In the meantime, I'm hearing that a number of areas and concessions that once offered great elephant hunting have been hit very hard. Hunters headed to Tanzania for elephant this season may want to have a frank conversation with their safari operators on the poaching situation in their booked concessions, about current elephant numbers in their areas, and exactly what and how effective their anti-poaching efforts have been. If your hunt is early this season, talk to hunters who were in the same area last year. If your hunt is later, ask to speak with hunters who were there earlier in the season. And definitely check our incoming hunt reports.
One area that was brought directly to my attention is Lukwika Game Reserve, located on the border with Mozambique. Subscriber Charles Butler recently filed a report on a safari there for elephant, lion/leopard and buffalo conducted for him in October/November 2012. While the buffalo and plains game hunting was excellent, the elephant hunting was a complete failure. So was the lion and leopard.
"We saw poached elephant carcasses daily," says Butler. "This concession had reports of large elephant being taken just a few years ago, so I assume it has really gone downhill recently. There were abandoned baby elephant all over the place, and we saw only two bulls, both immature and not legal. The poached skulls were all of adolescent elephant no big ones. According to the trophy registry, the only elephant they took this year was a barely legal bull."
Lukwika is in the migration corridor that sprawls across southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique. The concession belongs to Miombo Safaris, which was bought out a couple of years ago by Harpreet Brar of Rungwa Safaris. Butler's safari........(continued)