Namibia: Influx of International Hunters Expected
More international hunters are expected in the country this year as a result of good rains that have had positive effects on wildlife.
According to the Namibia Professional Hunters Association (NAPHA), about 7000 international hunters are expected during the 2008 hunting season.
The season for trophy hunting is between February and November.
Over the last 10 years, Namibia has seen an increased number of international hunters coming in, most of them from Germany and the US.
Recent statistics from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism indicate that German hunters visiting Namibia over a 10-year period have increased from 1490 to 1905, whereas hunters from the United States have increased from 155 to 1516.
During the same period, Spanish hunters increased from 20 to 265. Other international markets that have become significant in the last decade include Austria and France.
NAPHA is currently investigating the possibility of attending more shows to increase Namibia's share in the international hunting market.
Hunting contributes around N$500 million per year from primary and secondary sectors to the Namibian economy. It employs 12000 people in both sectors.
The most popular species in order of preference include oryx, kudu, springbok, hartebeest and warthog.
NAPHA said international hunting conventions have proved to be an effective marketing tool for hunting outfitters from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to meet and interact with thousands of potential trophy hunting clients.
This year, more than 30 Namibian hunting outfits exhibited at the three international hunting conventions, namely Safari Club International's 2008 Hunters Convention in Reno, Nevada, Dallas Safari Club in the U.S. and the annual German hunting convention, Jagd und Hunt in Westfalenhallen Dortmund.
NAPHA said in a statement this week that after three international hunting conventions, Namibia is a desired and successful hunting destination because of various factors that include diversity of huntable species, safety, political security, well developed infrastructure as well as the friendliness and genuine warm hospitality of the Namibian people.
Namibia's dramatic scenery also attracts them to visit the country again.
Jofie Lamprecht,a NAPHA executive member said the association's representation at various international shows as well as good marketing by its members has made Namibia one of the top hunting destinations in Africa.
In the 37 years since the annual hunting conventions in the US started, meetings of international hunters have become an essential part of the international safari business, he said.
The largest trophy hunting organisation, Safari Club International (SCI) has more than 55000 members and 188 chapters representing all 50 US states.
SCI is also represented internationally with 31 chapters from 19 different countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South and North America.
Safari Club International is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.
Lamprecht said the SCI 2008 Hunters Convention is the most successful as it features 1100 booths, with over 22000 SCI members in attendance. Namibia is consistently one of the most represented countries at the SCI convention.
This year, 36 outfitters exhibited at the 2008 convention.
The Dallas Safari Club (DSC), which has almost 4000 active members, promotes their mission to conserve wildlife and wilderness lands, educate youth and the general public and to promote and protect the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. Namibia is represented by 33 trophy hunting operators.
At present, the DSC reports that 900 booths for the 2009 convention have already sold out and 300 are on the waiting list.
Jagd und Hunt in Westfalenhallen Dortmund, attracted 38 Namibian trophy-hunting outfitters.