Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is the Best time to come on safari in South Africa??
Wintershoek Safaris in the Northern Cape province (State) of South Africa, we offer hunting from February through to the end of November. With the best hunting being enjoyed during the dry winter from May through August, when temperatures are mild, vegetation is sparse and animals gather at water sources. In our Southern region, winters (May through August) are typically dry and sunny. Temperatures during the day range from cool in the mornings, to warm at midday getting colder as evening sets in – February/March 21c / 70 f as a min with 30c / 86f as a max. April/May 17c /63f min with 27c / 81f as a high. June/July 8c / 46f min with 24c / 75f as a high. Aug/Sept 16c / 61f as a min with 29c / 84f as a high. Oct/Nov 21c / 70f min with 32c / 90f as a high. Our seasons in South Africa are Spring: September to November / Summer: December to February / Autumn: March to May / Winter: June to August.
2. What Rifle Should I bring on Safari with me??
Above all that there is written or discussed about “which” firearm to take hunting with you; Putting the bullet in the right place, is by far MY best piece of advise that I can give a hunter.
There are so many different calibre’s today, with most of my clients having a battery of rifles to choose from to bring on safari. First and foremost use the rifle that you shoot the best and are the most comfortable with shooting. Not much sense in using a calibre that one is afraid of firing due to recoil and don’t be misled by “the bigger the better” a perfectly placed shot from a .375 which is the minimum calibre to be used on dangerous game is all that a PH can ask of his client.
On the plains game side of things my favourite is a 300 Win Mag fitted with a good quality 3 x 9 variable scope. The likes of a .308, 30/06 and 7mm with Barnes X bullets have always been welcomed by me. It is most important for your PH to do his utmost to give you the best possible shot at an animal and to try his BEST to get you as close as possible; keep in mind the margin of error is greater the further you are away from your target! Refrain from trying these longgggg shots, it is inevitable that you are going to be paying for blood and not securing your trophy!
Use whatever rest you can find, even if it is just the conventional shooting sticks that we all know, it is better than nothing. My advice to ALL my clients is; shoot the target on the animal, do NOT shoot the animal …. A bulls eye on a target at the range can be hit 9 out of every 10 times at 100 yards. Out in the bush place that same bulls eye on the animal and quickly concentrate and focus on the cross hairs being on the target on the animal; don’t look at the animal and the rest will all fall into place as you squeeze off the shot. There is a saying “when lead is in the air, then there is hope” do not take a shot if you are not comfortable with the set up >> tomorrow is another day! and if it is your last day, then so be it … that’s hunting!
3. Are your hunting areas fenced??
There is a misperception that all hunting in South Africa takes place on small, ‘high-fenced’ properties. This could not be further from the truth! Our hunting areas sizes are, in fact, on the increase as we are purchasing more land to add to our existing huge areas:
- Thuru Lodge: 86 000 acres; 36 000 hectares (Thuru 20 000 and FM 16 000)
- Linksfontein: 24 000 acres; 10 000 hectares
- Gamagara: 24 000 acres; 10 000 hectares
- Karreekloof: 112 000 acres; 47 000 hectares.
4. How many Different Species of game can you offer the Sport & Trophy Hunter?
Wintershoek Safaris is the premier hunting destination in Africa. It has an unrivalled diversity of species — More than 45 major plains game species and all of the Big Five may be hunted here. Endemic species include the Vaal Rhebok, Black Wildebeest, Bontebok, Blesbok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Cape Bushbuck, Eastern Cape Greater Kudu and Cape Grysbok. A large variety of game birds, some presenting very challenging shooting, are on licence with generous bag limits.
5. Can you tell me some about Travelling to and in South Africa:
There are daily, direct international flights to O.R. Tambo Int’ airport in Johannesburg from most destinations from around the World – With flights leaving daily from Atlanta, Washington DC Dulles airport and JFK out of New York from the USA to RSA.
From Johannesburg airport there are great commercial, connecting flights to Kimberley and Upington airports in the Northern Cape, which will be your final flight destination.
Any enquirers about visa requirements (departing from which Country you originate from) you may be directed through to our Head office in Kimberley for final assessment in this regard.
World-class medical facilities are available in all major centres – As well as Foreign Exchange Bureaus for any Foreign Exchange needed from your Currency to our local RSA Rand.
Malaria is confined to the extreme north-eastern parts of the country and does NOT occur in any of or Cape areas.
No Tsetse flies either – Whilst South Africa enjoys an Ebola free country to date.
6. How is the game/Safari Industry doing in RSA? We hear such terrible things about the poaching in Africa?!
South Africa’s wildlife and conservation success story is unparalleled anywhere in the world. The safari hunting industry has played a pivotal role in this success since day one and will continue to do so indefinitely! In 1964, we had about 575 000 wild game animals countrywide. During the 1960s, safari hunting and game ranching were mere fledglings in South Africa, but the fact of the matter is that hunting started to place a value on wildlife and wild areas, creating a direct incentive to purchase, own, protect and conserve this precious resource. It became a viable investment. As the safari hunting industry began to grow and with it, the demand for South Africa as a destination, more and more land was converted from agriculture to wildlife.
