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I was very fortunate that my late father took me hunting from a very early age. I hunted my first Impala at the age of 10. From that moment I knew where my passion is: Wildlife and Hunting. While I studied Town Planning at University, I also qualified as a Professional Hunter and Hunting Outfitter.  Taking out clients on hunting safaris was a wonderful way of combining my skills and passion. After getting married and the births of my three boys, I realized that hunting professionally would not allow me to spend as much time with my family as I would like and decided that I therefore needed a direction change. A decision I do not regret. However, raising three boys, who like their father also loved hunting, became a financial nightmare.


I started looking for ways to make hunting more affordable, and avenues to generate income from hunting, which would not take me away from home for such long periods.   I realised that there are a lot of by-products and even wasted products in this industry. Following the Japanese motto of “Motainai – waste not, want not”, I started looking for a market for these “wasted products” such as skins, horns and bones.


The Internet seems the logical choice to look for opportunities and I started selling different wildlife products through the Internet. Working out of the garage at my house, I soon realised that this hobby is turning into something much bigger.  Susan, my wife, was very supportive, but the “smell of money” soon had the neighbours complaining. We then rented space at a local taxidermist and moved operations there.  Within two years, I ran out of space again and started looking for my own premises.


In 2008 I purchased a small holding outside of the town of Rayton. Permissions were obtained from the local authority to run the operations from there. Permission was also granted by the State Veterinarian to conduct a “High Risk Facility”, authorising us to do imports and exports from our facility.


With a work force of 12, Afrikan Tanning CC is now a fully fledged tannery of wildlife products. We comply with the current regulations to accept hunting trophies from all over the world and also comply with the current regulations to “dip & pack” hunting trophies and export them all over the world.


Our client base spans the globe, and range from wholesalers of wildlife products, taxidermists, speciality shops and interior decorators to hunters and local sangomas.


Pieter Swart
Owner of Afrikan Tradersonline/Afrikan Tanning

 

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