Jono’s passion for Africa, conservation and nature combined with love for the outdoors led him to become a Professional Hunter. Growing up in Southern Africa, he learned about hunting the African Bushveld from his father and uncles. Jono describes himself as a second generation African Bushveld craftsman. His father, a businessman, though an avid hunter, is not a PH.
In Jono’s early years his uncle Neville, a PH based in Namibia, was his mentor. Family hunting trips, conducted across Southern Africa, gave him in-depth knowledge of the conditions and the terrain.
Jono hunts all across Southern Africa - South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Amazing and interesting areas in South Africa will satisfy all hunters from the novice to the most experienced.
In Zimbabwe, hunting areas Gonarezhou and Matetsi are among the best of the free-range fair chase areas. In Namibia, a family ranch of 12,000 hectares is run by Jono’s uncle. Hunts are offered on their ranch situated three hours from Windhoek near Otjiwarongo. The low fence ranch forms part of a 100,000-hectare conservancy that is free-range fair chase hunting for plains game and leopard.
As a double rifle fanatic and fully licensed PH, Jono’s special interest is in big game, dangerous game hunting. He is a partner in JWK Safaris, which has guided more than 500 big game hunts for various species, including nearly 250 buffalo, 150 elephant, 30 leopard, 60 hippo and 30 lion.
Excitement is always high with plains game hunts. Jono contends that record qualifies JWK Safaris team as big game specialists, an opinion shared by their clients. Jono comments on JWK’s operation: “Though there are many outfitters, I consider myself and our outfit amongst the upper echelon of what is offered in Southern African hunting. I am a young, enthusiastic, honest, well-educated PH possessing the ability to satisfy clients by meeting their expectations. Traits that make a safari successful.”
When afield, Jono reveals his choice of firearms: “I am a competition award-winning double rifle fanatic. I carry a .500 Nitro Express Heym rifle because for me, there is no better double rifle on the market. I also own a Blaser .470 Nitro Express double that I use often. This rifle has been my go-to for some time and is exceptionally accurate.
On plains game hunts, I use a .300 WM or .375 H&H. From a caliber perspective, I really like the big bore rifles shooting heavy bullets that allow you to finish definitively, ending any dangerous situation you encounter. I have an affinity for double rifles and really enjoy shooting them. It’s a personal choice.
My advice to clients is when selecting your big game hunting rifle, is it is not a choice to make lightly. Make sure you can hit the mark with whatever rifle you choose and you will be fine. Shot placement is the number one rule above everything else. Practice shooting as much as possible and be confident with your rifle no matter which caliber it is.
“I shoot 200-plus double rifle shots a month at the shooting range on our own ranch in South Africa and I load my own ammunition,” he explained. His tracking dog, Gypsy, has been with Jono for nine years and hunts with him when he guides.
Having guided all of his adult life, beginning with plains game on the family farm and progressing to a PH in his late 20s and early 30s, Jono has had many varied adventures. Recounting the thrills and spine-tingling excitement of every hunt, Jono commented,
“To pin one experience as the most memorable would be difficult,” he said. “Charges by dangerous game are unwanted, but exciting. Suffice to say I am grateful for every hunt and thankful to every client who has hunted with me and us at JWK Safaris.”
A member and committee member of PHASA (Professional Hunting Association of South Africa), Jono is involved in many special projects ranging from fighting the battle against poaching and educating anti-hunters to providing homes for underprivileged families. PHASA is a strong community that gives generously. JWK works with SCI and thanks SCI for the continued valued support.
JWK Safaris donates meat from hunts to local communities and employs staff from them. Dollars from clients’ hunts have built schools, drilled boreholes and provided medical care. Jono invites anyone who would like to get involved in charity or anti-poaching programs to contact him.
JWK Safaris is a main event exhibitor at SCI Conventions and the team are SCI individual members. Cape buffalo hunts have been donated to SCI for sale at auctions and for fundraising. “Our relationship with SCI is constantly evolving and developing. We are grateful to be a part of the big show and be able to showcase and offer our hunts to SCI members,” Jono remarked.