Welcome to Hartland Hunting Safaris!
Barend Dorfling is a family man, outdoor enthusiast, adventurer, explorer, fisherman, conservationist, and distinguished professional hunter. He founded Hartland Hunting Safaris to empower the hunters and huntresses of this world to engage in the enchanting wilderness of Africa. Born in 1987, he grew up in Northern Namibia. His love for wildlife and nature started at a young age – 7 years old – when he first went hunting for birds with an air rifle. By the age of 9, with his brother by his side, he shot his first Kudu cow to harvest for food for his family using a .22 caliber rifle passed down by his Grandfather. Born into a family of hunters, he was introduced to the world of hunting by his Father who taught him the virtues and responsibilities of a strong ethical hunter. In his childhood, when he wasn’t playing “cowboys and bandits” with his brother he dreamed of working closely with animals never imagining that one day his two passions would collide – protecting the wildlife and the adventure of hunting.
In 2006, he began his professional career as an apprentice upholding the tradition of high standards and moral codes entrusted to him as a child. This new beginning was just the start of his dream to explore the wild and hunt the most difficult species, not only in Africa, but all over the world. For over a decade, Barend has spent countless hours traveling hundreds of thousands of miles across the country, corner to corner, by vehicle and on foot with well over a hundred clients. As a freelance professional hunter, he has connected with and experienced numerous outfitters, lodges, and hunting areas incorporating a lifetime of knowledge into Hartland Hunting Safaris. Few professional hunters of this generation know Namibia the way he does, and it would take them years to catch up. His travels continue to greatly deepen his respect and pride for this untouched utopia of prevalent beauty, a place seen only in dreams, that he feels privileged to call home.
Hunting is in our blood. We are proud to hunt. We honor the art of this ancient tradition known to humankind in a way that profoundly respects nature and embraces our native roots to live gloriously in harmony with our surroundings. We hunt to build up our character, embrace our vulnerability, bond our friendships, and connect with the strength and wisdom of the warrior that resides deep at the core of every true hunter and huntress. Our goal is to set an example, as leaders who hunt with good intentions restoring the perception of hunting, and what it means to be a modern day huntsman following in the footsteps of the timeless legendaries that came before us.
We know you are passionate in the sacrifices required to go the great distance in achieving your goals. Your time and investment are very precious. We take pride in making yours and your family’s dreams come true. Our business is in creating memories of a lifetime that will live on as stories handed down for centuries to come. They will remain embedded in the history of this land, and will one day bond your present generations to the past. Our mission aims to strike your heart, marveling at the thrilling experience in the wilds of Africa’s trophy hunting. A feat that not only changes the way we hunt, but changes the way we live reminding us of what is significant in life. Go ahead, you have earned this. Answer nature’s wild calling, embark on the life changing adventure, live your dream, fulfill your destiny, and together we will build the legacy of the Hartland Hunting Tribe.
There is a grave misconception that those who hunt are motivated by killing. The hunter and huntress are the largest advocates for life. We recognize the fate of our own species rests in restoring balance to the natural ecology that sustains the animals we pursue, and protecting their populations through wildlife management of conscious trophy hunting. The best approach to conservation is in the collective responsibility of human beings, outside and inside the industry, to realize the common ground in our innate love and instinctual desire to defend the great wealth of our inheritance – the wilderness of Earth. Now is the time to rise above our differences uniting through education ensuring lands remain untamed and their wild inhabitants flourish. If countries, communities, and individuals around the world keep an open mind we can work together to write a new history planting fruitful seeds of conservation for the future to come.
Hartland Hunting Safaris Presents
An Interview with the owner Barend Dorfling
Q: What does ethical hunting mean to you?
A: Respect the animals. Nature demands respect. If you don’t have this reverence then you don’t belong there. Honor the moral codes, don’t cheat your way forward, and you will succeed. If you want to be a part of nature then work for it. Hunt the animal on its turf, learn the habitat, face the elements, pursue the animal with relentless desire, and obey the laws of nature. If you can do that, and still take out the oldest most feral animal then you are an ethical hunter in my eyes.
Q: In what ways does being a hunter make you a conservationist?
A: The truth is we are protectors of wildlife, caretakers of the ecosystems, giving them prestigious value to safeguard their well- being. International trophy hunting and ethical practices play an integral role. If you give anything in life value you will go out of your way to protect it as best as you can. The same goes for any crop grown around the world. If it is of value, you will protect it because it provides for you, your family, and the community.
Q: As a professional hunter in Africa, what insight can you share on the narrative of conservation?
A: Selective Trophy Hunting is a successful tool in conservation efforts that provides protection for animals, job opportunities and food for families. By employing local people for anti-poaching units, we encourage them to help preserve the value of the animal and teach them tactics that decrease the statics of poaching every season. When we work together, every living thing profits.
The misunderstanding between us comes when rules and regulations are influenced by emotions. Decisions are clouded when our judgments are based on our own emotions and the emotions of the people closest to us. If you surround yourself with like minded people, you are guaranteed that everyone will back your decision even if its weak, right or wrong. So, it is important each individual educate themselves, visit the land, and understand the reasons why we hunt.
Q: What is your perspective on hunting for record breaking trophies?
