ZIMBABWE: Arnold Payne and Impala African Safaris NIGHTMARE

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Gene Campbell, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Jake,

    Arnold and Ken were involved in the aftermath of the takeover of Savuli on the Save. The owners /operators of Savuli were forced to leave with no compensation. This is an article about this fiasco. The article refers to Arnold as Palmer not Payne, but it is corrected in the comments.

    Illegal hunting at ZANU PF controlled Savuli Ranch | SW Radio Africa

    I would quit hunting in Zim before I would deal with either of the Drummonds or Arnold Payne on any level. There are things I know as fact as to the reasons why. One thing I can tell you is there is no freedom of speech in Zimbabwe.

    I am not sure as to the history of Bubiana. I have heard both good and bad reports from the area. There are many areas in Zim that were stolen and are currently being hunted. Some have been raped and pillaged. Others have operators that are trying to do the right thing. I have often written that we should do our due diligence prior to hunting in Zimbabwe (or any area) and make our decisions based on our own ethics.
     
  2. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    While i was in zimbabwe last july i personally spoke with one of arnolds friends. Hes the one who told me about this entire issue. He also stated his displeasure with arnolds actions but still considers him a friend. There were a lot of hard feelings among many in the camp i stayed in. Im just a bit confused at how you can deny all the writing on the wall in relation to arnold payne.
     
  3. JakeinTX

    JakeinTX AH Member

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    I didn't say I deny anything, but I find your writing to be just accusations. Who is this friend of Arnold's? Would be interesting to hear, otherwise its just he said/she said. As far as the article from SW Radio Africa, I am not sure I buy that 100%. I have not talked with Arnold in awhile, but I will ask him. Jerome posted some links earlier that this Mike70560 references in which towards the end of the posts a gentleman named Buzz says he was misspoken and another fella discusses this tap who called me worthless. No where did I say I knew about these other issues in depth. I only offered up some contrary opinions on a post that is filled with a lot of accusation and not much else.Having spoken with numerous people before my safari I received lots of compliments on Arnold and his operation. THe Bubiana was a great place and the staff was amazing. The Drummond family from what I was told was owners of the property for generations so again I go back to tap's accusation that the family was evicted at gunpoint off of where I hunted(the Bubiana) as not seeming to hold credibility and then to be attacked by him makes his credibility go way down. The hunts donated by Impala African Safaris to the Alamo SCI club and the Central Texas SCI have been hits so my posts were strictly to offer my perspective. I am not an expert on African politics, don't pretend to be but I do know I had a good time. Arnold's parents were nice people, it was great to see his dad minister at the church and the church members I meet were so nice to me. Overall, I know not 100% of people will be happy, but I thought most of this stuff was posted by two individuals and thought I would offer my version of my hunt.
     
  4. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Jake,

    First of all congratulations on a successful hunt. Nobody should go to Africa and come back disappointed. I have also not commented on Bubiana other than to say I have know some people to have enjoyed some good hunts and others who have not.

    I personally do not like Arnold. I have met him a couple of times and have seen how he operates some aspects of his business which I do not agree. That is just me. You can find plenty of people that do not like me, it is just life.

    The fact is Arnold was selling hunts on Savuli (in the Save Conservancy) immediately after Terry Anders was forced off the property. I saw this on his website. He is no longer offering these hunts on his site, I am not sure if he offers them at all now. It was also documented in the SW Radio article link I posted. Without a doubt he was selling these hunts. I am sure the clients that hunted Savuli had excellent hunts. I have hunted up to the savuli property line and there was very good game in the area. It is not about the quality of the hunts, it is about how the hunting rights were obtained and taking advantage of a bad situation.

    Ken Drummond played a hand in forcing rightful owners off their property in the Save and the takeover of the hunting. I know several of the players that were involved and I can assure you they are no longer hunting Savuli. This was also documented in the article I mentioned. Ken Drummond is very politically connected in Zimbabwe. As a Zimbo, you do not want to cross him.

    I quit posting for a while because of the political nature of lot of my posts. I have spent a lot of time in the last three and half years in Zim and have made many friends there. I understand the political situation better than most, and more than I wish I did.
     
  5. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    Mike, your a very patient man. My hats off to you my friend.
     
  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Arnold Payne is certainly very active within the show circuit with SCI, DSC and others and seems to be donating quite a lot of hunts to local SCI chapters in many States as well as during the SCI convention (see attached donations from Impala African Safaris that I could find online).
     

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  7. tim416

    tim416 AH Veteran

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    Mike,

    Glad to see you are back and posting.

    I view these forums every day and often sit back without response for fear of speaking out on a subject of which I do not know both sides of the story.
    This is the case with the Arnold Payne post. I have heard stories from several outfitters voicing their opinions on the matter and several more like it but only have heard one side of the story so feel it unfair for me to comment either way.

