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EDITION 35

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m a l awi: A f rica’ s l e ad e r IN C o n s ervatio n

WELC OM E TO S A FAR I MAGA ZI NE 3 5

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Yesterday, someone tried to convince me it was nearly November. It can’t be. It seems like Easter was only a couple of weeks ago. 2018 seems to have flashed by quicker than ever, but despite this it’s generally been a rather good year at Kamageo (and from your feedback, it’s been a pretty good year for most of the Africa travel trade, too).

In troducin g Tan too PAg e 12

At Kamageo, we’ve seen a changing of the guard with a few faces leaving and some amazing new ones arriving. Whilst ‘Retaining your regulars and recruiting some new ones’ might have been your mantra for the year, but it’s been ours too. Kelly White’s long-standing relationships with Malawi (MTMC) and Eswatini go from strength to strength (undamaged even by name changes) and we’re delighted that our on-going contract with Uganda has been extended. Pleasingly, our work for Zambia caused 100% of year one’s membership to renew, as well as three more joining the party. For Zambian businesses to put aside their individual marketing needs and fund a national campaign is hugely admirable. We hope we can continue to do them proud.

SIERRA LEON E

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3000 m ore rea s on s to visit ugan da pAg E 6 2

In recent weeks, we have replicated the Zambia approach with the launch of TANTOO (see page 12), with a good selection of Tanzanian safari businesses pledging their financial support. Whilst others may have been slower to commit, we sense the forthcoming TANTOO activities will see plenty more join in the coming months.

Safari is a dedicated travel trade magazine from:

To contact us call +44 (0)1664 823 750

We’re also delighted to announce that Sierra Leone has tasked us with launching them into the UK and we trust that this will see us take on a far greater on-going role. See more on page 51. With the upcoming Africa Tourism Workshop (for tourism boards), The Safari Roadshow, The Safari Media Show and countless fam/media trips, it’ll be Summer all over again soon!

Where do we want to be right now? That’s tough this time around. The new Sausage Tree (Zambia) looks amazing, as does Lion Camp (Zambia), but we all really fancy a sundowner sat on the beach at The Palms, Zanzibar – part of The Zanzibar Collection.

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sharing destination knowledge with tour operators and helping them to add new countries or to sell more of existing destinations”.

Since the start of 2018, Kamageo has seen a number of new faces join the team. We put them together to ask about their thoughts just a few months into their new roles.

Lisa is leading a Uganda fam in early 2019, but already has her eyes on visits to Tanzania, Zanzibar and Botswana. Beaming widely, Lisa stated that “Product knowledge is king!”

AN I S HA PA RM A R - P R MA NAG ER British-born, but with Ugandan and Kenyan parents, Anisha’s heart is drawn to Africa. Having worked for fashion brand, Gucci, she founded her own jewellery brand gaining outstanding PR skills which are now being utilised by Kamageo. “We have a great pool of travel journalists just waiting to hear about our latest concepts for editorial, so I’m loving sharing new ideas and places”.

N ADIA ALAM - M ARKETIN G & PR EXECUTIVE Nadia has 7 years of tourism experience, including Audley and Virgin Holidays. But it was her three years as GM for lodges in Uganda that gave her a love of the country. She has also travelled extensively in the Middle East, USA and Europe. But she’s keen to get back to Africa to see more of Tanzania, as well as Zimbabwe and Namibia. “It feels so special to be talking to the trade about the places that I love”.

Anisha has already developed a new press pack, jammed full of angles for six different African countries and organised almost 20 press trips.

Nadia’s portfolio is set to expand and she’ll be visiting more UK operators in the near future. “Sharing news about Africa? Does it get any better?” she joked.

L I S A BU RTO N - T R A DE MA R K ET I NG MA NAGER Bringing over ten years hands-on experience of the travel industry, Lisa has brought a fresh dimension to our trade support. Having moved through the retail ranks of Thomson she launched her own travel agency, but the lure of this new role convinced her to switch to marketing. “I really enjoy 3


AFRICA -

my first time

Former West End performer, Suzanne Holt took her daughter Georgia on their first ever safari. “I haven’t fallen in love in a long time. In fact, it was 15 years ago at the birth of my gorgeous young daughter, Georgia, who was accompanying me on our first ever trip to Africa. And then it happened all over again. I fell head over heels with Kenya’s magnificent Masai Mara, staying with Basecamp Explorer. I know I’m not Kenya’s first visitor to be overawed by the country, nor will I be the last, but not even the hours of pretrip briefing I received prepared me for the stunning scenery, the amazing accommodation, the personalities of the people, or my emotional encounters with Kenya’s wildlife. Our game-viewing highlight is tinged with more than a little sadness. Having been captivated by watching a huge male lion finishing off his wildebeest supper (served up by his two loyal females waiting patiently in the long grass nearby for their turn), we were shocked by the arrival of three young pretenders, seemingly ‘hell-bent’ on usurping the pride male. Even our guide was aghast to see the ferocity of the battle that was soon playing out just a few metres from our vehicle. Our excitement at seeing such a once-in-a-lifetime moment soon turned to horror as it became apparent that the single male was no match for his younger combatants, despite his significant size advantage and years of experience. My daughter was distraught with the brutality of the trio as they closed in for the kill. Our guide sensed our mood and with my nod of approval, we moved off before the inevitable ending happened. 4


We stayed at two of Basecamp’s fabulous properties in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. First off, we enjoyed the delights of Wilderness Camp whose location seems to have been selected not only for its amazing views, but also its acoustics. This proved most effective during the night when lions roared and hyenas whooped, allowing us to feel their calls deep in our chests.

day and night. The views are simply breathtaking. Clichéd I know, but here it is so true. Eagle View’s excellent staff couldn’t do enough to make us feel so welcome and our twin bedroom was not only luxurious, but also provided unhindered views on to the game-rich scenes below. I’d travelled to Africa with the idea of a much-needed motherdaughter bonding session, which began back in our Cheshire home, with Georgia literally dancing with joy on hearing our plans. We haven’t shared a room in a long time, but doing so brought us so close together (aided by the limited wi-fi connection!) and has created plenty of shared lifelong memories.

The small, intimate Wilderness Camp offers a really authentic experience and is at the cutting edge of environmentally friendly innovation, which was important to both of us. Next we moved to Eagle View Camp, perched high on an escarpment overlooking a series of waterholes and a flowing stream, creating a magnet for various animals throughout the

Unlike me, you’ve probably travelled to Africa many times so you’ll know only too well about the waves of emotions that safaris uniquely create. But for a first time visitor, Basecamp Explorer’s locations, properties and staff were incredible. ” For more information on Basecamp Explorer’s four properties in the Mara region (including the above, plus Leopard Plains and Basecamp Masai Mara, please contact Kristina Harlow on 01664 823750. 5


SAVING AFRICA’S WILDLIFE: BASECAMP EXPLORER’S PLEDGE The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is a unique place with outstanding wildlife. The Masai Mara National Reserve is globally unique and famous for the great wildebeest migration, but also has a rich diversity of other wildlife.

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Today, the Naboisho model has been scaled across the northern part of the Masai Mara. There has been an incredible increase in wildlife populations beyond lions, proving nature’s strong ability to bounce back when given a chance. The variation in topography and vegetation allows a wide variety of species, including cheetah, leopard, and elephants to thrive.

The Mara land is, for historical reasons, fragmented. Wildlife species need continuous land in order to live and thrive as they move in search of water and food. Without enough safe and securely managed land, sustainability is very difficult. In 2010, Basecamp Explorer initiated the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, protecting 20,000 hectares of pristine wildlife in the Masai Mara. Naboisho is the leading private Conservancy in Kenya, based on an innovative partnership model between Masai landowners and ecotourism operators with equitable decision rights and income generation.

Basecamp Explorer has also taken the decision to stop traditional safari vehicles within this area and provides the alternative of a walking safari in the Naboisho Conservancy. Within this area they monitor the number of tourists, reducing the number of vehicles and human impact on the environment to create an authentic safari experience. In 2016, Naboisho was awarded “Africa’s Best-Managed Wildlife Conservancy” by Responsible Tourism Africa. The jury put special emphasis on the Conservancy’s fruitful cooperation with the Masai community as one of its greatest strengths.

Naboisho’s model aims to protect and preserve the biodiversity and socio-cultural heritage of the Masai Mara, whilst generating income and creating jobs for the local population, with tourism being the economic driver. The Conservancy combines natural resource management with the empowerment of local people and protection of wildlife. Naboisho allows the Masai to continue their traditional way of life as it enables controlled grazing within the Conservancy during periods of drought. This limits overgrazing and maintains the longevity of livestock farming which is a significant aspect of the Masai culture. When it comes to wildlife protection, Naboisho’s model encourages co-existence between local communities and wildlife, thus reducing human / wildlife conflicts. Since the formation of the Conservancy there has been a dramatic increase in wildlife, with Naboisho now believed to have one of the highest lion densities in Africa and be home to over 320 bird species.

For more information on Basecamp Explorer please contact, Kristina Harlow, kristina@kamageo.com

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WHY MALAWI IS A LEADER IN CONSERVATION Malawi has seen a major regeneration in its wildlife numbers and National Parks themselves in recent years due to African Parks taking over Majete, Nkhotakota and Liwonde National Parks. With the most authentic cultural experiences, stunningly beautiful scenery and, of course, Lake Malawi, the country has always had some of the top attractions in Africa. However, its perceived weakness was wildlife, the key draw card for this continent. With that now being transformed, the coming years will chart the emergence of one of the most complete destinations and wildlife conservation leaders in Africa and here’s why.

African Parks

Majete Wildlife Reserve

Founded in 2000, African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities. It applies a business approach to conservation to protect Africa’s wildlife, restore landscapes and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities. It also focuses on achieving financial sustainability of the parks to create a ‘conservationled economy’.

Majete Wildlife Reserve is situated in the south-western part of Malawi and is an incredible success story representing the rebirth of a dwindling wildlife reserve. The restoration of Majete began with the re-intoduction of black rhinos in 2003, followed by elephants in 2006, and lions in 2012. A range of other species was also introduced, making the reserve, initially Malawi’s only Big Five destination, home to more than 12,200 animals which are flourishing within its boundries. Additionally, a variety of jobs have been created and employment has increased significantly. 140 people are employed on a full-time basis, including an increased ranger force, which patrols the reserve daily. As a result of this, not one rhino or elephant has been lost to poachers since African Parks took over in 2003. They have also been at the forefront of stronger, revised legislation relating to the protection and anti-poaching of the wildlife across Malawi.

African Parks has been working in partnership with the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) since 2003 when they took over the management of Majete Wildlife Reserve. Thanks to the success of this partnership, African Parks took over the management of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in 2015. African Parks’ incredible work in the country is a real story of hope and restoration for the people of Malawi and its wildlife.

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National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotokota Wildlife Reserve, which for years had all but been depleted of wildlife. The reserve was once home to over 1500 elephants, recently as few as 100 remained. This incredible process of translocation the use of helicopters to dart elephants, which are then lifted by crane onto trucks to begin their 300km road journey to a newly created 16,000 hectare sanctuary, making a safe and secure habitat for these animals and helping the reserve to thrive.

Liwonde National Park Located in southern Malawi, Liwonde supports the largest population of elephants left in the country. It is an important bird area with over 400 species listed. Unfortunately, years of illegal extraction of wildlife (from snares and illegal fishing) have impacted the biodiversity and resulted in a major decrease in visitors to the area. After African Parks assumed management control of the park in 2015, the focus has been on addressing the poaching threat as well as mitigating humanwildlife conflict as the most pressing priorities. African arks has been working towards restoring Liwonde into becoming a premier wildlife based tourism destination, supporting the long-term conservation and sustainability of the park.

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

With the crucial help from African Parks, Malawi has gained effective management for protected areas The addition of Liwonde and Nkhotakota, together with Majete Wildlife Reserve, will make African Parks responsible for 90% of Malawi’s elephant population and 100% of its lion population.

