From Zimbabwe, I received word last month that a new tax on hunting services has gone into effect on all safaris conducted as of August 1, 2009. Seems the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ) lost a long battle in court over a new two percent tax being levied on daily rates and trophy fees by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA). SOAZ withdrew an appeal on the court decision in an agreement made in late August with ZTA. That agreement specifies that the new fees would not be backdated to the original date of inception. The agreement also allows SOAZ members to take advantage of certain tax benefits available to the tourism industry, including a rebate on import taxes for vehicles, equipment and even groceries.
The new tax is in addition to the two percent tax already levied on daily rates for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Hunters should expect to see the additional charges for ZTA on their final bills.