    I, like Mike70560, have spent from one to three months per season in Zimbabwe since 1995, have many friends in Zimbabwe and a better than average understanding of the political situation and politics involved with the safari industry within the country. I did all the marketing and booking for Matetsi unit 1 in 2011-2012 and am still working with the owner of this concession. In addition I work closely with several of the other major outfitters within Zim. Due to these factors I avoid commenting negatively on other outfitters as It would come across self serving and appear that I am soliciting business by putting down outfitters that I do not work with. I do not believe is doing business in this manner so will never make disparaging remarks regarding an outfitter or situation that I do not have first hand knowledge of and even then not publicly.

    I personally know Mike70560 has spent a great deal of time in Zimbabwe as well and has insight on several issues due to first hand knowledge. For him to quit posting, (and others here as well), due to it being "to political" short changes everyone that is trying to make decisions on where and with whom to go on safari.
    As in every country where outfitters operate there are good ones, mediocre, and bad. I believe there is always more good than bad but bad businessmen are like a match in a large dark room, a small speck but everyone sees the effect. Many on these forums have insights on good outfitters as well as bad due to personal experiences. It is these experiences that can make a forum like this an invaluable asset to a hunter trying to narrow down choices and hopefully help them avoid the pitfalls that exist.

    Every year I end up talking with a potential client about the horror story that they heard from someone that hunted in Zimbabwe. Invariably I can guess how the hunt came to be and narrow it down to three or four areas and or outfitters. I then have to convince them that these events are not indicative the majority of outfitters in Zimbabwe but the results of a few unscrupulous outfitters that give everyone a bad name. During these conversations I still do not try to convince folks to hunt with a particular outfitter based on the actions of the bad ones. These bad experiences are not the norm, but rather the exception to the rule.

    I trust this post will encourage people like Mike70560 and many others of you to continue posting issues that you are aware of for healthy discussion.
    Along with this I would encourage you all to post the positives as well.
    I feel badly for the many good operators, PH's and Outfitters within Zimbabwe that are often times painted with the broad brush of unethical behavior due to the actions of the few.

    In closing, there are many issues constantly rearing their heads within Zimbabwe and many other African countries surrounding the safari industry.
    There are also many good outfitters along with a few bad in every country that offers paid hunts.
    There is a great depth of knowledge represented by the members of this forum and I encourage all of you to continue to post
    the positives and the negatives in an ethical manner which will only serve to assist everyone from the first timer to Africa to the seasoned veteran in making decisions
    on where and with whom to hunt. It also is a voice for the outfitters themselves that quietly sit on the sidelines of these forums, often wanting to jump in, but forced to bite their lip prohibited from doing so by their personal ethics and politics within the industry.

    I apologize if this somewhat hi-jacked this thread as I am not offering any opinion on the Arnold Payne situation but feel my thoughts are related.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Tim, Thanks for jumping in.

    From someone in the industry it can appear self serving to comment on other outfitters, even with first hand knowledge. As you note, besides the ethical concerns, it can have grave consequences for those in more precarious circumstances and many are forced not to participate.

    Your reply is relates quite well that there are many people with knowledge who can not comment, and further demonstrates the need for detailed hunt reports of all sorts to be added to the public record from those who can comment. Good trips and bad.
     
  9. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Although belated in posting, very glad to see Mike back on the board.
    If I may interject-
    My personal experience is very dated (1999) when I hunted the Gwaii area with Thys DeFris and Lion's Den. At that time I had an excellent hunt. BUT, I also was privy to the coming troubles through observation and careful listening. They were eventually run off their property at gunpoint with 20 mins notice and then the facility was burned to the ground. Even at that time, one (especially a citizen of Zimbabwe), could not criticize anyone in the government for fear of retribution. Most here in the USA have no clue what it is like to live under threat of retribution for speaking ones mind. I am sure that threat has not diminished over the years. Because of this we here in the USA may never hear the complete and true story.
    As one with no skin in the game at this time, I'm sure there are very honest and trustworthy outfitters currently operating in Zimbabwe. We on this side of the pond may never grasp the full context of this countries politics and history and the news we hear is filtered by many methods. I only hope that someday Zimbabwe can return to grasp its place in African history as it has everything available to make it the gem of the southern African continent.
     
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    My biggest fear with Zim, is that it will never get better. I honestly believe the glory days are over... Sad truth. I think you have investigate references and do homework and not cut corners. Go with a licensed Zim PH!
    The glory days were 15 years back as far as prices, easy of transportation and availability of game.
     
