I spent my childhood weekends running wild in a beautiful corner of the Namibian bushland. The bush is more than just a place to me: it’s a feeling, a connection to the land that runs deep within my soul. I can still recall the sensation of a Swarthaak thorn catching on my jersey, the warmth of red sand between my toes. And then, there it is – the sight of a kudu cow, with her magnificent round ears and mesmerising long-lashed eyes, peering at me through the thicket. In an instant she disappears, darting off with her family, vanishing back into the wilderness. All that remains is the soft coo of a Mourning Dove perched in a shepherd’s tree nearby. This wilderness, this sanctuary, is familiar to so many of us. For those of us in Namibia’s hunting industry, it’s not just a place. It’s home. And what many fail to realise is that hunters are the most passionate and dedicated guardians of this home.
If only the world, especially the global media, would take the time to understand and embrace the truth about hunting and conservation, they would see the vital role this industry plays in a country like Namibia. They would recognise the tremendous value it brings, not only socio-economically but also in terms of conservation. Jobs, livelihoods, food. Basic humanity as part of, not separate from, nature.
In this year’s edition of Huntinamibia, we once again aim to shed light on why hunting matters. Through passionate and poetic stories of tradition and contribution, we aim to unveil the importance of hunting in wildlife population management, the advancement of community interests, and the betterment of indigenous peoples. We delve into the significance of privately-held land, recognising its pivotal role in preserving our vast landscapes and biodiversity.
Facts are stubborn things. They do not lie. And I am encouraged to see that no matter what the false global narrative, the hunting community will not lie down. We, the conservationists, will continue to roam the Namibian wilderness, Swarthaak hooks in our clothing and red sand between our toes, standing tall alongside the incredible species that share this land with us. It is our life’s purpose to protect our home, preserve our traditions and contribute to the future of this planet.
In this issue you will find beautiful stories of the excitement, wonder and joy that accompanies a successful hunt, and how that success translates into the world around it. Danene takes us on a riveting trek through thick bush in search of a horned quarry. Kai-Uwe will break your heart and reignite your passion for wild places as he sets off on a last hunt in a once very special concession. Tales of hunting on some of the large private farms that are key puzzle pieces in Namibia’s total surface area under preservation. Communities that fight for their rights.
As you read through this publication, I want you to know how deeply we appreciate your support. By dedicating your time to reading these stories that matter, you become a vital part of our community, a community committed to preserving the wild. Your contribution towards the conservation of our natural heritage is invaluable.
So, let us embrace the spirit of the hunt, not as a ‘sport’, but as a driving force behind the protection and sustainability of our beloved Namibian wilderness. May the stories you find within these pages ignite a sense of awe and reverence for the remarkable creatures that call this land home.