Sudan white water Peace offers adventure travel opportunities in South Sudan
Under African Sky
All tied up Essential loops and hitches 2
Make a Plan Making primitive fire
Published by Safari Media Africa Editors United States of America Editor: Alan Bunn email@example.com Associate editor: Galen Geer firstname.lastname@example.org Europe Hans Jochen Wild email@example.com Africa Southern Africa: Mitch Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org Central Africa: Cam Crieg email@example.com Financial Thea Mitchell Layout & Design Xtasis Media and Digital Wind Advertising and Marketing South Africa: T. Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org Phone +27 13-7125246 Fax 0866104466 USA: Alan Bunn email@example.com (706) 2762608 African Expedition Magazine is an independent bimonthly publication promoting fair, sustainable hunting, a protected environment and adventure sports in Africa. The African Expedition Magazine is published by Safari Media Africa
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contents 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
8 Sudan white water
Peace brings adventure travel opportunities in South Sudan
Under African Sky
42 All tied up
Essential loops and hitches 2
62 African hunters of yesteryear The Maneating lions of Tsavo
84 Africa - the good news
The good news from Africa
94 African Bush Cuisine Kudo carpaccio
102 Make a Plan
Lifting a vehicle without a jack
106 True North
The Very Best Invitation
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Sudan white water
Peace brings adventure travel opportunities in South Sudan 8 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
ost people donâ€™t associate Sudan with tourism, or would ever consider going there on holiday. In fact, few people have heard little about the divided nation except stories of tribal violence and the ongoing crisis in Darfur. But since the recent referendum that voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession, the worldâ€™s newest country will be created on July 9th, and with it, whole range of opportunities. Travel writer and photojournalist Levison Wood explains his reasons for visiting the soon-to-be Republic of South Sudan, prior to its independence and what it can offer the intrepid traveller.
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“We couldn’t even drink beer here until 2005” says Charles, a beaming Dinka tribesman from Juba, the dusty capital of this former rebel stronghold. “Sharia law, imposed by Khartoum, meant that we had to live a very strict and repressed life even though we aren’t Muslims.” Charles belongs to the majority tribe in the region, renowned for their immense stature. He is short at a mere 6 feet in a country where the people regularly reach 6 ft 5inches. Charles is a game warden and supervises the team of porters to pack the inflatable rafts, imported from neighboring Uganda, where white water rafting has been a hit with backpackers for almost ten years. “But when we see you coming, we know that peace has arrived.” He is talking about tourists. There aren’t any yet but he, along with all of the South Sudanese hope there will be soon. So far the only foreigners in Juba and its surroundings are the 4,000 or so NGO and UN workers, here to rebuild one of Africa’s poorest regions after 30 years of civil war. We are here to attempt to navigate the White Nile from Nimule, the frontier town on its southern border with Uganda to the capital Juba, some 170 kilometres distant, a feat that has only ever been done once before, and that by an international expedition of professional rafters. Like most of this 8 man team, I have never been on a raft before. “Don’t worry, from what I remember,
there are only 4 sets of rapids to get over. The rest is easy.” Pete Meredith reassures me. Pete, our South African guide and former soldier has worked in Jinja, Uganda since the mid 1990s and made the famous Source to Sea expedition in 2004, charting the entire course of the White Nile where he traversed war zones and battled Crocodiles on the 3 month journey. At least I am in safe hands. The civil war between the Islamic North Sudan, led by the dictator Omar Al-Bashir, and the predominantly Christian Southern rebel army meant that until very recently, the whole region was out of bounds. The peace agreement of 2005 and subsequent referendum means that peace has finally arrived, and expeditions of this kind are now possible. Charles waves us off as we depart from the banks of the mighty river. “Good luck” He shouts with a grin that belies his disbelief. We are straight into Grade 5 rapids, which to the uninitiated, means getting bashed around in a blow-up boat and holding on for dear life for what seems like an eternity. But fortunately it doesn’t last forever and the river eventually flattens out into a more tolerable ride which gives us the chance to enjoy the scenery. The country begins quite hilly and at first there are several villages consisting of traditional thatched huts dotted along the banks.
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The locals seem startled to see the rafts at first but after their initial reservations they are soon running to the riverside waving and offering us freshly picked mangos. Soon though, as we carve our way deeper into the bush, the trees grow wilder and the jungle becomes dense. The only sign of life is the constant squawking of tropical birds and frogs; the unnerving squeals of wild baboons and the humming of grasshoppers. After five hours leisurely paddling we set up our first camp on an island in the middle of the river. Worryingly it seems to consist of one giant anthill. This is the Africa of children’s storybooks and Victorian exploration. There are no lodges, proper game reserves or organised Safaris here. The fledging government has barely even been able to organise a civil service or pave the roads yet, but they know full well what the benefits of a booming tourism industry can bring.
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Andy Belcher, the expedition organiser, and owner of one of the only hotels in Juba is optimistic. “It won’t be long before the big companies move in and the country booms. When that happens tourism will flourish and the safari organisers in Kenya and Tanzania will head here. Let’s hope South Sudan learns from the mistakes of the more developed East African Countries and doesn’t turn the place into a zoo.” But there isn’t much chance of that at the moment. The civil war and severe poverty has resulted in much of Sudan’s big game wildlife being killed and eaten. “There used to be a massive elephant population until the 1970s but it has all but disappeared from view.” Said Keith, our tracker. But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Whilst on the river we saw at least ten elephants near to the Ugandan border, plenty of bird life and a few antelope darting off into the forest.
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We had a couple of close calls with Hippos and of course saw the obligatory Nile crocodile sunbathing on the rocky beaches. There is wildlife here, but it remains wisely hidden. South Sudan is the size of Germany but has a population of only eight million. There is currently only 20 km of paved road in the whole country. The rest is wild bush, Jungle and swamp. “There must be game out there somewhere” insists Keith, who has worked with wildlife in Kenya for several years. In fact the Boma national park- in reality an unchecked wilderness the size of Rwanda- is host to the biggest migration of mammals on the planet. Over a million White Eared Kob, only found in Sudan, complete an annual migration rivalling that of the wildebeest in the Serengeti, but few have ever 18 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
heard of these majestic animals. Then there are the spectacular Imatong Mountains in the south where the peak of Mount Kinyeti rises out of the mist like a vast emerald. Despite being Sudan’s highest mountain it has only thought to have been climbed twice in the past 50 years. This is a land of mystery and intrigue. After five days we finally float into the ramshackle outskirts of Juba to be greeted by hordes of waving children and an unbelieving national press. Even the minister of tourism- a post created only recentlycomes to welcome us at the jetty. “The president would like to thank you”, he says genuinely, “on behalf of the people of South Sudan, for showing people that we are open for business”. When the camera stops rolling, he jokes, “and for not getting eaten by a crocodile.”
