So, has hunting closed in the Okavango delta? According to the Botswana Wildlife Management Association, yes and no. Just days after going to press with the December issue of The Hunting Report I received this statement from the association through Debbie Peake of Mochaba Developments. (E-mail Extra subscribers got this news the same day I received it.):
"During the past 16 months, amidst much speculation of closure and ensuing rumors, Botswana's safari outfitters have worked hard with their Government to incorporate some major adjustments in areas available to hunting. Whilst some modifications in the commercial multi-purpose areas in the immediate proximity of the Okavango Delta were unavoidable, outfitters report that hunting in select Controlled Hunting Areas (CHA's) will continue. Hunting community-managed multi-purpose areas, who are in joint venture partnerships, will continue for the duration of their leases. Emphasis has been given to elephant, which is the single highest species on quota to date. The 2010 quota has been released to outfitters, who are pleased with the results and are confident that their deliberations and close working relationship with their Government is paying off.
"Controlled hunting will continue in areas that are less conducive to photographic use. The value of hunting economies still applies in areas not suitable to photographic safaris, where hunters continue to pay for and support conservation efforts/practices to prevent wildlife areas from converting to less conservation-friendly land use, such as agriculture, accompanied by the resultant loss of biodiversity. In line with Botswana's Vision 2016, controlled and sustainable hunting will continue........(continued)