INTERNATIONAL SPORTSMEN’S EXPO & ELEPHANT CONSERVATION
We are happy to report that we had a very successful marketing show at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition in Denver the first week in January. The show was pretty busy each day, but we feel Saturday set a record for attendance. For those familiar with this venue, the attendance line at the opening hour was all the way across the broad lobby, down the escalator, across the expansive entry lobby and out the door. The escalator had to be shut down until the doors opened and the line began to clear.
We were very pleased with the attendance at our booth. We met lots of new safari enthusiasts and welcomed back existing clients who returned to book with us again. Altogether we booked a number of elephant safaris, lion safaris, a good number of cape buffalo as well as plains game safaris.
Our elephant safaris this year will be conducted on a very large concession adjacent to Kruger National Park (KNP). The closest town is Phalaborwa, which many of you know is one of the entry points into KNP itself. Phalaborwa is in the Limpopo Province and is about a 4 hour drive from our Karoi Base Camp. The property where we will be hunting includes 6 miles of frontage on the Olifants River. Access between this property and KNP is open (no fencing), so the elephant herds within this area move freely to access the desirable riverine habitat surrounding the river. Hunting will be by spooring, and then following the spoor to access a bull elephant of the approved weight class (single weight of one tusk). Thus, this will be elephant hunting in the true spirit of the British East Africa tradition of long ago. While hunting we will make use of very comfortable bush chalets which front right on the river. These chalets are air-conditioned and have ensuite bathrooms.
This is all part of the modern-day elephant management plan implemented by KNP, as an over-population of elephants have existed in KNP for quite a number of years, and during this period they have negatively impacted the mature canopy forests so necessary to supporting a diverse population of varying species. We will strictly observe the unfenced boundary defining the KNP border and will not cross it for any purpose. Since the hunting will take place primarily along the Oliphants River this will not be an issue at all.
These elephants have the requisite CITES approvals and permits for taking an elephant bull up to 40 pounds (weight of one tusk). Thus the ivory and hide are both exportable. The meat will go to the local tribe and will provide a valued source of protein to approximately 250 families. If you wish to learn more about the rationale and efficacy of elephant hunting as a conservation tool, please obtain and read a copy of Ron Thomson’s book Elephant Conservation – The Facts & The Fiction ISBN 978-0-620-69450-6. Ron’s books are available through this website: http://www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za/
If you are interested in future elephant hunting opportunities please contact us early, as the lead times for planning these safaris is generally longer than for the typical plains game safari. We do have one tag remaining for an exportable bull of 45 pounds, so please contact us immediately if you have an interest in hunting an elephant in this weight class. These bulls must be harvested this year.