Levison Wood is a former British Army Officer and has worked and travelled in Africa over the past ten years. He founded the pioneering expeditionary service Secret Compass and is leading an expedition to South Sudan in 2013. If you would like to find out more or to apply to join the expeditions see www.secretcompass.com Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 19
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Gonar Under African Sky
Dancin’ beneath the diamond sky with one hand wavin’ free Bob Dylan
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ike a broad, pale python, the Runde curved upon itself and swung away from the plateau on its slow ramble to Mozambique and the warm Indian ocean. Far away and to my right I could see two elephants, dark, tiny specs of life far below me. As I approached the edge of the plateau, a Black eagle â€“ disturbed by my presence â€“ merely opened its wings and was swept upward, soaring high above the riverbed, staring at me with bright yellow eyes. As far as I could see, the Zimbabwe bushveld rose to the rim of the distant horizon in the shimmering heat. I heard the warm wind climb softly over the edge and rustle the trees behind me. Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 25
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I stood on a narrow strip of earth jutting out from the plateau, almost 200 meters above the Runde river. One slip â€“ just one easy slip of my foot on a loose stone as I moved around my tripod to take a photographs to create a panorama â€“ and I would plummet a 100 meters down to the foot of the forbidding Chilojo hills to be utterly broken on the sharp rocks far below.
of frustrating waiting in the slow moving queues, lifeless eyes of border officials and irritating runners (called fixers) wanting a bribe to take your passport to the front of the queue to be stamped by their profit-sharing partner.
I breathed deeply of the wild African air. It was alive with the smell of the bush and I smiled.
We were pleasantly surprised to come across someone who drove up through the Kruger Park, exited South Africa at Pafuri into Mozambique, crossed the Limpopo and entered Zimbabwe at the Sango border post.
Once again, I was on an annual pilgrimage with my friends to the last wild places of Africa. This year, it is Gonarezhou in Southern Zimbabwe.
We were going to do the same: in at Balule gate and never leaving the game reserves of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
We never considered coming here because of our extreme allergy to the Beit Bridge border post: hours
This is how we did it. Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 27
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You don’t have to sing the Beit Bridge blues We were up at 5pm in Nelspruit entered the Kruger National Park at Balule gate. We slowly travelled north on the S1 in the park: past Skukuza, had kudu roll breakfast at Tshokwane, ice cream at Letaba and arrived for our sleepover at Shingwedzi in the late afternoon. The next morning we were up before dawn and left the camp as the gates opened. About 90 kilometers further north and we were at Pafuri gate. An ancient Toyota pickup, piled high with bicycles and plastic containers was undergoing a leisurely inspection by a customs official. Apart from the pickup, we were the only travelers at the border gate and border formalities were finalized within minutes. “Bom dia, Senhor!” On the Mozambique side, my rudimentary Portuguese once again made a friend. The border police were friendly and we were off again within a few minutes. Eat your heart out, fixers of Beit bridge! Now for the Limpopo. Following the GPS tracks, we turned off the main gravel road and wound through yellow fever tree forests to the river. It was not long before we were stuck in loose sand but were out after much arguing, wheel spinning and huffing and puffing. Through the Limpopo in knee-deep water and we were on the narrow, dusty 60-odd kilometer road to the Sango border post. We saw no other vehicles, only concrete old water storage tanks - now long disused - spaced at regular intervals along the road. Our dusty 2-vehicle convoy travelled slowly through the rural villages of Muamufichane and Mabuzana where curious and surprised Mozambicans stopped their daily chores, smiled and waved. “Landmine hazard!” my gloomy GPS warned as we travelled safely through the Nuanetsi river and Tchale village. We finally reached Chiqualaquala and proceeded to the border post. The officials were friendly as always. “Tudo bom?” (everything alright?) I asked. Time for the basic Portuguese to work its magic again. “Normal, graca de Deus!” (Well - by the grace of God!) he smiled back. 30 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
Now for the Zimbabwe side. We girded our loins. “We need to see your engine number with our own eyes” the well-dressed border official said brusquely. She had an air of no-nonsense authority about her. “We do not accept what the paper says. We must see it ourselves.” It is here at Sango that I observed two radically different approaches to the Zimbabwe Visual Engine Number Inspection procedure. Johan - always the diplomat - joined his two sons in crawling under the vehicle, enthusiastically and noisily searching for the engine number with their flashlights. The well-dressed lady grunted encouragement from above. They found nothing. Kobus had a very different approach. He was veteran of the Pandametanga border post in Botswana near Nata on route to Hwange. When asked to see his engine number, he mumbled something and pointed vaguely to the front of the vehicle. There was no way that he was going to lie on his back under the dirty vehicle in the dust. The official was of the same conviction. Someone else – and definitely not her - was going to be dusty. She stared ferociously at the engine with the bonnet open as if willing the number to miraculously reveal itself. She turned to Kobus and was about to demand that Kobus get under the vehicle and find the number. The official and the medic’s eyes met and locked. They wordlessly came to a full and immediate understanding: this would be a battle of the wills that would be decided by patience and perseverance. An hour later and Johan and his sons were truly filthy. No engine number was found under the thick layers of dust despite the regular and enthusiastic encouragement from the official. Kobus, on the other hand, was happy and clean. The only dust was on his shoes. He stared patiently at the far horizon, whistled softly to himself and waited. Also no engine number so far. When it eventually became absolutely clear to the official that she would have to crawl under the vehicle herself to verify the engine numbers, we were grudgingly given our gate passes – still with all engine numbers unseen – and we were through. We were now in Gonarezhou.
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Rossi Pools We reached our camp at Rossi Pools late in the afternoon. Perched 50 meters above the river, the neatly thatched lapa offered spectacular views over the Nuanatsi river. We saw crocodiles, waterbuck, Impala, klipspringer and elephant. Although there was no running water, we had access to a “long-drop” pit toilet. We washed in the icy Nuanetsi river at a carefully selected spot, too shallow for crocs. The fishing was good, with a catfish caught and released and a few ferocious tiger fish bites. The charge was US $25 per person
Up through Gonarezhou to Director’s Camp We drove north through the Gonarezhou on a faint dirt track, carefully checking our position on the GPS. We saw cheetah, kudu, impala, nyala, baboon, steenbuck – and even met a road maintenance team of 4, one of the workers carrying a worn Kalashnikov over his shoulder as protection against animal attacks while the others used their pangas to clear the road. We stopped at Gorwhe pan - about halfway up – and later at Malugwe pan to scout for tracks. After 5 hours and about 90 kilometers, we reached Director’s Camp, our first camp in the north. It was too late to late go to reception and started pitching our tents right away. To our right and abou 5 kilometers away, the setting sun painted the spectacular Chilojo cliffs yellow, red and pink. The following day, we drove through the meter-deep Runde to the other side and took the 40-odd kilometer trip to reception to announce our arrival and pay our dues. We were helped by two Zimabwe officials, Aaron and Shumba. They were friendly and efficient and we had our documentation sorted out in a few minutes. Again, the charge was US $25 per person per night
The Frankfurt Zoological Society “For the first few years our family lived in a tent in the park. Now we have been given this house. This is much better.” Elsabe looked down at her hands as I considered the commitment required to live in a small tent in the wilderness for a few years – and that with two young daughters in school. 32 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
Along with her husband Hugo, they are employees of the Frankfurt Zoological Society – placed here to manage the Gonarezhou Conservation Project which was established towards the end of 2007 and consisting of a 10-year memorandum of understanding. I looked out through the sliding door at the tiny brown dachshund calmly drinking water in the pool, barely 20 meters from the river where I could see a fat crocodile basking in the morning sun. In Afrikaans a dachshund is a “worshond” - a sausage dog, so named because of the short legs and long body. I thought it was an appropriate culinary irony. “Our first dog was a terrier. It could not get over its own aggressive nature and became lunch for the croc.” She flashed a quick smile and continued. “We are working with ZPWMA to make the park more tourist-friendly while maintaining the park as a true wilderness area.” The dark eyes flashed with intensity as Elsabe used her hands to emphasize her point. “We are making progress. New roads, better rules and more support. Tourism is increasing in Gonarezhou. And we are planning more - much more.” Hugo and Elsabe have been instrumental in the planning and establishment of new picnic sites, moving or improving old camp sites, installing new toilets and creating new game viewing roads. At 5,000 square kilometers, Gonarezhou is a quarter the size of the Kruger – and to coin a phrase, this is no walk in the park. But against all odds, here the Frankfurt Zoological Society and two committed and courageous people are making a significant difference. Visit their web site here
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ing with you to get your priorities right.”
