Is Zimbabwe Open for Business? Yes

rookhawk

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Just wanted to post an update on the state of affairs in Zimbabwe and encourage you all to book with some assurances things will work out well.

The two airlines coming into the country are as follows:

Emirates (Via Harare)
Ethiopian Airlines (Via Harare and Via Vic Falls)

To get into Zimbabwe with guns:

You're advised to fly single-carrier on Emirates with no issues getting the gun permitted to fly on Emirates in record time. They say they require 14-30 days but they are turning them around in 72 hours and you can apply for them directly on their website.

Without firearms, Ethiopian appears to work fine via Harare as well. Vic Falls has Ethiopian routes but they are intermittent so getting where you must be may create additional challenges.

Upon arrival in Harare:

Covid PCR results from the States are requested and delivered to a disorganized queue getting off the plane. They get your PCR, take your temperature, and ask you to write down the results of your temp on two somewhat redundant forms. VERY IMPORTANT, bring a pen or you'll be begging for one, always, in these lines.

Next, you're ushered downstairs to complete your entry visa form and pay the $30 to enter Zim. Easy as usual, they take only USD, and they can make change.

Next you collect your bags. Easy as usual.

Next, your guns are inspected and you can wait for your visitor rifle permit or you can pre-fill one out, 5 copies, and hand them over. That reveals which guns you're carrying and they inspect your serial numbers. They count your ammo and verify matching headstamps on the ammo to the guns you've brought. (no wildcat ammo!!!) You're free to leave at that point, but don't. Insist on handing them a Zim Form 47 documenting the cash you're bringing into Zimbabwe. If you're bringing over $1000 and you neglect to get the form stamped, they will seize your cash when you depart Zimbabwe. Document your Cash voluntarily!!!

Walk outside:

Out the front doors your guide, operator, or PH will be there to greet you. Due to Covid, they are not allowed inside the terminal. On my flight, there were 4 hunters inbound which I had the pleasure to speak with. Not sure if they wish to come forward on this site but Seattle, Boston, and Texas guys were great and we made fast friends. Three of them were heading to the Save in SE Zim, the other was heading to SW Zim to hunt the Plumtree area.

Travel to camp:

You may need to overnight in Harare as there is an 8pm curfew that might preclude travel to camp your arrival day. No issues. Nice hunter hotels exist with good food. You'll have a mask on the whole trip in the car by law or you'll be hit with a $500 fine, officially speaking. What happens on the roads once you get out of the big city is up to you and your driver.

At camp, you're ready to hunt:

All permits, licenses, and approvals are operating smoothly at present in Zim government so your ability to hunt should be same as usual with no new bureaucracy on the ground.

And now to the hunting:

Of the five hunters encountered on the trip, 3 were after elephant and got trophy quality elephant. Others were looking for Sable, Eland, Klippspringer, Kudu, Bushbuck, and other high quality animals. EVERY SINGLE HUNTER I encountered had success and in my opinion, VERY high quality animals were harvested whether by South African Record Book standards for younger animals, or glorious super-old broomed down trophies by German standards.

And the weather:

Every hunter reported the same thing, rains came and quite hard about 2.5 weeks ago. It was a muddy disaster when all arrived. Hunting was poor the first 2-3 days of everyone's hunts across the country for the same reason. The rains stopped (unfortunately for Zimbabwe draughts) and the hunting returned to excellent on every report I heard. Every damn and retained body of water is the lowest its ever been according to the locals. Game is congregating near water and as the rains stopped, game returned to these usual routes. Get there before the rains start and the odometer rolls over to be the year 2021 when everything may change!

And getting out of Zim:

You needed to go to a Lancet location in either Bulawayo or Harare 48 hours from departure for a PCR test. They were done in tents that were fairly organized and professional for a third world country. You pay $60, the tests were available printed as results the next morning in Harare for you to board your plane. At Harare they ask you for the PCR test results no less than 5 different times as you work your way to the lounge and then the plane. No issues. No issues connecting in Dubai. No issues landing in the States. Overall, Zimbabwe is BETTER at dealing with COVID travel than the USA.

And why go now rather than waiting for next year?:

A few reasons. 1.) Value. They have so much unsold quota at present there are incredible deals to be had if you can get there RIGHT NOW. $45,000 45-75lb elephant hunts are selling for around $15,000 daily/trophy all-in. Leopard hunts at $10,000 that are normally $22,000. Plains game of high quality at very reasonable prices. The operators and PHs have had virtually no clients this year and they want to fill any quota they can, pay staff, and mitigate their losses. 2.) Since Zim has been unhunted all year the game is truly abundant and the quality and quantity is the best I've seen on 6 trips. Its truly "your own private Idaho" as they say. 3.) We cannot predict the stupid things the United States will do with the Covid situation next year nor can we predict the legality of sport hunting as Americans next year. Going pre-election or pre-inauguration is a pretty good idea.
 

PaulT

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Great info and write-up.
Boots on ground, as it is NOW, important and objective.

Hopefully this news sways some to go and support our great Zimbo friends.
 

SWARA

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Couldn't agree more.
I off in two weeks to hunt an Elephant bull in Matisti. I Will be Flying Ethiopian into Vic Falls.
I hope they don't keep changing the flight schedule as I have already had one change this past week... Fingers Crossed...
Cheers...
 

postoak

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So this is only till November 21, or right through to the end of the year?
 

meigsbucks

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Great info. I wish I could go now.
 

Shakka

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Couldn't agree more.
I off in two weeks to hunt an Elephant bull in Matisti. I Will be Flying Ethiopian into Vic Falls.
I hope they don't keep changing the flight schedule as I have already had one change this past week... Fingers Crossed...
Cheers...

Who changed your flight info my friend?? Im flying Ethiopian one week from Monday from Dulles/USA to Harare and I haven't had a flight change yet
 

enysse

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Good new, I’m glad they got some rain.
 

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