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September 2011
     

 

 

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In this update

Bushman's head
Africa's spring
Safari highlights
Snippets
News from the crew

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Africa's spring has arrived

Which means that the northern migrant birds are on their way south, the bush is due for some refreshing rains and summer's on the way. 

It also means that "braai" (grill) kits are coming out from winter storage!  This pic captures many local "non-vegetarian" sentiments...

staple fare - boerewors

..."smaak" means "to like or enjoy" in South Africa.  We've had quite a bit of fun with this and more on Facebook.  Join us...friends here....company page across here

 

2011 safaris in full swing!
 

We've had a simply outstanding prime time since June.  It's been a cold winter but things are heating up, always the case when the traditional school and college vacs are nearly all over.  The valleys are getting warm, the bush has had a winter "thinning", wildlife is drawing towards shrinking water sources and scout reports and client feedback has been excellent. 

Rufiji skimmer, courtesy Matt Rogan

  • Botswana: wild dog pups have been the centre of attention at Kwando; lots of "predator-prey" action especially between lion and buffalo at Duba Plains; constant elephant activity around Jacana Camp; water levels dropping in the Okavango.
  • Zimbabwe: ever-present elephant, large moving herds of buffalo, mischievous nocturnal visitors and Nyala in Mana Pools; a string of successful canoeing and walking safaris; great lion and leopard sightings in Hwange; birds galore!
  • Namibia: good brown hyaena and jackal sightings on the Skeleton C0ast; Cheetah, lion and elephant made an appearance in Damaraland
  • Zambia: pangolins have been "positively exhibitionist" in Kafue; entertainment by huge elephant herds at Toka Leya; Wonky Tusk, Wellington and family are back checking out their favourite "wild mango" tree at Mfuwe. (No fruit until October...another few months of elephant antics begins!)
  • Tanzania: The first crocs have returned to their caves on the Katuma River and wildlife action is chaotic in Katavi; lions have an epic territorial battle in Selous; Emmanuel spends the morning surrounded by 500,000 wildebeest in the Lamai Wedge, Serengeti
  • Kenya: Hardly a wildebeest in sight but daily doses of Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Rhino at Nkorombo (Mara); close friends top the last day of safari with leopard; good migration action in central Mara. (Atta is working proactively in the industry to keep us updated on the Kiwayu incident.)
  • Birding reports: best shots by Wilderness Safaris - African finfoot (Zambia); Seychelles blue pigeon and white-tailed Tropicbirds (Seychelles); Montagu's Harrier (Nyika, Malawi)
lion on the prowl, courtesy Mark & Chloe Sheridan Johnson pride sisters on alert, courtesy Mark & Chloe Sheridan Johnson the victim, courtesy Mark & Chloe Sheridan Johnson
Part of the Selous territorial battle sequence, courtesy Mark & Chloe Sheridan Johnson at Sand Rivers

 

Last minute safaris and preparing for 2012

 

Credit crunch woes aside if you're thinking about a safari next year then be sure to get in soon for the best spots.
  • If Victoria Falls was on the cards this festive period then sadly it's too late.  If you're flexible then plan up to mid-December or into January.  You'll miss the crowds and get outstanding summer weather with wildlife and birding conditions deluxe.  4* comfort and easy connections into Zimbabwe, Zambia or Botswana.  "The best ticket in town".
  • Greystoke Mahale is practically full July to September 2012 but the Katavi-Mahale safari is best in October/November/December anyway.  Don't leave this too late next year!
  • British Olympian Lucinda Green: an excellent prospect for horse riders in the Okavango 30 Nov to 7 Dec 2012.  Book by end Jan 2012.

horseback safari in Botswana's Okavango, courtesy African Horseback Safaris

  • Gorilla permits, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: Pay $350 instead of $500.  October and November only.
  • Mauritius and Seychelles: Affordable tropical is1and hopping.  14 nights for the price of 12.  5-star lodgings.  Ideal for couples (with or without preschool children).  May and June 2012 only.
  • Family safaris:  Now's the time to get bookings in place for next July and August.  Especially if you're looking at Kenya, Tanzania or Zambia.  These are small outfits - once the best space is taken no amount of money will get you availability.
  • Honeymoon offers: Specials in Tanzania (Sand Rivers, Kiba Point, Greystoke Mahale, Chada Katavi, Lamai Serengeti Jan-Mar and Nov 2012; Serengeti Safari Comp, Nduara Loliondo Mar-May 2012)
  • Wilderness Safaris: Nov-April 2012 except Xmas and Easter.  Practically unbeatable offers in 23 spots across Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
James V and Ranulph F....Mana vista James V and Ranulph F....Mana bull

 

 

Mana Pools Canoeing Safaris, Zimbabwe

An ideal combination of unspoilt wilderness, some of the finest wildlife and birding in the region, truly excellent river guides and a wide range of options to suit all tastes. Seriously affordable!