On these trips to the wild places with the men , we speak about things that matter to our hearts. God, sex, money, family and ambition - and generally about in that order.
It was quiet in the car as we followed the gravel road as it wound slowly past a big baobab tree. A few kudu cows ran across the road and disappeared into the bush.
We were on our afternoon game drive and waiting for golden light.
The golden light was now just about right.
“What do you think?”Oom Koos looked back over his shoulder at me at me from the front seat. “You find out your wife has a secret lover. She phones him on the Blackberry you bought her as a gift on your anniversary. She drives to see him in the small Mercedes you got for her 2 years ago and fills it up with fuel on your account. “She buys him gifts on your credit card. She dresses up sexy for him in the clothes you gave her on her birthday. Even when she is with you, you can tell she is always thinking about him. You know she has sex with him at an expensive hotel and pays for the room with your card. What do you do?” Kobus is our driver, our wilderness medic and oom Koos’s son. He opens his window and looks away to the Chilojo mountains on his right to consider the damage he would inflict. “I would take back the car and the card,” Kobus said through clenched teeth “and then she’s out of my life.” My response was a little less Christian. “Me too. I would dump her and probably shoot him in the knees - or I would place the shot a bit higher.” Oom Koos moved in for the kill. “You spend all your passion and energy on your new project, your career, your reputation and getting more money. You put your relationship with God second, using what He gave you to do run after other things. How is that different from the unfaithful wife?” Both Kobus and I are mission-orientated movers. I saw his pale blue eyes watching me in the rear view mirror. “You want to deal with the wife and the illicit lover – but you expect God to be ok with that in your own life? “Many people are like that - about their ministry, their jobs, their reputations. You feel boxed in and nothing works out for you. You can’t move forward or go back and you blame the devil for it– but it is only God deal34 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
Moving to Chinguli We arrived back at the camp to find everything in disarray. A large male baboon had cleverly opened our containers, all the eggs, bit holes in the milk boxes and ate whatever else looked appetizing. The place was a mess. We decided to celebrate with a glass of wine and a moved our camp chairs to have a better view of the sunset on the cliffs. Having arranged with Aaron and Shumba to do so, we moved our camp to Chinguli the following day for our final few nights in Gonarezhou.
Chinguli Chinguli is not a private camp, meaning that we the camp had lapas about 30 meters apart, each being a camp site. Because of this, the charge was about half - US $12 per person. The upside is running water and hot showers. Braving the riverbed which is strewn with large, rounded boulders the optimists were up early every day, fishing for tigers and “modderbekke” – translated mud mouths, presumably some kind of fish. We stayed here for 2 nights.
Going back To save time, we decided on not driving back to Sango border post through the game reserve. At 5 on our last day, we drove back to reception and crossed the Runde using the meter deep causeway. The road running down the western side of the park was good and we maintained a decent average speed. Kilometers of previously productive lands lined the road on the left and right, now not producing food for Zimbabwe. A couple of scraggly goats and cattle occasionally crossed the road. This route shaved 2 hours off or trip and we reached the Sango border early, went through both border posts without incident and arrive at the Limpopo, determined to find an easier way through the river without getting stuck. We got through a 100 meters
downstream using a better known crossing point. Apart from driving on diesel fumes and flipping our trailer, the journey was without incident and we slept over at Letaba before making our way home.
seconds before drinking. At Rossi Pools, Hlora and Directors the river is your bath. Watch out for crocs. Documentation. Have your passport, insurances, permissions from insurance, and vehicle registration papers ready. Zimbambwe often requires a police vehicle clearance as well.
Money. Zimbabwe only accepts US$ nowadays. Make sure you have small denominations handy.
Dowload our GPS tracks by clicking here or on the GPS image.
Gonarezhou Fact sheet
Panoramas Click on the links below to see panoramas: ●● Directors Camp ●● View from the Chilojo plateau ●● Rossi Pools ●● Chinguli
Tips Don’t drive in the river. Your vehicle will be confiscated but you will get it back after you have paid a US$10,000 fine. You will want to avoid that. Watch out for baboons. They are cunning and ingenious. They will open almost any container or freezer to get to your Windhoek lagers and biltong. Watch out for wild animals like jackals or mongooses appearing tame. They may have rabies and will bite when you get closer, transferiing the disease to your bloodstream in their saliva. Know where your engine number is located on the block of the motor. This will save you an hour and a battle of wills at the Zim border. Locate your engine number on the block of the motor to avoid a delay at the Zimbabwe border post. Diesel. There is no fuel from Pafuri to Gonarezhou, so take enough. Avoid buying fuel at informal stalls at Chiqualquala (the town at Sango border post) as it may be diluted with who knows what. Once at Gonarezhou, fuel can be bought at Triangle, about 30 kilometers west of Chiredzi. Water. Take water purifying tablets or boil the water for 60
●● Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) is one of the 11 areas designated as a national park in Zimbabwe. GNP is situated in the southeastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe, and occupies a total area of 5,053 km². The Park was proclaimed in 1975, although various parts of it was designated as a game reserve as early as 1934. ●● Gonarezhou forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park which straddles the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and joins some of the most established wildlife areas in Southern Africa into a huge conservation area of 35 000km². The GLTP forms the core of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), measuring roughly 100 000km² ●● The mean annual rainfall is 466 mm, most of which falls between November and March. Two severe droughts have occurred since 1961 and the 1991/92 drought led to the death of large numbers of wildlife. ●● Temperatures range from 27ºC in June to 36ºC in January. The park experiences a short dry winter season in June and July with temperatures below 30ºC and a hot wet summer season from November to April when temperatures exceed 40ºC The remaining months are hot and dry periods which precede and follow summer rains. ●● The landscape is scenic as a result of various sandstone incisions. The spectacular Chilojo Cliffs are more than 180m high and are a result of the river incision of the sandstones. Perennial and temporal pans are also a common feature of the sandstone plateaus. Steep rocky gorges with falls and rapids characterize the banks of the Save and Runde rivers. Noticeable peaks in the north are the MakaVolume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 35
mandima (578m) and Mutandahwe (571m) and in the south is Nyamutongwe (516m). The Save Runde junction is 165m above Cape Town at sea level and is the lowest point in Zimbabwe. ●● There are four main internal drainage basins in the Gonarezhou – Save, Runde, Guluwene/Chefu and Mwenezi. The Save and Runde rivers all drain into the sea via the Save and the Guluwene and Mwenezi basins are part of the greater Limpopo catchment. ●● The pan system in the Gonarezhou is quite extensive. Apart from the two extensive pans near the Save/Lunde junction (Tambaharta and Machaniwa) there are a number of larger pans which hold water well into the dry season. ●● No artificial water is supplied for wildlife, with the exception of two historical weirs at Massasanya and Benji. It is part of the recommendations of the newly revised general management plan that historical artificial game water supplies are not re-established, in line with the adopted management policy of minimum interference in natural systems. ●● The vegetation of Gonarezhou is typical of the semi-arid Colophospermum mopane zone, and consists predominantly dry deciduous savanna woodlands. Physiognomic types are woodland and woodland savannah (59%), scrubland (40%) and savannah grassland (1%). ●● The plant checklist for the park includes 924 species from 118 families and 364 genera, with 265 trees, 310 shrubs, 55 woody climbers and 137 grasses. The list is regarded as incomplete as no systematic survey has been undertaken. ●● Fifty fish species have been recorded in Gonarezhou, primarily from the Save and Runde Rivers, but recent declines in water quality and flow patterns of the major rivers may have reduced this number. The killifish
