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Govt extends hunting blocks tenure

GOVERNMENT has extended hunting blocks tenure from five to 10 and 15 years for categories I, II and III, respectively.

The move seeks to make the $20m/-sub-sector more stable and attractive to invest on.

“The changes aim to improve the subsector’s efficiency as it assures Return on investment,” the Deputy Commissioner for Tourism and Business Services for the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), Mr Imani Nkuwi explained here on Thursday.

Mr Nkuwi who was briefing journalists on the new changes that will come into effect on the commencement of the second phase for the first-ever online auctioning of 24 hunting blocks scheduled to begin on November 15 this year, will involve the e-selling of vacant hunting blocks within Game Reserves, Game Controlled Areas and Open Areas.

The tenure extension follows recent amendments on the Wildlife Conservation Act Cap 283, section 38.

We’ve also reviewed hunting packages to provide more hunted species per safari package,” said Mr Nkuwi.

The new changes will now see reduce the traditional seven packages into three; which include premium package which offers 21 days, major package consisting of 14 days and a regular package which offers 10 hunting days.

Such reviews have made Tanzania a less expensive safari destination, according to Mr Nkuwi.

“Ideally, this would entail hunting more for less”.

Mr Nkuwi was optimistic that the new changes will cement the country’s status as the premium hunting destination in Africa, assuring investors of a favorable business climate.

Before the new changes come into effect, category I hunting block would cost $60,000 while that of second category fetched $30,000.

To acquire a category three hunting block, a prospective investor would have to part ways with $18,000.

Mr Nkuwi further revealed that some countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) were compelled to halt hunting activities for failing to adhere to regulations that govern the sector.

Tanzania isn’t among the countries, according to the TAWA Deputy Commissioner for Tourism and Business Services.

“Tanzania continues to be the best example of trophy hunting sub sector that plays a significant role in conserving wildlife habitat and its ecosystem, at the same time supporting livelihood of communities.”

While South Africa and Namibia enjoy a lion’s share of visitors who tour the countries for hunting purposes, Tanzania is pegged with the likes of Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique who enjoy a shared 40 per cent of tourists who visit for hunting activities.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Act Cap 283, no person shall be considered for allocation of a hunting block unless he has a company registered with the Registrar of Companies within the country, with the intention of engaging in hunting of animals.

Another prerequisite of owning a hunting block requires a company to hire a director with at least five-year experience in matters conservation.

Only successful applicants will be permitted to participate in e-auctioning of hunting blocks, which will remain open for a period of seven consecutive days, according to TAWA where the Minister Natural Resources and Tourism will issue successful bidders with a hunting block allocation certificate.

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Author: EDWARD QORRO in Arusha

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