Latest On Tanzania, Namibia, Angola. More


Published: October - 2007

Those announced fee increases in Tanzania I have written so much about this summer were still giving outfitters and clients a fit as this issue went to press. To recap, the problem is the Tanzanian government announced a huge increase in concession fees and some trophy fees this year on the eve of the season-opener. Some clients were already in the field when the announcement was made. Hundreds more were in the air or in the final stages of preparing to go hunting when the word went out that some concession fees were being quadrupled from $10,000 to $40,000 and others quintupled from $10,000 to $50,000. Trophy fees on elephant were tripled from $5,000 to $15,000 and lion and leopard went from $2,500 each to $12,000 each.

The result was chaos for many clients who were not booked with large operators. Seems many smaller companies and sub-contracting PHs immediately tried to push the price increases on to booked clients. Some operators simply cancelled their seasons. Meanwhile, most of the larger companies quietly urged their clients to come hunting and let them worry about the increases. What the larger companies knew all along is the Government of Tanzania signed an agreement with TAHOA (Tanzania Hunting Operators Association) a decade ago requiring government to give operators at least nine months notice before implementing a price increase. The big operators have been quietly confident all along that this agreement is enforceable in court. The only reason they haven't taken the matter to court is they don't want that kind of confrontation with government. It is not viewed as conducive to a long-term solution to the larger political conflict that is developing over hunting in Tanzania.

The crux of that conflict is government's perception that operators are not paying enough for the right to conduct safaris in Tanzania. The sense of injustice was heightened recently by the release in Dar Es Salaam of a error-filled report showing how much more operators in some other countries are paying for the right to hunt. Concession fees in Botswana, for example, appear to be much higher........(continued)

 
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