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Nothobrancius fuzeri has historically been only found in pans of the Guluene/Chefu catchment, making it a Park endemic, but recent findings seem to suggest that its distribution also extends into the drainage system downstream into Mozambique, but the Park remains it’s type locality, and probably contains the core of it’s range. Other noteworthy species include lungfish that occur in seasonal pans in the Guluene/Chefu catchment, and the Zambezi Shark and Small-tooth Sawfish, recorded at the Save/Runde confluence. ●● The herpetofauna of Gonarezhou is unusual in Zimbabwe, as it includes many species which typically occur on the East African coastal plain. Reptiles and amphibians, being poikilothermic and less mobile than higher animal groups, are good indicators of biogeographic boundaries, and their occurrence in Gonarezhou illustrates the bio-geographic importance of the Park. The Gonarezhou species list includes about 6% of the Southern African endemics and 14 species of special conservation interest ●● The bird checklist of 400 species includes a further 92 species regarded as `likely to occur’. The bird list includes 13 species that are rare or of limited distribution and of conservation interest. The scrub mopane areas of the park are one of the more significant breeding sites for the Lappet faced vulture in southern Africa. ●● A total of 89 species of mammals in 71 genera and 31 families have been recorded from the Gonarezhou. A further 61 species, mostly insectivores or small rodents as likely to occur. Most of the work on mammals was carried out in the 1960s and 1970s and there is a need to re-evaluate some of the collections.. The Yellow Golden Mole and Cape Hare are only known from Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe, and the red squirrel only occurs in the southeast Lowveld of the country.
email him Mitch Mitchell is a hunter, outdoorsman and the author of several books on African wildlife and survival. Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 37
Impala Kudu Buffalo Zebra Nyala (Gonarezhou is the only place
6,005 2,285 2,274 1,385 370
Wildebeest Eland Giraffe Elephant. (The results of all surveys
364 317 251 9,123
in Zimbabwe where nyala are found in significant numbers)
since 1993 (the last management offtake) implies that the Gonarezhou elephant population is increasing at a mean annual rate of 6.2 % and that the current population estimate of is the highest ever recorded) Click here to to download the excellent study on elephant numbers in the area.
Latest estimates for larger mammals in the park.
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All tied up Essential loops and hitches 2
Sailors learning knots and ropework in the early 20th century 42 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
emember that time when the 4x4 was stuck in the sand? And the time on the boat? You could have looked cool and macho then.
You know you need to know them, and you could have used them a hundred times over the past years. - but you have just been too lazy to memorise them. I am talking about essential knots and hitches. Now we have gone to the trouble to make and photograph the most useful of them in the African Expedition studio to try and get your lazy mind started up. This is Part 2 of your knot and hitching education..
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Half blood knot A knot for tying line to a fishing hook
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Joining ropes: Fishermans knot Joining vines, wires and slippery lines. Very secure but hard to untie
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Sheet bend Good for constant strain. Won’t slip
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Double sheet bend More secure than sheet bend, good for wet rope and erratic strain
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Timber hitch Use for dragging or hoisting logs
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KIllick hitch Good for anchoring weight.
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1 Clove hitch Good when strain is constant and at 90 degrees.
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African hunters of yesteryear
The African hunters of days gone by have had experiences few hunters have today. In those days, the game was much more plentiful and regulations were non-existent. Hunting was more dangerous in those days - no chopper evacuation when clawed up by a wounded leopard and no protection against marauding tribesmen. We can learn something from them. In this series, we feature some of the writings of the hunters that came before us and who hunted in an era we think of with nostalgia. 62 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
The Maneating lions of
THE REIGN OF TERROR
by Lieut.-Col. J. H. Patterson, D.S.O.
he lions seemed to have got a bad fright the night Brock and I sat up in wait for them in the goods-wagon, for they kept away from Tsavo and did not molest us in any way for some considerable time -- not, in fact, until long after Brock had left me and gone on safari (a caravan journey) to Uganda. In this breathing space which they vouchsafed us, it occurred to me that should they renew their attacks, a trap would perhaps offer the best chance of getting at them, and that if I could construct one in which a couple of coolies might be used as bait without being subjected to any danger, the lions would be quite daring enough to enter it in search of them and thus be caught. Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 63
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I accordingly set to work at once, and in a short time managed to make a sufficiently strong trap out of wooden sleepers, tram-rails, pieces of telegraph wire, and a length of heavy chain. It was divided into two compartments -- one for the men and one for the lion. A sliding door at one end admitted the former, and once inside this compartment they were perfectly safe, as between them and the lion, if he entered the other, ran a cross wall of iron rails only three inches apart, and embedded both top and bottom in heavy wooden sleepers. The door which was to admit the lion was, of course, at the opposite end of the structure, but otherwise the whole thing was very much on the principle of the ordinary rat-trap, except that it was not necessary for the lion to seize the bait in order to send the door clattering down. This part of the contrivance was arranged in the following manner. A heavy chain was secured along the top part of the lionâ€™s doorway, the ends hanging down to the ground on either side of the opening; and to these were fastened, strongly secured by stout wire, short lengths of rails placed about six inches apart. This made a sort of flexible door which could be packed into a small space when not in use, and which abutted against the top of the doorway when lifted up. The door was held in this position by a lever made of a piece of rail, which in turn was kept in its place by a wire fastened to one end and passing down to a spring concealed in the ground inside the cage. As soon as the lion entered sufficiently far into the trap, he would be bound to tread on the spring; his weight on this would release the wire, and in an instant down would come the door behind him; and he could not push it out in any way, as it fell into a groove between two rails firmly embedded in the ground. In making this trap, which cost us a lot of work, we were rather at a loss for want of tools to bore holes in the rails for the doorway, so as to enable them to be fastened by the wire to the chain. It occurred to me, however, that a hard-nosed bullet from my .303 would penetrate the iron, and on making the experiment I was glad to find that a hole was made as cleanly as if it had been punched out. When the trap was ready I pitched a tent over it in order further to deceive the lions, and built an exceedingly strong boma round it. One small entrance was made at the back of the enclosure for the men, which they were to close on going in by pulling a bush after them; and another entrance just in front of the door of the cage was left open for the lions. The wiseacres to whom I showed my invention were generally of the
