek Safaris have been using Jill Potash & Jacky Keith for many years and find them to be the best when it comes to traveling to Africa.
Wintershoek Safaris will help you every step of the way to tailor-make your safari to suit your needs, meet your trophy requirements, your preferred length of stay and most importantly, your budget! So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy South Africa!