Hunting in Africa





April 4th - Denver

Young African LionLion and the ESA listing

As a Zambian I support the recent listing of Lion onto the USFWS Endangered Species Act, something not entirely shared by the majority of the professional hunters on the continent. In fact regardless of understanding the mechanics of the listing, PH's are spelling doom and gloom as usual rather seeing the positive in the situation and the road to effective conservation solutions. To be sure, the number of Lion dished out to be shot at the 2003 concession lease allocation set the tone for the situation we see today, a grave overshooting of male Lions in Zambia to the point where the population has been severely curtailed. Based upon this history as well as the now forgotten Cecil furor, the USFWS needed little persuasion to list the African Lion onto the ESA.

However, by placing the Lion on the ESA, which is an entirely American regulation, the only people affected are American hunters which understandably are in the majority in the trophy hunting world. It remains to be seen if it will be illegal for US citizens to hunt Lion in Africa regardless of weather they can bring the trophy back home or not.

It must be NOTED, this ESA listing does NOT close down the hunting of Lion in African countries, nor does it restrict individuals from other nations, where allowed, to kill and import them into their countries. Lion hunting can and will still continue in Africa and if managed in an ethical and sound environment will STILL continue to contribute towards the survival of not only Lion but all species.

As sovereign nations, those African countries where Lion hunting does occur DO NOT really have to abide by the ESA listing, they can allow Lion hunting to continue as they see fit, as Tanzania has already demonstrated. Zambia will follow suit and so will most African nations where Lion has been hunted - this is the nature of Africa and the way it operates, make no mistake, the USFWS can only try and do their bit from afar, they have no power in those African countries and they cannot enforce US law there.

Herein lies my support of the ESA listing, the nature and the manner the tourist hunting industry operates in African countries does not always lend itself to the ultimate goal of conservation, there are too many external factors at play in the Safari industry in Africa. Amongst them and possibly most prevalent, that of corruption and concession manipulation under the control of a few cartels. In Zambia and Tanzania this is certainly the case and one does wonder why this situation exists if African governments are pure in their conservation goals and not simply reaping a dwindling resource. Why would they allow the hunting concessions to remain in the hands of money laundering fronts who do not really know the very basics of hunting and its role in conservation.

Based upon the last decade of safari hunting operations in Zambia, an overly cautious estimate of the number of Lions taken during the period 2003 through 2013, as "trophies" is around 300 males. This is based upon taking the quota set for each of the prominent Game Management Areas and reducing this by half, thus allowing for a 50% success ratio which is typically higher. At the end of this 10 year concession lease period, I personally started noticing not only an absence of mature male Lion coming to the baits we had set, BUT more alarmingly there was suddenly an emergence in Zambia - which we had apparently not noticed before - of mane less Lions, with photos prominently being pasted on popular hunting forums, face book and at hunting conventions. Essentially "mane less" is nothing more than an excuse for shooting young immature Lion with no manes purely because the client, the PH and safari operator all wanted their satisfaction. I have personally sat around the campfire with longstanding Operators / PH's who have used the mantra - if it has balls it dies!

The furor around Cecil and the apparent illegality of the hunt has more to do with government officials granting excessive permits rather than the technicalities of the law, a commonly used excuse in African political circles. In addition it is the very same cartels that will coerce the incumbent governments and wildlife departments to allow Lion hunting regardless of the ESA and its restrictions because they have too much vested in the concession agreements and government payoffs.

The conservation aspects which the USFWS offers no solution for are silent and purely illegal and while they have targeted the Safari hunting industry they have made no offer of compensation for the real threats of poaching for body parts, Ivory and all the small species such as Pangolin, Tortoise, Owls, Vultures and as recently demonstrated in Kenya by the BBC Lions - Poisoning.

It is startling to note that nobody cared too much about this incident, the poisoning of a whole pride of Lions in a country where NO HUNTING occurs - it went largely unnoticed and remained low key - possibly because it draws the attention away from trophy hunting as the evil villain the money raising mechanism of the anti hunting groups is based upon. The likes of HSUS, ALF, PETA, LIONAID all have a new lease on their bank accounts as the African Lion and legal trophy hunting becomes their path to financial salvation. Forget the elephants, there be gold in them Lions as long as an largely ignorant social media frenzied public do not discover the reality of the African Lions plight.