opinion that the man-eaters would be too cunning to walk into my parlour; but, as will be seen later, their predictions proved false. For the first few nights I baited the trap myself, but nothing happened except that I had a very sleepless and uncomfortable time, and was badly bitten by mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, it was some months before the lions attacked us again, though from time to time we heard of their depredations in other quarters. Not long after our night in the goods-wagon, two men were carried off from railhead, while another was taken from a place called Engomani, about ten miles away. Within a very short time, this latter place was again visited by the brutes, two more men being seized, one of whom was killed and eaten, and the other so badly mauled that he died within few days. As I have said, however, we at Tsavo enjoyed complete immunity from attack, and the coolies, believing that their dreaded foes had permanently deserted the district, resumed all their usual habits and occupations, and life in the camps returned to its normal routine. At last we were suddenly startled out of this feeling of security. One dark night the familiar terror-stricken cries and screams awoke the camps, and we knew that the â€œdemonsâ€? had returned and had commenced a new list of victims. On this occasion a number of men had been sleeping outside their tents for the sake of coolness, thinking, of course, that the lions had gone for good, when suddenly in the middle of the night one of the brutes was discovered forcing its way through the boma. The alarm was at once given, and sticks, stones and firebrands were hurled in the direction of the intruder. All was of no avail, however, for the lion burst into the midst of the terrified group, seized an unfortunate wretch amid the cries and shrieks of his companions, and dragged him off through the thick thorn fence. He was joined outside by the second lion, and so daring had the two brutes become that they did not trouble to carry their victim any further away, but devoured him within thirty yards of the tent where he had been seized. Although several shots were fired in their direction by the jemadar of the gang to which the coolie belonged, they took no notice of these and did not attempt to move until their horrible meal was finished. The few scattered fragments that remained of the body I would not allow to be buried at once, hoping that the lions would return to the spot the following night; and on the chance of this I took up my station at nightfall in a convenient tree. Nothing occurred to break the monotony of my watch, however, except Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 65
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that I had a visit from a hyena, and the next morning I learned that the lions had attacked another camp about two miles from Tsavo -- for by this time the camps were again scattered, as I had works in progress all up and down the line. There the man-eaters had been successful in obtaining a victim, whom, as in the previous instance, they devoured quite close to the camp. How they forced their way through the bomas without making a noise was, and still is, a mystery to me; I should have thought that it was next to impossible for an animal to get through at all. Yet they continually did so, and without a sound being heard. After this occurrence, I sat up every night for over a week near likely camps, but all in vain. Either the lions saw me and then went elsewhere, or else I was unlucky, for they took man after man from different places without ever once giving me a chance of a shot at them. This constant night watching was most dreary and fatiguing work, but I felt that it was a duty that had to be undertaken, as the men naturally looked to me for protection. In the whole of my life I have never experienced anything more nerveshaking than to hear the deep roars of these dreadful monsters growing gradually nearer and nearer, and to know that some one or other of us was doomed to be their victim before morning dawned. Once they reached the vicinity of the camps, the roars completely ceased, and we knew that they were stalking for their prey. Shouts would then pass from camp to camp, “Khabar dar, bhaieon, shaitan ata” (“ Beware, brothers, the devil is coming “), but the warning cries would prove of no avail, and sooner or later agonising shrieks would break the silence, and another man would be missing from roll-call next morning. I was naturally very disheartened at being foiled in this way night after night, and was soon at my wits’ end to know what to do; it seemed as if the lions were really “devils” after all and bore a charmed life. As I have said before, tracking them through the jungle was a hopeless task; but as something had to be done to keep up the men’s spirits, I spent many a weary day crawling on my hands and knees through the dense undergrowth of the exasperating wilderness around us. As a matter of fact, if I had come up with the lions on any of these expeditions, it was much more likely that they would have added me to their list of victims than that I should have succeeded in killing either of them, as everything would have been in their favour. About this time, too, I had many helpers, and several officers -- civil, naval and military -- came to Tsavo from the coast and sat up night after night in order to get a shot at our daring foes. All
of us, however, met with the same lack of success, and the lions always seemed capable of avoiding the watchers, while succeeding, at the same time in obtaining a victim. I have a very vivid recollection of one particular night when the brutes seized a man from the railway station and brought him close to my camp to devour. I could plainly hear them crunching the bones, and the sound of their dreadful purring filled the air and rang in my ears for days afterwards. The terrible thing was to feel so helpless; it was useless to attempt to go out, as of course the poor fellow was dead, and in addition it was so pitch dark as to make it impossible to see anything. Some half a dozen workmen, who lived in a small enclosure close to mine, became so terrified on hearing the lions at their meal that they shouted and imploredme to allow them to come inside my boma. This I willingly did, but soon afterwards I remembered that one man had been lying ill in their camp, and on making enquiry I found that they had callously left him behind alone. I immediately took some men with me to bring him to my boma, but on entering his tent I saw by the light of the lantern that the poor fellow was beyond need of safety. He had died of shock at being deserted by his companions. From this time matters gradually became worse and worse. Hitherto, as a rule, only one of the man-eaters had made the attack and had done the foraging, while the other waited outside in the bush; but now they began to change their tactics, entering the bomas together and each seizing a victim. In this way two Swahili porters were killed during the last week of November, one being immediately carried off and devoured. The other was heard moaning for a long time, and when his terrified companions at last summoned up sufficient courage to go to his assistance, they found him stuck fast in the bushes of the boma, through which for once the lion had apparently been unable to drag him. He was still alive when I saw him next morning, but so terribly mauled that he died before he could be got to the hospital. Within a few days of this the two brutes made a most ferocious attack on the largest camp in the section, which for safety’s sake was situated within a stone’s throw of Tsavo Station and close to a Permanent Way Inspector’s iron hut. Suddenly in the dead of night the two man-eaters burst in among the terrified workmen, and even from my boma, some distance away, I could plainly hear the panic-stricken shrieking of the coolies. Then followed cries of “They’ve taken him; they’ve Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 67
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taken him,” as the brutes carried off their unfortunate victim and began their horrible feast close beside the camp. The Inspector, Mr. Dalgairns, fired over fifty shots in the direction in which he heard the lions, but they were not to be frightened and calmly lay there until their meal was finished. After examining the spot in the morning, we at once set out to follow the brutes, Mr. Dalgairns feeling confident that he had wounded one of them, as there was a trail on the sand like that of the toes of a broken limb. After some careful stalking, we suddenly found ourselves in the vicinity of the lions, and were greeted with ominous growlings. Cautiously advancing and pushing the bushes aside, we saw in the gloom what we at first took to be a lion cub; closer inspection, however, showed it to be the remains of the unfortunate coolie, which the man-eaters had evidently abandoned at our approach. The legs, one arm and half the body had been eaten, and it was the stiff fingers of the other arm trailing along the sand which had left the marks we had taken to be the trail of a wounded lion. By this time the beasts had retired far into the thick jungle where it was impossible to follow them, so we had the remains of the coolie buried and once more returned home disappointed. Now the bravest men in the world, much less the ordinary Indian coolie, will not stand constant terrors of this sort indefinitely. The whole district was by this time thoroughly panic-stricken, and I was not at all surprised, therefore, to find on my return to camp that same afternoon (December 1) that the men had all struck work and were waiting to speak to me.
