When many people think of tourism, hunting doesn’t normally pop-up first. However, professional hunting and the organizations that govern its day-to-day running are one of the many subsets of the tourism value chain in South Africa. This month, as part of our work at TBCSA to showcase the importance of the tourism sector for South Africa’s economy we speak to our member association – The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) to find out about their work.

  1. Tell us about the work you do?

PHASA is the only Professional Body mandated by SAQUA (The South African Qualifications Authority) to represent the Professional Hunting Industry. PHASA is a member-based organisation that promotes and protects our members’ rights to legally hunt and earn a living, thereby protecting sustainable use for all lives and livelihoods. PHASA is also involved in Hunter and Sustainable use Advocacy in various National and International Forums.

  1. What is the state of trophy hunting in Africa?

According to data in the 2016 Southwick report conducted by Safari Club International Trophy Hunting, it is the single biggest contributor to conservation and rural economies throughout Africa. We believe that a lack of education has led to stereotypes about trophy hunting and as a result this curtails the full potential and benefits that well-regulated legal trophy hunting contributes to Africa and its people.

The industry generated an estimated R2.5bn per year in 2016. Work is currently underway to determine the most recent figures through a survey of our members.

  1. Which Big Five animals are most hunted in South Africa and at what price?

Our data shows that the Buffalo is the most hunted of the Big Five animals. Our country’s laws also allow for all the Big Five animals to be hunted subject to a National Hunting Quota issued by the Minister of Environmental Affairs. An average price that Buffalo hunts obtain are estimated at about 12 000 -15 000 USD.

  1. How would you describe international hunters’ attitudes towards the industry in Africa?

South Africa is a very popular hunting destination and favored by all international hunters. The USA makes up more than 45% of international hunters visiting South Africa.

  1. Lastly, what support do you believe the sector needs?

We believe that the hunting sector is still very misunderstood. This means that we do not get the full support that we need. Our international marketing expenditure is undertaken by private businesses without the support of government. We would like to see the introduction of incentives to promote and maintain what we believe is a lifeblood of our rural economies. We can take examples from our neighbors in Namibia and Botswana on how governments can promote and support the hunting sector.

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