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve lies within the Zambezian biome and is one of Malawi’s Important Bird Areas with at least 280 species having been recorded to date. The most frequently seen mammal species include elephant, waterbuck, reedbuck, bushbuck, warthog and baboon. The reserve has the capacity, if well managed, to become an important area for the conservation of elephants in Malawi.

Additionally, some of the key figures in the country that have worked on some of the most impactful conservation projects have been recognised internationally. Malawi’s Director of National Parks & Wildlife received the prestigious Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa last year and this year, another Malawian, the country Director of Ripple, is a finalist.

The Reserve is essential for the survival of the “mpasa” or lake salmon. Numbers are declining dramatically and the species is now in danger of extinction. African Parks’ management is now focusing on building the necessary capacity to secure Nkhotakhota as a viable wildlife sanctuary. Over 500 elephants were moved during 2016 and 2017 from Liwonde

With highly-regarded conservation organisations like African Parks and the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust working tirelessly to preserve the country’s natural diversity and new legislation aiming to crack down on illegal wildlife crime, Malawi has taken conservation to its (warm) heart and is paving the way in Africa.

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LAKE OF STARS SHINES AGAIN

Importantly, the Festival has always put equal importance on local talent, providing a springboard for numerous Malawi acts over the years. Among those on offer this year were rapper Fredokiss, afro-soul star Faith Mussa, and Madalitso Band.

Malawi’s internationally renowned Lake of Stars Festival has just celebrated its 15th anniversary with another fabulous event completed on the shores of Lake Malawi. For visitors looking for more from Africa than wildlife safaris, Lake of Stars has continued to act as a beacon for Malawi’s fantastic cultural and natural attractions, drawing in ever more visitors and gaining a huge amount of international exposure for the Warm Heart of Africa.

The Lake of Stars project is recognised by the Malawi government for the crucial part that it has played in the country’s culture and tourism sectors for the last 15 years and its importance cannot be underestimated. Not only has this year’s event attracted its usual interest from the international media, but tour operator packages built around the Festival are proving increasingly popular.

Lake of Stars has grown from humble beginnings attracting only a few hundred visitors, to become an internationally respected event, garnering accolades from many quarters including CNN, BBC, the Mail & Guardian, Lonely Planet and Time Out Magazine. It was recently voted one of the World’s Best in the Fest300 Awards.

Performer Gemma Cairney visited Malawi not only for the festival, but also to be part of the first ‘Group Escape’ to Malawi organised by dynamic new operator Faraway. Also on that trip was Anna Hart, adventure travel columnist for the Telegraph and commissioned by Suitcase Magazine to write about her experiences in Malawi. With Gemma also writing an article for the Observer Magazine, and a number of other journalists present at the Festival, the exposure for Malawi will be impressive as we move in to 2019. And it wasn’t only ‘traditional’ media. Plenty of social influencers were there too. After previous visits to Malawi, friends and top travel bloggers HelenInWonderlust and VickyFlipFlop (the UK’s longest standing festival blogger and the UK’s top UK Solo Female Travel Blog), returned specifically for the Lake of Stars and have already begun to share their experiences.

After a year’s break, during which time events were organised in London and Edinburgh, Malawi’s biggest international arts event returned to the country’s central region and took place in a new location - the newly constructed, Malawi-owned, Kabumba Hotel resort, situated in Leopard’s Bay at the foot of the Senga Hills, Salima. The three day extravaganza, at the end of September, was headlined by electronic music giants Major Lazer Soundsystem (behind global hits Lean On and Cold Water) and one of Africa’s hottest groups, SAuti Sol. Other international acts on the bill included Love Ssega, a founding member of Clean Bandit; award-winning DJ and broadcaster Gemma Cairney; and UK-based Ghanaian rapper Kobi Onyame. Poetry and spoken word came from Hollie McNish (winner of the Ted Hughes Award), alongside Scottish poet Michael Pedersen (Robert Louis Stevenson Award winner).

All we need now is the announcement of the dates and location of the 2019 event!

For further information, contact Kelly White on: info@malawitourism.com

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Dame Kelly Holmes in Malawi Sporting Challenge Expedition

to be working with the Malawi-focussed education and philanthropic travel company Orbis Expeditions to help them launch Sport with a Purpose. The cause for 2018’s expedition is Street Chef, an initiative that aims to get more nutritious street food out to Malawians, using locally sourced food, cooked in an environmentally friendly way.

Malawi’s naturally beautiful and diverse landscapes, including mountains, plateaux and highlands, plus, of course, the magnificent Lake Malawi, offer the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities and challenges. Add in the principles of social and environmental responsibility that are so entrenched in Malawi’s tourist industry and it makes it easy to tie in an element of positive impact.

Orbis Expeditions founder Kate Webb says, “We are excited to be working with Dame Kelly Holmes this year to promote our Sport With A Purpose Expeditions to Malawi. Designed to offer incredible challenges while raising awareness for key initiatives in Malawi, this year we’re focusing on the link between nutrition and economic empowerment. We aim for the Orbis Challenge to run annually and, in true Orbis style, be a chance for people to come and appreciate the beauty of Malawi, but give part of their expedition time to skills exchange and the support of local development initiatives.” Participants will visit Malawian community initiatives in between a 25km run up Mount Mulanje, a 30 or 55km cycle across Zomba Plateau, and a 20km kayak on Lake Malawi.

The Mount Mulanje Porters Race, the Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon, and the Luwawa International Mountain Bike Race are a few examples of events, that have been running for a number of years, which are now starting to gain more prominence and international entries. 2018 has also seen two new, exciting additions, with the international Impact Marathon series adding a Malawi event and, perhaps most exciting of all, the launch of the Orbis Challenge, with no less than Dame Kelly Holmes named as its first participant! The Impact Marathons combine the ‘wow’ of travel, the power of social engagement and the challenge of incredible trail running courses. They successfully added Malawi to the series in 2018 with participants fundraising for, and assisting with, projects targeted at three of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The dates are already set for the 2019 event.

Malawi’s amazing variety of landscapes and activities set alongside its renowned warm and friendly welcome have long made Malawi a perfect destination for adventure expeditions and sporting challenges. 2018 has marked a crucial tipping point as this has become properly recognised internationally. And, if Dame Kelly Holmes agrees, who are we to argue?

This month, double Olympic Champion, British record holder and charity founder Dame Kelly Holmes, along with 20 team mates, will not only run, but also cycle and kayak across Malawi in support of improving nutrition. Kelly is excited

For further information, contact Kelly White on: info@malawitourism.com 11


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TANTOO - short for Tanzania Tourism Organisation - is a brand new initiative committed to increasing tourism to Tanzania from the UK. Recognising that their tourism would really benefit from an increase in its marketing support, major tourism players in Tanzania have cast aside their individual brand needs and are working together topromote their destination. Whilst this task is mainly the responsibility of the country’s tourism board - TTB - for reasons often beyond their control, itis unlikely that they will be able to invest heavily in the UKin the near future. So Tantoo is running PR campaigns for Tanzania (so will be on the look out for your sponsorship!), creating numerous fam trips right across Tanzania and offering online and onsite training. We are also instigating a consumer campaign including ads, social media andtravel events to increase Tanzania’s appeal. HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE MEMBERS OF TANTOO…

WWW.TANTOO.ORG For more information on Tanzania and how you can get involvedcontact Lisa Burton (Trade Marketing Manager) or Kristina Harlow (Marketing & PR Executive) on 01664 823750

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Combining culture and lions The Masai coming-of-age ‘Enkipaata’ ceremony traditionally required young, would-be warriors to kill a lion, but to conserve this increasingly at risk, iconic species, the act is now being actively discouraged. The Lion Guardian programme was established in 2007 and now operates across several countries, including Tanzania. Its aim is to preserve the culture whilst conserving the lions by way of understanding the Masai communities and their motives for killing lions. Through participation in the programme, instead of killing lions, they have found that monitoring, ownership, education and employment brings prestige and status to Masai warriors. The programme involves tracking lions and using radio telemetry to monitor problem lions that may attack livestock. A bond and sense of ownership is also developed through identifying and naming the lions under the care of the guardians. As a result of the Lion Guardian programme they have successfully avoided over $2 million of potential livestock loss annually, prevented 50% of lion hunts, tripled the lion population and named over 400 lions across the region. 14


LOSE YOURSELF IN THE SERENGETI The Serengeti National Park and the great Migration attract thousands of tourists each year. Over two million wildebeest and zebra move through the Serengeti in Northern Tanzania and across the border into the Masai Mara in Southern Kenya. If you think that witnessing this phenomenon would involve sharing the experience with thirty plus other safari vehicles, then think again! The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is twenty times the size of the Masai Mara, yet has a similar number of properties, therefore it is not too difficult to enjoy premier wildlife sightings all by yourself, especially given the seasonality of the Migration.

TANZANIA OFF THE BEATEN TRACK For those that want high-end holidays away from the crowds, staying in truly luxurious safari accommodation, why not combine the exclusive and less visited national parks of Ruaha or Selous? Then, add in the sophistication and stylish luxury of Zanzibar Island to create the perfect beach and bush experience. Located in the southern circuit of Tanzania, Ruaha and Selous National Parks are off the beaten track, thus providing a unique safari experience in comparison to the northern circuit, which is the more usual tourist route. Unlike the north, the south has a variety of game throughout the year with boat trips on its many lakes and rivers being a great way to see elephants, hippos and crocodiles up close. After the safari, hop on a plane and in a few hours you will find yourself sunbathing on some of the best beaches in the world! Zanzibar, the ‘Spice Island’, has a fascinating history, and for those that still have the energy to explore, the capital Stone Town provides an insight into its past. However, with a choice of luxurious beachfront properties, with excellent amenities, Zanzibar is definitely the perfect place to simply unwind and relax! 15


LOCATIONS Unlike most DMCs, Takims has fully equipped centres in both Arusha and Dar es Salaam, allowing them to offer road safaris in both the North and the South of the country. This also means that their itinerary designers and guides have an intimate knowledge of both regions, which translates into far more innovative programmes for your clients and, if required, they have the know how to take them well off the beaten track. Takims also offers private mobile safaris anywhere in the Serengeti with private vehicles, guides and chefs.

THE TANZANIAN TALENTS OF TAKIMS Takims Holidays is a true pioneer in developing Tanzania’s safari and tourism industry and with over half a century of experience it has built its reputation to be one of the premier travel and destination management companies. Takims takes pride in knowing that everyone who is involved in organising trips across Tanzania undergoes rigorous training in customer care, itinerary preparation and product knowledge. Emphasis is placed on paying attention to even the smallest details to make your clients’ holiday memorable.

PRODUCT KNOWLEGDE

A LONG-STANDING HISTORY

At Takims, they pride themselves on keeping their trade partners up to date on lodge developments, new openings, new transport options and special offers.

The 100% Tanzanian owned Takims Holidays is a third generation family business and one of the oldest, family run safari companies in Tanzania. After the family settled in Zanzibar in 1896, Akber Takim started the very first travel agency on the island in 1950. In 1964, it re-launched as Takims Holidays and now has over 65 years as one of the premier luxury travel and destination management companies.

They firmly believe that a DMC should be your eyes and ears on the ground, so it’s a vital communications channel. This also enables you to get the very best deals and accommodation to perfectly suit the needs of your individual client.

EXPERIENTIAL ITINERARIES Every client has unique preferences, so whilst Takims is perfectly happy to provide you with ‘sample itineraries’, the team prefers to hand-pick lodges, camps and activities that match your clients’ specific needs – all with a 24-hour turnaround. Activities can range from meeting a local artist to visiting a children’s school, exploring remote hiking trails to adventurous night game drives and so much more. All quotes, provided in an easy to follow PDF format, are created using their own sophisticated planning system which gives 100% price transparency for maximum flexibility, as well as peace of mind.

