You already know a handful of fellow subscribers have returned from safaris in Zimbabwe this year with generally positive things to say about their experiences. In all, we have seven pages of reports on 2002 safaris to Zimbabwe, and we can send them to you for $5. Add $1 for postage and handling in the US. $1.50 in Canada/Mexico. $2.50 Overseas. What you may not know is, the emerging big threat to the future of hunting in Zimbabwe may by uncontrolled poaching. Already, the Chief of the US Office of Management Authority has written to CITES asking for a general update on game conditions. That office controls the flow of permits for animals such as leopard and elephant. Even bigger problems may be looming at the upcoming CITES meeting in Santiago, Chile.
The good news is, Zimbabwe authorities are reacting to the threat. ZATSO's George Pangeti late last month sent us several news clips indicating that army troops have been dispatched to problem areas. Several poachers have been shot dead. It is unlikely this will be enough to stop the anti's from creating mischief at the upcoming CITES meeting, but it does at least show that the government knows about the problem and is beginning to deal with it.
In the meantime, we do not think this issue should be the deciding factor in whether you go to Zimbabwe or not this year. The country is open and hunters are going there. We see no overall reason not to join them on a carefully selected safari....