Hunting is hugely popular in South Africa, but it’s taking a back seat to the soccer matches occurring all over the country.
Industry insiders say it hurts their bottom line. “We haven’t got the quantities that we should have in the middle of our hunting season which is June and July. I think we are going to be down 30 percent overall for the year,” Arthur Rudman, owner of Blaauwkrantz Safaris told Agence-France Presse.
The drop follows an already drab season that was hindered by the worldwide recession (many of South Africa’s safari hunters come from other countries.) The game industry brings as much as $900 million to the nation’s economy. But now that World Cup fever is burning up the landscape, reportedly drawing as many as 300,000 visitors to the games, Rudman says his numbers will drop by as much as 30 percent.
“The soccer fans are not fellows who are really hunters. We have had interest, we are having a few hunters coming through, but it’s not an avalanche,” said Rudman.