Hunting Zimbabwe - Despite the political, economic and social upheaval in this country, Zimbabwe remains a popular destination for hunters wanting affordable dangerous game hunting.
Exercise caution and only book hunts with reputable outfitters and make your travel arrangements with expert agents.
Google Zimbabwe and things don't look so good - you will find either links to sites decrying human rights violations, electoral abuses and an imploded economy or you will find their diametric opposites promulgated by various government mouthpieces. If you ignore all that, what you have left is a country that has its problems like any other but offers some of the best hunting in Africa.
Read more about hunting in Zimbabwe from Ira Larivers, Editor of African Hunter Magazine
Zimbabwe Hunting Season
- There is no set hunting season. June to November is the optimal hunting time
- The higher areas in the east and the High Veld receive more rainfall and are cooler than the lower areas
- Temperatures on the High Veld vary from 12 - 13°C in winter and 32°C in summer
- Low Veld temperatures are usually 5.5°C (10°F) higher. Summer temperatures in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys average between 40°C - 50°C.
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Zimbabwe Game Laws
- All trophy hunting to take place within the hours of daylight in state safari areas. On communal (tribal) and private land, nocturnal species may be hunted at night.
- No hunting is allowed at night or with artificial light on state land.
- The minimum number of days for a hunting safari is set by the outfitter, based upon the species being hunted and a Government minimum hunt charge for this species.
- Shooting from a vehicle is not permitted.
- Hunting permits (TR2) must be issued prior to the hunt commencing, signed and stamped by National Parks. These must be signed by the client and PH at the end of the hunt
- A separate permit must be issued for each individual hunting client.
- Minimum rifle energy requirement for big dangerous game (elephant, hippo, buffalo) is 5300 Joule or 9.2 diameter. Equivalent 3909.0 ft/lbs
- Minimum rifle energy requirement for very large plains game (giraffe, eland) and lion is 4300 Joule. Equivalent 3171.5 ft/lbs
- Minimum rifle energy requirement for large plains game (kudu, wildebeest etc) and leopard is 3000 Joule. Equivalent 2212.6 ft/lbs
- Minimum rifle energy requirement for medium and small plains game is 850 Joule. Equivalent 626.9 ft/lbs
- Black powder rifles have a required minimum calibre of .40
Zimbabwe Hunt Permits
- Hunting permits (TR2) must be issued prior to the hunt commencing, signed and stamped by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). These must be signed by the client and PH at the end of the hunt.
- Before the start of a hunt make sure a stamped TR2 - Application for Hunting NP/CITES - Hunting Return Formand a completed NP/CITES Form 11 are provided.
- The TR2 permit is the 'authority to hunt', a declaration of what was harvested during the hunt, a banking form and an export application permit.
- The client should look at the TR2 permit to verify that the professional hunter and safari operator listed on the TR2 permit are the ones that he will be hunting with.
- The client is advised to record the TR2 permit serial number for future reference with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority should there be a problem exporting the trophies.
- Make sure your PH is carrying a valid licence with the valid date stickers on the reverse. See below.
An example of a Zimbabwe PH licence with kind permission of Don Heath
Considerations For Hunting Zimbabwe
For US Hunting Clients Only:
As of 19th April 2014, USF&W made a revision on the suspension - elephant trophies legally taken from Zimbabwe from January 1, 2014 until April 4, 2014 will be allowed to be imported. The hunter will just need to be able to demonstrate to USF&W Office of Law Enforcement that the hunt occurred before that date in order to import the trophy.
As of the 4th April 2014, USF&W announced a suspension on imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Zimbabwe during calendar year 2014. The Service will reevaluate this suspension for calendar year 2015 or upon receipt of new information that demonstrates an improved situation for elephants in this country.
Read the USF&W reasons for this elephant import suspension as it pertains to Zimbabwe
The US Travel Advisory states the following:
- Tourists who wish to hunt in Zimbabwe must be accompanied by a licensed operator, who is required to be registered and licensed by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Travellers to Zimbabwe should ask for the operator's license number when booking a hunt and should check the authenticity of the license by contacting the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators (ZATSO) at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Under Executive Order 13288 of March 7, 2003, the United States placed sanctions on the property and economic assets of certain Zimbabwean government officials deemed most responsible for undermining Zimbabwe's democratic institutions. Under U.S. law, it is illegal for American citizens or residents to engage in any transaction or dealing with the targeted individuals or other entities designated by the Secretary of the Treasury under this sanctions program. It is not otherwise illegal for American citizens to transact business with Zimbabwean firms. U.S. citizens intending to engage in business or financial transactions in Zimbabwe are advised to consult the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control web site at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/ for up-to-date information on these sanctions.
- While there is no set legal limit on the amount of foreign currency that a person can carry into Zimbabwe, it is illegal to take more than $1,000 U.S. dollars or more than $5,000,000,000 Zimbabwean dollars out of the country, whether departing by road or air. Travellers seeking to depart with greater amounts of local currency risk having the money confiscated and/or being prevented from leaving pending a court appearance.
Zimbabwe Hunting Species
Zimbabwe Elephant Hunt 2008 by David Bartlett is a first-person account of the beauty, danger and corruption he encountered on his travels in Zimbabwe. A thrilling and touching account of one hunter's friendships and close calls. The book outlines not only the hurdles international hunting travelers face when in a heavily sanctioned country oppressed by human rights violations, but also the ways in which the people of these countries rise above it all to welcome visitors.
The Hunting Imperative: Biography Of A Boy In Africa is the biography of Richard Harland, one of the greatest living elephant hunters. Richard learned elephant hunting under the tutelage of Paul Grobler, one of the greatest elephant hunters who ever lived. This is Harland's story.
Hunting In Zimbabwe by Tony Sanchez Arino is an anthology of the best writings on hunting in Zimbabwe from both old and current writers many of whom are also professional hunters.
Zimbabwe's Glamour Game DVD by Ken Wilson. Hunting of 'cattle-killing' leopards by tracking them with dogs. Other species such as sable, Livingston's eland and greater kudu are also hunted.
Mopani Collection - First Season DVD is a Roy Aylward film from the Omay Area in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe featuring 13 elephant hunts, 6 hippos shoots, 7 buffalo kills and finally a leopard attack. There are a total of 30 big-game hunts on this DVD.
Hunting Zimbabwe Resources