You never forget your first, successful hunt. The hitherto unknown sensations when suddenly game comes into view. Is it the right one? Can I shoot it? Yes? Yes! Mounting the gun, cocking – in the meantime the slight tension has mounted incredibly, resulting into a considerable acceleration of the heartbeat, steady breathing becomes a topic. Breathing in, breathing out, shoot! Gratitude and joy, when the game has been safely shot. One is reminded of all that, when hunting for the first time in Africa. Because even for an experienced hunter everything is new when he sets foot in Africa for the first. It is like being in unchartered waters, beautiful exciting waters!
What exactly makes hunting in other countries, or even other continents, so fascinating? All those who have been already hunting abroad know about the surprising variety of experiences that are awaiting you. „So it is by far not only the wish for a trophy as big as possible“, says Rainer Schwarz, CEO of Blaser Safaris. It is rather the opportunity to hunt in natural territories with different species of game, unknown foliage and completely new smells. Together with the different ways of hunting and the diverse traditions coming along with it, each trip offers a memorable experience. The unfamiliar noises of the African bush alone are hard to beat in terms of fascination. Those impressions create life-long memories. On top of all those novels experiences come the culinary delicacies such as Kudu steak or Oryx filet, waiting to be degustated after a day of hunt.
Due to the comparatively stable political situation of the country, many hunters choose Namibia as their destination. Despite the fact that the desert Namib has been its eponym, Namibia has a very varied landscape – surely one reason the country has one of the highest variety of species in the world. While the central uplands experience irregular but very hard rains during the summer, i.e. the period from November to April, the northerly part of Namibia, the Caprivi strip is known for an elaborate systems of streams and a subtropical savanna forest. Here you can hunt elephant, buffalo, hippo or crocodile. In the two deserts Namib and Kalahari, you can typically expect high variations between night and day temperatures. Even jumps up to 20 degrees within in couple of hours are not uncommon! The savanna of the Kalahari with its red sand dunes and majestic camel-thorn tree offers the antilopes there an ideal habitat.
It is obvious that you will need more that one visit to get a comprehensive impression of Nambia. „However, for those who would like to make the most of their first visit, we recommend a hunting trip in combination with a visit of the Etosha National Park“, says Rainer Schwarz. The Sney Rivier Lodge is especially popular with the clients of Blaser Sarafis. The lodge is the ideal destination for both the experienced African hunter as well as for those hunting on the continent for the first time. The trip will be an unforgettable experience for the rest of the family, too.
Situated in the landscape at the base of the Khoma Highlands, the Sney Rivier Lodge is about 2.5 hours by car from the airport. Passing Windhoek and later the smaller city Okanandja, the car first follows a tarred highway to use a broad gravel road for the last 30 minutes. Surely, all those visiting for the first time will be overwhelmed by the bright African sun and the unfamiliar sounds. And while looking out for game, time will fly by. Until suddenly, out of blue, big compact straw roofs appear and the car stops. Already the wife of the manager, Becky Volek and her colleagues are standing by to welcome the new arrivals with a delicious cocktail and refreshing wet hand towels. In the entrance of the lodge the concept of the architecture becomes immediately apparent: Inspired by nature and hunting, the boundaries between inside and outside are blurred. And despite of all the luxury, there is nowhere a trace of the usual stiffness which can be found in so many residences of such a high category. One feels at home instead of being at a hotel. This atmosphere is being underlined by the five detached chalets expecting the guests. Each is a tranquil hideaway, offering just the right amount of privacy. Sitting on the porch, which includes a whirlpool, one can enjoy the beautiful sunset. The nearby waterhole is, especially in the evening, the meeting point for many game. Together with the soft illumination, the guests can enjoy a fascinating spectacle.
Hunting challenges are guaranteed on the 30,000 hectares of hunting grounds, by tracking game and stalking within range of your quarry or sitting in a hide on one of the countless rocky hills. More than 20 different species are at the Sney Rivier Lodge. „Most often oryx, mountain zebra, Springbok, wildebeest, hartebeest und wharthog are being hunted“, says Rainer Schwarz. Guests can leave their rifles at home. The armory of Sney Rivier Lodge offers a large choice of modern hunting rifles in suitable calibers. Before going hunting, the chosen rifle can be tried at the shooting range on the grounds. “An excellent opportunity to get the necessary familiarity with the rifle“, explains the Blaser Safaris CEO.
All new arrivals enjoy a magnificent sundowner at the nearby Mount Sney Rivier. The views of the surroundings are breathtaking and are enjoyed together with a glass of Gin Tonic and the typical dried meat, Biltong. “This creates memories you won’t forget for the rest of your life“, says Rainer Schwarz. Another highlight: A clay pigeon shooting ground. The clay machines are on a hill and offer varied and, partly, quite demanding clays. Of course, there are Blaser shotguns on standby, ready for use. Rainer Schwarz is convinced: “With the luxurious interiors, the swimming-pool and the culinary highlights, the lodge is also a dream destination for non-hunting company.“ From the generous breakfast to delicious dinners, the chefs are always able to surprise with a combination of traditional African and modern international cuisine.
Looking for a change after a couple of hunting days to use your camera instead of the rifle or simply to keep the family happy? Why not make a tour – conveniently organized by Blaser Safaris – for a couple of days starting with the Etosha National Park in the north, coming back via the Skeleton Coast? The national park is famous for its so-called salt pan. It is by far the largest one in Africa. 130 km long and up to 50 km wide, it is even visible from space. In years with a lot of rain, you can observe an extraordinary spectacle. If the rain fills the salt pan with some centimeters of water, thousands of flamingos arrive and rest there. Due to the special nutrients in the soil, some of the largest elephants can be found in the Etosha National Park as well as the threatened by extinction black rhinoceros, leopards and lions.
After that, a visit of Cape Cross could follow. At any time you can easily observe more than 200,000 sea lions at close range. The Skeleton coast earned its name in two ways. The currents are very strong and have always been dangerous for passing ships, many of which ended their trip involuntary here and whose remains are still there. And if the crew made it to the coast, it was only to die of thirst afterwards as there was no water to be find along the desert coast. For the guests of Blaser Safaris the trip into the past ends more pleasantly though with a visit of Swakopmund, where you can still admire the half-timbered houses. Coming back to Sney Rivier Lodge, indulge yourself with some more wellness days, enjoying the swimming pool or having a bath in the infinity pool which is filled by hot springs before taking your flight back to Europe. For Blaser Safaris CEO Rainer Schwarz there are only very few places like the Sney Rivier Lodge which combine hunting and relaxation in such a pleasant way. More info www.blaser-safaris.com.