So on the one hand while the USFWS aim is to interfere with mechanisms in which African countries implement their wildlife management plans, such as Lion off take, they offer no support or solution for other pressing wildlife issues and simply revert to the mantra of the United States itself - if Africa wants to save their wildlife they can, it is up to them, they are a democracy and they have the right to vote. If you get involved, don't do it half assed because the measures you are taking have a more severe effect on other species than Lion. I'm not going to go into the history of the United States and point to their interference across the world because they believe their way is right BUT in this case is it more of the same US imperialism under the name of conservation?

Where we as PH's will see the sad reality of what the ESA listing is really about, will be in the field when we encounter elephants with their faces hacked off, some still alive and breathing through blood gurgling throats, Lions, Leopards and more caught in snares and wasted away with no contribution to conservation. You see, if we cannot make the conservation dollars from legally managed Lion hunts, we as PH's and safari operators will stop doing what we do most of the year - anti poaching and support to local law enforcement - essentially protecting the habitat and all it encompasses.

What nobody seems to realize is that African governments handed over their conservation law enforcement to safari companies decades ago - the millions and millions of acres of habitat protected under the guise of hunting zones is done so purely by trophy hunting dollars and manpower - more land than all national parks and wilderness preserves combined. In Zambia and Tanzania there is no doubt that the government relies heavily on safari hunting to make up the majority of their annual conservation budget. It is also not surprising that in the US the majority of revenue filling the coffers of each states division of wildlife is generated from hunting and fishing - maybe they should be asked if it was OK to stop Whitetail Deer or Elk hunting because it's barbaric?

Giving money and assistance to the various governments to do conservation Law enforcement may seem to be the logical alternative, it may supplement their budget from lost hunting revenue right? Wrong! It has been proven over and over in various studies that funds given into the coffers of governments tend to remain within the circles of government - meaning very little makes it out into the field where the conservation fight is needed. In Zambia over 70% of the annual revenue received by the department of wildlife is spent and allocated within the headquarters and town circles - very little makes it out into the field where the focus is needed. Ironically close on 65% of the annual revenue earned comes from Safari Hunting and governments are entrenched in maintaining this system due to this very reason - if they stop hunting they will lose their main stream of revenue - this is how it has evolved over the years.

Why then is it so difficult to understand that if trophy hunting was stopped without an EQUAL or greater alternative revenue stream, ALL wilderness in Africa would suffer more than any associated benefits derived from banning Lion hunting. The mainstream media do not want the general public to know this, because it does not fit political correctness and it also would mean the donated dollars that support all those anti hunting conservation groups would dry up.

That is the fact about the recent ESA listing, it has NOTHING to do with the Lion and more to do with the new lease of financial opportunity the anti hunting groups, mainstream media and ultimately USFWS (there's an election coming in the USA) can gain out of this.



This Lion died a horrible slow death caught in a poachers snare, it starved to death. Lion are under threat from many quarters purely because of their nature - they are the Apex predator in Africa (behind man) and without a doubt do not draw those oooohs and aaaws from a bleeding heart populace. In Africa Lions are dangerous, they eat people, they kill livestock and they do roam great distances which means they need habitat to live on and they need prey animals to feed off.

THEIR ONLY HOPE OF SURVIVAL IS HABITAT SECURITY - and under an ethically managed hunting program more LAND can be saved than with any other method of conservation. Hunters are prepared to pay great sums of money for the opportunity to roam in African wilderness which is of no interest to eco and photographic safari outfitters - their footprint is very low impact and the expanses of land that can be saved are vast. The problem lies with African governments, local outfitters and professional hunters and their commitment to conservation - too often it seems their conservation policies and ethics are geared towards profit at the expense of bio diversity protection.


SafariBwana's "Rough Hunts "
I've always looked to those way out places where only the hardy survive as the ultimate test of a hunters will - not from the point of hardship, but rather from their acceptance that hunting in a vast open uninhabited wilderness is enough reward and the trophy is merely an achievement not a must have.

