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From a Professional Hunter’s point of view – Hunting at our new area, Karreekloof.
Over the past two years, a lot has been done with regards to making a dream come true for Wiaan van der Linde and Wintershoek Safaris.
This has been done in the form of the famous and historical Karreekloof that has been bought by Wiaan from the Wright family that owned the land since 1882. What first struck me, was when I realized that Karreekloof was the first and only trading post between Cape Town and Johannesburg (1000 miles apart) before the Boers and English started developing central parts of South Africa. Talking about some history…!!
Over the last couple of years, a lot has been done to recreate what was then a sheep farm into an expansive piece of wilderness area teeming with wildlife. A total of 6300 + head of game has been reintroduced from large game reserves to recreate what it used to be before development took place in 1881.
A state of the art lodge has been recreated out of the original buildings that were on the farm. Because of the great amount of history and the fact that most materials were imported from England by sea, Wiaan decided to renovate the old buildings by keeping the original Dutch Holland style.
From a Professional Hunters point of view, I think we would all agree with the fact that we want to give our clients a “Wild Africa” experience. Unfortunately, that is not always the case with smaller game ranches all over South Africa and Namibia. That is most certainly not the case at Karreekloof as you’ll have the opportunity to hunt on 112 000 acres, that is teeming with wildlife. (The long-term plan is to expand it to 250000 acres.) The trophy quality is unsurpassed to most areas I’ve had the privilege of hunting before… by far!!!
The whole idea behind Karreekloof is to create something that is unique! Unique with regards to the size of the hunting grounds as well as trophy quality, overall numbers of game, the quality of lodging, great food, the road infrastructure that’s been put into place and the overall traditions that has been kept since the late 1800’s as well as the total experience one will have whilst on safari at Karreekloof. From the serious and avid hunter to a Mom and Dad that wants to bring their kids/family on their first safari, I strongly believe that Karreekloof has what it takes to create those special moments and memories.
Combined with what we already had, Linksfontein Lodge, Gamagara Lodge as well as Thuru Lodge, I now believe that we, as a team at Wintershoek Safaris, are running one of the largest, most diverse and highly respected Safari Outfits in South Africa.
To end this letter, I would like to encourage everyone that’s interested in coming on a hunt of a lifetime to make Karreekloof your first choice.
Once again, I walk with my head held high and wear the “W” with pride on my chest.
Yours in hunting and conservation,
Yvan Nieuwoudt (Professional Hunter)
Hunting impala is on the agenda for just about every hunter who sets foot on the ‘dark continent’. The rooibok (red buck), as he is known in Afrikaans, is the bread and butter antelope of Southern Africa. He is commonly used for camp meat, bait for leopard, and just to ‘cut the teeth’ of the new African hunter. This graceful, medium-sized antelope is a sociable herd animal that frequents open woodlands, the bushveld, and the mopane scrub. Both a browser and a grazer, he will never venture far from water, as he must drink daily. The lyre-shaped horns are only carried by the rams, but the herd’s propensity to bunch together in the dense brush can make it easy to make a mistake.
Hunting impala is best accomplished in the autumn rut when the best rams are usually found within the breeding herds. Be aware of the rooibok’s keen sense of hearing and smell, not to mention his superb eyesight which all account for the need to make cautious and calculated stalks if you intend to “close the deal” on this quarry. A couple more tips regarding hunting impala: he is most active during the cooler times of the day (early morning and later in the afternoon). Consider an ambush near known feeding areas. Exercise great caution when hunting impala, as when alarmed, they will herd tightly together, making it easy to shoot more than one with a single shot. A sub-species, the black-faced impala is easily identified by the black blaze on the nose and face and can be found mostly in the northern reaches of Namibia and Angola.
While hunting impala with the .22 centerfire is legal in most countries of Southern Africa, the 6mm, 7mm, right on up to the 30 calibers are probably a far better choice if you are not interested in tracking wounded impala for the better part of the day.
Quality, heavy-for-caliber round-nose bullets sport an excellent reputation for the bushveld conditions under which you are most apt to find yourself. This medium-sized antelope is tough for his size, so the high heart/lung shot is going to be your best bet when hunting impala. If you are shooting for meat, the high lung shot will spoil less meat. Aim your shot directly up the fore-leg about one third or a bit higher and just a ‘tad’ to the rear if you are going for the lungs. The neck shot can be placed anywhere along the length of the neck. The brain shot should only be attempted by the experienced hunter and professional ‘culler’; this shot is not for the average sport or meat hunter. Hunting impala can make for a wonderful first hunt for the newly initiated African hunter, and a great first take on any safari just to get some meat for the table.