Is Zimbabwe Going to Stay Together


Published: May - 2007

Is Zimbabwe going to stay together as a hunting country for another season? That question reared its head last month when word leaked out that the US State Department is working on an official Travel Warning. Initially, there was concern the warning might be a truly scary one that would discourage hunters from going to Zimbabwe. Worse, there was concern it might incorporate a Cuba-type ban on the spending of money in Zimbabwe by US citizens. That, of course, would shut the country down, as US hunter dollars are absolutely crucial for the survival of wildlife in Zimbabwe and the conservation infrastructure that protects it.

As this issue goes to press, the Travel Warning has still not appeared on the US State Department web site. You can watch for its appearance by going to: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html. If that address is too difficult to input, simply type US State Department on the search line of google and find your way forward from there. The good news is, I understand the original scary warning that was planned is being watered down. What eventually emerges may not be significantly different from what currently appears in the Zimbabwe Consular Information Sheet, which can be found at the address mentioned above. It is worth noting, however, that there may be some new names added to the list of individuals with whom Americans are not allowed to do business. If you have a safari booked to Zimbabwe, you may want to be sure your operator, or his partners, do not appear on the newly augmented banned list. For sure, I will issue an E-Mail Extra News Bulletin as soon as the Travel Warning is posted.

As for the on-the-ground situation, I believe the country remains safe. Personally, I would not hesitate to go there if I had a safari booked. The government continues to view the safari industry as an important source of foreign exchange, and is carefully protecting hunters from any trouble. Likely as not, if you go to Zimbabwe, you will not even be aware of the national tragedy that is unfolding.........(continued)

 
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