#Namibia2017: Day 10
Today was a wonderful ending to our time here in Namibia. We left the lodge early for a final half day of hunting. Although Burchell’s were definitely on my mind, we just wanted to treat it like any other day and not apply too much pressure. Right off the bat, James spotted a warthog off to our right that looked like a boar based on its size and features. Steve swung the truck around and got me lined up, but it was quartering away. This is a shot I am comfortable taking, so I made sure it was completely stopped and squeezed the trigger. It dropped like a rock, and within seconds, Blackie was out of the truck and headed to make sure. Warthogs are his favorite animal to hunt. We headed over to check it out and discovered that it was a huge sow. Steve asked if we could use it later for an activity we were doing in the afternoon, and I quickly agreed.
For the rest of the morning, we searched for the elusive Burchell’s zebra. At one point, we had two different pairs of stallions in thick brush, but once I couldn’t see them well and the other time the stallion was facing me head on, which is not a great shot to take. The final time I had a shot was across a small gully at about 200 yards. I had the stallion lined up broadside in my scope, but there was a mare behind him, and we knew there was a foal in the herd and I couldn’t see it either, so I knew it wouldn’t be an ethical shot. By lunch time, we hadn’t seen any more stallions, and no boar warthogs within shooting distance, so we called the hunting to an end. It was bittersweet; not because I hadn’t gotten two of my animals, but because hunting is Namibia has been one of the highlights of my life. Nothing will ever quite be the same again after experiencing these amazing adventures.
After lunch we headed to the main tourist lodge that is in a separate part of the preserve from the hunting camp. We spent some time in the gift shop and toured the beautiful grounds before Steve picked us up again with my warthog sow in the back of the truck. We headed to the cheetah area, where a mama and her two grown kids live. Several years ago multiple cheetahs were trapped and moved to a different area to spread out the population, and when this mama cheetah was caught, they noticed she had recently had a litter of babies. So they caught the kittens and placed them all together in this area. Every afternoon there are fed, so today we used my sow for that. We dropped off the food and within seconds they had slunk into the area, which was amazing and frightening all at once. These animals are so regal and athletic, but they are also completely wild and dangerous. The big male weighs close to 140 pounds, and he is all muscle.
We headed back for our last dinner and enjoyed great company with staff and a new pair of hunters from Canada that had just arrived that afternoon. I can’t believe our time here has come to an end, but we were blessed with one last incredible sunset before we headed to our room to pack up our stuff for tomorrow’s journey home. As much as we miss Wyoming and our family and friends, Africa has a way of stealing quietly into your heart and leaving you feeling like a piece of you will always remain there. We all certainly feel that way about Namibia.