A Hunter's Paradise
by Kai-Uwe Denker
Along the south-western coast of Africa lies Namibia. Barren, the Namib Desert, which stretches inland from some of the most desolate and lonely beaches on earth. It has been called Africa's harsh paradise, a good description of Namibia with its abundance of natural assets.
Hunters who have come to know the country well and who can appreciate something special, like to call Namibia "Africa's best kept secret". Why the country is still relatively unknown, remains somewhat of a mystery, but this aspect is often smiled upon by international trophy hunters, because in its unique way, Namibia is second to none.
Namibia is Africa's harsh paradise indeed and, moreover, it is a hunter's paradise. Its northern coastline is called the Skeleton Coast, because many an early sailor whose ship fell prey to the unpredictable waters and who had made it to the shore, died there of thirst. Towards the interior the Namib gives way to the harsh and inhospitable Kaokoland, where today the last remaining population of desert-adapted elephant and black rhino can be found.
The world's largest shifting sand dunes are found in the southern parts of the Namib, affording breathtaking panoramas in the soft light of the early morning and later in the afternoon. To the east the Namib changes into barren mountains, which rise towards the central plateau. From here the country, lying at an altitude of some 1 500 m to 1 600 m above sea level, becomes increasingly fertile.
At first the traveller's eye meets with dry thorn-bush steppe, and in the eastern and north-eastern parts with lovely savannahs, dotted here and there with picturesque camel-thorn trees. In the far north-eastern part of the country, in the Caprivi, the landscape becomes lush green with riverine forests and swamplands along the Okavango, Kwando and Zambezi rivers.
In the south the country never loses its desert character. Here the Namib merges with the semi-desert regions of the great Namaqualand, which to the east give way to the red sand dunes of the southern Kalahari.
Namibia is home to a great variety of huntable game species, but the great attraction is the abundance of thirst-land animals such as the greater kudu, gemsbuck and springbuck. The majestic greater kudu, found in Namibia in an unparalleled density, has an average trophy quality, while gemsbuck and springbuck have an exceptional trophy quality, and more important, can be hunted surrounded by impressive scenery.
The far northern and north-eastern parts offer rewarding big game hunting. Namibia has become well known for exceptional elephant trophies. Very successful leopard hunting can be done in some parts of the north-east, and in the Caprivi there are even possibilities for fine buffalo hunting.
For the international hunting clientele, one of the main attractions of hunting in Namibia is the high standard of ethics maintained by the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA). All hunting resorts are under the strict supervision of the Directorate of Resource Management of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).
The trophy hunting season for huntable game is restricted from the 1st February to the 30th November of each year.
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