At this writing, our answer to the latter question is a definite "yes." We have made numerous calls to our contacts in Zimbabwe and have turned up nothing that would warrant a caution flag about going to Zimbabwe, much less a warning flag. The occupation of white-owned lands by so-called war veterans is troublesome, to be sure, and the whole matter bears close watch. However, word reaching us is, the occupations to date have been largely a kind of political theater erupting around the upcoming parliamentary elections. We will be very surprised if they spark violence or cause enough turmoil to affect safari clients.
Here is how George Pangeti of the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators described the situation in a fax note near press time: "Regarding farms that have been invaded, it has been made clear that no disturbances to farm activities will be tolerated. I know of cases where the police have moved out the invaders when they started interfering with production activities. In sum, if the professional hunters of your clients do not advise them to cancel, then they can consider it safe to come to Zimbabwe. I need not remind you of the professionalism we instill in our PH's. They still have their reputation to protect irrespective of the current political climate, which should change as soon as the elections are over in May...."
Turning to Zimbabwe's fuel problem, it's true - at press time, safari operators were scrambling to stockpile enough diesel for their safari vehicles. Clearly, some of them were having difficulty, too. One we spoke to was traveling all the way to Zambia to round up what he needed. Even Jet-A1 fuel was said to be in short supply in the country.........(continued)