But hold the phone.... Even if the reports we hear are true (and please note - they may not be true), that does not mean individual hunters should rush out and put down deposits on hunts with any known companies. For one thing, no one we spoke with at press time had any idea who the winners and losers were in the fight to gain access to hunting areas. It was not even clear what criteria had been used to decide winners and losers. Moreover, there is considerable reason to doubt at this point whether lease decisions made at this point will survive the national elections, which are now scheduled for December 27th. Compounding the ambiguity here is the fact that no one feels comfortable predicting who is going to win the upcoming election.
Here at The Hunting Report, we try hard to verify all of the reports we publish, preferring to hold reports rather than treading too far out on a limb of speculation. In this case, though, hunters need to know now whether they can factor Zambia into their 2002 hunting plans, and we feel compelled to provide some guidance, however tentative it may be. So, take it from us - we now believe Zambia will open in 2002, and that quality safari experiences will be available. Just don't ask us who will be providing them and how the industry will be organized.
Knowing what will happen in Zambia is particularly important this year because of the ambiguity about lion hunting in Botswana next year and the gathering storm clouds in Zimbabwe. Continuing subscribers know the Botswana government closed lion hunting this past year because of a brouhaha created by the offtake of........(continued)