Campaigners have called for an immediate tourist boycott of Botswana yesterday over a hunting ban that does not apply to the rich.
President Ian Khama’s ban came into effect at the beginning of this year in a bid to stem the decline of wildlife species in the country.
Tribal peoples charity Survival International said bushmen who won a landmark high court case in 2006 upholding their right to hunt had been beaten and jailed for continuing their ancestral traditions.
But wealthy foreigners are being lured to the country with images of the bushmen using their traditional bows and arrows and promises of the chance to kill giraffes and zebras for up to £5,000.
Some communities hit by the ban have been given food parcels, but bushmen on the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, who have hunted on the plains for millennia, have been left to starve.
Survival director Stephen Corry recently exposed the extreme right-wingers behind the founding of the conservation movement — many of them proponents of eugenics.
Mr Corry said yesterday: “Banning hunting in order to feed your family but allowing the wealthy to hunt for trophies plays to a lobby still rooted in racist beliefs about tribal peoples’ inferiority.
“The national park movement entailed the enforced eviction, often the complete destruction, of the tribes who lived off the land.
“Satellite imagery now proves that many tribal peoples are the world’s best conservationists, yet they’re still being destroyed. It’s not conservation, it’s just an old colonial crime.”