A DEDICATED TEAM The two co-directors Tehsin and Abbas Takim take great pride in being involved in every aspect of the day to day operations of Takims Holidays, with their passion being one of their greatest strengths, alongside their effective and efficient service.

VEHICLES Every Takims vehicle was bought brand new and modified to their exacting specifications and includes universal charging points, internal fridges (for easy access), extended windows, and a guaranteed, comfy window seat for every client. They have their own modern workshops in both Arusha and Dar, with fully trained technicians to maintain vehicles to the very highest standards.

Takims provides staff with many benefits including family health insurance and continuous educational opportunities through in-house and external training. Its dedication and high employee retention is a testament to Takims positive corporate culture, with a team of over 60 split 50/50 between guides and office staff.

COMMITMENT Takims believes every holiday should be memorable for all 16


the right reasons. A much-told family anecdote typifies their approach. Back in the 60’s, Akber Takim was informed of a flight delay on a plane arriving into Zanzibar. Realising there were no landing lights at Zanzibar airport, Akber asked all his friends to bring their cars and formed a landing strip using their headlights. The plane landed safely and was the first ever night landing in Zanzibar! That set the standard that they maintain to this day, helping ensure your clients have a perfect trip.

SIZE Over the last sixty years, Takims has organically grown to a size that allows them to successfully manage the needs of large volume operators, whilst also ensuring that smaller specialists receive an equally attentive and efficient service. Their size allows them to negotiate highly competitive rates, which are passed on to you. But they don’t recommend purely on price, they suggest the properties that suit your clients’ needs best, too.

They contribute a portion of safari revenues towards this important conservation measure.

INDEPENDENCE Takims does not own any camps or lodges and therefore has no bias in recommending particular properties. Being independent means they won’t put your client into their ‘pet’ properties – instead Takims recommends the places that suit yours and your clients’ needs best. Their programmes are tailormade and the priority is to design the most suitable itineraries based on the preferences of your clients. They also offer unlimited game drives each day as part of this.

CONSERVATION Aside from its positive impact in the tourism industry, Takims gives back to local communities by supporting various NGO’s with a priority on education, water and specific healthcare needs. Takims’ directors are actively involved in lobbying for sustainable tourism practices as board members or consultants for various government entities. Takims is deeply committed to conservation and is a member of the Serengeti De-Snaring Programme in association with Frankfurt Zoological Society.

For more information on Takims, please contact kristina@kamageo.com 17


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We spoke with Sujit Shah from The Zanzibar Collection about the beautiful villas at Baraza Resort & Spa... He told us the old adage about pictures painting a thousand words and we totally agree. Apparently, they frequently have to remind guests that they do actually have to leave at some point. 19


Fleur De Lys Having experienced the exhilaration of the Masai Mara, mother and daughter team – Suzanne and Georgia Holt headed for some well earned R&R on Zanzibar. I’d searched for a Zanzibar retreat that felt more homely than hotel, if that makes sense. I wanted to chill out completely after a first ever safari where nothing would be too much trouble for the staff and I could spend some lazy days soaking up the sun, sipping cocktails and chatting with my daughter. There are numerous options on the island, but Fleur de Lys ticked all of the boxes for me, especially the surprising price tag of just $220 half board for a single room! Located on the delightful Makunduchi beach in the far south east corner of the island, it has just seven rooms. The décor is an eclectic mix of Arabian, African and even European flavours, which blend beautifully to create a stylish environment, but for me the charm of the property lies in its relaxed, easy-going atmosphere where you can be as private or as sociable as you like.

The view of the Indian Ocean from our room was wonderful, especially in the early morning as the sun rose in the sky illuminating the fishermen returning from their labours. The team at Fleur de Lys really made the stay, with warm smiles beaming across their faces from dawn ‘til dusk. Our room boy was especially talented; never have I seen a mosquito net draped in so many different ways – towel sculpting is so yesterday!

It’s clear, from my visit, that the hotel has plenty of honeymoon appeal, and as I was with my 15 year old daughter, I wondered if I’d feel a bit of a gooseberry, but far from it. We both felt very at home. 20


UNEXPLORED WESTERN TANZANIA

Whilst the northern circuit is famed the world over, Tanzania’s fabulous western parks receive far fewer visitors.

Katavi National Park Tanzania’s second biggest national park is home to a large amount of game all year round, thanks to the rivers that flow through it. During rainy season the wetlands are home to huge concentrations of hippo and crocodile, then once the dry season arrives it becomes the only source of drinking water for miles around, attracting thousands of elephant and buffalo. As there are only 26 rooms in the park, this game rich area is a real connoisseur’s destination. There are only two parks where you can trek chimpanzees in Tanzania - Gombe and Mahale.

Gombe Stream National Park Home to the world’s most studied group of chimpanzees, Jane Goodall’s research centre was established in 1965 and was where she made revolutionary findings about chimpanzee behaviour. The chimpanzees in this area are now habituated and you are able to trek in the forest to see them, as well as other primates, birds and wildlife.

Mahale Mountains National Park In Mahale, as well as exceptional chimpanzee encounters, you will find the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika. As the world’s second deepest freshwater lake, there are plenty of water activities and sports available, including snorkelling and fishing. 21


THE PURPLE MONKEYS OF GOMBE

According to a recent study, the Red-tailed monkeys and Blue monkeys have been interbreeding for hundreds of years in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park – creating a hybrid species of monkey! We’ve nicknamed them the “Purple monkeys” of Gombe. “Red-tails are mating with blues, blues are mating with redtails, blues are mating with blues, red-tails are mating with red-tails, and hybrids are mating with everyone,” said Kate Detwiler, PhD, Primatologist. It turns out, that due to the social nature of these two species and the isolation of Gombe, this “new” hybrid species of guenon now makes up 15% of the population. So if you’re visiting Gombe on your travels, you may just see a purple monkey… 22


The Twins of Tarangire Earlier this year, a pair of twin elephant calves joined their mother’s herd in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. Not only was this a truly rare occurrence, but the mother, named Eloise, is estimated to be 57 years old, making her the oldest female elephant to birth twins. Now 8 months old, the twins - one sister and one brother continue to grow strong and wow wildlife lovers under the watchful eye of Eloise.

“ Every elephant calf born is a step towards the recovery of the species, and twins are even better ” said conservationist Charles Foley. Tarangire National Park is uncrowded and relatively unknown. Lying just south of Lake Manyara in the northern region of Tanzania, it is famous for its vast herds of elephants and forests of enigmatic, giant baobab trees. The rugged landscape is incredibly diverse and offers a very different experience for visitors on the northern safari circuit. 23


ETHIOPIA’S BEST KEPT SECRET

When people think of Ethiopia, it’s the churches of Lalibela, the various tribes and the stunning Simien Mountains that generally spring to mind, but these are only a small part of what the country has to offer. The wildlife could be Ethiopia’s best kept secret, as it’s home to some of the most charismatic, endemic species, from the gelada baboon, to the Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf.

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The Simien Mountains National Park, is not only a stunning location, but is also where clients can have close encounters with the gelada baboon. They can sit and observe the baboon’s behaviour, foraging amongst the grasses all whilst surrounded by breathtaking views of the mountains. If they are really lucky some clients may spot one of the rarest endemic mammals in Ethiopia, the Walia ibex, which is seen only on very steep areas of the mountains. Confrontations between dominant males are not only impressive, but often take place right on the edge of the steep slopes!

Francolin to the vocal Abyssinian Catbird. They are also likely to spot a variety of unusual mammals including a small white-chested monkey. One of Africa’s least studied primates, the Bale Mountains vervet is found in thick bamboo forests within the park.

Travelling south to the famous Bale Mountains National Park, clients will search the trails for some of the most unique birds the country has to offer, from the colourful Chestnut-naped

Other rare sightings of some fantastic mammals come from a visit to the Sanetti Plateau where the amazing scenery, contrasts with other landscapes. Here, clients may encounter the plateau’s most unique resident, the Ethiopian Wolf, which is the world’s rarest canid. With less than 500 left in the wild, this is one of the world’s most threatened carnivores and is a “try to” see on any itinerary. With all this in mind, next time you think of Ethiopia, don’t just think about the wonderful culture and history the country has to offer, remember that it’s also home to many unique and wonderfully vibrant, endemic species that should be top of your client’s list to experience when visiting Ethiopia. Dinknesh Ethiopia Tours is one of Ethiopia’s premier tour operators. Providing exceptional itineraries to groups and individuals, Dinknesh assures attention to detail, experienced guides and excellent service standards. With decades of experience, organising authentic itineraries, including wildlife and birding tours, is their speciality. For more information on Dinknesh Ethiopia Tours or to find out more about potential future Fam Trips to Ethiopia, please contact kristina@kamageo.com

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&

Tuli’s unique

scenic spots

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is one of the most unique and beautiful places within Africa and the scenery really is unlike any other part of Botswana. A mystical combination of stunning rock formations, unusual shaped kopjes, spectacular landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. This article will look into the unique and scenic spots your clients can see during their stay in Eastern Botswana.

The Confluence

Motlhabaneng

Not only is the varied topography exclusive to this part of Botswana, clients can also experience the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, a scenic spot where two rivers and three countries meet.

The quaint village of Motlhabaneng provides a cultural and historical dimension to Botswana through a series of rock paintings on the outskirts of the village. Depicting people, animals, hunting scenes and mythological creatures, from the San’s cosmology and belief system, all the paintings overlook the Motloutse River, making for an extraordinary view of the landscape. During the trip to the village, clients can meet the village chief, take a guided tour and visit the Tsatsi le Dule Basket Group where they will see creative, local ladies making traditional crafts. There is also the opportunity to visit a local school to learn more about the culture and history of the village.

Solomon’s Wall Situated in Tuli Block, clients can visit Solomon’s Wall, a remarkable geological feature that is thirty metres high. This basalt dyke once formed a natural dam and held back a great lake, with waterfalls spilling over the dyke. This would be the perfect place for clients to sit back and enjoy a picnic, whilst enjoying the endless views. 26


BOTSWANA

Its ten elegant suites are nestled in peaceful, spacious gardens and shaded by ancient trees. Eight tented suites have large and airy interiors with a modern take on classic “Out of Africa” décor. Large wrap-around decks provide a relaxing outdoor space. The two classic suites are furnished and designed to the same high standard, but are thatched and with solid walls and a shaded verandah.

Hides in Tuli Game Reserve To gain a different perspective, clients can visit several hides situated across the reserve, while staying at Tuli Safari Lodge. There’s also an option to sleep out at one of their hides. Equipped with a simple toilet and shower, this gives clients the chance to experience the sights and sounds of the African night.

Tuli Safari Lodge In the easternmost part of Botswana, where the country meets its neighbours, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and just ten minutes from Pont Drift border post and Limpopo Valley airfield, is Tuli Safari Lodge.

Rates start from $460pppn. For more information, please contact Tim Henshall, tim@kamilisafaris.com 27


ESCAPE THE CROWDS IN CHOBE

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BOTSWANA

On the less busy western side of Chobe Forest Reserve lies Muchenje Safari Lodge, which is set in an unspoilt area and situated on an escarpment. With wonderful views of the Chobe River, the Caprivi Strip and seasonal flood plains it is far away from the overcrowded parts of Chobe National Park. Providing visitors with both peace, tranquillity and a high density of game, due to its close proximity to the river, staying at Muchenje offers the perfect combination of harmony, beautiful scenery and animal encounters. The Chobe River provides a vital source of water to a variety of wildlife, with many animals visiting to drink, bathe and play. No visit to Muchenje is complete without a boat trip on the river itself allowing clients to enjoy a picnic lunch and the park’s interesting wildlife and birdlife from a different perspective.

Clients are practically guaranteed to see elephants in Chobe as it is famed for its large populations. Not only is it famous for its huge herds of elephants, but also buffalo and lions. There are also numerous antelope alongside a large number of hippos all found within this area of Chobe. Muchenje Safari Lodge offers eleven en-suite rooms that are exquisitely furnished and have a wonderful African ambience. The elegant main lodge incorporates a dining area, a bar and a viewing platform, whilst the lodge’s swimming pool offers fantastic views across the flood plain, providing a tranquil setting for your clients to relax in.

