New Developments In Botswana


Published: January - 2000

A lot is happening in Africa as convention season nears. Let's start with Botswana, where area allocations have been made and lion and elephant quotas have been expanded. With safari officials on holiday at press time, details were hard to come by, but here are some highlights. The lion quota for the entire country has been almost doubled this year, from around 17 to almost 30. Of particular interest is the granting of several permits to hunt lions in the southern Kalahari, where the big cats can be tracked on foot.

Word we have is Johan Calitz and Alan Schmidt will both be offering classic foot hunts for lions, which are among the most exciting hunts in all of Africa. Several leopards will also be available in the desert. Interested hunters just need to be aware that the use of a vehicle on these desert hunts has been outlawed. If the prohibition is rigidly enforced, these hunts will be challenges indeed, right up there with hunts for polar bear, which also cannot be conducted with the use of a motorized vehicle. Some observers say it is virtually impossible to kill a leopard by tracking it on foot, and that regulations will have to be modified. Time will tell.

Continuing subscribers know Botswana has emerged recently as the best place in Africa to take a top-class lion, edging out Tanzania and even Zambia. Truly, this is the country to focus on if a world-class lion is what you are looking for. The reason's simple - Botswana has become very conservative about lion-hunting quotas, at least in part because of international anti-hunting pressure. This year's liberalization aside, there is little chance Botswana is going to open the floodgates on lion permits. Our advice is to shop carefully among the permits currently available and hunt a lion now in Botswana.

Turning to elephants, we have already reported that Botswana produced a 100-pounder this year. What we haven't pointed out is, two more over 90 pounds were taken, along with an 80-pounder. At press time, we were trying........(continued)

 
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