Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > Well, well, well...Just call me Rocco Rivera!!! (expose on hunting)

Well, well, well...Just call me Rocco Rivera!!! (expose on hunting)

Reply

Mar 28th, 2004, 05:25 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Well, well, well...Just call me Rocco Rivera!!! (expose on hunting)

In less than two minutes of my expert investigative journalism, I am reporting a major scandal, at least scandalous to Fodorites whom have recommended this tour operator on this board in the past.

Have a look at this first link:
http://www.classicafrica.com/aboutus/about.htm

And now, have a look at this link:
http://www.classichuntingsafaris.com/aboutus/about.htm

Is it just me or is there a striking resemblance between the two of them???

ANYBODY THAT LOVES THE AFRICA THAT WE KNOW AND LOVE, PLEASE DO NOT USE CLASSIC AFRICA!!!

Talk about two faced double talkers. On the Classic Hunting Safaris website it says the following about Pierre Faber:

"He is a member of the South African Veterinary Association's Wildlife Group, and has hunted extensively across southern Africa. He is passionate about hunting, and its role in the conservation of Africa's wilderness and wildlife."

However on the Classic Africa website, the site that Fodorites and other non-hunters would visit, it reads as follows:

"He is a member of the South African Veterinary Association's Wildlife Group, and is passionate about the conservation of Africa's wilderness and wildlife."

Conveniently left out is the part that describes his love of slaying animals for sport, and, obviously that he and his wife have another company that specializes in such activity.

Also, conveniently placed on the Classic Hunting Safaris site is a link to their Classic Africa site, but there is NO LINK on the Classic Africa website to the Classic Hunting Safaris website.

Congratulations Classic Africa, you have won the first Fodor's Inhumanitarian Of The Year Award, presented by yours truly.

If I found this in less than two minutes, there are surely many other examples out there. I am not close to finished with this one. One down, countless more to go.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 05:42 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Two more minutes, and already another discovery with a well frequented African travel website.

Here is the photographic safari website, with no mention of hunting:

http://www.classicsafaris.com/

And here is the hunting website, complete with the owner of this tour company, Louis Van Tonder's, personal recommendation of Dakota Rifles to slaughter the animals:

http://safariconsultants.com/

Again, one website is completely independent of the other, with no hunting being mentioned on the website that you or I would go to.

In case anybody ever wondered, this is the company that I have often referred to in the past to avoid due to the ritzy address (Montecito, CA). While I knew before that he made a killing on the markups of his tours, I had no idea that he also, literally, made a killing and made other killings possible on a cleverly hidden alternate website.

Okay, anybody opposed to hunting should also avoid African Safari Consultants.

Wow, all this is less than five minutes of research. What else is out there?

At least none of the lodges are YET involved, but next thing I find may be that Singita has hunting on Tuesdays thru Thursdays, and photographic safaris on Fridays thru Mondays!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 05:48 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Please, people, if you are opposed to hunting and are considering booking with a certain operator, do a Google search on them.

For example, if I run Rocco's African Safaris, perhaps you would put a hunt in for "Rocco's African Safaris" and "Hunting", and you just may see that I am a butcher that also operates "Rocco's Slaughterhouse For Wealthy White Men With Small..." (you get the picture).

You never know, your tour operator may very well be pushing hunting safaris on the side. Or are they pushing photographic safaris on the side?
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 05:50 PM
  #4
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Oh My God!!!!!! That made me sick!!!! I never would have thought they would have endorsed hunting!!! Please never use nor recommend this group. How two faced can people be? To promote hunting in the Okavango Delta? And also safaris from folks that abhor hunting. I guess that is working both sides of the fence. Lets just cover all the bases and get every cent we can from our degrees, right? Makes me sick. I knew it was rampant, but I didn't think this type of critter was doing it. I believe they live outside of Africa, so when Africa is gone, they can just transfer their degree status to another country. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 06:54 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
And introducing the sickos that feel the need to hunt...hope none of these people are your neighbors:

http://www.erindihuntingsafaris.com/referrals.htm

Imagine being so proud of killing animals that you list your name, address and phone number? What is WRONG with these people? Are they missing a chromosome or something?
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 07:12 PM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Stupid question...WHY can't these hunters just shoot the animals with a tranquilizer, take their stupid pictures with the animals, and then go the **** home???

