Tell us about your family, how they originally got to Africa
My family started exploring southern Africa in the 1970s. My grandfather purchased a ranch in former South West Africa, now Namibia. My father Dietmar and my mother moved to Namibia in 1990 when I was born. They lived on a mountainous ranch in the Khomas Hochland, and after four years my parents were ranching and hunting on three ranches. Now we are living on a farm in the central Khomas Highland with a conservancy area of 174 000 hectares.
When and where were you born?
I was born on 16 October 1990 in Windhoek. Having German parents it gave me the opportunity to become a Namibian national which I am proud of.
How did you get into hunting – what was it that influenced you?
When he was hunting kudu and mountain zebra, my father would take me with him in my baby-seat.
With whom did you train, apprentice and learn from?
My father taught me the principles of fair-chase hunting. Then Isaak Songo, my father’s right-hand ranch manager, a Damara Bushman, trained me the art of walk and stalk hunting. Today, Isaak and I are still hunting together.
What was the most important thing you learned during those early years?
What did you enjoy about hunting?
To travel and to explore different areas of Africa and to get to know the people. With all guest hunters, we share the same love for the nature, the flora and fauna, and therefore we are friends.
Anything you leant about what not to do?
Which countries/areas have you hunted since then and for which animals?
In AfricaI hunted Namibia and Cameroon. In Europe Germany, France and Romania it was for red stag, wild boar and roebuck, and in Russia – Kamchatka – for moose and brown bear. In the USA, Montana, it was for Puma.
What led you to be there and tell us about those experiences?
This topic is ideally talked about at the campfire with a gin and tonic. What led me there was always on invitation to visit guests that had been on safari with me here in Namibia. Each time I have been welcomed at a friend’s house, someone who loved sharing their home with me.
What did you find interesting about different places?
Each country and the people themselves have their own ways of hunting and protecting their home environments.
If you could return to any time or place in Africa, where would it be?
Always to my home, the Khomas Highlands!
Which is your favorite trophy animal to hunt? And why?
Kudu hunting in the Khomas Highland. To me, the kudu bulls are one of the most majestic animals.
What is the best trophy animal one of your clients ever took?
The best kudu trophies taken were one 62” with a PH from Alaska, the second 59” a gentleman from Sweden, and 58” with a good friend from Florida. These are my top three.
Tell us about two of your most memorable hunts – without naming names
My father passed away last year and I favor all hunting memories with him.
Tell us about a disaster of a client and what you had to deal with
There is only one client that comes up in my thoughts and that’s a fellow who came with his wife. They were both a bit overweight, and the wife as always laughing when she had a glass wine or more. It all started well with a huge blue wildebeest in the salt. The next day we wounded an oryx and after a long follow-up we got a second opportunity which failed. Then we headed for a giraffe, but the client’s shooting was awful and I had to take the back-up shot to finish the hunt. He was not happy, and they both decided they would prefer to stay in the Hilton for the rest of their stay.
What are your recommendations on guns, ammo, or equipment for the first-time hunter to Africa?
For plains-game hunting I recommend the .300 WinMag or the .375 H&H
Which guns and ammo are you using to back-up on dangerous or wounded game and tell us why?
The most dangerous-game hunting my team and I do is for leopard. We are always heavily armed, from 12 gauge shotguns to the M14, the .300 Win Mag, the .458 Lott, and even the .470 NE double has joined us on these dangerous hunts.
Have you had any brushes with death?
I might be a bit boring on this one: If you carefully approach wounded game the golden rule is not to cross their sight and approach from the back. The second golden rule is always have a back-up shot ready then nothing should happen. Although if I think about brushes with death, there have been some experiences where the heart starts racing, but always kept a cool head.
If you should suggest one thing to your hunting clients to improve their safari experience, with you, or with anyone else for that matter – what would it be?
The most important thing is to be excited and to be ready for the adventure. If you have a good PH you will have the time of your life.
What can the industry do to contribute to the long-term conservation of Africa’s wildlife?
All of us who love the outdoors and the open horizons need to keep on hunting because conservation hunting is the best tool for conserving Africa’s wilderness.
What would be your ideal safari if you have one last safari?
I would have loved to go back to the Caprivi for another buffalo hunt with my father. I would never be where I am today without him.