We spoke to some active outfitters in Mozambique regarding the renewal of hostilities. They informed us that after the devastating 20-odd-year internal war between the Frelimo and the Renamo movements, it took the wildlife in the country a long time to recover, especially in the areas where most of the fighting occurred.
Rampant poaching has also been an issue, and many concession owners have a hard time controlling the poachers, and some sources claim that it is because some poachers seem to be tied to local authorities who benefit from the ivory, fishing and bushmeat trade.
The inability of the government to attend to the CITES requirements for elephant management, resulted in the USA halting any ivory trophy imports from Mozambique, and which prompted CITES to suspend all hippo permits at the beginning of 2013 until further notice. There is also increasing talk of the EU also entering the fray and forbidding trophy ivory imports.
Despite these challenges, Mozambique has been growing as a hunting destination, and hunting companies have put a lot of effort into building infrastructure and increasing the herd count and diversity. Unfortunately the resurgence in hostilities is being viewed in a negative light by potential trophy-hunting clients, and outfitters are being inundated with concerned patrons. If there is a rash of cancellations, this will not bode well for the game. Hunters on the ground play a very effective role, with their presence in many instances a deterrent to poachers.
Lack of clients can also play havoc with the financial viability of hunting areas that are just beginning to recover, and Mozambique can lose a lot of the ground that has been gained.