Another double-dipper (hunting/nonhunting)...

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Dec 11th, 2004, 10:45 AM
  #1
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Another double-dipper (hunting/nonhunting)...

After reading "The Africa House" by Christine Lamb, I was intrigued by the subject matter, the subject matter being the grand estate of Shiwa N'gandu in northern Zambia. This was a massive project that took decades to build and was the dream of a man named Stewart Gore Brown.
Very good book (although everything was not very peachy and this project really took its toll on a lot of people that did not share the grand vision of SGB).

In any event, the house after decades of neglect was recently restored by one of the grandchildren and now serves as a tourist venue for those who are able to afford the $300 pppns pricetag.

Stewart Gore Brown passed away 35 years ago, but not before being awarded knighthood by the Queen of England, later renouncing his British citizenship in favor of Zambian citizenship, being awarded the highest honor available to a Zambian citizen for his assistance in the push for independence from England. Unlike in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia was fortunate enough not to fight a war in its transition to independence.

In any event, Stewart Gore Brown was a major figure in Northern Rhodesian/Zambian history, and is the only white man to ever have a state funeral bestowed upon him.

All of the above really made me very interested in visiting Shiwa Ngandu, as it is only a four hour drive (or 30 minute flight) from North Luangwa. However, as is stated in Christina Lamb's book, one of the grandchildren, Charles Harvey is a successful big game hunting operator in Northern Zambia. At the time of the writing of the book, Shiwa Ngandu had not yet been restored, but it has now been restored by Charles Harvey and his wife (probably off the profits of the hunting operation and at the expense of the animals).

While I have backed off tremendously from my previous stand that all hunting is bad, I, personally, still prefer not to do business with hunting outfitters. I do think there is a strong link, no...an UNDENIABLE link, between the presence of hunting and a marked reduction of poaching in any given area. If there are jobs for the community as well as additional income from hunting coming into an area, there is little motivation for a certain village to partake in poaching. Yet, I cannot support any hunting outfitter as I believe hunting is morally wrong (but, again, I am thankful for their presence as poachers would devastate the area tenfold in their uncontrolled poaching activities).

My evidence of the link is not only at the very end of Christina Lamb's book, as that is dated information, now about five years old, but also here is a link from a hunting website. By going to the May, 2003, newsletter, one may read a hunting report stating that their Zambian outfitter was Charles Harvey, the current owner and operator of Shiwa Ngandu.

http://www.mafigeni.co.za/news-letters.htm

Also, it is worth noting that Charles brother, Mark Harvey is the owner of Shiwa Safaris, a photographic safari company offering three destinations...Shiwa Ngandu, Buffalo Camp (one of only three camps in North Luangwa) and Kapishya Hot Springs, where Mark resides. This is important because Kapishya Hot Springs is actually part of the Shiwa Ngandu estate, so by deductive reasoning, one may reasonably state that Shiwa Safaris is strongly associated with the hunting outfit, as well.

Perhaps it is easy to judge, sitting 10,000 miles away in Los Angeles where I can basically do whatever I want with my life be it a lawyer, a doctor, a businessman for a thousand different kinds of businesses, etc. Perhaps if I were in their shoes I may be doing the same thing...who knows???

But, again, I think it is important to let others know when we discover hunting operators that also double as photographic/nonhunting operators.

So, despite my curiosity, Shiwa Ngandu, despite its remarkable history, will not be on my list of places to go in Zambia.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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Roccco,
Perhaps if I were in their shoes I may be doing the same thing...who knows???

I am an American woman (now 40 ugh.....). I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and both my parents were hunters. If it hadn't been for deer meat, trout and our own vegetable garden, my family would have went hungry many nights. My father worked 2 jobs for many years and my mother worked in a sewing factory (aka: sweat shop)for as many years. We raised chickens and ducks too. We children also learned to hunt. If I sound proud of that - it's because I am. My father worked hard and is now the owner of our county's largest factory. There are still many families in our area that rely on hunting as a source of food (a most basic need).

My father also owns a safari business in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. They hunt and photograph.

Thank you for having an open mind Roccco, so many people simply do not have the capacity to understand that the life they have been given is not the same everywhere (even in this great country).
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Dec 15th, 2004, 11:41 PM
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LilyLace,

Thanks for the kind words. Hunting is definitely not a black and white issue.

While I am abhorred by trophy hunting (especially of lions, leopards, rhinos and elephants), I would sure rather have an entire area under the control of a hunting lodge with strict quotas, than to see an area abandoned to the delight of poachers who will shoot everything in site without contributing anything back to the community. It is not a perfect system, and I am sure there are sometimes abuses by the hunting outfits, but without the hunting, the wildlife would be decimated (case in point...Kenya, which outlawed hunting a few years back and seems to be none the better for doing so in terms of their wildlife).

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