Unfortunately, that shift is tempting some outfitters to dump booked clients in favor of new ones willing to pay the going rates. A full half-dozen Hunting Report subscribers this summer have called and complained about this kind of thing. Typical is the complaint I received from a subscriber booked into Botswana at one rate only to be told that his daily rate was being increased $500 a day and his minimum number of days increased substantially. All sorts of other fees were increased as well, resulting in a total price that was 33 percent more than he bargained for. Mind you, most of these increases were in violation of a signed contract.
The aforementioned client did not want his name used, or the name of the offending safari company. But he was angry and disgusted at what he felt was dishonorable behavior. Adding to his chagrin was his near-certainty that a lot of the government-fee increases he was quoted were bogus. The outfitting company was simply padding its profit, not paying more for area fees, etc.
There are two object lessons here, in my view. First, contracts are contracts. And safari companies that break them are risking their long-term reputations. In a small community like this one, what goes around comes around. Beware....
The second lesson is this - clients looking for a "bargain" now in concession hunting for dangerous game and premium antelope are asking for trouble. Prices have gone up because demand has gone up while supply has, at best, not increased. There is no telling what........(continued)