Rates start at $550pppn. For more information contact kristina@kamageo.com

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Spotlight on Africa’s newest country 2018 has been a momentous year for Africa’s newest country, as it not only celebrated 50 years of independence and the 50th birthday of King Mswati III, but it also changed its name from Swaziland to Eswatini. a local art gallery before finishing the tour with a traditional Swazi braai. The tour is fronted by an experienced local guide, meaning you’re guaranteed to learn something new about this beautiful country and its culture.

In April, King Mswati III, the figurehead that represents traditional Swazi life and is central to all celebrations in the country, turned 50 years old. In the same month he announced that the country’s name would change to ‘The Kingdom of Eswatini’, meaning “place of the Swati people”. Most former colonies in Africa changed their names immediately on gaining independence, but even though this change is long overdue, it is no less important and marks a significant moment in the country’s history - giving a true meaning to its independence.

Arts and Crafts High quality arts & crafts that support local communities have become a mainstay of Eswatini and the country should be of particular interest to those travellers wishing to see the best Africa has to offer. Although tiny, this Kingdom has a rich heritage of stylish, high quality handicrafts, which grace boutique outlets around the world, yet are produced by community-focused ecologically and socially responsible organisations.

Why visit Eswatini? To celebrate this 50-50 year, Eswatini Tourism UK has been delving into 50 reasons to visit this incredible country. We have been grouping them by theme and here are the favourites so far!

People and Culture A tiny country with a big heart and warm, friendly people aptly describes Swaziland – a country that is one of the few remaining monarchies in Africa and embraces and upholds its own unique and ancient traditions. Both the monarchy and the people of Eswatini actively maintain and preserve a remarkable cultural heritage that is probably unmatched anywhere in Africa. The Swazis are a proud and extremely friendly people. They welcome visitors with a beaming smile and take pleasure in showing off their beautiful country.

Top Local Craft: Ngwenya Glass Eswatini is home to Ngwenya Glass; a business that creates stunning products for the home using 100% recycled glass as their raw material, disused engine and cooking oil to fuel their furnaces and old newspapers to shape and pack the glass. Building upon Eswatini’s indisputable reputation for arts and crafts, Ngwenya Glass is a must-see experience.

Top Cultural Experience: Lobamba Walking Tour This half-day walking tour, organised by All Out Africa, takes you through one of the oldest and most famous villages in Swaziland. Starting off with an introduction to Swazi history at the National Museum then on to the King’s royal residence, before exploring homes, small-scale unique businesses and 30


Top Adventure Experience: Canopy Tours Malolotaja Nature Reserve is home to Eswatini’s first and only Tree Top Canopy Tour. This is located in the Sihlotswane Gorge, where one 50m suspension bridge and eleven wooden platforms have been ingeniously affixed to the steep sides. Participants descend the gorge by ziplining down on a steel cable from platform to platform high above over the forest canopy and Majolomba river. Some lines are more than 300m long

WildlifE Eswatini’s rich variety of landscapes and habitats gives it a profusion of fauna and flora, with the sheer number of species being mind-boggling by most European standards. The country is not large enough to offer lots of big game experiences, but it has seventeen protected areas, which are home to a very wide range of species, including the sought after ‘Big 5’. Swaziland is also the perfect place to get to grips with many smaller creatures often overlooked on safari elsewhere, and it is a bird-watcher’s paradise. The conservation effort to protect rhino and other wildlife in the country is of particular note.

Festivals Culture, vibrancy, and tradition sweep through Eswatini throughout the year. The thrill of celebration grips the nation and bands of warriors and maidens adorned in full traditional regalia are often seen heading to these festivals. These deeprooted traditions are balanced by internationally renowned modern festivals dedicated to the arts, music and even motorsport.

Top game viewing: Park, Reserves and Sanctuaries For traditional African big game viewing, Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve are the best places in Eswatini. Both are home to a variety of big mammals, including elephant, hippo, giraffe, zebra and rhino. Mkhaya is one of the best places on the continent to see both black and white rhino and Hlane is also home to everyone’s favourite big cat – the lion. Numerous antelope, predators and smaller mammals are also found in both places. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary has a similarly diverse offering of fauna, though is without the biggest of the animals except for hippos.

Adventure Activities Eswatini’s mountains, valleys, rivers and other natural wonders make it the ideal choice for those seeking an adrenaline rush. It has built a reputation for a variety of activities that once again belies its small size.

Top Festival Experience: MTN Bushfire Named as BBC’s Top African Festival, the MTN Bushfire Festival draws a multi-generational global community of up to 20,000 to the scenic Malkerns Valley to experience an eclectic Pan-African and international line-up of live music, theatre, poetry, film, circus, dance and visual arts. A vibrant handicraft market, family-friendly performances & KidZone, as well as the recently introduced interactive art and dialogue space, create a truly eclectic and magical three-day entertainment experience. This festival is a must for music & art lovers and a great way to experience modern Africa at its finest. The festival takes place at the end of May.

Check out the full list of 50 Reasons on the new website: www.thekingdomofeswatini.com/50reasons 31


New trade resources from Eswatini Eswatini, fully embraced World Tourism Day’s theme of ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’ on 27 September by launching its brand new, cutting-edge tourism website. Its aim - to help promote and inform about the amazing range of great attractions that this small, beautiful and charming African Kingdom offers: www.thekingdomofeswatini.com Eswatini is a microcosm of the best that Africa has to offer: stunning scenery, rich culture and Big 5 safaris (including perhaps the best rhino experiences on the continent), yet it remains relatively little visited. The new site will make it even easier for even more visitors and tour operators to discover all of the country’s riches.

The website has comprehensive information on all the country’s locations and experiences, extensive interlinking of pages, a detailed and up to date travel guide section and directory listings for accommodation and ground handlers, as well as international operators selling holidays to Eswatini. A header-based filter gives instant access to relevant activities and accommodation, a News & Blogs section will be updated through the week and a range of additional digital downloads are also available from the site. Widespread maps show users just where to find attractions and accommodation, and the innovative pin-point What3Words addresses have been added to make that task even easier. Content continues to be added to the site and 32


UK operator selling Eswatini, but those operators now have their own full page on the site, with full contacts and links, and the opportunity to enter whatever text they wish about themselves. A ‘Preferred Operator’ scheme is also planned, to give prominence to those actively selling Eswatini most actively. Submission from operators for the News & Blogs section on the site are also welcomed. If you have anything relevant to Eswatini (new itinerary, trip review, etc), send it over for us to publish. Not only will it appear on the site, but it will also be highlighted on social media channels and be included in the Newsletter, sent to around 10,000 subscribers (including the media). Contact us now to ensure you are maximising ALL these opportunities.

will be continuously monitored and updated to ensure that users and visitors have the very latest information and advice at their fingertips. Bongani Dlamini, Marketing Manager for the Eswatini Tourism Authority was thrilled to see the new site launch as part of a new push for tourism under the new country name: “The new site has been developed using the latest technologies and after extensive consultation, analysis of current user expectations and detailed planning, to ensure that the best and most effective tourism site was created for Eswatini...

The aim is to give the user the best experience possible and an easy online journey to all the resources they need to be able to learn about the Kingdom’s attractions. As the country transitions to its new identity, we’re very excited to see this digital transformation give a great boost to Eswatini’s tourism.”

Continuing the Digital theme, operators are also reminded of the comprehensive Trade Resources website: swazilandresources.com. This is a site set up specifically for international tour operators and travel agents, giving them all the resources and information they need to brochure and sell Eswatini. It contains hotel and lodge information and trade rates, plus destination information and details of DMCs. There is also a recently updated and refreshed high res image library and a set of videos produced last year.

UK Tour operators selling, or interested in selling, Eswatini are encouraged to use the site as a resource, but also to ensure that they are making the most of the exposure it offers them (all at NO cost). The new site not only offers a listing for any

For further information, contact Kelly White on: info@thekingdomofeswatini.com

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EX-MCFLY’S DOUGIE PUTS A SPOTLIGHT ON KAFUE CONSERVATION EFFORTS Dougie Poynter may be best known as a former member of the pop / rock band McFly, but he’s now increasingly involved in philanthropy. A commitment to wildlife conservation will see Dougie travel to Zambia’s Kafue National Park in 2019 supported by Zambia Marketing Group (ZMG), Wilderness Safaris and Kenya Airways, where he will view the efforts to further increase animal numbers in the park.

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the guides that have been there for many years and learn the workings of the national park. He’ll also meet Wilderness’ regional ecologist to touch on other projects in and around the Zambezi region from Rhino protection and anti-poaching to their Children in the Wilderness Programmes. Dougie will also meet up with the Carnivore Research Programme which is running extensive predator research in Kafue and may possibly get involved.

From becoming an ambassador for the ‘Tread Lightly’ campaign (above) which helps to preserve ‘London’s own National Nature Reserve’, Richmond Park, to working closely with the WWF to launch their Mountain Gorilla Adoption back in 2012 (below), Dougie is incredibly passionate about making sure we look after the planet and all that inhabits it. Most recently he has been playing an active role in raising awareness for climate change and plastic waste which he consistently plugs through his social media channels.

He’ll also be spending a couple of nights in Wilderness Safaris’ Livingstone based camp, Toka Leya, where he’ll visit Victoria Falls and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. During his time in McFly, Dougie enjoyed 18 Top 20 hits (inc. seven No.1 singles), five Top 20 Albums (No.1 twice), total sales of over 10 million records worldwide, sell-out tours and a couple of BRIT Awards! He’s currently rehearsing with his new band, INK. Kamageo’s PR Manager, Anisha Parmar stated,

“ It’s so encouraging to see a celebrity that’s willing to break-off from a hugely busy musical career to see the work being done in Zambia. His presence alone will help shine the light on the amazing progress being made in Kafue, but there’s still so much more to be done ”.

On his trip to Zambia, Dougie will be working with Wilderness Safaris in Kafue to push their ‘Frontier EcoTourism’ initiative to highlight the importance of protecting remote, untouched areas and how having a presence in these remote areas can create a positive impact on conservation and local communities. During his time in Kafue he’ll meet

For more information on how you can get involved, please contact anisha@kamageo.com

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Jeffery & McKeith Safaris TWO MEN AND THEIR AMBITION TO REVIVE KAFUE NATIONAL PARK Jeffery & McKeith Safaris is a small, owner run safari company based in the northern sector of the extremely vast and diverse Kafue National Park. Here, they have two camps, their base camp, Musekese, which overlooks a permanent lagoon and NtemwaBusanga Camp which is their new, seasonal fly camp on the southern edge of the Busanga Plains. Co-founders Phillip Jeffery and Tyrone McKeith both grew up in Zambia from a very early age. Spending virtually all of their lives in the bush, they both now understandably hold extensive knowledge of Zambia’s flora and fauna. Kafue National Park holds a special place in both their hearts due to its varied landscapes and the diverse wildlife that inhabits it. Growing up in Kafue as a child, Tyrone recalls hearing the

sounds of gunshots - a hotspot for illegal activity - which is the key reason why they chose to build and conserve the area they now call ‘Eden’. On moving into the Musekese region, there appeared to be no viable access routes, no infrastructure whatsoever and virtually no means of wildlife protection. Reality hit in their first year when the pair came across their first lion. A lioness which only had three legs, (most likely due to a snare), and at that moment they knew there was a lot of work to be done. Gathering people from the local community to help, the team set about making a road into the area in order to get people and supplies in. They would then be able to explore further and really get a sense of the area they were working in.

