Last month, I told you about some expanded elephant hunting opportunities that were up for auction in Botswana in early June. I received the results within a couple of days of those auctions taking place, immediately sent them out to E-mail Extra subscribers and posted them on The Hunting Report website 24 hours later.
A total of 40 elephant permits were auctioned by the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks; 18 were completely new opportunities. Another 22 were for the CH8 Pandamatenga area, which the previous concession holder apparently lost. The Pandamatenga elephant quota was acquired by a group of Botswana professional hunters consisting of Bottle Pan Safaris (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com); Greg Butler Safaris (Kelly@gregbutlersafaris.com); Peter Holbrow Safaris (firstname.lastname@example.org); Ian Gloss of African Safari Company (email@example.com) and Thys de Vries (firstname.lastname@example.org). I was told that the hunting season in this unit ends September 20, 2010, but Mike Murray contacted me after seeing my E-mail Extra Bulletin and informed me that the season for Pandamatenga has been extended to November 30, so there will be plenty of time to hunt the entire quota of elephant in this unit. The same season length applies to the other units where elephant permits were auctioned.
The other concessions and successful bidding companies are:
• NG35 (four elephant), purchased by Jeff Rann of Rann Hunting Safaris (email@example.com). NG35 borders the southern concessions of the Okavango Delta, including areas that were just closed to safari hunting in 2009. Rann says he considers NG35 the best of all the blocks in the auction.
• CT7 (three elephant), also purchased by Jeff Rann. CT7 borders CT1, where Rann produced that 86 x 83 pound elephant reported in the June issue of The Hunting Report. This concession is nearly 2 million acres, stretching from Hwange Game Reserve on the Zimbabwe border to CT1 and Nxai Pan Game Reserve. Rann says he personally saw an 80-pounder in CT7 this past April.
• CT4 (four elephant), purchased by Johan Calitz Hunting Safaris (firstname.lastname@example.org), is located in the Central District and borders CT7.
• NG8 (four elephant) and NG9 (three elephant), secured by Clive Eaton of Tholo Safaris (tholosafaris @gmail.com), border the western Okavango Delta. According to Eaton, they feature lots of cattle and flood water with good elephants. But, he says, these hunts are already sold.
What’s interesting about this auction is that the 18 elephant permits in these units were originally earmarked for resident hunters. They were part of 25 permits reserved for sale to “citizens.” Three were sold in a raffle; four more were sold over the counter. The others were finally put up in an auction open to any company registered in Botswana. According to a report in a Botswana newspaper, only safari companies responded to the auction opportunity, with 12 competing in the bidding process. The auction culminated in a total of $156,530 paid out by safari companies for the 18 elephants. Wildlife and National Parks had hoped to get about $25,600 in total. According to the head of the CITES-Botswana office, citizen hunting areas and a number of privately held concessions have failed to utilize their elephant quotas over the years, and the new development is “encouraging.” Despite that, the CITES authority and Department of Wildlife and Parks are not committing to the possibility of conducting more such public auctions just yet. In the meantime, these 18 additional elephants have become available to international hunters in Botswana. If you book one of these hunts, do file a Hunt Report and send us a photo of your jumbo…