We offer you the opportunity to experience our Africa in a rougher style, a more authentic or rustic manner of safari – nevertheless a true challenge and adventure. By law we cannot allow you to hunt without a PH so we provide the basics, the very basics and then the rest is up to you. A good PH, a land cruiser, some rudimentary camping equipment, first aid supplies, clean water and dry goods for your trip – naturally trackers and helpers are also present. Sounds very much like a camping set up BUT here's the difference – there is no set camp nor a campsite, no roads where you will be heading, it is just virgin territory with a healthy population of game to seek.

We have over 900,000 acres of open undeveloped hunting land for you to explore – at your own time and your own risks and decisions – bring your own gear, pre order food supplies, load up and head into the bush!


Sitatunga hunting in Zambia

Sitatunga hunting in Zambia

ZAMBIA - African safari adventures

Zambia offers hunting in the classical sense, vast open wilderness concessions where Africa's large beasts wander freely, pretty much as they did a 100 years ago in relative solitude. Of all Africa's hunting countries, Zambia must stand amongst the top 3 as the destination of choice for those seeking the true African hunting experience. No matter if you're after the larger beasts or simply seeking the solitude of an African wilderness hunt, Zambia is where you'll find the safari of your dreams.

Our flagship property lies in the famous Kafue region, an unfenced private hunting Eden often refereed to as the very best hunting property in the whole of the country. Mushingashi Game Conservancy offers 100% success for the discerning hunter in an environment that is classic unfenced Africa. With a competent team of professional hunters and staff this is currently the premier hunting property in Zambia for those wanting unfenced hunting adventures!

Mushingashi offers the classical Safari hunts with Zambia's largest Sable regularly taken:

16 Day Leopard, Sable and Buffalo Safaris - Leopard, Buffalo, Sable, Roan plus a full bag of plainsgame species

10 Day Cape Buffalo OR Sable Hunt - Cape Buffalo, Sable Hippo, Crocodile plus limited plainsgame species

7-14 Day Sitatunga Expedition Safari - Zambezi Sitatunga, Black Lechwe, Tssessebe, Oribi plus various indigenous species at our game ranches across the country.

1-3 Day Kafue Lechwe option is available

Zambia has some magnificent private UNFENCED hunting properties offering Sable, Sitatunga, Roan, Livingstone's Eland, Puku, Chobe Bushbuck, Sharpe's Grysbok, Kafue Lechwe, Black Lechwe, Defassa Waterbuck plus all the other prime animals like very big Kudu (55" plus), Warthog.

Hippo hunting in Zambia

Zambia Hunting Safaris - the real Africa

Cape Buffalo Hunting


stop-over hunting!
Johannesburg - Cape Town - Got time to kill between flights?...don't waste time hanging out at the airport! Hunt just outside Johannesburg or Cape Town for a variety of South African species including Cape Eland, Bontebok, Gemsbok, Blue and Black Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest. Quick and easy - email Pete

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Africa Wingshooting - the continent holds a great variety of wingshooting opportunities - be it upland style shoots with dogs or traditional driven shoots OR African waterfowl over a great diversity of species and habitats - African wingshooting is not to be missed.

EVERYTHING you need to know about Africa's hunting countries: special deals and offers, what to hunt, how to book a safari , essential information, do's and don'ts, outfitter and PH contact lists and much more

Your best guide to the GOOD, BAD & UGLY of Africa! What African trophies to hunt - habits, hunting tips, hunting regions and hunting calibers PLUS great pictures and shot placement advice!

Here's what the African professional hunters use and rely on, day in and out. YOUR GUIDE to really useful African safari hunting gear AND what you should leave behind.

Controversial, tongue in cheek, downright to the point opinions from PH's and outfitters about a safari hunt in Africa - GREAT HUNTING DEALS - LAST MINUTE SAFARI's - ADVICE AND HUMOR!

GREAT TROPHY PICTURES of AFRICAN ANIMALS - our library of species taken over the last decade - a great idea of what to look for when deciding on a trophy animal to hunt!


Pete Swanepoel

SafariBwana llc

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Want to read more? Check out my rambling Blogs:

Rifle and Guns for Africa!

Chipolopolo - shoot straight!

45-70 Lever Guns for Africa!


SAFARIBWANA is ALL about hunting in Africa and covers African Safari Hunting down to the last detail. WE are PH's ourselves - BUT our greatest asset is our honesty and up front information to you - SERIOUSLY, we provide unbiased hunting information which allows you to make the best hunting decision for your hunt in Africa .



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