ZATSO Statement On Situation In Zimbabwe


Published: February - 2002

"It is very important to understand that the common perception of `hunting concessions' in Zimbabwe is complicated. Safari hunting takes place on two main and very different categories of land: big game areas, which are primarily state-owned land; and ranch areas, which are privately owned.

"The big game areas are comprised of Department of National Parks Wildlife Safari Areas, such as Chewore, Chirisa and Matetsi; state forest areas, including Ngamo and Kazuma forest areas; and other state lands such as Omay, Dande and Tsholotsho.

"These areas have never been affected by political events. Indeed the local people literally love having hunters in their area, because they bring much needed meat, cash and jobs. Hunters here are welcomed by waving, smiling and laughing local people.

"As for ranch areas, these are primarily lands owned by private individuals, multi-national corporations and government para-statals. Many of these are grouped together in large conservancies; others stand on their own as hunting areas. Of the privately-owned lands where safari hunting is undertaken, huge tracts are not affected by the political situation.

"During 2000 and 2001 more than 2,500 successful hunting safaris were conducted in Zimbabwe without being affected in the slightest by Zimbabwe's political situation. Indeed, The Hunting Report was flooded with over 100 very positive subscriber reports by happy returning hunters.

"The US State Department recommendations on Zimbabwe are clear, and we concur with them - stay away from political gatherings, avoid occupied farms deemed to be unsafe and avoid traveling around on your own. Politically motivated violence happens at political gatherings, but these are restricted to the urban townships and possibly downtown areas or on occupied farms deemed to be unsafe. Safari hunters need not be any part of this. Typically a hunting client lands at one of the international airports, and is transferred to his hunting camp in the bush within a few hours of landing. Once his hunt is completed the reverse happens.

"It is extremely important to........(continued)

 
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