Last August, I told you about a civil conflict in Mozambique’s Tete Province that caused at least one safari operator to cancel all of his hunting there this season. That situation seems to have continued simmering. At this writing on October 17, Mozambican soldiers and Renamo rebels had clashed again in the bush near the Renamo mountain hideout close to the border of Sofala. Reuters reported that seven Mozambican soldiers were killed by rebels. Peace talks had broken down and Renamo threatened to disrupt municipal elections scheduled for November 20. (Renamo is the political faction that opposed the socialist Frelimo government in a 16-year civil war.)
Despite these activities none of the hunters reporting back on safaris to Mozambique had experienced any problems. Although some in the industry have accused us of being alarmist in our reporting on this, we see it as a matter of full disclosure to any Hunting Report readers booked on a hunt in that area of Mozambique. The hunting season ends this month, but Renamo has threatened to continue disruptions through the presidential elections scheduled to take place next November, if their demands for increased political involvement are not satisfied.
If you are hunting southern Tete or northern Sofala next season, discuss the situation with your operator. Be sure he has a plan in case there is trouble, and have your own backup plan. We suggest, at the minimum, your own satellite phone and, perhaps, a security evacuation membership. But, as I said in my previous report, Mozambique is a big country and this situation is pretty localized. At this time, there is no reason to cancel a safari anywhere else in Mozambique.