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Together they have now created a buffer zone for the Musekese region. To protect the area’s resources they have put in new tracks; work with the wildlife authorities and help with their anti-poaching patrols; set up camera traps and simply walk around, keeping an eye on what’s happening in their surroundings. The team has introduced a fire protection regime which has proved to be a great achievement already. Once a regular issue, the Musekese region has now been fire free for 5 years. Jeffrey and McKeith chose to put themselves in an area where there had been no positive impact before and have successfully created a reserve where wildlife is given the chance to thrive. Tyrone McKeith explains “It’s very rewarding to see what wildlife wants to do, given the opportunity. Wildlife wants to proliferate and if we allow it to, it will.” Plans for the future include enhancing resource protection, anti-poaching and fire protection.

Simply point your phone camera at the QR code to watch Jeffery and McKeith Safaris’ video on this inspirational story below.

“It’s such a privilege to be in an area where you’re seeing the wildlife change and evolve as a result of your presence in a positive way” -

For those guests wanting a truly remote yet rewarding safari experience, Kafue will always deliver. For more information on key operators in Kafue National Park, please visit www. zambiatourism.co.uk or email Rich at rich@kamageo.com

Phillip Jeffery. 37


KAINGU’S CREATIVE APPROACH TO RECYCLING At KaingU Safari Lodge in Kafue, recycling and waste control is just as important as it is to the next safari lodge in Africa - they want to create as little impact on the natural environment as possible. Stepping away from the obvious techniques, Gil, one of the lodge managers, talks about their more creative approach to re-using and revamping everyday ‘safari objects’ from their original function - adding to what makes KaingU Safari Lodge that little bit more rustic. This reflects the fact that we are surrounded by nature where there are few hard edges and angles. “Nestled into nature” is a phrase we have used repeatedly, because it fits our lodge and our approach.

“Claiming green credentials in the safari industry is almost as ubiquitous as khakis and gin and tonics. Generally speaking, most camps and lodges have pretty minimal impact. It kind of comes with the territory as environmental standards in protected areas are usually quite strict. Also being ‘off grid’ means that a lot of lodges rely on solar power generation or hybrid generation systems. Water filtration is touted as being green (some camps will hand you a fancy water bottle with a nice story about helping the environment) but in reality it is just sensible; try carrying cases and cases of water and then having to deal with all the plastic waste. It might be green, but in reality it is just easier to manage! But green credentials sell safaris and if we don’t all try to minimise our impact on our world then we are going to end up in big trouble. So every little helps.

So, here are some examples. Not of solar panels and batteries and toilets, but of how we have taken items and incorporated them into our buildings and decor. Let’s start with bottles - we use a lot! As much as possible we try and get our suppliers to send beer and soft drinks in returnable bottles. This works for a lot of drinks, but of course, not all - wine springs to mind. Now glass windows don’t work at KaingU, but what about recycling bottles to create a ‘window’ that allows light in? And it can even be in the shower as nobody can see through it. And it looks beautiful when the morning sun hits it.

Now I am not cynical enough to try and tell you that us reusing a few wine bottles and steel barrels is because we believe it will save the world. No. It is rather a bit like my water bottle example; we do it because it works, we do it because there is satisfaction in creating something yourself and then seeing it used. We do it because we want to at least try and reduce a little bit of the circle of consumption and waste. And we do it because it can save us a bit of money.

Now we come to the humble mbaula. This is the charcoal brazier used all over Zambia for cooking on. They are everywhere and used by everyone. The mbaula itself though is already a recycled item as they are made from steel drums that are used to supply oils and lubricants. The 200L (55 gallon) ones make for quite a large brazier and smaller 50kg grease drums make for a ‘one pot’ cooker. Initially, a mbaula looks like there is very little to commend them in terms of arts and crafts, but the finished items look fantastic once they are painted up and we have made mukwa (local hardwood) table tops for them. We see them as practical, cheap and, (being a

We also do it because we do not want our lodge to be furnished from a catalogue, we want it to be unique and to feel like it was designed by a human being. You won’t find that many geometric shapes in what we do here at KaingU. 38


bit fanciful here), a uniquely local item which is recognised by many and becomes a talking point where all sorts of conversations start- from cooking through to deforestation! Next on our list is the humble mortar - as in pestle and mortar. In our house we have a couple of very old ones that we use as side tables and we wanted to create the same for the lodge. While we envisaged buying old broken down ones from the villages it actually turned out to be a lot harder than we expected. The mortar and pestle in Africa is a seriously large implement and the spread of small scale diesel powered hammer mills means that the use of these is now confined to very rural areas where distances to the nearest mill are substantial. The mortar is symbolically, as well as practically, a very important piece of household equipment and it is difficult for people coming from, say Europe, to appreciate just how important the role of maize is here. And, in turn, just how important the tool to turn maize into the staple starch dish of nshima is. A bit of minimal painting and turned upside down they also make amazing side tables which really are truly Zambian. Next up is the traditional canoe. There is a good story here too. We were approached by a nameless Department of National Parks and Wildlife patrol, team leader who informed us that a very trusted staff member had loaned out his canoe to people who were now using it for nefarious purposes in the villages (i.e. crossing the river to poach). To avoid implication and trouble we sat down with the said staff member and offered to buy the canoe to take it out of circulation. Smiles all round and a great story. The next one was yet another poacher’s vessel. This one, however was confiscated by a patrol team who had found a poacher’s camp on one of the islands south of us. At first it was going to be burnt on the spot by the team, but again we stepped in and the end result was that everyone was happy, except the poachers who on return to their camp would find that they were short of a canoe! Anyway it now resides on the deck and still carries people, but in a slightly different way and for very different purposes. Now we come to our final one and this always makes me smile. This is true recycling, although not of an item that is a problem to dispose of - indeed rather the opposite. Most safari goers are very familiar with the marula tree. The fruit is much loved by elephants and the elephants are a method of seed dispersal, as the pulpy fruit is eaten and sometime later the seed is deposited - in its very own patch of rich manure. Studies have shown that marula seeds that have passed through an elephant’s digestive system are far more likely to germinate than those that have not! Here, (right), are some of the contents after a fair bit of work! Past visitors to KaingU know that Julia, creates seed based jewellery, as a hobby, and a lot of items are sold in the KaingU curio shop. The fact that people are wearing an item that has passed through an elephant’s digestive system is just too cool!

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From top to bottom in Kafue For the safari connoisseur, Kafue National Park offers a traditional, raw African safari experience of true exclusivity, combined with excellent game viewing. Throughout the park, the scenery is varied and changing and, as one of the last true wilderness areas in Africa, Kafue, the oldest and largest national park in Zambia, offers wildlife and birding experiences that are comparable to anywhere in the country.

Northern Kafue In the north, the rolling plains of Busanga are home to lion, zebra, abundant birdlife and flat grassland plains dotted with wild date palms, sausage trees and fig trees. There are numerous prides of lion residing here and it’s one of Zambia’s best areas for cheetah and wild dog. In Busanga, the spectacular landscape and unique wildlife sightings, will satisfy even the most experienced safari visitor.

Revival of Southern Kafue The south is perfect for those who love exploring and a little patience will be rewarded with some sensational sights. Elephants, antelopes and lion roam the plains, and hippos swim in the waters of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. Southern Kafue is the ideal safari experience for those who value a true feeling of wilderness as much as the game-sightings.

Elephants are in abundance in Southern Kafue

Konkamoya Lodge, (left), rests just off the banks of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi and offers animal activity around the waters, as well as extremely private game viewing. With just four, raised tents, of a highly impressive size and design, their east facing aspect ensures wonderful views of the African sunrise across the lake. Large areas of Kafue still remain unexplored and hold a wealth of wildlife thanks to its huge size and varied habitat. The park is easily accessed from both Lusaka and Livingstone on a 4 – 5 hour drive. There is also an option to fly, although there is something special about driving through the park and discovering its contrasting landscapes and ecosystems. Rates for Konkamoya Lodge start from $500pppn. For more information, please contact Kristina at kristina@kamageo.com 40


Zambian Ground

Handlers Launches New Website'

Tour operators will enjoy a more user-friendly design with easy access to high-resolution images of all Zambian camps, 360 videos and valuable information on visas, flights and what to pack. The new website also features a number of sample itineries that can be tailored to your clients’ needs. Nothing is too much trouble for the Zambian Ground Handlers and no ones knows Zambia better. For more information visit zambiangroundhandlers. com by pointing your camera phone at the QR code. or contact Rich Whiston at rich@kamageo.com.

Thornicroft Lodge’ hosts 'Art Safaris' Thornicroft Lodge in South Luangwa now hosts ‘Art Safari’ several times a year with accomplished artist, Mary-Anne Bartlett, who runs Art Safari tours all over the world. This unique itinerary offers guests a more creative way to discover the beauty of the Zambian Bush and a wonderful opportunity to study wildlife while developing their painting and photography skills. What’s more, they’ll have a very personal souvenir of their stay. For clients that want to introduce a slice of traditional Zambian arts and crafts without committing to an Art Safari at Thornicroft, make sure to suggest a visit to ‘Tribal Textiles’ - a hand painted traditional textiles company based in South Luangwa.

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WHAT AN INTERNSHIP! SAM MACHIN SPENT 3 MONTHS WITH KAFUNTA Through the inaugural Kamageo Internship Programme, we sent Falmouth University Business Entrepreneurship student Sam Machin to use his new skills at Kafunta Safaris in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. In his own words, here’s how he got on. “I can’t describe just how fun and amazing it’s been working at Kafunta Safaris’ three camps: Kafunta River Lodge, Island Bush Camp and Three Rivers Camp. The main camp, Kafunta River Lodge, boasts an extensive view of the flood plains where elephants, hippos and buffalo are regularly seen from your room’s balcony, the gorgeous infinity pool and the Luangwa Valley’s only natural hot tub. Three Rivers Camp is located 2 hours south of Kafunta River Lodge and is set at the confluence of the Luangwa, Kapamba and Lusangazi Rivers (hence name). While each suite gives that “off the grid” feeling of seclusion, it’s far from lacking in amenities with home comforts such as electricity and 24-hour hot water.

Island Bush Camp, on the other hand, offers a truly authentic African bush experience with no electricity (except in the office, where phones and camera batteries can be charged overnight). Wildlife in camp is thriving. On one occasion we were even visited by a cackle of hyenas who dragged an ornamental tortoise shell out of camp! The staff at all three camps are incredibly attentive and welcoming, from the senior managers to the gardeners. Every morning I was greeted with smiles and welcomes – a true reflection of the high standards owners Anke and Ron Cowan strive for at Kafunta Safaris. They also have some incredible stories to tell from their 20 years in the bush.” Find out more about Sam’s time at Kafunta Safaris by pointing your camera phone at the QR code. You don’t even need to take a picture!

Know someone who’d like an internship with Kamageo? See www.kamageo.com/placements for details 42


Cooking up a storm

in the Luangwa Valley

Alongside refurbishments to the main area at Kafunta River Lodge, chef and lodge manager Anelle Dessels has introduced a new four-course menu that showcases local ingredients, with standout dishes like the beef fillet or herb crusted cauliflower steak with peppercorn sauce, parsnip mash and green bean parcel. Anelle has spent years honing her fine-dining skills and has had the privilege of cooking with many wonderful chefs including Gordon Ramsay. Here’s a taste of the new menu…

Herb Crusted Cauliflower Steak Ingredients

Method

1 large head of cauliflower

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place the cauliflower steaks on a baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced

Meanwhile, mix the garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, yogurt and mustard in a small bowl. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and spread the mixture on top.

1 teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon of dried oregano ½ teaspoon dried thyme 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and return the cauliflower to the oven for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

½ cup breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons fresh parsley 43


In with the new...

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The NEW Sausage tree camp Sausage Tree Camp in the Lower Zambezi now offers guaranteed, free, private guiding allowing guests the flexibility to tailor-make each day of their safari. The camp has also recently undergone an entire refurbishment and the luxury suites have been completely rebuilt. The pictures speak for themselves‌

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Lion Camp like you’ve never seen before Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, it’s inevitable that the new Lion Camp in South Luangwa has been the topic of conversation at some point. The newly renovated camp situated in the northern most reaches of the park certainly lives up to its reputation as one of Zambia’s favourite safari camps.