  11. JakeinTX

    JakeinTX AH Member

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    I go back to the same thing, the original tone of these posts became quite inflammatory with no real substance behind them. When I see posts where a persons character is attacked and I experienced something different I want to offer my go two cents. I don't know of any company that can say 100% of their clients/customers are happy. Things happen that may or may not be in control of outfitter. I spoke with Arnold late last night and some today about these posts and received some interesting answers and ones I found believable. It is for Arnold to address many of these, but what I can say is that the postings seem to border on open hostility with no real substance. All of Africa is a unique area and my 9 days there last year doesn't hardly qualify me to know much. But what I can tell you is that many of these items I didn't experience and that is simply what I presented. Whatever kinds of hunts were offered, how they were offered is not something I can comment on. I can only say what I experienced and from Arnold calling his parents house to make sure I was there safe and sound to a short but nice visit with Ticky and another brief visit with Ticky's older brother and mother I was treated extremely hospitable. My guide made sure I experienced as much as I could from the truck and many times we wold stop to look at other type of animals that were present and available to be watched. As a first hunt in Africa I had an amazing time and I would gladly recommend Arnold to anyone based upon MY experience. I truly enjoy reading these forums but so much appears to lacking facts(not the hunters report, the statements that follow).
     
  12. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Jake,

    If you have not noticed I have made no comments concerning the hunt in the first post on this thread. Some of the complaints in it were petty and should have been easily resolved. I was also asked to post this letter on another forum but did not because I felt it did not have enough substance and did not know the hunter.

    I understand you speaking for Arnold. He did a good job for you and again I am very happy you had a good hunt. However your statement about lack of facts is incorrect when it comes to the issues on Savuli. Terry Anders was forced off. He did not leave on his own accord. That is fact. Arnold was booking hunts on savuli immediately thereafter. That was fact also. It was on his website. It was in the article. I confirmed it with several reputable PHs. That was the problem I had and what I posted about. The whole Save Conservancy is in limbo because of these takeovers. The owner/operators who have been there for decades could be forced to leave. I can assure you if it happens I will post the names of the operators and agents who are selling hunts. Keep in mind also Shuvai Mahofa who is allegedly the new owner of Savuli is on the US Banned List.

    I believe everything you said about your trip and Arnold and Tiki, but that does not dimish the fact at the time of my original post in the other thread Arnold was booking for Savuli. It appears he is no longer booking Savuli, so hopefully I can bow out of this conversation/thread.

    My best,
     
  13. Capt. Purvis

    Capt. Purvis New Member

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    Interesting read.
     
  14. zenbear

    zenbear AH Veteran

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    No defense Arnold Payne is a bad man.
     
  15. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    Zenbear, amen to that. Jakeintexas is like a liberal. No amount of knowledge will ever persuade the crowd. Just a hunch but jakeintx was going to try and market hunts for arnold? Thats the only logical thing that can possibly explain his abolute refusal to give any credit to all the stories that are out there. Any many with half a brain can understand the ph's above are riding the fence for political reasons but trying to say "yes we all know arnold is the antichrist but fear for our lives if we say so" people need to quit trying to help arnolds reputation. Its something you walk away from and approach at another time once things have been righted. This is a very hopeless cause jake. Hopefully you see that by now. Arnold isnt like by many people and theres simply nothing you can do to change our minds. Sorry bud
     
  16. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    This may come as a suprise to some, but I usually see both sides of an issue.

    Jake is a good guy, he is a fellow hunter. He made a legal and ethical hunt, certainly enjoyed it, and Arnold and company did a good job for him. I am sure Arnold has done a good job for other people. It is easy for me to understand Jake's support.

    While I have no problem bringing forward what I saw as a serious issue, it is also may not be the best idea to beat up a fellow hunter because he supports somebody that gave him good service. Had his hunt been illegal it would be a different story. We have enough enemies between the antis, bad government officials in the US and abroad, along with dishonest and unethical operators.

    There is plenty of information on the internet concerning Impala African Safaris. People can draw their conclusions based on the their own experiences and research. With the internet and email there is no reason for a hunter not to do his due diligence no matter which country he will be hunting.

    Also thanks to the guys that welcomed me back. And Tim416 you are my hero, anybody that that spends as much time in Africa as you is the MAN. I should have stayed an extra month last year. Good luck on the upcoming season, Katherine and I hope to share a camp with you again one day.
     
  17. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Agreed Mike......Glad you didn't stay away long! Welcome back.
     
  18. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I have no knowledge on my own about this issue, but I can draw my own conclusions about it.

    One thing I know for sure, is that I am happy that Mike came back to the forum and I hope he will be very active again and share his stories and views with us.
     
  19. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Welcome back, Mike :thumb:
     
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I am looking forward to the reply by Arnold on the subject. I have offered my assistance in order to facilitate "both sides" of the story. (You know me) :)
     

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