If you have any doubts on how great your hunting experience at Wiets Safaris will be, we have put together a list of references for your re-assurance.
8308 COUNTY ROAD, Y EAST
TEL: 715 384 6705
15550 VICKERY DRIVE, DRIVE SUITE 150
W 8003 HWAY 70
TEL: 715 762 2820
3320 LAUREL DRIVE
TEL: 412 334 8854
1694 PIERCE ROAD
TEL: (724) 479 9793
251 WENTWORTH STREET
TEL: (847) 835 8057
1650 WEST CROSBY RD
TEL: 972 323 539
3 ROUGE RIVER CIRCLE
TEL: 905 472 8686
9676 N KRUGER ROAD
TEL: 715 934 5021
811 E FAIRCHILD STREET
TEL: (217) 442 3452 x 17
763 SENSABAUGH ROAD
TEL: (989) 4732944
1778 MARY LYNN CT
TEL: (616) 915 2626
7201 BEAVERWOOD DRIVE
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
TEL: (919) 872-0897
We have been to visit the folks at Wiets several times since our first visit in 1992. The Botes family that owns the property is now part of our extended family.
The only concern I had was the first look at the huge gate and fence surrounding the property. I was not used to enclosed areas. This was not justified, the approximately 12,000 acres is huge!! The fence does not impede the movement of animals and actually is primarily to deter the white rhinos from leaving. You will see numerous holes dug under the fence where animals have worked hard to move into the property. On the first afternoon upon arriving we saw a giraffe, much taller than the local vegetation, we did not take photos and did not see it again during that trip. This is a big piece of land.
The number and quality of animals is fantastic. Periodically they sell excess animals to bring the management back in line. My son and I have taken numerous species including cape Eland, springbok, blesbok, white blesbok, gemsbok, red Hartebeest, blue wildebeest and black wildebeest. I was allowed to be the first client to tranquilize a white rhino on the property in 1999. There are a number of other huntable species but I had taken them elsewhere and am limited in pocketbook and wall space.
Over these 20 years, I have encouraged dozens of hunters to go with Wiets Safaris. They have all been well satisfied with the exception of the time it snowed!! It never snows at Kimberley, it is unbelievably rare and was gone in two days. However the wife of one hunter decided they needed to go back to the Lord Nelson Hotel in Cape Town for the remainder of their journey….you can’t control the weather and you can’t please everyone.
The accommodations are great. Not a 5 star resort but clean, with indoor toilets and hot running water. A step above 95% of all hunting camps I have experienced. The food is fine. You can sit back at the fire circle and watch the night sky while listening to quiet. Less than an hour out of Kimberley but you feel like years away from civilization.
The hunting vehicles are in excellent shape. The Botes family is in the furniture transport business and has mechanics on staff and plenty of extra vehicles should problems occur.
You may want to take a morning off and visit the diamond mines at Kimberley. The “Big Hole” is the original site of the South African diamond industry. You can take a tour including going a half mile down into the mines to see the process of removing and processing ore for diamond recovery. I highly recommend that tour. There are no bargains for diamonds however, international pricing prevails.
Wiets Botes, the father of the family, was one of the first landowners to successfully raise white rhinos. He was presented several awards for his success. Probably 12 years ago they started raising white lions, a unique color phase that was disappearing in the wild. The Botes were quite successful and have sold lions to several international zoos. Unfortunately the South African government in an attempt to control canned lion hunts has also made it unbelievably difficult and expensive for individuals to raise lions for any reason. The Botes are now limiting their white lion breeding program, but still have the large enclosures and a number of white lions. I can tell you that these may be captive but not tame, they look at you as if you are on the menu. They will charge the fence and chase/run the length of the pen in pursuit of any moving vehicles. It is a real African experience to be near the enclosures at sundown and hear the lions roar.
You will not go wrong hunting with Wiets Safaris, I wish I were returning this year myself. Perhaps in a year or two. Give my best wishes to everyone there and if I can provide more information or answer any specific questions please give me or my wife Bonnie a call at 919-872-0897.