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‘LUNAR SEASON’ IN LIVINGSTONE It’s coming towards the end of what we have dubbed peak ‘Lunar Season’ for Zambia’s adventure capital and home to Victoria Falls, Livingstone. Thanks to pioneering adventure specialists, Safari Par Excellence, during the least overcast nights of the year, visitors to Livingstone can experience two, truly spectacular natural occurrences, both on the mighty Zambezi river and at the Falls themselves.

lights up the Victoria Falls. During this time, the Mosi-oaTunya National Park opens its doors from 6pm until midnight so visitors can witness this rare natural phenomenon. Visible in the mist of the Falls, the bow is caused by the refraction of the moon’s light, in the rising, swirling spray and there’s no need for flashlights as the moonlight alone is sufficient.

Full Moon Cruises Zambia’s full moon cruises are the brain-child of Safari Par Excellence’s MD, Graham, who originally thought of the idea a fair few years ago. The company re-introduced its iconic cruises in 2015 on a very cold, clear May evening (along with a much appreciated glass of ‘Gluhwein’), and since then it has become a truly memorable activity. A clear success, it is now a regular activity on the clearest evenings, mostly during the months from May to October. Without cloud cover, the moon provides plenty of light and the cruise is a beautifully surreal experience.

Simply pack a picnic basket and head to the eastern viewpoints where the moonbows are easily seen and at their fullest. The rest of the park is still accessible, however, the driest, therefore ‘best’ points, are from the eastern cataract and the most spectacular moonbows are seen when the moonlight angles into the gorge. A small additional cost of USD 25 is charged to non-residents on entry to the Park.

“What makes these full moon cruises so special is the scarcity of other river traffic. Our boat “Makumbi” leaves the dock at 17:30 with enough time to catch the sunset and do some game viewing.

Here are a few of our favourite moonbow pictures this season:

As the sun sets it is not uncommon to watch the moon rise at the same time. The light of the moon is extremely bright and guests are often surprised at how clear everything is. We float gently along the banks of the river under the moon’s white light. You can often hear and see the hippos leaving the river to go grazing. The spray of the falls is also visible during the high water part of the year. While cruising the Mosi-oaTunya National Park at any time of the year is spectacular, guests should take advantage of the full moon cruises if they are in town. It is a truly memorable experience”. Graham, MD.

Somewhere over the Moonbow Every year from February to August, when the Zambezi is high and the moon is full, a lunar rainbow (or moonbow) 47


Beyond First Impressions Found on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, approximately 9 km from the Victoria Falls, sits the ever popular David Livingstone Safari Lodge, which offers romance and tranquility within the adventure-fuelled location. Deep within the luxurious surroundings and engraved in every last detail, lies a strong sense of Livingstone’s significant past. shape bar offering a social setting for bar snacks and drinks. Alternatively, on the banks of the Zambezi, the ‘Gwembe Terrace’ features a river deck - a more tranquil setting for an evening drink whilst watching the Zambian sunset or for enjoying a light meal whilst observing the hippos during the day. The terrace is named after the Gwembe Valley where the Tonga live on both sides of the Zambezi downstream of the Falls.

Emanating from the influence of the Zanzibar trade route, Afro-Arabic touches are found throughout the lodge, but most notably in the interior design and cuisine. Indeed, the stylish, Moroccan take on the decor whisks guests back to the 1800’s, well before the Europeans introduced the colonial style to Africa.

The lodge’s 77 river-facing rooms include 5 spacious suites. Each luxurious suite boasts king sized beds, small butler’s kitchen and a jacuzzi. They’re also all named after Zambian Chiefs of the 18th century - Sekute, Mukuni, Musokotswane, Sekeletu and Chitambo. Chief Chitambo’s village is known for being where Dr. Livingstone’s’ heart was placed to rest.

Filtering through into its cuisine, contemporary, Afro-Arabian fusion dishes are incorporated into a fine dining experience in the lodge’s main restaurant ‘Kalai’. The restaurant is named after the Kalai Island, highlighting a key part of pre-colonial history when Sir David Livingstone reportedly stumbled across the reigning Chief Sekute’s burial sites in 1855. The lodge bar, ‘Ujiji’, suitably named after the place Henry Morton Stanley met David Livingstone, features a diamond 48


INCREASING EDUCATION, IMPROVING OPPORTUNITIES

Waterberry Zambezi Lodge’s Tukongote Community Projects have continuously improved the educational opportunities in nearby villages. What initially started as a single pre-school has now evolved into a growing educational hub.

wonder, some for the very first time. For some of the children, this was the first time they had been outside of their village! The aim of the project is to support school students with extra tuition, to offer a community library with a wide range of books and to offer basic skills training such as sewing and gardening. It also offers, within the Adult Learning Facility, literacy classes. The project is providing materials and training teachers in four other nearby schools, with a total responsibility for more than 400 pupils. Guests are always pleased to discover that Waterberry funds the building and administration of these projects.

The new pre-school building has been joined by the first two classrooms of the primary school, which will expand up to Grade 7. For secondary school, 29 children have been sponsored by generous guests of Waterberry who promise to pay for five years of education at partner school, Kazungula, this year. Since opening in February, the interest from the villages has been extremely positive with one of the most successful groups being the adults. It is apparent that many of the mothers of children attending the pre-school want to learn to read, especially in order to help their own children. One mother stated, “I want to be able to help my child at school, so for that I need to go back to school too.”

Waterberry Zambezi Lodge is a small, informal, friendly lodge situated 35 minutes from Livingstone. The lodge is set in a secluded position on the banks of the spectacular Zambezi River with views to the Zambezi National Park on the opposite bank. River Farmhouse is located within walking distance of Waterberry Zambezi Lodge. The Farmhouse was built with family holidays and groups of friends in mind on the site of the old colonial farm.

Recently the pre-school children took an educational visit to nearby Victoria Falls, where they learnt more about their home in Zambia and the geography of the Falls. The children were, of course, excited and enjoyed seeing this natural

Rates start from $356 pppn. For more information please contact Kristina, kristina@kamageo.com 49


Victoria Falls : Year-round adventure

When the waters of Victoria Falls dip to unashamed ‘dribble’ compared to the roaring ‘Smoke that Thunders’, a visit to the Falls may come as a surprise to first time visitors. That’s not to say it’s not worth visiting though. In fact, it’s the only chance to experience arguably the world’s most exhilarating activities.

Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island

The view from above is spectacular whatever the weather

Only accessible when waters are low (closed April-July) and based just a short boat ride away on Livingstone Island sits the somewhat over-looked Devil’s Pool. Guests can swim in the natural rock pool and have their photo taken sitting in the running water that plunges to a 103m drop- the ultimate infinity pool and an extremely unique experience. Guests can choose to visit the island for breakfast, lunch and high tea with good quality food, refreshments and a guided walk included. Only 16 people are allowed per time slot so guests can enjoy a less crowded experience. All ages welcome.

An activity to tick off the bucket list any time of the year is to view the Falls from a completely unique perspective, above, via helicopter or microlight. It offers a fascinating opportunity to see how the Falls are formed from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side without having to cross the border. The ‘short’ 15 minute flight circuits over the Falls for a classic birds-eye view whereas the ‘long’ 30 minute flight travels to the gorge below skimming above the rapids of the Zambezi River and finishes by flying over the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park with the possibility of spotting some of Zambia’s big game. All ages welcome. Microlight flights are definitely for the more adventurous but also offer guests a more private experience soaring over the Falls, with just themselves and their trusted pilot. Guests can embark on both short and long flights as per helicopter flights but long flights skip swooping into the gorge and instead fly overhead to uncover utterly breathtaking views. It’s open to guests as young as 7 years old so is also an option for brave families! 50


Year round adrenaline Being the adventure capital of Zambia, there are plenty of activities to get your blood pumping whilst admiring the spectacular surrounding landscape. Starting at the Batoka gorge, just 3km from the Falls, guests can abseil, swing and zipline their way through to the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge where the real adrenaline kicks in. The bridge offers 111 metres of pure adrenaline and marks the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, making it one of the most unique bungee jumps in the world, literally diving from one country to the other. The bridge adventure base also offers ziplining and a tandem gorge swing. Batoka gorge activities are available for those as young as 7 years old whereas bridge activities suit 14 years+ with the exception of ziplining where the minimum age is 6.

Safari Par Excellence Safari Par Excellence is the pioneer of adventure activities in Livingstone, offering once in a lifetime experiences since 1988! The passion, experience and culture of this company are second to none.

- Victoria Falls Waterfront - An adventure hub, comfortable and pocket friendly - Waterberry Zambezi Lodge - Secluded, quiet and friendly - Islands of Siankaba - Private setting, quirky and tranquil - Toka Leya Camp - Safari-esque, rustic and wilderness setting

Quality Lodges NEAR Victoria Falls - The River Club - Boutique style, idyllic and tranquil - David Livingstone Safari Lodge - Grand lodge, cosmopolitan and lively

For more information on unique activites and lodges in Zambia, please contact Rich at rich@kamageo.com

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We are pleased to announce the Zambian exhibitors for our upcoming Safari Roadshow, which will run from the 25th February to 1st March 2019. For UK tour operators, the Safari Roadshow provides an exciting opportunity to meet faceto-face with a variety of Zambian business owners, ranging from 5-star lodges to remote tented camps. All sessions are free to attend, but spaces are limited so please register via email at rich@kamageo.com

For more information please visit www.safari-roadshow.com #SafariRoadshow

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Over to YOU At Kamageo, we produce the exclusive SAFARI magazine each quarter and send it to the UK’s Africa specialist tour operators. We really hope you enjoy the articles, reviews, news and updates that fill. We are looking to add some additional features in forthcoming issues, generated by you - our readers. Here are a few of the ideas that we’d like to include :

SOUVENIRS & ARTEFACTS What’s the best / weirdest / funniest ‘thing’ you’ve brought back from your African journeys? Take a phone snap for us and send it to izzie@kamageo.com We’ll reward the best with inclusion in our mag and send you a small prize, too!

FAVOURITE DESTINATION Where do you love most in Africa? It can be a single lodge, park, region or entire country. Send your thoughts (and pics) to izzie@kamageo.com and we’ll include the best and send you a small “thank you”. Oh, and it doesn’t have to be a Kamageo destination or Kamili lodge!

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? We know you all love a good fam trip, so why not give us a write-up? It needn’t be on one of our trips, or even to one of our destinations. It just needs to be interesting, informative and supported by a few good pics (including one of yourself). ...And you don’t have to give away any of your trade secrets if you don’t want to!

YOUR PICTURES Taken a simply stunning image or seen something unusual? Captured a rare sighting or just snapped an amusing scene? Send your pics to izzie@kamageo.com and the best wins a prize. Also, other magazines do it, so why shouldn’t we? Take a photo of yourself on your travels reading a copy of Safari!

FREE JOB ADS On the look out for staff? Why not confidentially send us the details (to tim@kamageo.com) and we’ll include it in the back pages of our magazine, free of charge. You can stay as anonymous as you like, or as openly branded as you want. We’ll have individual reference codes to allow us to send all applications direct to your inbox. Once you’ve been in touch we’ll let you know our deadlines for publication to ensure they match your application closing dates.

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NEW DOMESTIC FLIGHTS FOR MADAGASCAR Tsaradia means “good trip� in Malagasy, and the launch of a new domestic airline in Madagascar promises just that.

BETTER CONNECTIVITY The set plans include aligning the fleets of both Air Madagascar and Air Austral, developing Saint Denis de la Reunion and Antananarivo hubs. This will boost both longhaul and domestic networks which, we believe, will give our clients better, more convenient connections between their domestic flights and international flights to Europe.

This is part of the partnership agreement between Air Madagascar and Air Austral that aims to revamp domestic airline travel on the island. The airline has chosen the emblematic animal of Madagascar, the lemur and a predominance of red allied with the colours of the sky, the sun and nature. This is the first major aviation development to take place in Madagascar in a number of years.