When I sent for them, they flocked to my boma in a body and stated that they would not remain at Tsavo any longer for anything or anybody; they had come from India on an agreement to work for the Government, not to supply food for either lions or “devils.” No sooner had they delivered this ultimatum than a regular stampede took place. Some hundreds of them stopped the first passing train by throwing themselves on the rails in front of the engine, and then, swarming on to the trucks and throwing in their possessions anyhow, they fled from the accursed spot. After this the railway works were completely stopped; and for the next three weeks practically nothing was done but build “lion-proof” huts for those workmen who had had sufficient courage to remain. It was a strange and amusing sight to see these shelters perched on the top of water-tanks, roofs and girders -- anywhere for safety -- while some even went so far as to dig pits inside their tents, into which they descended at night, covering the top over with heavy logs of wood. Every good-sized tree in the camp had as many beds lashed on to it as its branches would bear -- and sometimes more. I remember that one night when the camp was attacked, so many men swarmed on to one particular tree that down it came with a crash, hurling its terror-stricken load of shrieking coolies close to the very lions they were trying to avoid. Fortunately for them, a victim had already been secured, and the brutes were too busy devouring him to pay attention to anything else.
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News courtesy www.sagoodnews.co.za
Africa - the good news
The good news from Africa
African Economic Growth Impacts Franchising on the Continent Recent research has revealed that African nations make up seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. The industries seeing the largest growth on the continent are wholesale and retail commerce, transportation, telecommunications, and manufacturing. According to this research, much of Africa will have attained “lower-middle” to middle-class majorities by the year 2030 and consumer spending will expand from US$680 billion in 2008 to US$2.2 trillion. Today, Africa has more middle class consumers than India despite the fact that India has a larger population. This economic growth parallels developments in the franchise sector. According to the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion agency for the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 200 international franchises currently operate in Africa. The market for food franchises alone exceeds US$300 million. Major U.S. brands, covering a broad range of services and products, have debuted on the African continent this year and others have indicated plans for further development throughout the continent. This growth is likely to continue so long as legislative and economic reforms continue to take hold on the African continent and Western franchisors and others look to new markets to expand after years of declining growth in their own domestic markets. African governments have even taken their own initiatives to promote franchising as a tool to promote the growth and stability of home-grown business enterprises. The increasing popularity of franchising is due, in part, to legislative reforms in countries that had previously hindered the repatriation of royalties and franchise fees. In addition, some countries have also enacted franchise-specific legislation. For example, South Africa enacted franchise legislation in 2008. Tunisia drafted a legislative framework for franchising 84 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
that took effect in 2010, and Angola has had franchise laws in place since 2003. Other countries on the continent are likely to follow their lead. Franchising in Africa is not without its challenges, however. A basic understanding of any franchise arrangement is that the intellectual property of the franchisor is licensed to franchisees for a limited time and under certain terms and conditions. The “rule of law” is critical to maintaining and protecting the franchisor’s intellectual property. Concerns over the relatively weak protection of intellectual property have been expressed by several brands. Access to capital is another concern. Franchisors generally request franchisees commit over 50% of the total investment, but African banks are cautious lenders to small and medium enterprises and startups. However, reforms in the African banking industry are changing the lending landscaping. Local banks in certain countries now have franchise departments and are starting to view franchising not as a business start-up, but as a support system for business enterprises that may merit a closer inspection. Despite these challenges, the developments in the franchising sector in Africa may merit consideration for companies expanding their presence worldwide. By Kendal Tyre and Diana Vilmenay-Hammond, editors of Franchising in Africa: Legal and Business Considerations, a publication of LexNoir Foundation
Lower insurance premiums for African farmers on the way In 2009, EARS Earth Environment Monitoring, a remote sensing company in the Netherlands, started FESA Micro-insurance with the aim to develop low cost, satellite based micro-insurance, reaching every farmer in Africa. Increased food production requires African farmers to invest in better seeds, fertilizer and pesticides. In
this way production and income may grow two or threefold. But most farmers don’t have the cash and need a loan for this purpose. Microfinance institutions (MFI’s) are reluctant to provide such loans, as crop failure due to drought or excessive precipitation would make redemption impossible. Micro-insurance is recognized as the key to this problem. It would enable African farmer to climb out of their poverty trap and start an upward spiral of increased income, savings and further investments. As the cost of traditional insurance is high, weather index insurance has been advocated as a solution. However, the number of weather stations in Africa is too low. Adding stations entails high costs and would not provide the historical time series needed for proper risk analysis. In 2009, EARS Earth Environment Monitoring, a remote sensing company in the Netherlands, started FESA Micro-insurance with the aim to develop low cost, satellite based micro-insurance, reaching every farmer in Africa. To this end 30 years of Meteosat hourly images were processed to 10 daily Relative Evapotranspiration (RE) and Cold Cloud Duration (CCD) data fields. These data serve as insurance index of agricultural drought and excessive precipitation, respectively. They cover the entire African continent at a resolution of 3 km. Since 2011 EARS is supporting insurance projects of PlaNet Guarantee, MicroEnsure, Syngenta Foundation and Cardano. Insurances have been developed for maize, wheat, rice, beans and cotton in Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. EARS is providing for the data collection, risk analysis, technical insurance development, index monitoring and pay-out reporting. These services are readily implemented by the insurer. Today this new approach to crop insurance has reached considerable scale. This is important so for keeping overhead costs low - which will potentially help hundreds of thousands of farmers to access affordable insurance. This in turn should assist farmers
to invest in better seed and fertilizer, and in this way realise higher crop production and income. The project with partner PlaNet Guarantee in West Africa, involves more than 800 locations. Each location may cover a farming community. In this way several hundred thousands of farmers can be insured. Yearly costs of data collection, index development and index monitoring would remain below 0.5 euro/ farmer, a very small part of the insurance premium. Therefore, FESA microinsurance represents a major breakthrough towards affordable crop insurance. Everywhere in Africa!
Tourism in Africa is slowly coming of age Africa has been one of the fastest-growing tourism regions of the last decade. The right infrastruc ture, safety and security, and effective communication of the continent’s attractions will help the continent to reach its full tourism potential. Jet-lagged, 500 delegates from around the world arrived in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in May to deliberate on the path to Africa’s tourism future. To unwind, Zimbabwe’s Tourism Authority, host of the congress of the Africa Travel Association (ATA), had organized a fun-filled welcome. The delegates toured Victoria Falls — one of the world’s seven natural wonders — where they participated in bungee jumping, gorge swinging and zip-lining over the Zambezi River. They then went on safari, encountering lions and elephants. Later they savoured local cuisine and danced enthusiastically to traditional music. The host’s intention was clear: see, feel and believe. Zimbabwe’s showcasing spoke louder than routine speeches. It spurred tourism ministers from Ghana, Namibia, Uganda and other African countries to become bullish about the continent’s potential. Said US Ambassador Charles A. Ray, “Zimbabwe, even with its political uncertainty, is a potentially huge market.” Tourism watchers are upbeat. In 2004, the New PartVolume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 85
nership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) approved an action plan to make Africa the “21st century destination.” Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), recently stated that “Africa has been one of the fastest-growing tourism regions of the last decade.” The sector already employs about 7.7 million people in Africa. Mr. Rifai cited data showing steady increases in Africa’s tourist arrivals, from 37 million in 2003 to 58 million in 2009.