Hey, I may even try that once if the animals would fully recover.

These people must have some real issues to want to kill for sport.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 07:48 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Although I do not like talking to myself, I am finding so much information that I have to share.

Anybody that thinks that hunting safaris are not every bit as prolific as photographic safaris, is sadly mistaken. Here is a list for hunting safari operators in Zimbabwe, alone:

http://www.travelzim.com/hunting.htm

Can you even believe how many of them there are? This doesn't even include Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, or Eastern Africa.

Safarinut, if you are reading this, and I do not know your politics, but I even came across one site that advertised hunting in the Sabi Sand. Is this possible? It seems like too small an area to have both hunting and photographic safaris. Perhaps that portion in the Sabi Sand did not include hunting?

I mean if there is even hunting in the Sabi Sand, then not even small private reserves will be safe from hunting. As I said earlier, Djuma used to be a hunting lodge a decade ago, but I thought all hunting had ceased in the Sabi Sand. If it is still going on, it would not surprise me one bit if the hunting lodge was affiliated with one of the more commercially known photographic safari lodges.

Any feedback will be appreciated.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 08:52 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
Rocco:

First I should state that I find the ''sport'' of hunting despicable.

I am not aware of any hunting safaris in the Sabi Sands Game reserve.Theoretically landowners could allow hunting as this is private property,but none do,more money in photographic safaris.I have seen a study published in RSA where they have calculated the commercial value of a single lion to be $50 000 per year through photographic safaris.

I also think the Goverment will step in if hunting is revived in the SSGR as they have dropped the fences between the KNP and these private game reserves in 1994.

Can't see how a person can find ?satisfaction[perverse pleasure] in killing an animal.
safarinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 11:37 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
I don't get it either.
I really am shocked at that first double whammy pair of websites Rocco.
Really, I am just shocked.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2004, 11:50 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
I've been looking at these sites you posted... It is unbelievable to me. This one was especially repulsive:

http://www.erindihuntingsafaris.com/referrals.htm

What was once a living, breathing, remarkable creature to watch is now a dead carcass for them to pose by. Where's the beauty in THAT? I read some of the hunter's reports too on the other site. When I see that most of them are from Zim or Namibia, I can vow never to visit those countries. But Botswana and SA, are they really there as well?
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 12:32 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
There are so many: http://www.hunt-africa.com/company_info.htm
(scroll down for a photo of the proud hunter).
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 12:33 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
This one has a list of lots of other companies:
http://huntingsociety.org/safaris.html
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 02:42 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
I don't want to say "I told you so," but I will. Big game hunting is exploding in popularity all around Africa, so it is not hard to imagine that people are trying to get in on making big bucks. I live in NH where there is a lot of seasonal hunting, of which I have mixed feelings. The overwhelming majority of people who hunt here eat whatever it is they catch, whether wild turkey, black bear, deer or moose. Permits for moose hunting is done on a lottery basis, names randomly drawn for a certain number of moose. As I said, most of the hunters use the moose for the meat - a bull moose can feed an entire family of four for almost a year and is supposed to have less fat than cattle. Those hunters who kill a moose but do not want the meat must donate the meat to local food banks, which will distribute it to the needy. I must say that the deer, turkey and moose populations here in NH are quite healthy and not nearly as precarious as Africa's wildlife. Come on guys, did you all really think that everyone who goes to Africa is strictly shooting with their cameras?
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 03:47 AM
  #14
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Roccco - you did good, and I just lost my breakfast! Got sick with the thought and then I saw the pictures - it's barbaric.
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 03:54 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Susan, not at all.
But I certainly didn't have an idea of the scale and the number of operators out there offering hunting rather than viewing safaris and nor did I appreciate the low price put on the heads of "trophy" animals.
The two sister sites Rocco identified at the beginning of this thread particularly surprised me - I wonder how many Classic Safari customers would still have booked had they seen the second site too?
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 04:09 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Even worse pictures are some of the websites for the "canned" hunting places here in the U.S. Many of the animals - lions, leopards, black jaguars, etc. have been hand-reared so really have no fear of humans. Then, they are declawed so that the "hunters'" dogs don't get hurt chasing the terrified animals down, which usually takes place in a very, small contained area. Disgusting ...
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 05:25 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 51
I have booked a trip in Classic Africa (but yet to pay).

