As we celebrate women's achievements and contributions during Women's Month, it is the ideal time to feature the remarkable women who have been breaking barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields.
The hunting community in Africa has been witnessing an inspiring wave of female hunters and sharpshooters proudly asserting their skills and passion for wildlife conservation. Join us as we delve into the stories of these exceptional women and celebrate their invaluable contributions to the hunting, conservation and sport shooting arenas.
Renowned for her PH expertise not only in South Africa but worldwide, Margaret Botha, is a leader in the hunting industry. She has proven herself not just in words, but in action.
Margaret has been a hunter from a young age and her passion continues as she takes great pleasure in passing on her knowledge, to not only guide and educate clients, but to offer them an experience that’s not just ‘shooting’, but true hunting.
Margaret is the founding member of the popular series ‘Heart of the Huntress’, which follows a group of women around the world as they learn and educate viewers on various hunting cultures.
The series encourages women to take a more leading role in their hunting journeys and fosters a family-friendly hunting environment to raise the next generation of ethical hunters. Margaret was also involved in the development of “Africa’s Huntress” which showcases local and international talents and skills of women hunters.
However, Margaret's greatest achievement to date is her journey with Extreme Huntress, where she was selected as the first woman huntress representing the entire southern Africa to participate with six other contestants from various countries. Extreme Huntress is an international series that helped shape her passion to aim higher in encouraging others and making a difference where it matters most.
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The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African ranger group consisting mostly of women, has been named as one of the winners of the top United Nations environmental prize.
Since its inception in 2013, the 26-member unit has helped arrest six poachers, reduced snaring by 76 per cent, removed over 1,000 snares and put 5 poacher camps and 2 bush meat kitchens out of action.
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Website: Trans Frontier Africa
Esmari van Reenen: South African Sport Shooter
Esmari won the silver medal for the rifle three positions at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, losing out by seven-tenths of a point (0.7) to India's Anuja Jung. Van Reenen received a qualifying place for the Olympics by capturing the gold in the same category at the 2007 ISSF African Shooting Championships in Cairo, Egypt. She also achieved a personal best result on the international stage by finishing fifth at the 2008 ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, with a score of 673.3 points.
Van Reenen became one of the first female sport shooters to represent South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She competed in the women's 50 m rifle 3 positions, where she was able to shoot 198 targets in a prone position, 183 in standing, and 197 in kneeling, for a total score of 578 points, finishing only in sixteenth place.
Natasha is a hunter by nature and an author and conservationist by soul. To a hunting conservationist, the aim is balance and sustainability. The driving force is adventure as much as it is respect, protection and love for nature. It is to be the eyes and ears of the forest or the bush. It is about being part of nature, part of the food chain. It is about being someone who takes responsibility for the nature you live in and off.
Natasha places importance on being involved in conservation as a whole and not just that which is connected to hunting or hunting areas. Through all of her work as a writer and a speaker one of her key subjects is to try to reconnect urbanised man back to nature and encourage people to take a more balanced and conscious place in nature. She believes that modern man has become so destructive to the environment because his connection to nature has been damaged, and in turn, losing your connection to nature is to lose a connection to the very core of yourself as a creature on this earth.
KAAPJAG: SERVING THE HUNTER (& HUNTRESSES) IN THE WESTERN CAPE
As Women's Month unfolds, let us celebrate the exemplary women in the hunting and shooting arena who have shattered stereotypes and embraced their passion for conservation and precision shooting. These inspiring women are carving their paths, proving that the love for hunting knows no boundaries.
As the Hunting Association of the Western Cape, Kaapjag stands proud to support and empower the huntresses who enrich our community with their skills and dedication.
Let us continue to promote inclusivity, celebrate achievements, and inspire the next generation of female hunters and shooters. Together, we can build a stronger, more diverse hunting community that fosters a love for wildlife, conservation, and the great outdoors.
Please contact us with any queries you may have.