13 December 2010 by Julienne du Toit

Green hunting the Big 5 is the way forward

Image courtesy Eugene Wei

Green hunting - darting animals earmarked for scientific or research purposes rather than shooting them - is charting the way forward in ecotourism. Relatively new to South Africa, green hunts will take time to catch on, but offer a win-win situation, balancing the demand for hunting with conservation efforts.

Hunters from around the world seem to dream about shooting a lion and putting a picture as proof up on their wall. This is not only a very expensive excursion, but also, in most South African circles, particularly frowned upon.

For less than 10% of the price of killing a lion, you can dart it instead, which requires just as much (if not more) skill and contributes toward conservation.

That was before green hunting was introduced, however. For less than 10% of the price of killing a lion, you can dart it instead, which requires just as much (if not more) skill and contributes toward conservation.

Lions, for example, often have to be relocated and as such need to be tranquilised. You could join a team of ecologists and be part of the relocation process - and still put that photo on the wall.

Through John X Safaris in the Eastern Cape, you can dart an elephant for less than R6 000 and a rhino for less than R6 500.

Another green hunting operator to consider is Go2SouthAfrica.

Category: Responsible Tourism, Wildlife

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