Last month, I gave you the list of safari companies that received hunting concessions in Tanzania. Soon after, I received a number of calls and emails from subscribers shocked that their favorite safari operator wasn't on the list and asking for more information on those that made the cut. I spent some time contacting and researching various companies and have information that may help with planning a hunt in Tanzania. But first, there are a few other issues you should be aware of. To start, a number of companies are appealing the allocation and the dividing of various hunting blocks with the Tanzanian courts. As I reported last month, some very good companies that have made significant investments in Tanzania were left without concessions, while some new, unknown companies without experience in safari operations or in wildlife and habitat management did receive concessions. Also, some blocks have been chopped up and allocated to different companies. The new allocations don't go into effect until 2013; over the coming months, we'll probably see a number of suits filed in the court system.
In the meantime, a number of the Tanzanian-owned companies have already begun contacting experienced operators about subleasing their newly-won concessions. The reasons are multiple, starting with the fact that some simply don't know anything about operating safaris but wanted a concession because they believe hunting is a lucrative industry.
Some of the new concession holders simply do not have the wherewithal to market safaris on their own. Without established safari services and a track record, they have nothing that a reputable booking agent would represent. Plus, you need knowledgeable personnel, marketing materials, a company infrastructure and money to advertise, exhibit at shows around the world, and book hunts. Even getting into shows is problematic: the annual Safari Club International Convention has a long waiting list for booths and a tough point-system policy that makes it exceedingly difficult for new comers to exhibit at what is arguably the world's largest hunting show. Dallas Safari Club is booked out in advance as well. In other words, it takes a........(continued)