Have fun, you will enjoy the trip.
The Botes family at Wiets Safaris has become a major part of our African family. We have hunted and visited with them numerous times since 1992, most recently in 2011.
My wife and I have traveled to Africa ten times and had over 15 hunts in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and we just returned from Namibia. Every country is different and needs to be evaluated in reference to similar operations. Wiets is a South African game ranch, it is not a concession area in Zimbabwe or a mountain hunt in Namibia. I wholeheartedly endorse quality game ranching and Wiets is a quality operation.
Africa is a great experience and difficult to put into words. If you have any concerns or just want to talk about the property, services, etc. please give me a call at 919 872-0897.
You will enjoy hunting with them.
How was the overall experience?
Excellent, have been there in 1992, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2011. They have visited us here in Raleigh several times also.
Was the game population ample with adequate numbers of each species they advertise? Were you successful?
Populations were excellent. large numbers of springbok, gemsbok, hartebeest blue wildebeest, black wildebeest and blesbok. good opportunities for eland, duiker, steinbuck and others. We did not hunt kudu on their ranch but I remember seeing adequate numbers while there. I took the first darted white rhino on the property in 1999….it is huge.
Did they have mature animals to hunt?What was the trophy quality like?
Yes my gemsbuck was 39 1/2, black and blue wildebeest as well as eland, springbok and the common and white blesbok went well into the record books. Lots of white rhinos also
Were the PH’s/trackers knowledgeable and helpful? Did you lose any animals due to trackers not being able to track them?
They make use of excellent PH, that I can asure you. Their trackers are also very very knowledgeable
Did you spot/stalk or blind hunt? How well were the blinds set up?
I have only done spot and stalk with a rifle. This is done by driving until game is sighted and then glassing and making a stalk or simply walking through large blocks of land looking for tracks and following up. Also climbing the kopjes (rock hills) and glassing is very productive. There are numerous blinds set up around the property at water holes, salt licks and where game trails merge. These are well built to prevent damage from rubbing rhinos.
Were your trophies well taken care of? Any issues (hair slippage/damage) when you got them back home?
I have my mounts done by a taxidermist near Raleigh so I can only address the initial care and dip and ship. All went well…..no problems at all.
Did you have any troubles getting your trophies back? Any inordinate delays attributable to Wiets? Were they available to help resolve any issues with getting your trophies home?
I have had no problems with any of the shipments. They stay in permanent contact with the shipping agents until your trophies are delivered to your door.
How were the accommodations/laundry service/meals/etc?
Food is fine, a good variety stressing wild game and local vegetables. Beds and sleeping areas are clean and large. Flush toilets and hot showers are a good thing.
How did the travel logistics go? Did you lose hunting time by moving from one camp/hunting area to another?
They hunt on their own property therefore no time being lost by travelling to other camps.
Would you go back? Why or why not.
Yes, great folks. Excellent animals. Fun.
Did the fact that the property is fenced in bother you?
The first time we drove onto the property I was concerned because it is high fenced. Shortly after entering we saw a giraffe, my wife wanted to take a photo and I made the comment that we would probably see it often in better light. Boy was I wrong. 15000 acres inside a fence is a big place where the game is not limited in movement. You will see where lots of smaller to mid-sized antelope have dug their way into the property. By providing water and good vegetation management the local wildlife wants in not out. The fence is to prevent poaching and to deter the rhinos from visiting the neighbors.
What is there attitude towards conservation?
On the property is a lion facility. The Botes family was instrumental in the recovery of the white rhino populations in South Africa and also chose to help the white lions. They raised cubs and sold them to zoos across the world. Now there are enough white lions and the folks at Wiets have kept the adults. It is extremely interesting to get a close look at wild lions that happen to live in an enclosure. Hearing them roar is definitely a plus and not often found in most of Africa. In the light of the current poaching situation in South Africa of White Rhino’s, its commendable that they still do there part to keep them on the property and conserve them, all 30 odd of them!