PH Stephan Joubert UK’s loss – Namibia’s gain!
African Hunting Gazette: Tell us when and where you were born and about your family.
Stephan Joubert: I was born in Bethlehem, in the Free State, South Africa, in 1990. I am one of four children – I have three sisters. As a family we moved to the UK, in 1999, and lived in The Royal County of Berkshire. I finished my education at Hartpury College UWE, where I studied Conservation Countryside Management / Game. Then I returned to my African roots here in Namibia in 2012.
AHG: What made you want to become a PH?
SJ: Growing up in the UK, my dreams of becoming an African PH, initially dwindled. However, I was fortunate enough to have plenty of family in Namibia whom I could visit, and that very much kept my dream alive! Thanks to numerous visits to Namibia, to my uncle and cousins in the Kalahari, I have had ample exposure to hunt in Africa.
AHG: Which countries have you hunted and where are you hunting these days?
SJ: I have had the opportunity to hunt in South Africa, England, New Zealand, USA, Canada, and of course the wonderful Namibia! It is here that I am now pursuing my professional hunting career!
AHG: If you could return to any time or place in Africa, where would it be?
SJ: The early 1900s, when a 21-day safari was not uncommon. I could only imagine how much one could see, learn and experience on such a safari in Tanzania or Zambia.
AHG: Which guns and ammo are you using to back-up on dangerous game?
SJ: I would use my .375 H&H CZ 550 Safari Classic with 300-gr Barns TSX for dangerous game, whereas for plains game I normally use a .300 Win.Mag. coupled with 180-gr Sierra Game King bullets. This is a very suitable round for our area as it is a hard-hitting, flat-shooting round!
AHG: What are you recommendations on guns and ammo for dangerous game and plains game?
SJ: For dangerous game, I would say a .375 H&H with 300-gr bullets, because with the low recoil, the client can put the bullet where it needs to be – or anything of this caliber and bigger that the client is comfortable with. My recommendation for plains game would be any of the .30 calibers with a 180-gr bullet.
AHG: What was you closest brush with death?
SJ: I would say that if anything, my closest encounter was the day a Black Mamba and I crossed paths. However, I have a great respect for snakes, and I let him be. So we separated with no harm done – just my heart beating a lot faster!
AHG: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
SJ: I wouldn’t say I would do anything differently, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it in the first place!
Just keep your wits about you and expect the unexpected!
AHG: How has the hunting industry and its clients changed over the years?
SJ: I wouldn’t say the hunting industry has changed too much since I have been a part of it. Perhaps the only thing that I have noticed is that clients have less time to commit to hunting safaris. In the world we live in everyone has such busy lives with little free time to spend how they wish. In general, safaris have become shorter.
AHG: Which qualities go into making a successful PH and/or hunting company?
SJ: In order to be a successful hunting company you need a good team, from your trackers to skinners to kitchen staff. They all play an essential role to ensure the whole safari runs smoothly. A PH should be an open-minded, friendly character, a real people person who is able to connect with clients. As well as that, having an excellent knowledge of his or her surroundings is an absolute must. He also needs to be honest with his clients, passionate about what he does, and enjoy himself!
AHG: And which qualities go into making a good safari client?
SJ: A good safari client would be a person willing to experience new things, willing to listen and learn from his or her PH. It’s also great if they have practiced shooting from sticks at home, and know their shot placement. And finally, as they say, “You don’t guide a guide and you don’t coach a coach!”
AHG: If you could offer a suggestion to a hunting client to improve the quality of their safari, what would it be?
SJ: You must be willing to listen and learn from your PH/ Outfitter to trust their opinion. By building a relationship with them you will gain knowledge and enjoy the overall experience a lot more than if you don’t. It’s also great to come to Africa with an open mind and enjoy every moment. It’s also really helpful to get yourself ready before the hunt by practicing shooting from the sticks, and have some knowledge of the animals you’d be after.
AHG: What can the hunting industry do to contribute to the long-term conservation of Africa’s wildlife?
SJ: I think we regularly hear about this. Trophy hunting truly has helped and will continue doing so for many years because of the funding it generates for conservation. We as trophy hunters are, in fact, more conservationists – without trophy hunting, our wildlife would be worthless and the numbers would drop rapidly! For example look at countries that have banned hunting, and compare their wildlife populations with Namibia or South Africa! Adding value to the wild animals has really help to conserve them!
AHG: Anyone you would want to thank who has played a major role in your lie?
SJ: There are many people I would like to thank for many different reasons. I would like to thank my mother and father for supporting me with my decision to go into the industry, and also those that believed in me and for all their encouragement. Also, the people I have met along the way who pointed me in the right direction and helped with many different aspects, and who gave me the opportunity to learn from them. I would very much like to thank our clients, for without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we love! I am grateful to our dear Lord for the incredible nature surrounding us, and for giving me the opportunity to do what I am passionate about and enjoy doing.
AHG: Any last words of wisdom?
SJ: Enjoy doing what you love. Be safe!
AHG: Would you write a story for us one day?
SJ: I would love to write a hunting story in the not too distant future, I’m still collecting memories which I would one day love to share!
AHG: We are waiting!