About Those Closed Hunting Camps in Central African Republic


Published: August - 2011

I told you this past May that I received reports from subscribers returning from Central African Republic where they had heard stories about Sudanese rebels and gangs of thieves striking hunting camps and causing civil disturbances in the northern part of the country. That is where we have seen problems with rebels and poachers in the past. One operator, according to returning hunters, had to close his camps and cancel all hunts for the season because of the situation. So, what really happened? I recently caught up with Jean Pierre Bernon of Club Faune (www.club-faune.com) and Rudy Lubin of Rudy Lubin Safaris (rudylubinsafaris@verizon.net) who confirmed there was a problem this season with robbers and rebels, though not exactly what was transmitted through the grapevine. And while some safaris were canceled or hunters moved to other camps as a precaution, I'm told no one was at risk. One of the camps that was robbed, I hear was the old "Holland & Holland" camp. The robbery occurred when the camp was unoccupied. Two other camps were robbed at the beginning of the season. "No one was threatened or harmed," says Bernon, who tells me the camps belonged to another company some 100-plus kilometers away from his own. The robbers came, announced they needed equipment and took it, including solar panels and vehicles. Ironically, one of the robbers did not know how to drive and had trouble leaving the camp with the car. In another camp, a staff driver crashed a vehicle into a tree and reported being attacked and forced off the road by robbers. As a precaution, the camp manager evacuated clients. An investigation later uncovered there was no attack. Later in February, Bernon says that his company was informed by neighboring villages that a group of roving thieves was seen in the area and could be targeting one of his remote camps. That same day, he says one of his anti-poaching vehicles was stolen. With PHs and other staff getting nervous and clients in the field, Bernon decided not to take any risks and moved his clients to another area. Turns out, none of Club Faune's........(continued)
 
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