The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) has released the latest statistics from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) showing an increase of 32% in hunting tourism revenue from 2012 to 2013 where hunting tourists spent an estimated R1,07 billion in South Africa in 2013, up from R811 million the year before.
The DEA statistics show that 7 638 hunts by overseas hunters took place last year, during which 44 028 trophies were taken. In 2012, 8 387 hunts took place with 40 866 trophies taken. Income from species fees (the fee a hunting outfitter pays a landowner to harvest an animal) amounted to R757,6 million in 2013, and income from daily rates (the fee a client pays a hunting outfitter) came to R314,4 million for a total of R1,07 billion. This compared with 2012, which saw R574 million in species fees and income from daily rates at R237 million.
The increase in foreign hunting revenue over last year was largely attributed to the strength of the dollar against the rand, an increase across the board in daily rates received and an increase in the total number of animals hunted.
The calculations exclude traditional tourism spending such as food, transport, crafts and curios, and additional sightseeing activities as well as other hunting expenses such as permits and licensing fees, clothing, ammunition, hunting accessories, taxidermy and trophy shipping fees. Research conducted by the North West University on the 2012 hunting season showed that when these additional expenses were factored in, the economic value of South Africa’s trophy hunting industry increased by more than 50% (from R811 million to R1,24 billion in that year).
Adri Kitshoff, Chief Executive of PHASA, said South Africa had an estimated 20,5 million head of game (approximately 16 million on private land and the rest in state parks), meaning that the decrease through trophy hunting in 2013 was 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).
“It just goes to show how sustainable trophy hunting is in South Africa and how well our natural resources are being managed,” said Kitshoff. “Besides creating incentives for our people to look after our animals by negating our competition with wildlife for land, it also injects much-needed spending and creates job opportunities in remote areas not considered part of the mainstream tourism circuit.”
Plains game were the most popular among hunting tourists with impala (5 697), warthog (3 849), kudu (3 519), common blesbok (3 354), springbok (2 954), blue wildebeest (2 694), gemsbok (2 585), Burchell’s zebra (2 492), nyala (1 503) and waterbok (1 380) making up the bulk of the trophies taken in 2013.
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), waterbuck (R27,5 million) and Blue wildebeest (R26,1 million).
Source: Tourism Updates