Welcome to OM Wettstein Safaris!
This is our first blog post and I would like to use it to introduce ourselves to you. We
are a family run safari outfit that prides ourselves in offering very exclusive hunting opportunities to a select few clients and their families each year. This is to ensure that we never over utilize any of our hunting areas. You will always be guided by myself, Oliver Wettstein, and my wife, Sheree Wettstein, does all the catering, hosting and lodge management so that we can ensure that you have a truly customized and enjoyable stay with us. You may arrive as clients but you will leave as family friends!
A brief history of our main base property, where we do most of our hunting to ensure that the wildlife is managed properly:
The farm was bought by my father in 1988 and was a livestock and crop farm, void of most wildlife species that used to roam the area as they would compete with the farmers livestock and crops. My father then set out to reintroduce the wildlife species that historically roamed these mountains and plains. He started off by completely fencing the whole 5000 acre property and slowly reintroduced key wildlife species, while at the same time regenerating the overgrazed fields and leached soils. An anti-poaching initiative was also started to make sure that there would be no more snares and other traps used on our property, as well as any of the neighboring properties, so that the few native wildlife species that had survived could start to thrive again.
However being based in Switzerland most of the year none of this was easy, and there was a very costly and steep learning curve. But his passion for wildlife and conservation made him push through the hard times in the knowledge that if he succeeded he would be contributing to the preservation of African wildlife as a whole. Today, we are thankful for all the animals that are roaming our plains.
While I was growing up in Switzerland we would come to Africa every school holiday, and I knew from a very young age that this is where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I started hunting birds with a .410 shotgun when I was 8 and quickly moved up to bolt action rifles and larger game. My father made sure I knew the ethics and values of the hunting community as he would take me with, in Switzerland, on driven hunts as soon as I was old enough to walk.
Once I graduated high school I left Switzerland for good and moved to South Africa. I took over the management of the land and started to develop it even further into a hunting property suited for clients from all over the world. It was very important for me to keep the legacy that my father started going.
There is not much in Southern Africa that I haven’t hunted, including some close encounters with Africa's most dangerous (those are stories for another time), but I still enjoy hunting for myself every now and again.
These days, however, it has mostly been put on the back burner so that I can guide clients to their dreams. There is no greater joy for me than to see someone hunt their first African animal, or that long awaited trophy that they have tried for so hard. The emotions that come over someone after walking up to that special trophy is second to none and is always extremely special!
I always put everything that I have into finding exactly what the client is looking for, and I will go out of my way to make sure that the safari is a full success. It is however hunting, and thus it cannot be guaranteed that everything that might be on your bucket list will be successfully hunted on one trip. We are not in the business of “put and take” hunting and would rather pass up a sub-par trophy than to try and make a quick buck off our clients.
After meeting my lovely wife, Sheree, we decided to start OM Wettstein Safaris together.
We are driven by our shared passion for wildlife, hunting and the outdoors and rely on our strengths and weaknesses that balance us out to run a successful operation. Sheree has added that “je ne sais quoi” to the lodge, to elevate it to the next level and make sure that your stay is a luxurious one, making your comfort her priority. Being a huntress herself, she knows what goes on in the minds of our clients and what is needed to keep them fueled for the days out hunting. Having been born and raised in South Africa, she has an in-depth knowledge of the local cuisine and with her passion for food and cooking, she ensures that the meals are always up to the highest standard, not to mention the amazing desserts!
The work never stops and we are still out on the land everyday to make sure that we keep with the best possible conservation practices and to make sure the land and wildlife get stronger and healthier with every passing season.
Here at OM Wettstein Safaris, Sheree and I will do our very best to make you feel as comfortable and homely as possible. We hope to be able to welcome you on our own piece of heaven in the near future and perhaps to fulfill that lifelong dream of a special African Safari!
If you want to keep up on what we are doing on a day to day basis then follow us on Instagram @om.wettstein.safaris and on Facebook at OM Wettstein Safaris.
And to keep up with me personally you can follow me on Instagram @oliver.wettstein and on Facebook at Oliver M. Wettstein