There are concerns over the safety of Africa’s aircraft and airspace. In just two days in June, two planes crashed in Nigeria and Ghana, killing more than 160 people. In 2009 the World Bank found that 60 per cent of runways in North Africa were in excellent condition, but only 17 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa were. In addition, many sub-Saharan airports are small and have trouble dealing with huge arrivals. Most depend on a single airline and some have no connections to major carriers.
Tourism revenues are the lifeline of many economies. About 50 per cent of Seychelles’ gross domestic product (GDP) comes from tourism. The rates are 30 per cent in Cape Verde, 25 per cent in Mauritius and 16 per cent in Gambia. The World Bank reports that tourism accounts for 8.9 per cent of East Africa’s GDP, 7.2 per cent of North Africa’s, 5.6 of West Africa’s and 3.9 per cent of Southern Africa’s. In Central Africa, tourism contributes just 1 per cent.
A report by New York University, the World Bank and the ATA calls on industry operators to apply innovative approaches to managing the different types of African tourism, which it categorizes as “safari,” “nature” and “culture.” The report recommends “going beyond traditional safari to include new adventures” by tapping tour operators’ creativity.
Despite the chest-thumping, Africa’s share of global tourist arrivals is relatively small. There were 980 million international tourist arrivals in 2011, of which only 50 million traveled to Africa. North Africa suffered a 12 per cent loss in 2011 from the previous year due to that region’s political unrest, denting the continent’s share of international arrivals. But that loss was partially offset by a 7 per cent uptick in sub- Saharan Africa, which gained 2 million arrivals. Overall, the 2011 data shows that Africa performed better than the Middle East, which lost 5 million arrivals. Generally, the continent’s top earners are Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritius, according to UNWTO. The East African Community (EAC), a regional bloc, hopes to attract tourists from other parts of the world — not just the West — to go to different parts of East Africa — not just Kenya and Tanzania. The EAC strategy, developed in 2006, includes using DVDs, brochures and other materials to promote the region as a bloc. At international tourism conferences, East Africa now speaks with one voice. What draws tourists to a country, region or continent? “I wanted to see something different from Europe and I decided to visit Kenya and Tanzania. It is a different feel I got, and I like that,” Sven Brun, from Norway, tells Africa Renewal. The McKinsey Global Institute, a think tank, maintains that tourists are attracted to countries with good infrastructure, safety and security, and sanitation. Janet Kiwia, the managing director of World Jet Travel and Tours in Tanzania, adds that bad roads, poorly maintained airports, power outages and other shortcomings keep tourists away. 86 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
Nature tourism, including gorilla tracking, presents opportunities. More than 700 mountain gorillas live in the Virunga Mountains that span Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Faced with political instability, the DRC is trying to attract tourists by charging lower rates than Rwanda and Uganda. In 2011 the three countries raked in a total of $225 million from gorilla tourism. Through the website www.friendagorilla.org, tourists pay to track gorillas using webcams. It is also possible to “friend” a gorilla on the social network Facebook. Raising awareness of gorilla tourism through social media may attract more tourists from different parts of the world. More tourists mean more money spent on hotels, restaurants, tour guides and souvenirs. Culture tourism requires aggressive promotion. Like food festivals in Mexico and music and cultural festi vals in Jamaica and Trinidad, African festivals can draw visitors. Film festivals in Zanzibar and Burkina Faso attract culture tourists. Africa needs to “develop flagship tourist attractions and communicate brand effectively,” advises a McKinsey report. Africa’s domestic tourism (by resident visitors) has been flagging. Not more than half of Kenyan chief executives have seen an elephant, notes Victoria Safari, a Kenyan tourism company. “Africans should know Africa better than the white person from outside,” it adds, recommending cheaper transportation rates and ease of travel to encourage African tourists. Currently it costs about $1,500 to travel 1,800 miles from Luanda, Angola, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but only $1,100 to go from London to Dar es Salaam, a distance of 4,600 miles. Some countries are moving in the right direction.
Frommer’s, a US travel guide series, named Ethiopia one of the world’s top 12 destinations in 2007. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa attracted more than 300,000 foreign visitors. Only recently, renowned international singer Youssou N’Dour became Senegal’s minister of culture and tourism, which may help boost tourism in his country. It may take some time before Africa catches up with Europe, which received 480 million tourists last year. But as international arrivals hit the milestone of 1 billion worldwide in 2012, Africa should aim for a bigger slice of the pie. The right infrastructure, safety and security, and effective communication of the continent’s attractions can be starting points. Source: Africa Renewal www.un.org/africarenewal
Bamboo Bikes Hit the Pavement in Ghana In Ghana, a country burgeoning with traffic congestion, increasing economic growth, and a stark urban-rural divide, making frames of bicycles out of bamboo could be the key to promoting sustainable development. It also makes stronger, longer-lasting bikes. This is according to Bernice Dapaah, the executive director of Bamboo Bikes Initiative, which trains young Ghanaians to build, fix, and market bambooframed bicycles. “We are into women, children, and youth’s empowerment. And the project reduces carbon emissions and contributes to traffic decongestion, so using it is also a form of reducing climate change,” she said in an interview with IPS. Bamboo Bikes works in partnership with Ibrahim Djan Nyampong, the owner of Africa Items Co Ltd in Accra, and the frames are sold abroad for 350 dollars each. They cost nearly 200 dollars to build, and Nyampong — also Bamboo Bikes’ technical advisor — pays the young apprentices an additional 30 dollars per frame for their labour. Nyampong described some of the technical advantages that bamboo frames hold over their carbon fibre or metal counterparts. “It lasts longer than the metal frame,” he said. “You know a bamboo bike doesn’t break – it’s very durable.” He said a control test run in Germany proved bamboo frames to be 10 times lighter than metal frames, and noted their heavy load-bearing capacity. Indeed
bamboo’s tensile strength — meaning the maximum stress it can withstand while being stretched — is much higher than that of steel. Bamboo is fibrous, and therefore shock-absorbent. It naturally dampens vibrations, so the frames do not require steel or titanium springs. “The bamboo has also been treated against splitting and termites, so it’s very strong,” Nyampong explained. He said the bamboo is treated for three to six months before being used for production. It is then coated in a clear lacquer to protect it against rain and other damage. These elements have enhanced the frames’ international marketability, and BambooRide, an Austrian company, has begun importing them for sale in Europe. “At first, we were developing the frames together with (Nyampong), because they were good, but they had to fit a certain European standard,” said Matthias Schmidt, BambooRide’s sales manager. “So it was like a partnership, a knowledge transfer in both directions,” he told IPS. The Austrian importers also provided Nyampong’s team with new equipment, including their first jig, to improve precision and reduce the margin of error. Now, the Austrian company imports up to 10 frames per month, and Schmidt said he looks forward to the initiative’s continued expansion. “Their capacity is limited… and in the case that we need more frames… we’ll need other sources. So we’re supporting Dapaah’s efforts to improve the equipment and technology,” he said. Using bamboo rather than metal to build bicycle frames also holds several advantages for producers – and for the environment. According to Dapaah, bamboo’s availability as a local material not only enables producers to avoid expensive import costs, but also eliminates the carbon emissions that would arise from the transport of imported materials into the country. Bamboo is also organic and recyclable, and, unlike metal materials, does not require high levels of energy during extraction and manufacturing. “The bamboo bicycle is environmentally friendly… because we are also fighting against climate change,” explained Dapaah. Volume 4 Issue 6 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 87
She said the initiative also commits to ecological sustainability by working with bamboo farmers in rural communities to harvest new bamboo crops, and conserve already existent ones. “If we cut one bamboo, we make sure to plant at least three or five more,” she said. In addition, bamboo bicycle frames promote sustainable transportation as an alternative to motor vehicles and fossil fuels. According to Isaac Osei, the regional director for Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency, this is important. “The traffic situation in the country in general is increasing, and when traffic increases it has its associated environmental issues,” he told IPS. There are 30 motor vehicles for every 1,000 people in Ghana, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority registers hundreds more each day. Data suggests that vehicle ownership will continue to rise, as the country hits record levels of GDP growth per capita. Ghana has the largest GDP per capita in West Africa at 402.3 dollars in 2011. Osei noted some of the harmful impacts of increased
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vehicle use, including carbon dioxide emissions and pollution from dust particles on dirt roads. “To actually educate people to use bicycles rather than vehicles, I think it is good for the country and the world as a whole,” he said. By employing and providing young people with technical skills, the initiative is designed to reduce unemployment and, consequently, rural poverty. “So far I’ve trained about 10 boys,” Nyampong said. “They can build the bikes, but it’s not up to the quality control level, so we are still training them.” In addition, Bamboo Bikes will help graduated trainees establish their own workshops, and begin to train more young people. In 2009, Bamboo Bikes won the Clinton Global Initiative Award, and in 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme Seed Initiative award. It also garnered international attention in June when it received a World Business and Development Award at the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. By Portia Crowe Source: IPS News
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The end of an ox is beef, and the end of a lie is grief. The fool speaks, the wise man listens. To try and to fail is not laziness.
