Near press time, we spoke with Dougba in New York, where he was visiting and seeking investment in his company. Here at The Hunting Report, we have no way at present to judge the future prospects of this company, but it is worth noting that Liberia is an enormously difficult place to operate. An indigenous hunting company is going to need a strong first world financial partner and, in our opinion, an experienced PH/safari camp operator to succeed, neither of which Dougba said he had at present.
As for Tom Banks, he says the new company, if it ever operates at all, will not be operating in his camps or have any impact on his plans. In an interview near press time, Banks said, problems and controversies aside, he has now hosted a total of 32 clients in Liberia, all but one of whom took one or more animals. He says he has learned a lot and is confident he will be able to host the 21 clients he now has booked.
Significantly, Banks has increased the cost of his hunts now from $5,200 (including airfare) to $7,850 (not including airfare). At that price, he says he can make enough money to buy necessary equipment and expand into new areas. One of those new areas is bongo hunting.
At press time, Banks was circulating a flyer describing what he calls "Three-Week Special Hunts" for bongo, forest buffalo and giant forest hog, commencing this October and running through early June. The cost of the hunts is $15,000, not........(continued)