HomeBusiness DigestSafari fees unchanged

Safari fees unchanged

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE National Parks and Wildlife Authority has agreed with big game hunters not to review safari hunting fees from US$6 000 to US$10 000 for this marketing season, saying it will disrupt t

he season.

Parks authorities had initially agreed that during this year’s marketing season the figure would be revised to US$10 000.

Industry players, however, appealed against the move. Trophy fees are paid in foreign currency.

Director of National Parks and Wildlife Authority, Morrison Mtsambiwa, this week confirmed that the hunting fees would remain unchanged.

“We had proposed that the fees be increased to US$10 000 but the industry players raised concerns that they had marketed their products at US$6 000,” said Mtsambiwa.

“The industry players were concerned that since they had marketed the products already they could not change the prices when their clients arrive. But definitely, the price will be increased to US$10 000 next year.”

Under the initially proposed trophy fee increases for this year, the Parks authorities had proposed that there be a review ranging from 33% to 240% on animals that would be hunted as part of the trophy.

Neighbouring countries are however charging more than three-times as much as Zimbabwe.

Mtsambiwa said different cost factors could contribute to the trophy prices.

By charging less than what other countries were charging, there were concerns that this could have led to some companies and tour operators under-declaring what they would have sold.

“There is no possibility that some of the firms could have under-declared their earnings, because we are now getting assistance from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe during international exhibitions,” he said.

“In fact, during the Hunting Expo that was held in the US early this year we had officials from the Reserve Bank who were there to monitor the selling of the products. So there is no way some could under-declare the total sales.”

Although Zimbabwe normally sells its ivory stocks with the permission of the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), the country will not be off-loading any of its stocks until next year.

“This year we have not applied to Cites to dispose of some of our stocks,” Mtsambiwa said.

“What we have decided to do is instead of selling the ivory stocks as unworked we have decided to improve them by working on them. By doing this the ivory fetches more prices than just sending them without value additions.”

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