One company that has managed to field successful safaris is Club Faune in France, which left most of its vehicles in camp last season. We have that directly from Club Faune's Jean-Pierre Bernon, who told us in late January that he had two American clients in the field at that time, and another who had just left. Subsequently, the client who had returned, Hugh Cropper, called us and confirmed that his safari was a success.
"If someone had not told me there were problems in the country, I would never have known," he said, going on to note that he took six of the eight animals he sought, striking out only on harnessed bushbuck and yellow back duiker.
As this is written, our advice is to keep an open mind about CAR this year, as some companies are still trying to get vehicles into the field and start hunting. One possibly far-fetched plan being discussed was going together as a group and chartering a military-type airplane, capable of transporting vehicles and landing on jungle airstrips. We'll let you know if the plan works. In the meantime, two qualifying notes need to be inserted into the generally bad news on CAR. First, there is no indication that companies operating south of Bangui have been affected by the turmoil. And, second, we could not confirm it, but we understand some smaller companies also left vehicles in the field last year and have been able to operate without problems.
(Bulletin: Safaria tells us they will be operating by mid February.)