Keep the faith Eric, good luck! I'm pulling for you :thumb:
Keep the faith Eric, good luck! I'm pulling for you :thumb:
An update via e-mail. Permits have Zim Parks and Cites. Just waiting for Vet Dept. and Commercial Bank to comment. Much closer now...
Dear Mr Eric
We would like to advise you that your export permit has been approved.
Please find attached a copy of the Zimbabwe Cites Export Permit as well as the packing list of your trophies. (Attachment store in Adobe 3 PDF attachment.) Please check to see that all is in order.
We will contact you once your documentation has been approved by our Veterinary Department and Commercial Bank.
A friend passed this to me and I was facinated enough to read the whole saga. Way to stick to your guns (nice pun) and thanks for posting your tale for the rest of us to learn from. I have hunted Zim once and enjoyed it very much. I heard my PH may not be working the hunt anymore so I may be in need of a reputable recommendation when I return which I hope will be next year. Soon your trophies will be on the wall and your next hunt on the calendar!
Out of the blue I received an e-mail from a freight company in South Africa requesting payment. They said my stuff was in their care and wanted to move it on to the U.S. as quickly as possible. This was about 45-days ago.
Last week I checked in because everything had gone silent again. Ends up my crate was stuck in Atlanta on some technicality related to the packaging. In probing further I learned that it had been stuck for several weeks. Luckily my U.S. agent, Coppersmith, was on it and got a local representative to go down to where it was being held and iron out the details. The agency holding things up was actually in error.
Just received word that the shipment is due to arrive into the port of Los Angeles this afternoon. And will be forwarded on to my taxidermist in Arizona just as quickly as they can process paperwork. The folks at Coppersmith have been really great to work with and I greatly appreciate their follow up and persistence. Will continue to update with developments.
Eric, That's great news that you are finally going to be getting your trophies! Persistence does pay off...
Dang. I was getting on here to talk with Lori Ginn about airfare to South Africa for next year and saw Jerome's post and noticed the thread name and was immediately intrigued. I'm sitting in the airport in Charleston, West Virginia and had some time and an internet connection and decided to read from the beginning. Wow, what a story. Yours is the real fear that I have about hunting in Zim. I have many friends that have unbelievable stories that I wish I could also have. But the fear of exactly what you are dealing with has kept me from taking Zimbawe seriously. A friend who I enjoy seeing each year in Dallas and Reno, Terry Wagner, who also posts on here, keeps assuring me that Zimbabwe is safe as long as you book with someone reputable. I trust him without hesitation. However, the political turmoil there leaves all of us who would otherwise hunt there in a potentially losing situation with recourse not much better than what you experienced.
It is great to see the organizations and government entities get involved on behalf of "the little guy" and as all who've posted, we are happy to see this coming to resolution. I have to admit that I have always tried to look upon SCI as THE world's hunter advocacy organization. You have given color to that statement in your benefits of membership. i am happy to see that they truly are what I believe them to be. It is also to see what it really a very small community come together from SCI, Zim, South Africa all working in concert to help you with getting your safari home.
Talk about keeping the faith. Great job to you for not giving up. Great job by Jerome in also helping but also in supporting you and encouraging your efforts.
Thanks for the effort to share. I'm sure the writing has provided you some sort of relief of the frustration you must have felt throughout this ordeal. You may never get the real justice you deserve. Tshipa and Arnold Payne may never get what they deserve for what they did to ruin your memories of your hunt. I doubt that there will ever be any recourse for you, other than hoping that they get their due. However, the bad press for Impala Safaris and Arnold Payne may ultimately catch up with them. I hope that your story will serve as a warning to US hunters to be smart about the contracts that they sign with booking agents to all destinations and that they learn a good lesson on their responsibility for representing someone who doesn't run a reputable business. I know many of the larger ones and can't say I've been afraid to do business with them. I am afraid of only returning with pictures.
I go to the shows in Houston, Dallas and Reno annually. I wonder if any of us will see Arnold Payne or Impala Safaris again?
Good wishes to you, Eric. I hope your trophies arrive safely and that you are able to have a great day when your taxidermist and you open the crates. Keep the updates coming.
Brad, So nicely put! Thanks for this post.
I knew this was taking too long and that there must be another problem. All the original paperwork was lost in transit from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Coppersmith was able to get copies of enough documentation to satisify the release of most everything except the baboon. I was told that the original Cities docs are required. So it has been recommended that I abandon the baboon. No biggie really but crap, how much more frustrating can this be? Hoping to get final release and shipping later this week, minus the baboon.