While I do not oppose strongly on hunting, as long as it is legal and controlled, I don't like Classic Africa hiding the fact that it operates hunting safaris. If they truly believe that it is correct, they should disclose it in their website.

llee_2003 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 05:34 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
I agree llee.

They should be upfront about their business.

If potential customers are not bothered by the hunting side of their business then they can go ahead and book.

But this stinks of "being economical with the truth" to me.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 05:46 AM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Thanks for the support. I went to bed not knowing whether or not I had gone overboard on this one.

I wonder if Conde Nast Traveller, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Explorer or any such magazine would be interested in this. My guess would be not since probably 90% of their articles are about their sponsors/advertisers. I am particularly concerned about the practice of Classic Africa and African Safari Consultants double dipping into both the photographic safaris and the hunting safaris.

It is really unfortunate that a person would want to do this and then pay thirty to forty thousand dollars to do so. It is all about the hunter's fragile ego and need to be seen, I suppose. Why else would they so proudly pose by the carcass of the animal, and then be so willing to give out their personal information down to their home addresses and phone numbers?

I must admit that one of my neighbors in the new gated community that I live in is an African game hunter. I have ignored this fact and really must continue to ignore it, but it really bothers me. He and his wife, in their early 50's, cruise around in their Land Rover Discoveries with license plates that are in Afrikaans for some of their favorite animals to hunt, as if they love that animal, not as if they love to kill that animal. Needless to say, I only had a single 10 minute conversation with this neighbor and have no desire to speak to him again.

Anyway, I think that we Fodorites should really make this into something constructive but I do not know where to start. Of course, nobody that opposes hunting should use Classic Africa aka Classic Hunting Safaris or Classic Safaris aka African Safari Consultants. Classic Africa was especially underhanded about it all since at least Classic Safaris uses the name of their hunting outfit on their photographic safari website.

Another thing I did last night, fortunately without success,was to search the names of the places that I am going on my upcoming safari to see if either Star Of Africa or Shenton Safaris (Kaingo/Mwamba) was in any way affiliated to hunting. I found nothing on these two which made me breathe easier. I really did expect to find one on the company that I wrongly tried to tar and feather on here about a month ago for refusing to quote me in the future, but, again, fortunately, they came up 100% clean.

I guess that we can all start with the tour operators that we are currently using, are considering using or have worked with in the past. If they come up dirty, we should share that information and avoid that company. I just know that there must be so many more of them out there.

It was only Classic Africas thirst for money and their insistence on being listed atop Google's search engine for both the hunting and the photographic safaris that gave them away. Those two cannot state enough how one is a Rhodes Scholar and the other is Miss Universe, or whatever are her qualifications. You would think that with such pedigrees that they would not be butchers, right?

If Classic Africa and African Safari Consultants were forthcoming it would be one thing, but when they are nothing more than two-faced, double talking hustlers, that really bothers me. I have talked to both of these companies before in the past and due to their very high pricing I never had the desire to book through them. However, I can see where they would do just fine with consumers that wanted to feel like they were booking with top notch tour operators, even if it was at a higher cost. Little did their photographic safari customers know that they were also likely selling one hunting safari for each photographic safari.

Anyway, I can use some help here, since I don't know who the operators are that everybody here uses. I can only report as I did previously in this post that Star Of Africa, Shenton Safaris and Zambezi Safaris and Luangwa Safari Network all came out perfectly clean.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2004, 05:55 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
To all reading this thread, I have one piece of advice.
Take care not to write anything that might lead to this thread being deleted by Fodors.
I think it's fine for us to express our disgust and our horror and to call likeminded travellers not to use these companies.
This forum is for discussion of travel and that includes operators, after all.
But as soon as we step over the line and name-call or question the business practices of any of these operators they can easily ask Fodors to delete the thread.
Which is exactly what we don't want - we want any other readers of this forum to be as aware of the issues as we now are.
I was aware of hunting, of course. I was not aware that it was so widespread nor of the operators who hustle both sides of the fence, as it were.
Thanks again Rocco.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:12 PM.