The rainy season is long gone, but covid seems to be far from gone… Even though restrictions here in Botswana change at irregular intervals, there has been a minute but steady flow of foreigners entering the country to have their holidays here. Ensuring some long awaited work and income for the majority of people in this northern part of Botswana, which so heavily depends on the tourism industry! One of those foreigners being the kids’ uncle and Martha’s brother, Kristoffer Clausen, who is far from foreign, came down to spend a few weeks here. He is a well known and successful hunter and film maker from Norway. Because of his love for nature and animals, Botswana is probably one of his favorite places to visit. Both for business and for pleasure. Doing a fair bit of filming, hunting and game viewing. I cannot state that I know anyone else who sees more fantastic game sightings than him. Besides the filming he also does some hunting and generously supplies some of the meat to us and others. This time around we were lucky enough to join him and try a bit of hunting ourselves. So one early Friday morning the boys stayed home from school and grandpa, my cousin, the boys and myself joined the renowned filmmaker to a game farm to try our luck. A mere two and a half hour drive out of town took us to a beautiful place called Kgwebe hills. The farm is owned by a Norwegian trio, selling their game meat to local butcheries and making biltong (dried meat). First things first, we set up camp before the boys got comfortable with the shotgun.
Then we marched to a small hide by a waterhole, the boys were too eager and excited to not try the real deal that same afternoon. And we needed supper. Hoping for some guinea fowls. The wait was short. It only took a few minutes before a small group came scouting towards the water. Under clear instructions the boys each waited their turn for the right moment to aim and fire a round. The sudden explosion gave the boys a bit of a fright, and the recoil knocked their hats off their tops. The increased adrenaline level was visible in the boys’ faces.
The birds not hit, had flown off and we went to collect the evening’s supper. The shot birds still had muscle contractions, giving the boys a bit of a fright as they tried to pick them up.
Before we could eat them the birds had to be gutted and cleaned of their feathers. Using the occasion to learn some anatomy.
The next day it was grandpa’s turn. We drove to a different hide, one that was higher up. And this time we had a rifle with us instead, hoping something bigger with more meat would come by, like an antelope or gazelle. This proved to be more of a challenge. Waiting for more than an hour before we spotted some Impala in the bushes. They were not as careless as the birds and took their time, stopping to listen, smell and look, making sure they were safe to go and drink.
Not everyone thought this was as much fun…
Another half of an hour later, a chance to aim and fire had come. Grandpa’s breath was increasing as we all listened to it while watching the Impalas drink. Everyone in the hide was dead still. The explosion of the shot broke the peace and one of the gazelles dropped dead instantly. Examining the carcass uncle Kristoffer was impressed with the aim of the shot. It had penetrated the heart and the lungs, ending this animal’s life instantly and painless.
We loaded it into the car and took it to the butchery on the farm. Here the skinners showed us how to skin it and gut it. The boys helping and asking questions as things got done.
While the meat was hung in the cool room, the skin was laid out and salted.
It was an interesting experience to hunt and process your own meat. We learned a lot and couldn’t be more grateful to learn from one of the best in the field. A big thank you to Kristoffer Clausen!! If you are interested check out his YouTube channel, ClausenTV and Instagram.