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Anecdotal Zim report
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I thought I would share with you all an e'mail from my father-in-law regarding a Zimbabwe hunt we were all planning for the end of September.

"Subject: Africa trip on hold

Hi all! I just got a phone call from our PH in South Africa and he is recommending that we do not go to Zimbabwe this year. He tried to bring in a load of gasoline in order for us to have enough on our trip and it was confiscated. There is no gas available to buy. He thinks that Zimbabwe will be bankrupt in two weeks. Their president went to China to get loans for gas and food and was turned down.

I am looking to still go to another country at this time so keep doing all of the things I have asked. Possibly Zambia with people I have already been with and, in fact, where I got my huge buffalo. So sorry."

Well, what can I say? Yes, our hunt was booked with a South African PH - although we had Zim PH's lined up to "conduct" the hunt. He is reputable in our eyes, and I highly doubt this was an illegal hunt. It was to be held in a government concession controlled by one of the less than savory Zim generals in what was noted on a long ago thread as a "dubious" concession. Be that at it may, I don't know the details of that relationship, and in fact my days of AR education began after the hunt was booked.

I say anecdotal because I assume this experience to be an isolated incedent. I can't imagine the hundreds of hunters yet to arrive in Zim being turned away for lack of fuel. Actually, there could have been other factors in the dissolution of our hunt. You all have been reading the successful hunt reports to date, so I don't want to take away from those and the excitement and optimism you might have for an upcoming hunt.

I'm confident that the fuel confiscation did occur, but the comments on the politics there and of Zimbabwe being bankrupt in two weeks I take with a grain of salt. What would that mean anyway, bankrupt?

So the moral of the story is that when they say its best to book with a large, or at least well established safari company, it's probably good advice. I never imagined that this would rear its head in the form a MY hunt being canceled.

We will hope for the best, that another hunt can be thrown together. My father-in-law has connections, but it's going to be hard to find four buffalo on quota in a single area this time of year.

Thanks for your comments, and I'll keep you posted.

Posts: 101 | Location: Northern California, USA | Registered: 17 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Posted from a Tanz newspaper i saw online. Something don't add up. This,as i read it, says agreements were signed.

Semper Fi
STC Hunting Club
Posts: 1684 | Location: Walker Co,Texas | Registered: 27 August 2004Reply With Quote
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I email almost daily with an operator friend in Zim and while they are having troubles they are able to obtain fuel to hunt. Could be it was confiscated because it was being brought in by a So. African national. Fuel is for sale IN Zim if it is paid for in forex at the price of $1 US per liter. My friend has hunted in the Matetsi this whole season without running out of fuel. They can buy in bulk in Bulawayo but it must be paid in forex and you can get only petrol or diesel each time but not both. Weird but workable. They are having more problems with petrol than diesel. I'm not hunting this year but it's because of my shortage (no funds) here rather than a problem in Zim. I really miss going. Maybe next year.

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NRA Patron Life Member
Posts: 2786 | Location: Green Valley,Az | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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The problem is that the hunt was booked with a South African for hunting in Zim, and often (but not always) that is a shady proposition. Book with a reputable Zim operator and things will go smoothly.
Posts: 18352 | Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA | Registered: 20 April 2002Reply With Quote
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To be fair to the unknown operator/zim PH, alot of the small operators here are having difficulty sourcing fuel. Bulawayo is easier than harare, because you can bring in 2500l without any questions being asked- and Bulawayo is only 110km from the nearest botswana fuel station.

Last week, fuel sales in hard currency -$, Rand, Pulla and ZABIAN KWATCHA!!!- started in the main cities to try and cater for the few tourists.

Bulk fuel has always been available if paid for in hard currency- but, an operator can old hold hard currency for 21 days before he has to change it into zim toilet paper. The problem is, small guys often are not banking enough to afford the US$16000 for a bulk order in any 21 day period, or, having bought a tanker load, where to put the stuff. (and yes, a bunch of you get together, make a plan, and end up with a shed full of drums but it is a pain).

A freelance PH, though, who is not "running his own books" and banking hard currency has got a problem. Operators normally supply the fuel to a freelance PH for the hunt- it is part of the "pay" pakage, but - and here is the kicker, If the general sub leased a hunt to a south African operator, he doesn't supply the fuel. The South African has to. If you don't live here, beating the system can be a real nightmare, and I can well imagine the joy on a policemans eye's seeing a south african operator comming in with fuel, unsure of the regulations, pushing the boundries, no fuel transport permit (not legally required but useful to have) and saying to himself, "well here comes this years bonus, lets see if I can lighten his load"

Comming back from a recent hunt in the lowveld, the operator paid me - in part - with an extra drum of fuel. At every police roadblock they tried to confiscate it. No pudh off, I have a permit, Do you want me to phone the minister...five minutes of fairly polite fencing and then drive on. A South African, even one who is not breaking the law, running a dodgy deal etc, would get eaten.
Posts: 3026 | Location: Zimbabwe | Registered: 23 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Ganyana, Everyone appreciates your spot-on assessment of the fuel situation. No need for us to panic over ever little development. Of course next year is my year in Zim for 2+ weeks, so then I will panic Wink Seriously, your posts unravel all the events.

Posts: 495 | Location: USA | Registered: 25 December 2003Reply With Quote
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