The trend in Zambia seems to be that safari operators with good areas and good quality cats will charge high fees to pay for the careful nurturing of their GMAs over the last six years. However, operators who have been taking their full quota each year and are now seeing a drop in trophy quality are charging just as much as those with good areas. Keep this in mind when eyeing a high-dollar hunt for lion or leopard, as I'm told that some areas have been overshot, despite outstanding results the last couple of years.
That said, some of the Kafue and Luangwa areas this season did produce monster lion and leopard akin to the early days. Cats of this quality are probably a sign of safari operator investment in anti-poaching initiatives and self-imposed quota restrictions. When shopping for one of these hunts, ask specific questions. What anti-poaching program does a given operator have in place? And, what is his quota and how many cats does he take a year?
Some other quality trophies taken this season include a magnificent world record sitatunga of 35 inches taken by Richard Bell-Cross of Prohunt Zambia in GMA Lunga Luswishi. Sable, roan and buffalo also........(continued)