This is alongside the proposed contract with Kenya Airways, Air Austral and Air Madagascar to add Nairobi as their third strategic hub for international flights and explore the option of code sharing. This will allow Antananarivo and Nairobi to

We asked Hely Rakotomanantsoa, MD of IC Tours what the new domestic airline means for trips to Madagascar. 60


AIRLINE CAPACITY The new airline equates to 82% more seats and 52% more weekly domestic flights. This will give our clients many more options to choose from, providing greater flexibility for travel within Madagascar.

NEW TOUR ITINERARIES With the airline stopping off at 11 destinations there will now be more departure options than ever before. This will improve transfer times, meaning we can add more destinations into our itineraries and pack more into each and every trip we offer. This has been greatly needed in Madagascar, as previously it was difficult to get around the island with routes and journey times proving difficult. We are very much looking forward to the changes this new domestic airline offers.

become a gateway to strengthen trade and tourism between the three countries and improve their connectivity. We feel that this will offer our clients an opportunity to combine other countries as a multi-centre holiday and expand the interest of Madagascar to be seen as an add-on to trips across Africa.

EASIER ACCESSIBLITY The airline’s routes are all based out of the hub in Antananarivo, and feature 11 major destinations, with Diégo, Tamatave, Nosy-Be, Toliara and Fort-Dauphin having flights twice a day, while Sambava, Morondava and Sainte-Marie, Mahajanga and Maroantsetra are scheduled initially with one flight per day. With a total of 75 flights weekly, this will offer our clients more departure options to fly between the islands’ must see attractions.

Hely Rakotomanantsao, has been running IC Tours for well over a decade and they’ve emerged as one of Madagascar’s very best DMCs. Malagasy born and bred, but educated in Europe, Hely has a real understanding of the needs and expectations of international travellers. She knows all the very best guides in each wildlife reserve and she’s highly skilled at putting together complex itineraries to deliver the perfect trip.

Contact Hely at direction@ictours.mg or contact kristina@kamageo.com 61


3000 MORE REASONS TO VISIT UGANDA Uganda has increased the QUANTITY of mountain gorilla permits available each day in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, whilst the PRICE stays the same! Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has been inundated with permit requests as a result of significantly increased tourism to Uganda during 2018, so the completion of the habituation of the Katwe group (in Buhoma) and the Christmas group (in Nkuringo) couldn’t have come at a better time. Tourists are now able to trek to see both of these, increasing the total to 17 groups. International tour operators are being reminded to follow agreed procedure by booking well in advance through official channels, rather than relying on any last-minute cash purchases which are being strongly discouraged and often leave visitors disappointed by a lack of permits. The addition of the Katwe and Christmas groups allows up to an extra 3,000 people per year to enjoy one of the world’s most amazing wildlife experiences. In our opinion, UWA has impressed yet again, both in habituating additional families and also by maintaining the permit fee. 62


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THE GIRAFFE RELOCATION

PROGRAMME FOR UGANDA CONSERVATION Tourism in Uganda is on the rise and, with the country’s wonderful wildlife being the major draw for tourists, there has never been a greater focus on conservation. The most recent endeavour was the translocation of 15 Rothschild giraffes from Murchison Falls National Park to Kidepo Valley National Park. Through collaboration between Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, this programme aims to support some of Africa’s most endangered giraffes. The translocation is predominantly due to conservation efforts that aim to boost the giraffe population in Kidepo and ensure the survival of the species. This translocation strategy is helping to ecologically balance out the number of giraffes in both national parks, reducing the high-density of certain areas of Murchison Falls and enhancing the sparse Kidepo Valley National Park. As giraffes are one of the greatest attractions to these parks, this translocation is the second of its kind, as in 2017 19 giraffes were moved from the northern to the southern bank of Murchison Falls National Park. 64


The relocation process involves identifying which specific giraffes should be transferred. They are then darted and, whilst unconscious, rangers check their heart rates before securing them with ropes and placing them into customised transport trucks that are cushioned to protect the giraffes during their 400km journey to Kidepo. The team ensures the movement of the giraffes is smooth and successful, by putting in a huge amount of effort to make sure they are safely and comfortably transported. This latest re-homing comes after the success of a previous translocation, from Murchison Falls National Park to Mbruo National Park, in 2015. Following that undertaking, the first baby giraffe was born in April 2018. This proves how valuable the conservation efforts are for balancing out the population in different areas of Uganda and ensuring that the number of giraffes in the country continues to grow.

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com.

EXPERIENCE untouched beauty yourself

Our fam trips to Uganda this year are now fully booked. However, if you missed out this time we are now planning for our next trip which will be departing in early 2019. This will include the undiscovered area of Kidepo National Park, which is located in the north east of Uganda and borders Sudan and Kenya. Often missed off the usual tourist circuit, it is a truly interesting region and, unlike any other part of Uganda, has a rugged, semi-arid landscape. It also has a variety of game and is home to the fascinating Karamojong and Ik tribes. For more information or to apply for one of our free fam trips (ground costs, including permits and park-fees covered), please email nadia@kamageo.com 65


20 YEARS OF CHIMPANZEE

CONSERVATION NGAMBA ISLAND, ALSO KNOWN AS ‘CHIMP ISLAND’ RECENTLY CELEBRATED ITS 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH ITS FOUNDER DR JANE GOODALL. In 1998 Dr Jane Goodall and her team rescued 13 chimpanzees and started Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Twenty years on and the island is now home to 49 chimpanzees ranging from 2-33 years old. with so that they know them by name and feel proud of that as our inheritance and then feel duty bound to protect our animal population”, she said.

Chimpanzees that come to the island are orphans or rescued from the illegal pet and bush meat trade. On arrival they are treated onsite at the medical centre and go on to live a long and healthy life on Ngamba.

Located in Lake Victoria, South East of Entebbe, Ngamba Island has 95 acres of forest which chimpanzees are free to roam, forage for food and set up nests. Their lives are also supported by the food and night time enclosures the Sanctuary provides for them. The Sanctuary is funded by donations, grants and tourist activities on the island. Visitors can reach Ngamba by canoe, speedboat or helicopter and have the option to stay for a day or overnight at its cottages. Experiences on the island include chimpanzee feeding, challenging the chimps to critical thinking and chimp nest preparation. The island is also home to a variety of other wildlife including fruit bats, fish eagles and monitor lizards and other activities such as fishing and cultural experiences are also available.

To celebrate the amazing journey and success over the past 20 years The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust hosted an event this June with special guests including Dr Jane Goodall.

Volunteer programmes are also offered ranging from 1-4 weeks. This gives a great insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to care for the chimpanzees, including food preparation, behavioural research and medical care.

The First Lady Mrs Janet Museveni, who is the patron of the Sanctuary, stressed the importance of educating youngsters on wildlife and conservation. “I felt then and even now that it is important for us as a country to educate our young generation about the animal population Uganda is blessed

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 66


Mount Gahinga leads celebrations for Volcanoes MOUNT GAHINGA LODGE CELEBRATES THE BEGINNING OF VOLCANOES SAFARIS WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW DELUXE ‘MOMAN BANDA’

Praveen Moman, founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997 with his first lodge Mount Gahinga Lodge. Praveen’s family history is deeply rooted in Uganda. His father, Kuldip Rai Moman, moved from India to East Africa at the age of 18 and settled in Uganda, but was later forced to leave in 1972 during Idi Amin’s era. Gahinga is particularly close to Praveen’s heart as a place he went walking with his father as a young boy. In honour of Praveen’s father, and to mark 100 years on from his birth they have launched the deluxe Banda, the ‘Moman Banda’ at Mount Gahinga Lodge. The banda incorporates crafts handmade by the local Batwa community and locally made furniture and textiles.

and from October the lodge will have a direct private footpath to the entrance of Mgahinga National Park. Volcanoes works closely with the local Batwa community too sharing their culture through local village walks and other experiences offered to their guests. In May this year the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust launched the Gahinga Batwa Village, providing a permanent home for over 100 members of the Gahinga Batwa community.

Volcanoes Safaris have created a short film ‘Celebrating Gorillas and Communities’ highlighting the work of Volcanoes Safaris since 1997. To watch this video simply point your phone camera at the QR code to open the link. Over the years, the relationship between Volcanoes, the community and conservation has grown. Mount Gahinga Lodge is an ideal base to track the gorillas and golden monkey,

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 67


First timers...

IN SEARCH OF BWINDI’S MOUNTAIN GORILLAS BY BRET CHARMAN, AWARD-WINNING WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER & TOUR LEADER

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The Sun was setting over the hills of south western Uganda and the road was still wet from an afternoon shower. I was making my way up to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with my partner. We continued to climb through the stunning landscapes until we could make out the shape of forested slopes ahead. I knew what to expect from the coming days, but I had no idea how profound an affect it would have on me.


side where we were told to stop, catch our breath and get everything we would need to meet the gorillas. It was of the utmost importance that we took no food and so we left our bags, grabbed our cameras and walked to where the gorillas were spotted only moments before. I was at the front of the group and I vividly remember seeing the first gorilla of the group. Makara the silverback was some 15 yards ahead of me and I was truly speechless, even more so when our guide told me to turn to my left. I was only a few yards away from a female who was fast asleep, completely undisturbed by my clumsy approach through the thick undergrowth. As a photographer I usually can’t help but get wrapped up in my work, although on this occasion it simply wasn’t the case. I was completely in awe of this beautiful family I was allowed to sit among, I had to force myself to take pictures as I watched the group go about their business. I have been extremely lucky over the years, as a wildlife photographer and tour leader I have had the privilege to see some of the world’s most sought after species. Africa is my home away from home though, somewhere I belong, and Uganda was my ‘cup of tea’ from the off. However, nothing could prepare me for coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla.

For me, the most magical moment was with one of the toddlers, a cheeky little, well … gorilla. As I was watching the two youngest individuals play, doing somersaults and generally proving to be a nuisance, one of the two decided to see if we were interested in joining in. It is important to keep your distance from the gorillas and at times this can prove to be extremely difficult, as I was soon to find out. The youngster kept approaching us and I was blessed with some of the easiest and most intimate experiences of my career as I was unable to move as quickly through the thick vegetation and got a lot closer than I ever expected.

The morning of our trek was soon upon us. I awoke to a cacophony of bird song. Looking out of my room a stunning view across the forest was slowly revealing itself from a swirling layer of mist. Before long, I was walking to the briefing point and learning the do’s and dont’s of gorilla trekking, making sure my trousers were tucked into my socks (the height of gorilla fashion I am told) and getting to grips with my walking stick. My group would be going in search of the Habinyanja family, but first we had to drive a little way around the forest to start our trek.

I really cannot even begin to do the encounter justice with words, or even the images displayed here, but what I hope I can do is inspire you. The reason this experience is so magical is the way the government has created the perfect example of eco-tourism. By trekking to have life-changing encounters such as this, with one of our closest cousins, you are directly helping to conserve this iconic species.

Upon arrival at our embarkation point, we were introduced to our porters (a must for anyone gorilla trekking) and set off in search of our primate quarry. I must say that the porters were brilliant in every way and were on hand to help at every opportunity. As a photographer with a heavy bag I am used to carrying my own gear across difficult terrain, so it seemed quite a luxury to have someone help share the load.

