Abe thanks ever so much for that explanation. Its always good to know why things are a certain way and its perfectly reasonable by the sounds of it too.Hi All
Some interesting questions and observations and I hope that I might be able to shed some light on what has been an age old question. Thanks everyone for your input so far.
Firstly, the term "daily rate" is a bit misleading because it implies accommodation and services. I agree that the extra charges do not justify any extra costs from our side and it is not related to baiting. You will eat the same fine food, drink the same amount of our imported wines and whiskeys in the 21 days whether you hunt a single Lion or a package of different animals so why the extra charge?
Firstly, in Zimbabwe we are allocated strict quotas at the beginning of each hunting season and as outfitters we need to divide this quota up between our prospective clients each year and each animal is reserved for each specific hunter. Over and above this it is important to understand that we have to pay our Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for the animals that are hunted, in most instances whether we hunt them or not.
What would seem the most obvious solution would be to put a set price on the daily rate that covers accommodation, food and beverage (and here I have to say we offer the finest!), PH costs, fuel, salt, etc. and then charge a trophy fee for the animal when shot? A lot of the fenced area hunts are sold on this basis where your hunt success is somewhat higher than in a wilderness area. As an example, we could sell a lion hunt for 21 days @ $500/day = $10,500 plus a trophy fee of $67,800 = $78,300 and arrive at the same amount that we need to cover the Lion.
Or alternately we could just say "book your Lion" and send me $78,300 and we will give you every possible opportunity to shoot it.
So why not??
The answer is fairly simple - it's all about commercial risk!
In Wilderness areas especially the commercial risk is substantially higher than in fenced areas as the wildlife movements and dynamics are more unpredictable. That herd of 500 Buffalo that was in the area today could cross over into a non-hunting area tomorrow and be back again the day (or week) after. The other area of risk is when a specific animal is booked to a specific hunter and the hunter can't make it (as has happened in these COVID times) or he misses the shot, or he decides for whatever reason that he doesn't want to take the shot (we recently failed on a Leopard hunt with a client who felt "claustrophobic" in the blind and refused to take the shot) so there is risk on both sides.
The complicated "daily rate" system that we have all grown up with is a mechanism to SHARE the risk. If we fail on a hunt for natural reasons ie. the right animal just did not present itself or alternately the client failed on his side the outfitter is still able to cover his "un-shot" trophy fee to Parks and the reverse is that the client does not have to pay full price for an animal that he was not able to take home.
So to answer some of your questions, the additional daily rate cost is because we are adding on another whole hunt (less the expenses for that hunt) and that additional animal is now reserved for that specific hunt as opposed to selling it separately. I hope this all makes sense!
What I can also tell you is that we have high success rates on all of our species and we will do our utmost to provide every one of our clients with the best possible hunting experience. Matetsi Safari Area is a unique and an exceptional unfenced wilderness area that provides some of the best hunting on the African continent!
I hope that I have addressed some of the issues raised but please feel free to add any comments or questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Best regards to all