As this issue goes to press, a couple of important African hunting matters – one in Zambia and one in Namibia - are up in the air. By the time you read this, they may be resolved. You can get the latest by upgrading your subscription to E-Mail Extra, or by going to our web site and seeing what we have uploaded there on a delayed basis to the section entitled “E-Mail Extra Bulletins.”
The most important unresolved issue at press time was uncertainty over the allocation of hunting concessions in Namibia. As this issue went to press, they had not been allocated as promised and they were not expected to be until sometime in February or later. This meant no outfitter at press time should have been representing to you that he has rights to hunt a state concession in Namibia in 2008 or beyond.
The key words here are state concession. What is referred to here are hunting areas, like Nyampala in Zambia or Chewore South in Zimbabwe, that are entirely controlled by the government. Namibia has other kinds of hunting land, including conservancies and private lands, where outfitters can legitimately claim to have hunting rights. The log jam over hunting rights in Namibia is confined to state concessions. Unfortunately, the log jam is important because the majority of the big game hunting in Namibia takes place on concessions. For sure, I will let you know as soon as these areas are allocated.
The other important issue that was up in the air was the fate of the important Nyampala Game Management Area in Zambia, which was due to be allocated following a recent tender. It now seems Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) intends to operate this GMA by itself, recently employing two Zambian professional hunters for this purpose. How this new system will work from a booking point of view remains to be seen. Who clients will actually book the safari with and sign a contract with is also not clear at the moment. The two professional hunters employed to operate safaris in Nyampala are clearly aligned with an existing safari operator, so it may well turn out that this operator will be the contracting party for Nyampala. I’ll keep you posted as news come in. In the meantime, the watch word here is caution.....