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African Bush Cuisine
Courtesy Mama Africa’s Recipes at http://africas-best-recipes.blogspot.com/
Step 1: ●● You will need: ●● 300 g kudu tenderloin ●● 100 g rocket (arugula) ●● 2 tbsp shaved parmesan cheese ●● 4 tbsp olive oil ●● 1 cutting board ●● 1 knife ●● 1 plate ●● 1 mallet ●● 1 spoon Step 2: Prepare the meat ●● Thinly slice the meat across its grain. Put a sheet of cling film onto the cutting board. Place a few slices of beef into the centre and create a fan shaped circle. Cover it with another piece of cling film. Using the mallet, flatten the meat until it is wafer thin. ●● Remove the top sheet of cling film and carefully place it meat side down onto a serving plate. Peel off the second sheet of cling film. Rearrange the meat, decoratively in the centre of the plate. ●● A quick tip! Another way of thinly slicing meat is by placing it in the freezer and allowing it to freeze slightly. This makes it easier to slice thinly. Step 3: Garnish, and serve ●● Season the meat with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Spoon over a few drops of lemon juice, add a handful of rocket over, drizzle a little more olive oil on top, add some more lemon juice, season once more with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese. It is now ready to be served! It also can be garnished with mushrooms, capers, balsamic vinegar or truffle oil. 94 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
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Make a Plan
Hints and advice are given in good faith to be of help in emergencies. The writer as well as the publisher, personnel and agents concerned does not accept any responsibility for any injury, accident or damages that might arise from the use of any of the hints. 102 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 6
Lifting a vehicle without a jack
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You may be stranded with a wheel that needs to be changed, but then you find out that the jack is not working or it is home in your shed. Well, if there is no jack available you will have to make use of brainpower. Here are two ideas will work. 1. Pack hard rocks or pieces of tree trunks firmly under the axle of the vehicle, where the wheel must be changed. This now is your support. After you have loosened the wheel-nuts slightly, then you dig a hole underneath the flat tyre so that you can remove it easily. Make the hole deep enough to allow the inflated tyre to be put on. Then pack or shift rocks, wood or gravel in under the wheel and then carefully dig out the ground under the support in order to remove the pile of rocks or tree trunks and the vehicle is standing on that wheel. Just remember to screw the wheel-nuts tight. 2. Get a sturdy wooden pole, about human height and as thick as an upper leg, with a fork on the one side. Place the pole with its fork at the bumper and the other point in the ground, in line with the moving direction of the vehicle. With a strong rope tie the pole to the bumper but not too tight, then move the vehicle slowly so that Dr Wallace Vosloo the wooden pole gets stuck and be pulled upright. Donâ€™t pull past is an Engineer and Scientist by profesperpendicular. Shift firm rocks or pieces of wood under the chassion. His family has sis of the vehicle, as safety precautions, while you do the neceslived in Africa since sary repair work. Follow the opposite procedure to let the vehicle 1696 and he has a deep love for the down. Bear in mind, only vehicles with a strong bumper that is fixed firmly on the chassis, can be lifted up like that e.g. the old Land Rover or Cruiser. .
continent. He is a practical outdoorsman and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwing, longbow shooting, black powder rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh water fly fishing and tracking. The art of survival is Wallaceâ€™s main field of interest and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters.
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Your African safari is a unique experience. Now you can document your hunt day by day and revisit those exciting times for years to come. 31 Full days of journaling space with vital information: ●● safari clothing ●● personal item checklists ●● health and first aid ●● mammal identification information with photographs, tracks, dung and SCI and Rowland Ward qualification minimums.
Know how to administer CPR. Deal with dangerous animals up close. Identify and treat bites from snakes, spiders and scorpions. Know the right emergency numbers to dial in an emergency – it’s all there. A must-have item for every serious hunter. Sturdy PlastiCoil binding for durability and easy opening, 110 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. Full color covers and cream interior printed in black and white.
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The Very Best Invitation Watch Jesus with “the rich young ruler”: “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (vv. 21–22) “Oh—one more thing . . .” The young man has an idol he is clutching in his heart. It must have been his secret love; we know from his reaction. Jesus knew by looking into his heart. In typical religious spirit posturing, the church in ages past seized this passage and made poverty a requisite for following Christ. But that misses the point entirely. Jesus had wealthy men and women among his disciples, such as Joseph of Arimathea and the women who supported the ministry. God warned the Jews many times against idolatry, that if any one set up an idol in their heart, God would set himself against them. But oh, how hard it is to topple a cherished idol. Here is Jesus at his very best—he yanks this man off balance, sets his entire world reeling, and in the same moment extends his hand to catch him: “Let this go. Then come, join me. I want you to join me.” What an invitation. But the thought of giving his precious treasure away—his life-source, his security and status—it is too much for the earnest young man. He walks away, head cast down in sorrow. Exposed, but also captive to his false god. Again, wealth is not the point. The idol is the point. It might be anything—the attention of men, as with the woman at the well. Or self-righteousness, as with the religious. It might be position, power, family, even church. We craft idols faster than you can surf the Internet.
(Beautiful Outlaw, 117, 119,120)
Sudan white water: Peace brings adventure travel opportunities in South Sudan Gonarezhou: Under African Sky All tied up: Essential loops and...
Published on Nov 6, 2012
Sudan white water: Peace brings adventure travel opportunities in South Sudan Gonarezhou: Under African Sky All tied up: Essential loops and...