More than anything, I admire your determination and professionalism! I am not sure I could have stuck it out this long but it seems like the effort (which should have never been necessary) will pay off for you minus a baboon. There are thieves in every country and unfortunately we have them here in the US with some outfitters. Thankfully the Zim government, SCI, multiple organizations and people, were all there to help and guide you.
I've got some news. Arnold Payne from Impala African Safaris and I met in court yesterday. I have been pursuing a lawsuit for breach of contract against Impala African Safaris. The Judge ruled in my favor and awarded a cash judgment.
The spirit of the lawsuit focused on the fact that our contract specifically detailed that a fully licensed Professional Hunter would be available during my dangerous game hunt. And I paid a significant premium on the daily rate in order to hunt dangerous game. With no fully licensed PH in camp I could not legally hunt dangerous game. So the Judge ruled that the premium paid to hunt dangerous game should be refunded.
The investigator from Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife was extremely helpful. They even provided a letter detailing that they found Col. Watson Tshipa in error for being absent during my hunt and suspended his license until he satisfactory completed the paperwork necessary to legally export my plains game trophies. The letter also detailed that Mhlaseli Tshipa Ncube was working under a learners permit and could legally lead the plains game portion of the hunt. In an ironic twist, Arnold Payne from Impala African Safaris secured this letter and introduced it as evidence during the trial.
So I have gotten some justice and hope to receive payment for the cash judgment soon. Although it will never fully right the wrong I do feel some vindication in bringing the shady business practices of both Col. Watson Tshipa and Arnold Payne to light. As far as I know, Col. Watson Tshipa is still doing business in Zimbabwe as Pasat Safaris (aka Zimbabwe Safari Company) and Arnold Payne is still doing business in the U.S. as Impala African Safaris.
To all of you who have emailed or called with similar complaints against Impala African Safaris I can only send you my regrets. I know that he can be very difficult to deal with and I can only wish you the best in dealing with him from afar. His website lists that he will be at the Dallas Safari Club, Houston Safari Club and Safari Club International. Be sure to stop by his booth and say hello.
Congratulations on your win.
I hope you see the money and don't have to spend a fortune in collections.
Wow, congratulations Eric, outstanding job.
Well done and congratulations.
Was it a US court or a Zim court?
Good for you Eric and congratulations! Thanks also for keeping us updated throughout this process, many lessons to learn here...
Nice to hear that Justice works (at least sometimes).
1) I pursued Impala African Safaris in the US court system. Impala is incorporated in the same state that I live in. And we are also located in the same County. So I was able to pursue the case without the aid of an attorney through something called the Justice Court system. It is kind of like small claims court but represents larger dollars. The primary goal of the Justice Court system is to get parties to settle through mediation. But Arnold Payne refused to discuss settling during the mediation proceedings so our case went to trial.
2) I pursed Col. Watson Tshipa and Pasat Safaris directly with Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife officials through connections made with Safari Club International. Everyone that I dealt with at Zim Parks was very understanding, extremely professional and they moved FAST to create an acceptable solution to the problem. I have a lot of respect for their organization and have been nothing but impressed by their rapid pace and ability to get the job done.
A growing number of individuals have contacted me about problems that they have encountered while working with Arnold Payne at Impala African Safaris. Several have mentioned that they are pursuing him through the Safari Club International Ethics Complaint process. The calls have even included an extremely well known figure in the hunting industry. Nobody seems to be safe from this guy.
Anyways, Eric I am happy you finally got things squared away and sincerely hope you have a much better experience on your next trip should you decide to return to Africa.
I don't doubt that you had problems, a good outfitter can't make everyone happy. You make a lot of accusations and though not a lawyer it could almost be libel if not careful. I know from experience with American outfitters that I have been let down. But my experience with Arnold has been 180 degrees different. He has done things for me that he didn't need to do, including flexibility, offering to stay at family house in Zim and even bringing me back a pair of Courtney boots from Zim. So in a public forum to say that he is so bad is something I have not experienced. I am doing a plains game hunt with him and he has been very accommodating. I can point you to many in SCI that have personally hunted with his outfit and love it. THis is how I came across him and his reputation are top notch. I am in Texas so I don't know lots of people around the US in SCI but the ones here I know in Texas like Arnold a lot. One guy in the chapter I belong to in going on his 3rd or 4th trip with Arnold and the president of Austin chapter has I believe done two with Arnold.
I would be curious to see all of these supposed unhappy people including the well known hunting industry person. Again, I am not discounting your situation, problem encountered and I am glad you were taken care of the way you think. But as I said, Arnold has been nothing but top notch and I can provide many happy people that I have spoken with.
Eagerly awaiting my first Zimbabwe Hunt!