I checked in with Debbie Peake of Mochaba Developments in Maun. She says the hunt has all the earmarks of a problem animal control hunt. March is outside the normal hunting season, and the area that lies 100 miles north of the South African border is an agricultural zone with a small resident population of elephant that are considered problem animals. These hunts are cheap because the areas are of poor hunting quality and the quality of the ivory is generally poor as well. There are a number of villages in these areas and there is little to no control over the hunting practices there.
Peake says that one of Botswana's biggest hunting-related problems is the number of operators going there who are not members of any hunting association and operate semi-illegally and often without a code of conduct or ethics. Operators offering these cheap hunts tend to work below the radar and are causing huge problems for the hunting industry in Botswana. The problem of illegal operators was hinted at by President of Botswana Ian Khama at a recent gathering hosted by the Minister of Environment, Wildlife & Tourism and attended by representatives from the government and the tourism industry. Khama challenged the hunting industry to monitor and discipline members, ensuring they maintain good practices based on ethical and legal conduct. He specifically acknowledged the industry's role in controlling problem animals.
Hunters who book with rogue safari operators and PH's have little to no recourse if things go wrong. If you are heading to Botswana, make sure you are booked with a bona........(continued)