Re: Hunting in Africa.
I just returned from a hunting trip in the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and saw what you are referring to.
First off, there is no public hunting land in RSA and in many of the other, more primitive countries hunting has been severely restricted or closed. Botswana closes to all sport hunting on 12/31/13 (this is the last year.) This leaves just a few countries where hunting is allowed that are truly wild, even then much of the game has been poached into near oblivion.
Although they like to argue that photographic safaris will pay the freight, it will not pay there anymore than it will here. In fact, the situation is so horrible from a game management perspective, some countries that closed for hunting years ago are now issuing some very limited permits. Limited as in expensive, because if you are a professional hunter, you'll be selling the couple you get to the highest bidder in the world, literally. Then there's the very real political unrest, with many of those hunting reporting some very unfriendly natives bearing AK47's.
Enter South Africa.
Not too long ago the farmers (a.k.a. landowners) discovered that the game that lived on their cattle farms was becoming more valuable than the cattle. Lions had been eradicated due to that fact that allowing a lion to roam about the ranch was not a very good idea, any more than the ranchers around Yellowstone think wolves on their spread are a good thing for their cattle, deer and elk herds. Or for the women and children for that matter. So they shot them on sight.
Fortunately for the lions, and lion hunters, many were darted, penned and bred in captivity, ultimately to be released and hunted or whatever else someone would want to do with a lion. This period they spend in captivity does not tame them, in fact quite the opposite, it reduces or eliminates their fear of humans. One of these lions are much more likely to charge the hunters on sight, or when wounded, than one that fears them.
This can make for a very exciting time for anyone with the stones to hunt them. The cameraman on my hunt was more than happy to show me several videos he had handy, shot in the very recent past, that drove this point home. Same with the PH's.
The PH's do it, as they will be happy to arrange whatever type of hunt you wish, being both are about the same money for a well-maned adult male, because they want you to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. The critters that were raised in captivity are much more likely chew on their hunters than the ones born in the wild, and they want you to know this before selecting your type of hunt.
Another fallacy of the "canned" videos is they like to give people the impression that the lion is released, you track him behind the house and shoot him while he's eating out of the lion-food bowl he grew up with. That is complete and utter poppycock.
The legal minimum time period the lion must be in the wild is 3 months before hunting, and many are out much longer than this from failed hunts, cancellations, etc.. Some ranchers keep lions out for quite a long time as a matter of practice if they don't plan on allowing any cattle or people (a.k.a. impala hunters) in that section until the lion has been harvested.
Now, imagine yourself and your buddy, along with a tracker and PH, on a 35,000 acre ranch mostly comprised of thick trees and scrub vegetation, with several 500 lb. adult lions that don't fear humans wandering about. You come across a dead kudu cow, evidently a recent meal. Your tracker picks up the trail when suddenly the trail starts making ever tightening circles around you, your buddy, the PH and the tracker.
Now, what is that rifle in your sweaty palms chambered for? Hope you brought a big one with some good lion loads in the pipe. Hope you practiced fast follow-up shots for charging game with it, too.
The point is that the lion population in South Africa has not been larger or healthier in recent times than it is now, due to hunters. Just like game here in the USA, if it weren't for us, they'd have been eradicated long ago.