The other big story this month is a spectacular robbery/shooting in Cameroon, in the Ngong Safari camp operated by Borge Ladefoged. No one was hurt, and the incident does not appear to point toward an upsurge in violence or an emerging security threat. However, the incident was terrifying for those involved. Several bursts of fire from an AK47 were involved, including warning shots quite close to the face of one of the hunters.
I first heard of the robbery/shooting from subscriber John Searles, who was in Jose Chelet's Ngoko Safaris camp, in the concession adjacent to Ngong Safari's concession. Initially, the report was the robbers were Congolese, but that has since been proven wrong. All six robbers, it turns out, were local Cameroon citizens, some of whom had previously worked as house and grounds keepers for Ngong Safaris. At this writing three have been arrested, and the police were optimistic they would apprehend the others. The government has promised to station a security force in the area during the upcoming season.
The incident is not worthy of a great deal of attention, in my view. However, it does raise again an issue we raised several years ago namely, the ridiculous requirement by some safari operators that clients bring large amounts of cash with them to pay for trophy fees and other end-of-safari costs. There is no proof that large amounts of cash caused the recent robbery/shooting, but common sense suggests there is some linkage. The clients who were robbed were Danish, and the tradition of carrying cash is not as engrained among Europeans as it is among Americans. Even so, the robbers are said to have gotten away with the Euro equivalent of more than $30,000 (US).