Zimbabwe Update On Hunting Conditions, Security, Poaching, Firearms


Published: April - 2009

In Zimbabwe, I have a first-hand report on the current hunting conditions, plus the security situation, poaching problems and advice on traveling there with your firearms. You know that fellow hunters returning from safaris there last season all reported no problems with security or safety during their trips. Early last month, I received the first report for 2009 by e-mail from subscriber Tad Brenner. He wrote, "I returned from Zimbabwe yesterday after a problem-free hunt. No shortages of supplies, abundant fuel sources and fully-stocked shelves. No problems with road blocks, and the US dollar has become the unofficial official currency. Based on my experience, fellow subscribers should not hesitate to book at hunt in Zim." Brenner hunted with Lowveld Hunters, PH Stephen Meyer, and reports taking a jumbo that weighed in at 77 x 75 pounds. (See photo in the Trophy Gallery section of our web site.

I did follow up on one problem a number of subscribers reported about last season, and that is the serious poaching problem in some areas of Zimbabwe. I asked Director of Parks and Wildlife Management Authority M. Z. Mtsambiwa about this situation. He admitted there are some areas where poaching is indeed a real problem, but he pointed out that those were in areas that have seen a sudden influx of people, particularly those who are not conservation educated. Bushmeat hunting, he said, is a problem where community programs are lacking. Places where CAMPFIRE programs exist and where there are strong safari-operator-supported programs have fewer problems with poaching because the people understand and receive immediate benefits from protecting the wildlife. So, you may want to ask your safari operator for detailed information about such programs as well as anti-poaching efforts in the area you will be hunting.

The worst poaching problems in Zimbabwe, however, are with what were described to me as poaching syndicates, basically organized poaching or illegal hunting operations. Director Mtsambiwa tells me the syndicates were previously run by outsiders from other African countries, particularly South Africa, where a group of more than 50 people were arrested for these practices a........(continued)

 
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