Rudy Lubin Safaris - some good news from CAR where I have been operating for almost 40 years
In view of all of the rumours that flew around during the 2011 C.A.R. safari season, I thought hunters might appreciate some additional – and good – news from the country where I have been operating for almost 40 years.
Despite many safari companies having to face the challenges of dealing with local thieves and political opponents of the government from other “tribes” that were out of reach of the Central African government, most operators were able to conduct their 2011 safari season with no threats to their clients. These challenges are being faced by the hunting industry in many parts of Africa, including Tanzania as witnessed by the tragic death in February 2011 of PH Andre de Kock of Robin Hurt Safaris.
There was a serious conflict going on between so-called rebels (CPJP) and the C.A.R government. Last month, both parties came to an agreement to cease hostilities and the rebels accepted to surrender their weapons. In addition, a group of roving thieves that had raided several safari camps in north-central C.A.R. was sought out by the C.A.R. authorities and killed or dispersed.
As you have probably heard, in November 2010, my long-term partner in the C.A.R., Daniel Koudoumé, passed away suddenly at 49 of a heart attack. Unable to take on, alone, the opening of the hunting area, rebuilding camps, as well as the administrative responsibilities and Daniel’s extended African family, I decided to bring my 2011 hunters to the neighboring hunting area, Chasse Vision Safaris (CVS), owned and operated by Raymond Fécomme for more than 20 years, and his son Thierry.
This concession offers a wide variety of landscapes and habitats, from hills and “mountains” and flatter highland plateaux that offer Lord Derby eland, western roan antelope, Lelwel’s hartebeest, etc. The number of Central African savanna buffalo is impressive and one encounters them several times a day. Permanent and semi-permanent wetlands and numerous salines are spread throughout the territory and often serve as a starting point for picking up fresh tracks for fair-chase hunting on foot.
The savanna is criss-crossed by numerous streams and riverine forests that offer forest species such as bongo, giant forest hog, red river hog, yellow-backed duiker, and blue duiker. Here, when not tracking, hunting is done from six machans, or high seats, overlooking active salines frequented by bongo and giant forest hog.
In 2011, my hunters from the United States, France, Hungary and South Africa all came to C.A.R. in search of Lord Derby eland, and all four went home with excellent trophies. Three sets of horns measured over 50 inches; Clinton Raspberry of Louisiana took a superb 52” eland on the first day of his safari. And all were surprised at the density of the area’s eland, buffalo, and hartebeest.
Clinton Rasberry from Louisiana with his 52 inch 2011 Lord Derby eland, with PH Rudy Lubin.
Patrick Bailly from France with his 51.5 inch Lord Derby eland.
Petrus Van Derberg and a well deserved 51 inch Lord Derby eland.
Pavel Rosendorf and his very old 2011 Lord Derby eland.
Although none of my hunters sought lion (which are present from all three camps), we have a quota of one lion for 2012. Prices in C.A.R. are still reasonable compared to many other African destinations. Leopards are present in good numbers; although C.A.R. is a member of CITES, unfortunately, American hunters cannot import leopard from C.A.R.
CVS offers two very comfortable, capably staffed permanent camps – perfect at the end of a long day of hunting. The main camp, located 30 minutes from the landing strip, even has a dipping pool. The bush camp, built of local materials, is a perfect fly-camp.
Despite the difficulties in some areas of the C.A.R. in 2011, I continue to offer 4 to 6 sophisticated international hunters the chance to hunt an excellent concession within the context of a family-sized operation – devoted to high standards and low hunting pressure.
I am glad to say that I will be continuing my collaboration with the Fecomme and their well-qualified staff in C.A.R. for 2012 and beyond.
PH Rudy Lubin