Dar es Salaam. The government plans to auction 30 hunting blocks next month after postponing the exercise for almost a year.
In March 2020, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism postponed the electronic auctioning of the vacant hunting blocks – initially scheduled for March 5 that year – until further notice. The decision was made due to complaints from some stakeholders, as well as market instability caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry halted the process to allow consolidation of the complaints before conducting another e-auctioning.
However, the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (Tawa) announced yesterday that it invites applications for the allocation of the tourist hunting blocks through e-auctioning.
“Currently, there are 30 vacant hunting blocks within Game Reserves (GRs), Game-Controlled Areas (GCAs) and Open Areas (OAs) that are available for e-auctioning,” stated Tawa.
“Eligible hunting companies can be allocated up to five hunting blocks each, which shall be of different categories. Auctioning will commence on February 8, 2021, and will last for seven consecutive days,” it added.
In June 2019, the government placed its 26 hunting blocks on an online auctioning platform to mark the beginning of a major transition in game hunting for sport.
However, only seven of them were auctioned.
During its second online auctioning in November 2019, the government had put 24 blocks up for bidding - but only two were rented out.
It was against such a background that the third auction was set, seeking to find operators for a total of 29 blocks on March 5, 2020.
However, that third round was suspended due to low turnout of bidders, while others complained that some of the blocks’ licensing would expire in 2021, hence they needed assurance that they would continue with their activities after the expiry of the tenure.
The blocks included 11 from the Selous-Mikumi and nine from Katavi-Rukwa in Tanzania’s southern tourism circuit.
Others were Ruaha-Rungwa and Malagarasi-Moyovosi, also in the same circuit.
The blocks are graded in categories one-to-three, and bidders pay different fees, depending on the category of the block.
According to Tawa, applicants will pay a single application fee per category (and apply across the category). The application fee is $5,000 for the first category; $2,000 for the second category and $1,000 for the third category.
A successful bidder shall also pay 25 percent of the highest price reached within 12 working hours after closure of the auctioning and the remaining 75 percent is paid within 14 days from the date of the closure of auctioning.
The government also charges the hunting block fees annually.