Would you spend your money in Zimbabwe?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Skyline, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    In the last year I have seen a lot of chatter on the internet regarding Zimbabwe and whether or not hunters should or should not spend their money on safaris in Zimbabwe. Some seem to think that spending money to hunt in Zimbabwe is helping to support the Mugabe government and thus morally unacceptable. Others say that they are still hunting there and spending their money to help support continued wildlife conservation and the PH's and companies who continue to operate through difficult times. Not to mention the many Zimbabwe residents who work for the safari companies.

    I'd be interested in hearing the views of the people on this forum.
     
  2. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Tough Question...

    It is a tough one really and I speak as a PH/Outfitter from a neighbouring country (Tanzania). Not knowing the exact conditions in Zimbabwe, i am not in a position to have a very valid opinion, but from my Tanzanian experience it is crucial to have outfitters and professional hunters operational in hunting areas for the survival of wildlife and protection of habitats.

    To put it very bluntly, without sustainable hunting policies and practise in Africa, there would be very litltle wildlife left outside of National Parks and Reserves. It would be the gradual end of sustainable hunting as we know it. The flip-side is that some of the money does go to government, and whether it is used for good causes and re-injected into wildlife, is a whole different question, which brings us back to your initial question...

    Personally, if i am certain of money being spent wisely by the outfitter and serving his/her positive cause and the wildlife and habitat for which i am meant to be directly benefitting - then yes, I would put in the money. But if there was a suspicion that i am paying to get the last slices of hunting on my platter and contributing to the final days of what was once a worthy wilderness - then i would rather support a sustainable regime elsewhere. I guess it boils down to knowing the outfit and person that you will hunt with.

    Whatever the case, it is tough times in Zim and i know a couple of people who have had to flee the country, as well as a couple who are still there. It is tough for both options and help is needed one way or the other.
     
  3. Hunter

    Hunter New Member

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    Kelly,

    This is a varied and widely contested issue. Zimbabwe is in all respects the most beautiful country in Africa to hunt. Obviously this is my personal opinion so some may disagree. I have hunted heavily in Zimbabwe since 1993 and have been pleased every time i have. Now there are a few caveats to that statement though. During the really rough years 98-01 I didnt not travel to Zim not out of fear but opportunities to hunt elsewhere (CAR, Cameroon and Togo) so there may be an exception that someone else might elaborate on.

    I am right now planning a PAC (Problem Animal Control) Elephant hunt in the next 6 weeks so my opinion may change in the next few months. Its no secret that Mugabe has done a massive amount of damage to this once magical country during his tenure but much of this is only highly evident in the large cities and tourist areas like Harare, Vic Falls and Bulawayo and the gas stations and rest stops along route of travel. I have spend substantial sums of money in the country but have also harvested the best and by far the most memorable trophies of my entire African hunting career. I don't hold myself responsible for what happens to the monies I spend in Zimbabwe just like I don't concern myself with where my South African, China, Russia, Argentina or any other hunting money goes.

    Regardless of your end position on the subject there are many things to look out for. Fraud is very common as it is everywhere in the world so a little research and patience will go a long way here. Zim has a professional hunting association that you should use when looking for an outfitter. Keep in mind that many outfitters from other countries have obtained dual hunting certificates so a South African Outfitter may have a concession to hunt there also.

    I could go on for days on this subject but I will spare you the boring details. Zim is ok in my book. Obviously I wish it was like the 1980's and early 90's but it isn't. The country as a whole has suffered but the hunting is still goo in many locations and Zim will offer you heavily discounted hunting in a country that offers some of the most scenic areas in all of Africa.
     
  4. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I would say that your supporting the Safari company your hunting with most of all...Sure the government gets some of it but giving your money to one African government is about like giving it to another, Zimbabwe just gets more press....

