It was with excitement that I attended the PHASA conference this year. A lot has happened in the last 12 months with the key being the lauch of my own registered company - Wet Dog Safari's. I wanted to see what the other PH's and some Outfitters would think of the name and branding.
The conference stated with a great opening and proceeded to shift between serious and not so serius discussions for the next three days. From the social events to the shoot to the AGM the conference went well. It was great to catch up with many old friends and make some new ones. The auction on the last evening seemed to bring in a good amount of money for PHASA and I look forward to the new year. One of the best sessions was the information shared by Magdel Boshoff from the Department of Environmental Affairs around the revenue that is generated by the International Hunting industry. She shared the following with us:
Hunting tourists spent a conservatively estimated R1.072 billion in South Africa in 2013, an increase of 32% on last year’s R811 million, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The DEA statistics show that 7 638 hunts by overseas hunters took place last year (2012: 8 387), during which 44 028 trophies (2012: 40 866) were taken. Income from species fees (the fee a hunting outfitter pays a landowner to harvest an animal) amounted to R757.6 million (2012: R574.0 million) and income from daily rates (the fee a client pays a hunting outfitter) came to R314.4 million (2012: R237.0 million) for a total of R1.072 billion. The highest income generators in 2013 were lion (R122.3 million), buffalo (R90.9 million), kudu (R62.5 million), white rhino (R54.8 million), sable (R47.8 million), gemsbok (R33.6 million), nyala (R32.8 million), Burchell’s zebra (R30.2 million), waterbok (R27.5 million) and blue wildebeest (R26.1 million).
South Africa has an estimated 20.5 million head of game (approximately 16 million on private land and the rest on state parks), meaning that the off-take through trophy hunting in 2013 was a negligible 0.002% of South Africa’s total wildlife population. Currently, South Africa’s total extensive wildlife population is growing at a rate of 30% per annum, according to Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA).
I hope 2015 is a great year for all and see you at the next conference.