Wintershoek Safaris

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Traveling to South Africa

 

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!

Hunting Rifle Regulations in South Africa

Every hunter who has travelled to South Africa will tell you that it can be quite a task to import your rifles. If you follow the correct steps and know what the firearm regulations in South Africa are, then this process can be a lot less daunting.  Here follow some of the most important regulations that you should be aware of:

Firstly, if you decide not to hassle with the exportation and importation of your own firearms in and out of countries, Wintershoek Safaris has a battery of firearms available to hunters to rent.  The firearms available to rent are of good quality and under the personal care of the Professional Hunters (PH’s).

It is highly recommended that you apply for your temporary importation permit or in-transit permit prior to your arrival.  This will not only save you time, but your arrival will be much more hassle free.  There are various service providers that you can use to assist you with this process.

The most important regulations that you should be aware of:

  • You may only import a maximum of four firearms or shotguns per applicant.
  • You may not import more than one of the same caliber or gauge.
  • Only 200 rounds for each permitted firearm or shotgun will be allowed.
  • No ammunition for other firearms (not accompanying you) is permitted.
  • Firearms must bear the manufacturer’s serial number or any other mark by which the firearm can be identified.
  • The identification number must be stamped and the mark affixed in the prescribed manner on the barrel, the frame or the receiver of the firearm.

By law, a minimum calibre of .375 is to be used to hunt any of the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant). A .375 is also a very versatile calibre and can also be used on every plains game species.  Good soft-nose ammunition is always recommended, but especially for Big Five species. As recommended for all plains game species, calibres such as .300 Win mag, 338, 7mm, 30-06 and similar are best suited for African antelope.

We strongly recommend the pre-arranged firearm import service that Africa Sky Guesthouse offers. Africa SkyGuest house will pre-arrange your rifle permit. They will also meet you in the arrivals hall with your pre-arranged permit and assist you with the collection of your rifles.

Most importantly, bring the rifle that you shoot with the best and feel most comfortable with.  Professional Hunters prefer good shot placement over and above any high power firearms.  Please contact us at info@wintershoeksafaris.com should you require any more information in this regards.

Perspectives from a Professional Hunter

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)

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Hunting with Jack Perrett and his family at Linksfontein

Jack has hunted with Wintershoek Safaris for the last four years and decided to hunt at Linksfontein and Karreekloof this year.  

On the hunt, Jack Perrett, his wife Kristen and daughter, Channing were joined by Kristen’s parents, Roy and Delinda, as well as Kristen’s brother, Robert, his wife Kim and Kim’s son, Chip.  As always, their South African friend, Ashley joined. 

On arrival, spirits were high and although tired, the adrenalin and excitement was flying high.  Three experienced PH’s accompanied the group – John Tinley, Johan Maritz and Phillip from Linksfontein.   Determination soon paid off with the Common Springbuck, Blesbuck, Impala, Roan and Blue Wildebeest in the salt! Jack took a beautiful Sable Trophy with his bow.

During the hunt, Linksfontein celebrated Delinda’s birthday with a visit to the local wine cellar and a surprise sun-downer.  Back at camp, a nice birthday barbecue awaited them.  To end the evening, Delinda was surprised yet again with candles, cake, and singing.

Whilst the men hunted, the ladies relaxed, did game drives, visited the Big Diamond Hole and went gift shopping.  Channing didn’t stand back for the men and got a nice White Springbuck.   Jack returned later for another two days of bowhunting, wherein he managed to take down a Red Lechwe, Warthog and Blue Wildebeest! 

The hunt at Linksfontein wasn’t just a hunt – Friends turned into Family.  Thank you, Jack and Family. Until next time!!

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