I would sincerely like to thank Werner Esterhuizen from Esterhuizen African Safaris for taking the time to answer some interview questions. Africa is on my “bucket-list” so hopefully some day my conversations with Werner will be face-to-face. Look for future collaborations with Werner in the future. I have asked him to stay in touch and let us know when he has news, cancellations, etc. He sent me a bunch of great photos so I will post some periodically. Please if you ever wondered about hunting Africa, get in touch with Werner. He will be happy to answer any and all of your questions! ~DesertRat
1)How long have you been an Outfitter and PH?
I have only started by own Outfit a year ago with all the experience I have seen through the years of hunting with Local and International Clients and Friends. I started hunting with my Dad when I was around 7 starting of with a .22. Now it is the only thing I like to do with my family by my side!
2)What is the most common mistake made by a hunter planning his or her first trip to Africa?
At Esterhuizen Africa Safaris we give the Hunter and Experience from being in Africa. So when planning they must plan with their Outfitter and ask him all questions they need too. A lot of hunters think it is there first and last time in Africa and want to take as many as possible Trophies (no problem with it!) but they cut down on hunting time. Always give yourself enough hunting time to obtain quality trophies and relax and enjoy this Experience!! We have a lot of Animals but we want to get the animal you and your PH are happy with taking! Hunting in Africa is exactly what you make of it, enjoy it, be positive and relax!
3) If a hunter is on a budget by really wants to go and experience Africa, what is your recommendation for a first time hunt?
I think it is really a personal choice and a very difficult one to decide what wonderful African Animals to hunt! Most of all plains game hunters really love the Greater Kudu and it is an excellent animal to hunt and very cunning, this is always on the list and mostly the Nr 1 Trophy on most clients lists. Then you can hunt the very popular Warthog that everybody love to take, Impala with its very impressive horns, Whiteface Blesbuck and then tuff poor mans buffalo the Blue Wildebeest. This is a rather very standard package and relatively inexpensive hunt with the Greater Kudu being your most expensive animal on the list.
Then I get clients that like to hunt only maybe a Trophy Kudu and Gemsbuck and like to take other non-trophy animals and that cut down your cost and this is a perfect way to hunt a lot of animals at a great price. Hunters must discuss their package required with their Outfitter and at Esterhuizen Africa Safaris I make custom packages for any hunter to try and get all his animals so that it will fit his pocket!
4) Do you yourself get to hunt much, or do you spend all of your time guiding other hunters?
Having a passion for Hunting I always get some time for hunting and hunt with my family a lot. I am introducing the hunting to my Sons age 3 and 5 so I spend as much time in the bush with them as I can and as far as they can walk. But the early mornings are normally my own hunting time, listening too the bush and all its birds, reading the tracks and looking at all the beautiful animals and when we need something for the pot I will take it.
5) What is your favorite animal to hunt where you are?
Also so difficult question as they all so special! For me personally I like hunting Blue Wildebeest for meat and they are a very challenging and tuff animal that you can’t make mistakes on otherwise you will walk for hours, also the reason they call it the Poor Mans Buffalo! But I love hunting all animals from in our area from Steenbuck to Eland. We also have Big 5 Animals in the area but they for a different discussion.
6) Have you ever been to North America to hunt? If so, what is your favorite hunt here?
No but I would really like to spend some time hunting with some friends ASAP!!
7) What is the dream hunt that you haven’t been on yet?
Well the one dream will always be bigger and better than the next one but I think hunting with family and friends and sharing the hunting Experience is the hunting DREAM! I think it is what you as hunter makes of a hunt if it is a dream hunt or not. There are always the next wish with bigger and better trophies etc.
8 ) If a potential hunter wants to bring along some friends or family that are non-hunters, what are some other things they can do on the trip?
We like to offer some variety of things for the day like Golf, Visits to Mines and Cultural Villages, Shopping, Day Spa Activities, Elephant interaction, Clay Pigeon shooting, Bow shooting, Very Exiting Micro light Flights and what ever you like to do we can try and accommodate.
9) What do you think is the biggest surprise to most people, the first time they hunt Africa?
A lot of visitors to Africa in generally think, hear and see crime in the papers and on the television but when they come to Africa and experience the peoples hospitality etc they can’t believe that it is the some country. Well and then we also have got people that think we stay in Tree house and have Lions for pets.
10) What does the future of hunting look like in Africa?
In South Africa we have more animals than ever before and I think hunting in South Africa will grow due to safety, affordability and quality. There are talks for example in Botswana that some areas will close down for hunting and that will be sad as the Hunters are the real Conservationist of the World!
Werner’s 2010 Specials – HERE
Other activities – take your family! LOOK!