Without a doubt, my time with Uganda’s mountain gorillas ranks as probably my finest wildlife encounter. All I can really say to anyone I meet is that to experience the majesty, the wonder and pure joy of a gorilla encounter is to do it for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Get out to Uganda and find out for yourself. ”

We were walking through beautiful valleys of planted crops, coffee and acres of tea when suddenly we rounded a corner, and there in front of us was a great expanse of forest. We were soon among the trees and the humidity levels were noticeably higher, but we all knew what to expect and stopped to ascertain the exact location of the gorillas. Our guide called across the steep-sided valley and we heard a reply from the scouts somewhere ahead – all that lay between us and the Habinyanja family was a few hundred yards of dense rainforest. With the help of our porters we slowly made our way down a precipitous slope and back up the other

(Images and text by Bret Charman at the Natural Travel Collection)

For more information on Gorilla trekking in Bwindi or how you can get yourself to Uganda too, please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 69


Escape the bustle of Kampala on a Pineapple Farm Tour With agri-tourism on the rise, this one day Organic Pineapple Farm Tour is ideal for escaping the bustle of Kampala. With a maximum of nine guests, this small group tour offers visitors the chance to visit Luwero for a full day. The tour includes a guided visit to Sulma Foods Pineapple Drying Factory where you will learn about the drying process, followed by a visit to the Pineapple Farm where you can harvest fresh pineapples and sample them straight from the garden. You will then be served an Organic lunch using ingredients from Sulma gardens before heading back to Kampala. Bic-tours, which operates this venture, has seen an increase in the number of visitors interested in visiting the Pineapple Farm, with MD Samuel Mugisha stating that customer feedback is that the tour exceeds expectations.

Golf & Gorillas There is more to Uganda than just gorillas and safari, but how about including a round of golf too? Located on the equator with mild weather all year around Uganda is the perfect golfing destination. It has a number of golf courses many situated in the most beautiful and scenic parts of the country. For instance, Garuga Golf Course is located next to the Kihihi airstrip, the local airport for Bwindi, making it a perfect place to combine with a visit to the gorillas! This golf course is a privately owned 18 hole, par 71 course and at 717,189 yards long is championship length. As well as being close to Bwindi for gorilla trekking, the course is also in a great location to explore the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to the tree climbing lions and the striking Lake Bunyoni is within reach too. For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com 70


THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS AT MAHOGANY SPRINGS Mahogany Springs sits in a truly unique spot, where two very different landscapes collide. Here, guests can witness two contrasting environments with cultivation on one side and conservation on the other. Conservation is characterised by the beautiful natural scenery Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has to offer, as the UNESCO world heritage site combines rivers, waterfalls, mountain ranges and volcanoes. This makes a stunning backdrop to your stay at Mahogany Springs, which also forms an ideal base for trekking mountain gorillas. On the other side, cultivation supports the local community through crop growth and various forms of farming. This local produce is all incorporated into the delicious food you will enjoy whilst at Mahogany Springs. Prices start at $240pppn, for more information contact kristina@kamageo.com 71


UGANDA’S UNDISCOVERED MOUNTAINS Uganda is full of bucket list experiences, but why not take the path less trodden and enjoy the wonders of Uganda’s Mountains?

Mount Elgon The western circuit in Uganda takes in some of the country’s better-known highlights including its famous mountain gorillas, unmatchable chimpanzee experiences and excellent safaris. But head east from Uganda’s capital city and you will find a real gem in Mount Elgon National Park. Mount Elgon is pretty unique in that it has the largest volcanic base of any freestanding mountain and one of the largest (8km) intact calderas in the world. Once Africa’s highest mountain – far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s 5891m – thousands of years of erosion has now left it 8th in the ranking at just 4321m, making it both safer and easier to climb. Mount Elgon National Park is a stunning and undiscovered wilderness that has many hidden treasures. Located in the foothills are the spectacular cascades of the Sipi Falls, a series of 3 waterfalls, the highest of which plummets 100m. The mountain soil in this area is rich in iron and is responsible for some of Africa’s finest Arabica coffee. The uniqueness of this coffee is a closely held secret of the local Basigu tribe who consider Mount Elgon to be the embodiment of its founding father Masaba and have produced and grown coffee here for generations. Together with its towering cliffs, breathtaking gorges and variety of flora and fauna, Mount Elgon National Park has an abundance of attractions for the discerning traveller. 72


Rwenzori Mountains Continue your safari from Queen Elizabeth National Park to discover the mysterious Mountains of the Moon where snow-capped mountains exist on the equator! This hidden gem is just as awe-inspiring as Kilimanjaro in neighbouring Tanzania, but as the region is still developing, it is only now starting to be seen as one of the big mountains to conquer. The Rwenzori Mountains are a Unesco World Heritage Site and span the border of Uganda and DR Congo. The highest point is 5,109m above sea level on Mount Stanley’s Margherita Peak - the third highest peak in Africa. The alpine area surrounding the mountains comprises waterfalls and lakes and is home to a number of endangered species and unusual vegetation. There are five distinct zones as you ascend the Rwenzori, with many species endemic to particular altitudes. Amongst the 70 mammal species that can be found in the Rwenzoris is the mighty forest elephant and chimpanzees that are currently in the process of being habituated. Included in the 217 bird species are the Rwenzori Turaco and Longeared Owl. There are also unusual reptiles such as the threehorned chameleon. For those who are not up to the challenge of reaching the summit there are plenty of shorter treks and trails around the foothills where you can experience the stunning scenery of crashing rivers and serene lakes alongside the diverse flora and fauna.

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ETHICAL TOURISM

IN UGANDA

With travellers increasingly conscious that their holidays are ethical and responsible, Uganda’s most visited Bwindi area is leading the way in ensuring that tourism, conservation and the needs of the local community come together to create a sustainable future. by supporting the project visitors can directly contribute to the future of Bwindi.

Funded by the UK government through the Darwin initiative, Responsible Tourism Activities Bwindi is dedicated to ensuring that tourists get an authentic experience while local people directly benefit from tourism.

Traditional Rural Life and Batwa Culture

All of the activities featured under this project are quality marked so that UK Tour Operators and clients can be sure that their activities are benefiting the whole community. Alfred Kamya, Director of Let’s Go Travel, will be introducing these projects to UK tour operators at the 2019 Safari Roadshow.

As tourism into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest increased, the indigenous Batwa tribe found themselves pushed away to the outskirts of the forest away from the land they had traditionally lived in. Lack of employment opportunities and a change of lifestyle meant the Batwa became a marginalised community.

Change a life in Bwindi

The Traditional Rural Life and Batwa Culture project has spent the last few years working with the Batwa to develop tourism activities to benefit them directly. There are now three new Nature, Culture, Lifestyle and Birdlife trails around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park led by seven, specially trained guides who have been deeply involved in developing these new experiences. All the trails are different with a great mix of people showing their lifestyles in the setting of the spectacular countryside with diverse birds and other wildlife. Visitors can expect to see coffee growing, displays of herbal medicines, hear stories of local legends and many other traditional Batwa activities as well as the natural attractions of the forest trails.

Change A Life Bwindi is a non-profit organisation which works to ensure the delicate balance between the environment, wildlife conservation and sustainable development in the Bwindi – Ruhija area. The project empowers the community to build a secure and sustainable future for themselves and for the national park. With projects as diverse as women’s economic empowerment, bee keeping by reformed poachers, tailoring by early marriage victims and conservation activities, the project provides a self sustainable future for the area. Comprising of 20 women, 40 children and 10 men, the project is committed to helping people around Bwindi National park raise themselves out of poverty. Providing bursaries to school children, in order to give them the skills to develop the activities in the future and benefit from tourism is key to driving this industry sustainability, and

The aim of the project is to create additional, authentic, experiences for visitors which will enhance their experience of Bwindi and put them in close and ‘real’ touch with local people going about their daily lives and wanting to 74


activity to add into their itineraries and visitors have an unforgettable experience.

Ride 4 A Woman In the village of Buhoma at the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the women of the village have traditionally been the cornerstone of the community.

share that with visitors.

The long days working and looking after their families mean that the women had little time for their own development, unable to learn new skills or earn their own money.

By encouraging visitors to stay

In 2009 Habasa Evelyne and her husband Rubalema Denis formed Ride 4 A Woman to help the women in the village become economically independent. They started renting bicycles to tourists to earn money, and in time the need to repair the bicycles led them to develop their skills as bicycle mechanics. The project expanded when a group of Australian tourists met Evelyne and offered to teach her how to sew. an extra night in Bwindi the community benefits from more local spending and more money circulating in the local economy.

Today, Ride 4 A Woman is housed in a community centre which trains the local women in skills as diverse as baking, agriculture, bike rentals and microfinance. The project also runs a community homestay where visitors can stay and learn skills alongside the local women. Funded by donations, the homestay originally acted as a women’s refuge and still has this important function today.

This experience has been created in partnership with the Batwa, who are inviting guests into their community to be with them rather than watch them and they are sharing activities and experiences in celebration of their culture. This project benefits everyone - the community has sustainable development while protecting traditional ways of life, Tour Operators have an interesting and ethical

For more information on ethical tourism in Uganda, please contact Nadia at nadia@kamageo.com

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Following the success of last year’s Safari Roadshow, Kamageo is pleased to announce that places for 2019 are selling out fast. This is a fantastic opportunity for UK Tour Operators to meet face to face with the owners of lodges and DMCs. All sessions are free to attend, but spaces are limited so please register via email at nadia@kamageo.com EXHIBITORS FOR UGANDA ANNOUNCED SO FAR...

For more information please visit www.safari-roadshow.com | #SafariRoadshow

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This employer wishes to remain anonymous. TRAVEL CONSULTANT / PUTNEY, LONDON

SAFARI CONSULTANT / LONDON

We have a fantastic career opportunity for an experienced Travel Consultant within our Africa sales team based in the London office.Our sales teams have a wealth of knowledge and a huge passion for travel, they are driven by sales and thrive when working under pressure. We value all of our guests and prioritise delivering outstanding customer service so an understanding of guest expectations is a must.

The role involves working as part of our team : •  Handling Reservations & booking confirmations to agents and affiliate offices •  Co-ordinating and sending information to agents regarding products •  Quotations, preparing detailed itineraries and supporting other team members •  Preparing and sending invoices to Agents •  Checking of Invoices from suppliers (hotels) •  Working closely as part of a team •  Drafting and handling complaint letters

You will be responsible for selling luxury holidays to a wide range of guests and ensuring their every need is met. Your enthusiasm and first hand knowledge of your specialist area should be infectious and your ability to provide the best service will be paramount.

If you have a passion for travel, extensive travel sales experience and excellent knowledge of Africa, then this role is perfect for you. We offer very competitive salaries and a great benefits package.

Salary scale between £20-£22,000 per annum ( Please note we do not operate or work on commissions) Working Hours : 0900 -1800 (with one hour lunch break) Monday to Friday plus alternate Saturdays from 0900 -1300hrs.

Please apply by submitting your CV, cover letter and travel history. For more info call Matthew Tudor, Recruitment & Training Coordinator on 020 8682 5487

Position available for an immediate start. All applications will be forwarded direct to the employer and will not be opened by Kamageo.

matthew.tudor@scottdunn.com

Job02/kamageo.com

Safari Magazine offers the opportunity for UK Africa specialist operators to advertise their vacancies free of charge. Simply contact tim@kamageo.com for information.

Kamili & Kamageo have worked hand in hand with Tompkin Press since day one, completing over 300 outstanding print jobs. “Every single job has been delivered on spec, on time and on budget”, says Kamageo Chief Exec, Tim Henshall. That includes the magazine in your hands right now. If you require digital print of any type (short or long run), be sure to ask Richard at Tompkins for a quote. It’ll make your day.

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TOMPKIN PRESS info@tompkinpress.com +44 0115 9751416 2-3 Coventry Court Nottingham NG6 8PR


MEET UGANDA AT WTM STAND: AF640

AA SAFARIS AND TOURS

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ABACUS AFRICA VACATIONS

GORILLA & WILDLIFE SAFARIS

ACCESS AFRICA SAFARIS

JEWEL SAFARIS

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PRIMATE EXPEDITIONS

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TRAVEL LIGHT AFRICA

EXCLUSIVE AFRICAN SAFARIS

WILD DISCOVERIES

5-7 NOVEMBER 2018 | EXCEL LONDON 78

Profile for Kamili

Safari Magazine Edition 35  

Safari Magazine Edition 35  

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