Two more Botswana safari operators have checked in regarding elephant hunting concessions available for 2010. (See my January Africa column on Botswana elephant hunting.) Graeme Pollock of Safaris Botswana Bound says he still has a three-year lease on NG 47. "We have been assured by the government there will be no change to our rights until our area comes up for renewal. Our quota on elephant, buffalo and plains game was increased for 2010, so we take this as a positive statement from government. We further own a game ranch adjacent to the concession, and through the game farmers association we have been advised that hunting will continue in all game ranches. Furthermore, at a meeting with the government and the Botswana Game Producers Association (game farmers) we were advised that the system for leopard hunting was proving successful and that there was no plan to interfere with the leopard allocations to the farmers."
The other operator is Peter Holbrow of Holbrow Hunting Safaris. He says, "Obviously it is very sad for me not to be hunting in the Delta anymore, but I feel privileged to have been able to operate there for such a long time. My partner secured the Chobe Enclave (CH1/2) Community Trust area last season, well known for its huge elephant population. Elephant and buffalo hunting, as can be expected in this area, was very good in 2009. I am hoping that 2010 will be even better."
I am told that the plains game quota in numerous areas was increased for 2010, and there is hope that the government will approve a proposal for hunting in some new areas that are not conducive to photo safaris. I don't have any more details than that, but if it's approved I will pass on the news....