Today, we can boast a wildlife population of close to 24 million head of game. Some species, such as White Rhino (of which there are currently more than 5 000 on private land and a further 13 000 on State land), Black Wildebeest and Bontebok, were brought back from the brink of extinction. Our Sable antelope, Roan antelope and Buffalo populations are healthy and growing, once again, and are mostly found on private land today.
Species are constantly being re-introduced into areas where they have become locally extinct. There are currently more than 10 000 privately owned game ranches in South Africa, predominantly in marginal agricultural areas, covering an estimated 21 million hectares of land. To put it into perspective: private enterprise owns three times more land, managed under hugely successful and effective conservation programmes, than all the state-owned parks and reserves combined.
The wildlife industry, as a whole, which includes professional hunting, contributes more than R10 billion to South Africa’s economy and this figure is expected to increase annually – Today, we have more international hunting tourists traveling to South Africa each year than any other country on the continent.
The South African conservation success story is based on private ownership of land and game, and the sound principle of ‘sustainable utilisation’, of which ‘responsible hunting’ forms a major part. A simple comparison is Kenya, a country that has lost 85% of its wildlife since terminating all hunting in the late 1970s which is a very sad statistic indeed!!
An African safari is an expensive dream that in many cases comes along only once or twice in a lifetime. Add peace of mind when you book your safari by hunting with Professional Hunter Johnny Vivier who is a Full Life Member of PHASA (Professional Hunters Association Of South Africa) and Co. Founder of Wintershoek Johnny Vivier Safaris. We pride ourselves in having some of the finest African Professional Hunters and the most active in the South African Safari & Game Industry today.
7. What is the Population of South Africa and how Big is the Country which is situated in the most Southern part of the African continent??
South Africa is 1 220 sq kilometers in size – One Eighth the size of the USA. We have a population of 52 Million people. 41 million Blacks, 4.6 million Coloured, 4.5 million whites & 1. 9 million Asian/Indians.
8. I see on the Internet, such a diverse range in prices on Nightly rates & Trophy fees from Outfitters within Southern Africa! What places your Company above the rest?
Jip! we may not be the cheapest on the INTERNET, but rather we are the absolute BEST at a very, very affordable price for what we can offer our Clients! Simply more “bang for your buck” …. Whether you are a seasoned African Hunter or 1st timer to RSA, you will most certainly see for yourself what total commitment, dedication and Professionalism is when you come on Safari with Wintershoek Safaris – Our hundreds of references are testimony to the fact, as to why we pride ourselves at the Top of our Field – At the End of the day, you get what you pay for! So put your confidence in experience and come and enjoy a Safari of a lifetime!!
9. What is there to do for my Wife, Daughter and the like who are Non Hunters, whilst I am out there Hunting with you for 10 days??
We have our own African San taxidermy studio, Curio shop and Tannery that will really interest you! Plus, we have an animal rehab centre for orphaned baby rhino and other orphaned animals at our Wild Hearts Rehab’ Center; plus there is the Kimberley diamond mine tour which is very, very interesting and great shopping within the town itself; plus a Lion and Cheetah breeding centre near Kimberley; Perhaps there is some game capture taking place whilst you are in camp that you can participate in! and of course, weather permitting at that time of the year, the swimming pool at camp is always a welcomed sight after a day of great game viewing or Hunting after a hot day in the field; Last but most certainly our fabulous, relaxing Spa’s are the favourites amongst ALL our clients both Men & Women.
4 Wheeling & Horse riding at Thuru Lodge. Plus many, many interesting sights to see and visit in and around all 4 of our superb areas. What about sitting in a Bow Blind taking pictures or a video of the animals as they come to water! ……. Exciting, up close & personal stuff!!
10. Can you recommend a Travel Agent within the USA and RSA that can help us plan our Safari???
Most definately! Don’t overlook Esplanade Travel who are out of Boston USA (Jill Potash & Jacky Keith) they have really good fares; they help with air miles and help where they can with the emphasis on taking care of their clients from A – Z.
You can’t go wrong with Jill or Jacky, who are very experienced in African travel. Contact Jill Potash 160 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite U-1A, Boston, MA 02116. 1.800.628.4893 | ‘ 1.617.266.7465 | Ê 1.617.262.9829 | mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also use our locally based RSA … Africa Sky Guest House who are based 10 minutes from OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg – Deirdre & Leoni, will meet & greet you off the airplane on arrival and help you through the Firearms import/export facility right there at the airport. Africa Sky Guest House also has a very nice and safe guest house, with restaurant and bar.