A: I don’t go out of my way to look for them. I believe having a good time is more important. In general, those chasing the records do it understanding the phrase “that’s hunting” meaning you are not guaranteed, there is a good chance to take nice trophies but with record trophies it is not easy. Breaking records comes on its own. Some people get too caught up trying to find the record book trophies they forget to have fun and enjoy the moment. That takes the pleasure out of the hunting process because if we can’t take time to appreciate where we are, in the company of who we are with, to delight in watching the sunset for instance, then no one is going to enjoy it. By all means, I understand the joy of record breaking trophy hunting, but my goal is to go out there with the mindset of having the best time of your life no matter what.
Q: In the spirit of guiding beyond the hunt, what do you aspire to share with your clients?
A: I stick to my own ethics, and follow them to the best of my ability. They make me who I am. I take the great lessons from other professional hunters and outfitters; then, strive to make improvements where I can. My goal is to make people feel like they belong, and make them happy. I want each person to feel there is no better place than to be right here, right now in this moment, whether we are tracking in the bush or enjoying the beauty of the horizon.
Q: Your job brings you people from all walks of life, what do you treasure most about this opportunity?
A: The education in getting to know them. I love when clients ask me questions – any questions – because it means they are interested in everything: the animals, the hunting area, the culture, and the country. The more questions we ask the more we learn about each other and the world around us.
Q: Your Father greatly influenced your hunting, what words of wisdom do you recall him sharing?
A: Safety first, always. A parents biggest fear is when their kin goes out hunting and handling a rifle without them present. When my brother and I would head out our conversations with our Father would go something like this: “Where is your rifle pointed at?” “In the air, Dad.” “Is your rifle loaded when you walk?” “No, Dad.” “Fingers off the trigger?” “Yes, Dad.” “You only point the barrel at the animal you intend to shoot?” “Yes, Dad.”
Q: How does hunting and living a life closely tied to the wilderness touch your soul?
A: Being in the wild brings you peace and makes you humble. There are raw untouched wilderness areas that have a majestic magic about them that make you feel you are a part of the web of nature. This type of wild hunting requires time and a commitment to be successful, it is a fulfilling challenge that I grab with both hands.
Q: What do you want the hunting community to know? Do you have any advice for hunters?
A: Be humble, kind, and respectful of the people around you and the animals you encounter. Treat each person, hunter and non-hunter, the way you want to be treated in life. Never judge a book by its cover. Learn as much as you can from people of all cultures. Work hard, play harder. Never miss an opportunity to do something great.
Hunting and shooting are two different aspects of the experience. Shooting happens within a second, it’s just a moment that is part of the hunt. Hunting is not a thing we do, but a place we go for adventure, camaraderie, moments of gratitude, to face our fears, hone our instincts, and push ourselves beyond our perceived limits.
Q: What is the legacy of Hartland Hunting Safari’s?
A: To bring good into the world by connecting humanity with the grandeur of the authentic safari life in the wilderness. My dream is to bridge the gap between the classical hunting of the golden era, a time when Africa was a limitless wilderness with freedom to roam, and this modern day. I want to leave an inspiring legacy that contributes to the culture of hunting and influences it forever. Something that I look back on with humbling pride and say, “That was us. We did it. We made it a success and we are still going strong.” One day, I will bring up my children in the wild. I will teach them everything I know about the wilderness opening doors for them that I never had with opportunities to make a great life for themselves and better the world around them.
Q: When choosing a Lodge and hunting area for clients, what are some factors you take into consideration?
A: I am personally familiar with the places to stay, and the quality of wildlife and management on the places we hunt. We choose the best depending on each clients needs and wants. Do they need wifi or want to disconnect from technology completely? Do they want to have our meals in Nature or prefer a midday siesta at the Lodge? Also any health concerns, and anticipated level of strenuous activity. Getting their preferences guides us in creating a custom Safari experience.
Q: Is there anything you want to share with your future clients?
A: The most important, whether you are just beginning or a seasoned hunter, is that you come to Africa for your safari with an open mind and the mindset of enjoying yourself no matter what. You have worked hard for you and your family to be here. Keep your expectations low to accommodate the endurance required, the good and bad shots taken on the hunt. Know that at the end of the day we will be sitting around a fire with a drink in hand enjoying the company we keep. Lots of beautiful memories are made around a camp fire after a long day of hunting in Africa! At the end of the safari you will be glad you didn’t chase the world records. But, instead enjoyed your experience so much you come back for more.
Q: If you could take one person to hunt with you who would it be?
A: My brother. He is my best friend. We know what we are capable of when we go out there and have the best time doing it.
Mr. Dorfling is a charming, jovial spirit, and the definition of a true gentleman. His old style takes you back into the past – like the African Safaris of the Roosevelt and Percival days – to what hunting truly is and was always meant be. The experience with him reminds me of when we hunted Kenya in tent safari’s of the 1970’s. We would track for miles on foot enjoying long days in the outdoors for weeks at a time. It’s the only way I like to hunt, and I don’t know too many in Africa that does this anymore. This type of hunting is a dying breed that most hunters want and is exactly what the younger generation needs. I have had over a hundred guides and PH’s in my life, few match his passion and knowledge. He literally loves what he does, and infuses his business with an unparalleled excitement. He is a privilege to hunt with, and brings my family and friends invaluable memories that we carry with us long after the hunt.
Gary R. Ingersoll
Award Winner Recipient of The Conklin, Safari Club International, and The Weatherby Author of Born to Hunt