Roller-Coaster Activities In Liberia


Published: April - 2000

The same is not true, unfortunately, across the continent in newly opened Liberia. Continuing subscribers know we have been following the roller-coaster activities there of Tom Banks of West African Safaris, who has been laboring mightily to open forest duiker hunting. Almost all returning subscribers have called the hunting interesting, and we have tried to be as positive as we can about the course of events in Liberia. The growing concern is the number of complaints about money-related matters.

We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't point out that another subscriber has just weighed in with a report that brings up money concerns. He's high-profile hunter, Rex Baker, who just got back from Liberia on the 27th of February. Baker says he took a royal antelope, a golden cat and a civet cat, plus a zebra, bay, black and maxwell duiker. He goes on to call the hunt one of the best in Africa. "There are plenty of duikers if you hunt hard," he writes. "The guides are good - plus, this is one of the best values on the continent now."

The downside is, Baker said he had to pay $1,095 for his ticket to Liberia, in spite of having paid Banks in advance for it. Moreover, he says he was told on arrival that none of his money for the safari had been sent to Liberia and he would have to pay an additional $750 if he wanted to go afield. Most alarming of all, Baker goes on to say there was talk in Monrovia of monies being owed to the Forestry Department and a possible embargo on the issuance of licenses until the debt has been paid. At press time, we could not confirm this report. Nor could we reach Banks, despite calling all the numbers we have for him.

As we have said before, we know how difficult it is to open a hunting program in a new country. We admire the courage it takes to undertake such a thing. Our sympathy for hunting pioneers makes us........(continued)

 
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