Mana Pools elephants

The canoeing safaris range from fairly basic full-participation trails all for under $1000 to backed-up safaris with some of Africa's top professional guides.

Add a night or two on either end of a canoeing safari at Ruckomechi and you'll have first class comfort to complement the wilder action and activity on the Zambezi River.

Mana Pools is where the best action takes place.  A World Heritage Site in the heart of the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Preserve. 

  ...a reminder to Australian and Canadian clients about last month's offer

Find out more about Lower Zambezi Canoeing

 

 
 
Zambezi quotation

THE FIXER

...we had created a box of memories that would stay with us for the rest of our life. My thanks to Trish who made all of the planning to make our connections work without a misstep.

If she could just fix the immigration line in Vic Falls, she would have made a perfect safari. I wouldn't put it past her to get this fixed next time.
 

Michael E
Zimbabwe, August 2011

...more client comments here

Zambezi quotation

 

Self-Drive Safari in Tanzania, 9 nights  

If you love the idea of being independent then this intrepid self-drive safari could be just the ticket! Staying at secluded sites in northern Tanzania taking in Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, and the Serengeti.  You'll have a fully equipped safari vehicle, maps and advice on where to stop for fuel, food and drink. Then off you go!


Find out more about this self drive Tanzania safari

Serengeti horizon

 

Snippets

Mana Pools under threat

  • 4 lodge developments were originally earmarked for the Mana shoreline, then 2, then everything went quiet

  • the 10 year Mana Pools Management Plan advises against development on the floodplain - agreed by not ratified

  • an EIA is in progress without the Management plan having been ratified and "two tenders have been awarded"

  • Tour operators from Australia, Europe the UK and US have approached UNESCO and ZimParks for more information 

Mana operators and conservationists could do with your support.

Friends of Mana Pools - Facebook group
Keep Mana Pools Wild - Facebook community
go here if you have more than a passing interest in the Zimbabwe situation

Mana Pools, lower Zambezi - courtesy Flo Coughlan, Goliath Safaris

 

Congo Basin Safaris: We're looking for men and women "Of a steely disposition.  No pay.  Hot conditions.  Long days.  Outlook on life likely be be changed.  Bragging rights guaranteed." 
2012 safaris coming up...drop a note.

 

Zambezi connections

See us in public every year
London: 28-29 Jan 2012
London: 2-5 Feb 2012
Philadelphia: April 2012
Scotland: 29June-1July 2012
CLA Fair: 20-22 July 2012
BirdFair UK: 17-19 August 2012
Some of our friend's sites

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Hope for the African Queen gunboat on Lake Tanganyika: MV Liemba started life as the Graf Goetzen after the German explorer and governor of German East Africa in 1913.  She was shipped from Hamburg to Dar and then down to the Lake in crates.  During the colonial conflict between Britain and Germany she was scuttled and ended at the bottom of the lake for about 10 years.

MV Liemba plying Lake Tanganyika

Renamed MV Liemba after she was raised, she's performed an "indispensable service" in East Africa. Still plying the waters of Lake Tanganyika every Wednesday and Friday, she could be be nearing the end of her career. That's unless financial help from the governments of Lower Saxony and the federal government in Berlin can be sourced for her renovation.  Read the BBC account.

Recent show pics

 

News from the Zambezi gang

  • Trish is back from Ethiopia and reports back from Lalibela, Omo Valley in next newsletter. (Galleries courtesy Tim Henshall)
  • Debbie and Fi are both off on separate safaris to East Africa, Debbie to Tanzania, Fi to Kenya then Tanzania.  

Show volunteers always get vigorous support from our gang - particularly when it's towards such a worthy cause!

British BirdFair collectors

 

Contact us

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Call (UK): +44 (0)_1548830059
Call (USA): +1 (610)_360 4875
Call (Africa): +263 (13)_44427
email: info@zambezi.com
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Zambezi Safari & Travel Co Ltd
Head Office, Africa House, Modbury, Devon, PL210QJ, UK

 

 

...until next time - John, Trish and the Zambezi gang

 

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