    Zimbabwe is still my second choice for hunting, Tanzania being my first, but keep in mind because of this idol chatter Zimbabwe has the best deals going and can save you a ton of money..Just my opine, but I base that on booking hunts in Africa for the last 40 plus years. I book in all countries so I have no dog in this fight, just an opine.
     
  5. judgeg

    judgeg New Member

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    I go often. The folks that I hunt with still love their country and hope to still be there post Uncle Bob. Without them, I wouldn't doubt that Zimbabwe would be lost to hunting forever. JMHO.
     
  6. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Good to see you here JudgeG.

    My only hunt to date was in Tanzania with a Zimbabwe PH. Like many others in Zim they lost their farm to the government. Hunting is how he makes his living to support his family and to stay in Zim.

    My next hunt will be in Zimbabwe. One of the reason I am going there is to support the hunting industry. It is the only thing that stands between healthy game populations and total anarchy in the hunting areas.
     
  7. Gloucester

    Gloucester AH Member

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    I support hunting in Zimbabwe. The PHs are a brave bunch who battle on through the most unimaginable difficulties. Hunting brings a lot of benefit to the immediate communities and good hunting management prevents what would otherwise be a total wipe-out of game in the country. Some of the rewards of hunting will filter back to the Government and that is inevitable. However, when compared to the benefits to the local communities and the benefit of sustaining game numbers for the future, this is a small price.

    Zimbabwe is also extremely good value for money in comparison with other hunting destinations. I was there a few weeks ago and took Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Sable. The PH was excellent and the hunting staff as good as you will find anywhere. Some hunters shy away from Zimbabwe because of a perception that there are security issues but I had no problems whatsoever.

    I am of the opinion that the current low prices are likely to continue throughout 2009 and 2010 although will probably start to rise once Mugabe and his cronies move on and the country is allowed to return to the international fold.
     
  8. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Well I started this topic as it is something that has been discussed at length elsewhere. I was curious to see what would be said here by an intelligent and civil crowd. Pretty much what I hoped I would see.

    I also believe that the support given by foreign hunters to the operators and subsequently, conservation initiatives for the wildlife of Zimbabwe, is far more important than the concerns regarding financial support for the Mugabe government.

    There are times where one needs to look past the current mess and hope that we are supporting a better future.
     
  9. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Well our state dept. lifted the ban on Zimbabwe, so our Govt. will probably give them a bail out...Stimulus or whatever they want to call it.

    As to safety? It is now safe and probably always has been although I quit booking there for a couple of years when the turmoil was at its peak, but I am back and running now. I won't book a country that I believe to be unsafe at least within reason..Any 3rd world country can go tipsy turvey in a heartbeat...

    I see Zimbabwe as the golden goose right now, just check out the good deals going on there, it is the deal meca of Africa right now, it's time to jump if you want to save some bucks..I mean super inexpensive hunts, I have buffalo all inclusive for $5950. including trophy fee and everything else, How can that be beat, I have not seen this in the last 25 years..Our economy has leaked down..

    Zimbabwe? Yes, go for it!
     
  10. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    According to the State Dept. web site, citizens of the United States should be aware that doing business with individuals or entities in Zimbabwe, targeted by the US State Dept risk huge fines and prison time here in the U.S.A. (Executive order 13288 March 7, 2003) You can Check the "banned" list at the Dept. of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control web site. As always, be sure to ask your PH if he is licensed and permitted to do business in the country you are planning to hunt. It would be tragic to return from a successful safari, and find you are facing time in prison.
     
  11. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thomas, Thank you for this great addition. :thumb:

    If anyone is interested to read or learn more about what Thomas is talking about please click here to go to an article that I wrote on this topic.
     
  12. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    "Well our state dept. lifted the ban on Zimbabwe, so our Govt. will probably give them a bail out...Stimulus or whatever they want to call it."

    According to CNN and FOX, it already has happened. There was a line running across the bottom of my TV screen the other night stating that the U.S. government has authorized $73 million in aid for Zimbabwe. I've heard nothing more about it.

    Bill Quimby
     

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