African Professional hunters
Ken Stewart (1934 - 2014)
Ken Stewart was born in 1934 and brought up on a ranch in the Machakos in Kenya. Ken shot his first Thompson’s gazelle under his father’s guidance at the age of seven. Having John “Pondoro” Taylor as a frequent guest at the farm, Ken’s future career was sealed. After having completed his apprenticeship Under John A. Hunter, Ken started to hunt as a PH with J.A. Hunter. Ken Stewart was married to Cathy Randal Stewart. Cathy´s father The late Ken Randall was Harry Selby´s older cousin.
Ken later complemented the hunting operation with game catching as told in the book The Enormous Zoo by Colin Willock. The characters in the Hollywood movie Hatari were also based on the Stewart/Randall family of hunters and game catchers. John Wayne played the character of Ken Randall while Red Buttons played Ken Stewart. The Randall family was also involved in several other films, such as Where No Vultures Fly, Mogambo, Born Free and Joy Adamson’s Born Free.
Ken Stewart started making core bonded bullets under the name Stewart Hi Performers for about 20 years ago. The bullets are renowned in Southern Africa for their superb performance on big game.
Ken also invented several wildcat calibers such as .458 3”, .465 Salgado, .505 Gibbs Rimmed among others.
Ken Stewart was also the heavily involved in the making of the Norma African PH range of ammunition.
Our industry has lost a great personality.
Andrew Holmberg was born in Kenya in 1918 and his mother and father were Swedish. Karen Blixen acted as midwife and also became his godmother. Andrew completed his apprenticeship as a PH in 1939 and hunted extensively in East Africa. He left Ker & Downey in 1955 and together with Harry Selby formed the Selby & Holmberg Company. However, it was disbanded after a few years in operation. After that he started his own safari company, based in Botswana.
He was born in 1977 and at the age of 18 became the youngest person ever to get a full professional hunter’s licence in Zimbabwe. After joining Swanepoel and Scandrol Safaris he guided up to 300 days a year throughout Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. In addition he helped guide clients in Tajikistan, Australia and the Arctic Circle. Cliff has guided clients to over 115 different species of game in Africa, and up to date he has taken 109 leopard and 57 lions. His company, Rifa Safari Area, recently started with Bruce Watson, has one of Zimbabwe’s top areas for the next 10 years.
Dirk De Bod
Dirk de Bod was raised on a cattle farm in Northern Namibia. Driven by his passion for nature, hunting and conservation, Dirk purchased his own land and began to reintroduce indigenous game on to the ranch. With his combined skill with firearms and knowledge of the African bush, Dirk began a successful career in trophy hunting, for which he has received considerable recognition, and numerous prestigious awards for his valuable contributions to it.
John was born in South Africa, one of three sons of a Free State farmer. His hunting career, spanning over 25 years, has taken him from East Africa down through Mocambique, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. John’s reputation precedes him, and many are the endorsements of his honesty, ethics and hunting methods. “I guarantee the very best of my personal attention, and I expect my clients whose desire it is to hunt in Africa to be prepared to track and stalk on foot, learning the techniques of approach and fair chase while hunting,” he says. Much too has been said about John’s extensive experience, especially of dangerous game and cool-headed courage in tight situations.
Michael Payne was born in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, in 1968. He lived in National Parks until the age of seven, his father being Warden in the Management Unit. After school in Zimbabwe, he went on to farming. Michael obtained his professional hunter’s licence while still farming and started hunting full time in 2004. He is married to Mel, and is father to Connor and Chloe.
Natasha Illum Berg
The view from 2007 is that of population growth, urbanised thinking and the exploitation of nature as opposed to the understanding and respect of it. So it is the task of the hunter, now more than ever, to give his or her passion for nature, hunting and adventure an economically viable and ethically defendable place in the ecosystem. Smart hunting! Something of which one can speak with a clear and proud voice. To shy away never works in anything.
I understood a while ago, that is the only way my 458 Lott and I will have a future in Africa. Because I do love them, the buffaloes. Slowly but surely, I am returning to hunting the way they did it in the old days, when the explorers and old time hunters fared through Africa. The notion of walking on foot with porters is to me the picture of bliss. Without the kind of hunter in sight who’s aim it is to kill and leave the country as fast as possible, without the strangling effect of a measure tape around my neck, the clients and I venture in to the heart of the matter, for some proper challenges. Silently we stalk the game, trusting nature to be at its boldest and the gun to shoot at its straightest.
Natasha Illum Berg grew up at Eriksberg in Blekinge, southern Sweden. She has lived in Tanzania since 1993, where she works as an authorized professional hunter, see www.natashaillumberg.com.
"I did use a lot of Norma 416 Rigby Ammo, both Solid and Soft Point. Norma brought out its own 416 Rigby ammo in a big yellow box with the 416 cartridge picture on it, also headstamped Norma. I found it to be excellent ammunition and always used it when I could get it. Indeed I used Norma ammo in other calibers as well and never had any reason to complain. Bahati mzuri muindajie - good luck with your hunting!"
Harry Selby was born in 1925. Harry participated in his first safari in 1945 under the tutelage of Phil Percival. He conducted his last professional safari in the year 2000. Due to a knee problem which unsuccessful surgery had exacerbated, he was unable to continue professional hunting. During the period 1945 to 2000 he hunted professionally each season without break. As a white hunter, Harry made the record books as the longest-operating career professional hunter ever, but he has also made history as one of Africa’s finest and most-respected professional hunters.
J.A. Hunter (1887-1963)
– known as the first ”White Hunter” arrived in Kenya from his native Scotland in 1908. His parents and Ken Stewart’s parents came from the same part of Scotland and knew each other well. J.A., as he came to be known, fi rst joined the Safari outfi tters Leslie & Tarlton and thereafter spent his entire life as a Professional Hunter in East Africa. He used several rifl es in different calibers for his hunting, including 416 Rigby, 500 Nitro Express and 505 Gibbs. J.A. served as a mentor for young Ken Stewart when the latter worked for him as a trainee hunter for a few years in the 1950s. During his career J.A. hunted with personalities like Colonel Sandy McNab and Denys Finch-Hatton, held several world records for Big Game at various times, and lead a group that killed 1000 rhinos in a single year in Kenya. In later years he became concerned about the possible extinction of the wildlife he had so assiduously hunted, and served as a game warden and spoke in favour of conservation.
J.A. also wrote several books: African Bush Adventures, African Hunter, Hunter’s Tracks and White Hunter, about his safaris before WW2, as well as Killers of Kilimanjaro, which was made into a movie in 1959.
Ken Randall (†1991)
– was Harry Selby’s older cousin and they started to hunt elephants together in the northern Frontier Province of Kenya towards the end of WW2. Ken later complemented the hunting operation with game catching as told in the book The Enormous Zoo by Colin Willock. The characters in the Hollywood movie Hatari were also based on the Randall family of hunters and game catchers. John Wayne played the character of Ken Randall while Red Buttons played Ken Stewart. The Randall family was also involved in several other fi lms, such as Where No Vultures Fly, Mogambo, Born Free and Joy Adamson’s Born Free TV Series.
Dr. Kevin Robertson
and The Perfect Shot
It was while Kevin was on safari that the idea of producing a set of anatomical diagrams to assist with correct shot placement was born. Kevin combined his interests in conservation, veterinary medicine, firearms practical ballistics, and bullet performance, with his love of Africa’s wildlife to produce this work.
The Perfect Shot shows the anatomical features for all classes of African game – from the largest, thick-skinned elephant and buffalo, to the large cats. This great reference work is a musthave for your next safari!