Published May 24, 2012, 12:04 AM

Dickinson resident Beld talks about 10-day hunting safari in Africa

The 26-hour plane ride and seven-hour drive to the Eden Trophy Hunting camp was worth every second.

By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press

The 26-hour plane ride and seven-hour drive to the Eden Trophy Hunting camp was worth every second.

Dickinson resident Amber Beld, along with seven other women from around the United States, traveled to Namibia, Africa, on April 29 to May 12.

“It was amazing,” Beld said. “It was beyond amazing.”

Though hunting was the main part of the trip, Beld was also able to help out people in need. During their 10-day trip, Beld and company visited two villages to donate items.

“We went to two local villages and donated clothing,” Beld said. “I have two girls, so I brought a bunch of their clothes and gave it to girls out there, because winter’s approaching out there and it gets cold for them.”

Beld said it was hard to leave the villages.

“Once we left those villages, we all cried,” she said. “It was emotional and to be able to give something to someone, it was very heartwarming for us to help a bunch of people.”

The other seven women on the hunting trip came from Maine, Florida, Oregon, Connecticut and Wyoming. One lady Beld was not expecting — an old hurdling opponent, Tamar Bartz from South Heart. Bartz currently lives in Bismarck.

“We weren’t that close necessarily in high school,” Bartz said. “We saw each other at every track meet and we knew each other that way. Then we have a super awesome connection in Africa. I think we will be friends for life.”

Bartz said giving back to villages was an experience she will never forget.

“It was an emotional experience to see first-hand the type of conditions people live in every day,” Bartz said. “It made me realize what we take for granted here. It was so nice to see them smile from giving them little things that kids in the United States take for granted like Ring Pops or gloves to wear.”

While on the hunt, Beld shot three animals including a kudu, gemsbok and a warthog. The people at the camp said it was one of the largest warthogs shot in many years.

“They actually said it was the biggest one shot in the last five years,” Beld said. “He’s very large.”

The man responsible for putting the group together was Wayne Van Zwoll. He’s been forming hunting teams to come to Africa for the last seven years. How did Van Zwoll get Beld’s name?

The answer is Cathy Logosz.

Logosz went on the hunting safari four years ago and she also shot a kudu and gemsbok. Beld commented on the number of animal seen every day.

“It’s surreal,” Beld said. “You are in Africa and there are so many species of animals that you can see within a day. To see that many different animals in one area is amazing.”

Beld plans on going again, but this time to take her two daughters along.

“I plan to eventually go back and take my girls, so they can experience it,” she said. “They live so simple out there and they are so happy. They don’t have playgrounds and they only have a soccer ball. Their playground is their soccer field and it’s not even a field, it’s all dirt with two nets up.”

Now that the trip is over, Beld said her and the other seven women have kept in touch and are planning a hunting trip a couple years.

“Now that we are all back in the states and our hunt and trip is over with, all of us have already contacted each other and we’re making future trips together,” Beld said. “We’re trying to plan something out in Maine in two years.”