Africa is a popular travel destination for trophy hunters from around the world due to the so-called "Big Five" (lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffaloes). Hunters can usually bring back home the carcasses of the animals with a corresponding permit. Hunting trips are often offered over the internet as an overall package including a weapon, accommodation, meals, and permits. Certain hunting methods, which are prohibited in Switzerland for animal welfare reasons, such as hunting with bow and arrow, can also be booked. Oftentimes, hobby hunters miss or fail to kill the animal, which suffers an agonizing death. Another morally questionable form of trophy hunting is "canned hunting" (see news report from January 13, 2016): animals are bred as a tourist attraction and are presented on a silver platter, i.e. they are trapped inside an enclosure with no way of escaping and are left completely at the mercy of the hunters.
Most African countries allow hunting safaris as long as the specific laws of the country concerned are respected, e.g. regarding protected areas, hunting seasons, laws on weapons, and the respective import and export rules are met, i.e. the corresponding CITES permits have been obtained. Many of the sought-after animals are subject to the Washington Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
While commercial trade in endangered species (e.g. certain rhino populations) that are listed in Annex I of CITES is prohibited, there are to some extent exceptions for the import of trophies. The hunting quotas and conditions are established by the CITES parties through resolutions. However, the countries of origin are individually responsible for setting quotas and regulating sustainable hunting with regard to endangered species listed in Annex II (e.g. lions).
The hunting community often claims that hunting tourism contributes towards species conservation and helps combat poverty. This is, however, highly disputed, as is shown in a report by the economist network Economists at Large, according to which only a very small portion of the revenues is actually invested into species conservation projects. Most of the profits do not benefit the rural population but end up in the hands of the foreign companies that arrange the hunts.