Update On Zimbabwe


Published: March - 2004

I wouldn't be doing my job here at The Hunting Report if I didn't tell you the US State Department has issued a new Zimbabwe Travel Warning. It's as shrill as the last one dated December 23, 2003. You can read it for yourself by going to the State Department web site. Click on Travel Warnings. The exact web address is: http://travel.state.gov/zimbab we_warning.html.

I'm not about to pooh-pooh a US State Department Travel Warning and advise you to ignore it. I could be sued if I do that and you get hurt over there. Plus, some insurance policies become invalid if you visit a country that has been redlined by the State Department. All that notwithstanding, I am free to tell you I would not personally cancel a safari to Zimbabwe right now because of security concerns, though I would keep an eye on international news reports and I would stay in touch with my on-the-ground operator right up until the date of my departure. That done, I would rock back in my plane seat and contemplate a good experience in front of me.

Frankly, it appears to be more than a coincidence that the new Travel Warning appeared January 22, in the middle of the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, where the lion share of safari bookings for that country are made each year. The US State Department has made no attempt to hide its efforts to stop American hunters from going to Zimbabwe and spending money on safaris there. The prevailing opinion at State seems to be that amounts to dancing with a dictator.

We've told you repeatedly that we recognize the humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in Zimbabwe, and we regret as much as anyone the ongoing decline of a great nation. However, it makes no sense to us to hasten and deepen that decline by withdrawing economic funding from Zimbabwe's conservation infrastructure - which is what a cessation of hunting would accomplish. Yes, the moral calculus involved in hunting in Zimbabwe is complex. But we are comfortable with it, and we........(continued)

 
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