Continuing subscribers know we have backed the safari industry in Zimbabwe strongly this past summer and fall by urging booked clients to check with their in-country professional and, given a local green light, go on and go hunting. Now, we aren't so sure what to advise other than wait and see. We are quietly confident that an "honorable exit" for Robert Mugabe is being arranged. Moreover, we believe the transition to a new government will take place as early as this month, in time to bring the country back from the brink of ruin.
Clearly, though, there is a possibility we are wrong. For that reason, we are officially modifying our view on the advisability of travel to Zimbabwe for the purpose of hunting. Right now, on November 2, 2000, we just don't think it is a good idea. If our assessment changes, we will post the news on the "Zimbabwe Crisis" section of our web site, www.HuntingReport. com. In the meantime, we think the following short note from subscriber John Wright speaks volumes about the experience of hunting right now in Zimbabwe:
"My son and I hunted with Jumbo Safaris in southern Zimbabwe this past October 4 to 21. While we had no security problems, we did experience the crisis. Harare is experiencing riots, and the smell of tear gas is in the air. Most farms and hunting concessions have squatters present, even those which are pure hunting ranches. This was my seventh hunt in Zimbabwe, and the changes are evident. Poaching is heavy, and there appears to be little that can be done to stop it. Ever-present squatters first burn........(continued)