As this issue goes to press, we have been reassured by on-the-ground observers that the country is safe and the capital city, Bangui, peaceful. Many operators are already in the country at this writing, building and supplying camps. Barring something unexpected, there is every reason to believe that a full season in CAR will unfold this year. Surprisingly, some of the operators were actually bullish on the current situation and what it portends for the future in CAR.
The ambiguous security situation in CAR has caused some agents and operators to advise clients to buy Trip Cancellation Insurance for any trips booked there this year. One of the principal suppliers of that kind of coverage to hunters is Lechner and Stauffer (www.huntand travel.com), which has created a policy specifically for members of Safari Club International. The policy has many good aspects, but it appears the policy would not pay on the kind of claims that are likely to be generated if the balloon goes up in CAR later this winter. If Air France, for example, simply ceases to fly to CAR without citing governmental action or adverse weather as the reason, no claims will be honored. The same is true if the county simply becomes unsafe in the opinion of your operator. If the CAR government does not officially close hunting and/or the French Government does not order Air France to quit flying, Trip Cancellation Insurance claims are not going to be honored by Lechner and Stauffer. The same is generally true of other insurance providers. A word to the wise here should be sufficient.