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EDITION 32

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welc ome to s afari maga zine 32 THERE’ S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS ...

ch impan zees in gombe forest pAg E 14

Are the days of the traditional UK trade show over? We’re often asked our opinions, so here’s our take : WTM LONDON Once unmissable, WTM has been declining from an African perspective for 5-6 years now. Since the launch of PURE, all too many high-end products have deserted WTM and the show has not responded. A downward spiral has followed, with UK buyers numbers dropping significantly, whilst those who do attend have dramatically reduced the time they spend there. The days of UK buyers spending 2-3 full days at ExCeL seem long gone. We eagerly await plans to re-invigorate WTM London, but nothing has been forthcoming as yet. Until it is, exhibitors need to consider likely ROI. Let’s see what WTM 2017 brings.

Everyon e fall s for zambia PAg e 24

​CELEBRATE AFRICA WORKSHOPS Organised at regional venues across the UK, this format has proved really successful. We often participate in these shows, as they offer good value for money. Varying between 8-20 exhibitors, dependant upon the venue and whilst there is a South Africa bias, its a pan-Africa show. ​ SAFARI ROADSHOWS Kamageo’s own week-long shows have been held across key locations across the UK, in prime tour operator catchment areas. We have successfully run events for Uganda, Zambia, whilst we are planning a huge roadshow pre-ITB in 2018. See more details later in this edition of Safari Magazine. ​ A new show - Atta’s EXPERIENCE AFRICA - is planned for June 2018. We will give our thoughts on this event as soon as more information is available.

Witn ess c on servation IN m alawi pAg E 5 8

A kaleido s c opic destin ation pAg E 5 6

Safari is a dedicated travel trade magazine from:

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

PUBLISHER : Tim Henshall ART DIRECTOR : Izzie Ludbrook CONTENT EDITOR : Bex Knight FEATURES : Adele Cutler

WELCOME TO ISS U E 32 Surely it’s not that time of year already? It seems like we only put Christmas decorations away a few weeks ago. Pleasingly, 2017 seems to have been pretty good for most of the UK’s safari industry. Talking to many of you, it seems there has been no consistent pattern, with some reporting amazing sales in one particular month, only for me to hear exactly the opposite from a different operator. What is clear though, is that those that have invested in good marketing have enjoyed most success. If you’ve marketing ideas you want to explore, talk to us. We’re happy to advise and maybe even support your efforts to increase tourism to our favourite continent. Whether it be attending events; creating PR ideas; supporting initiatives; developing websites or even publishing magazines like this one, we are here to help Africa tourism in general. 2


B otswana fa m tri p 201 8

Add a few nights in Chobe National Park to your Zambia or Botswana FAM Trip itineraries with a stay at Muchenje Safari Lodge for just $150. Located on the western side of Chobe, Muchenje is the only lodge in this area and offers unique and prolific game experiences. Price includes game activities, all meals, park fees, government tax and return transfers to and from Kasane Airport. Cost: $150 Date(s): Numerous For more information and to register your interest, please email Kat Day at kat@kamilisafaris.com.

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new jett y at muchenje After five years of discussions with Botswana Tourism, Muchenje Safari Lodge is delighted to announce the launch of the long-awaited “Western Operators Jetty”. Located at Ihaha - close to the lodge - and with just four berths allocated to the whole of this side of the National Park, the jetty is therefore very private and Muchenje is able to offer far more exclusive boat safaris and river-trips. Options include breakfasts on the Chobe, half day river safaris, lunch cruises and Sundowner trips. Muchenje’s new boat – complete with a full sun canopy, has now been delivered and offers the very best of Chobe, well away from the crowds. For more info please email sasha@kamilisafaris.com

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Tul i & Paf uri fam t r i p 201 8

For four days in May 2018 (Post-INDABA) you can experience the magnificence of Northern Kruger with a visit to Pafuri Camp, before heading over the Botswana border to Tuli Safari Lodge. This twocentre trip makes for a perfect client combination of luxury camps in scenic, game and history-rich destinations. Cost: TBC Date : 11th-14th May 2018 For more information and to register your interest, please email Sasha Brunt at sasha@kamilisafaris.com. 6


Tul i Su r p r is in g Kamili’s MD, Tim Henshall is back from a visit to Tuli Safari Lodge in Tuli Block, Botswana. Here’s what he had to say... Johannesburg, as car hire is unbelievably cheap. This added the adventure of the cable car crossing over the Limpopo, but for most months of the year the river is actually crossable.

Having been involved in Tuli Safari Lodge’s recent marketing campaign - Expect the Unexpected - you’d have thought that I’d be fully prepared for a visit to this stylish lodge in the south eastern tip of Botswana. But no, it still managed to take me pleasantly by surprise. I’m yet to see pictures that fully capture just how lovely this place is in reality. Severely damaged by the Mozambique Floods back in 2014, the camp was almost entirely rebuilt, including the introduction of 8 huge luxury tents replacing the previous chalets. Stylishly furnished and truly spacious, the interior design work has resulted in a luxurious environment which naturally complements the lodge’s extensive, manicured gardens and sumptuous communal areas, which include a bar built around a 500 year old tree. Just as noteworthy was the general mood of the staff, who all seemed genuinely happy and enthusiastic about their work.

Tuli offers great game viewing in its 5,000 hectare concession, along with stunning scenery including fascinating geological formations (think Matopos) that feature ancient rock paintings. This makes it unlike anywhere else in Botswana and it combines well with properties in Southern, Central or Northern Kruger (especially Pafuri) or maybe packaged alongside lodges in the Limpopo (see Pearls of Limpopo for suggestions).

The increasingly popular Tuli block features just two properties, with Mushatu being perhaps the more famous, but Tuli Safari Lodge offers a more intimate, exclusive experience and a higher level of luxury. But Tuli’s rates don’t reflect that with their ‘$2017 for 2017’ package giving 4 nights A.I. accommodation along with return flights to ORTambo emphasizing the point.

For more information on Tuli Safari Lodge, please contact tim@kamilisafaris.com

We opted for a budget option, by driving the 5 hours up from

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Mana P ool s: unlocking nature’ s secrets on a Super Sens ory S afari words by Mike Unwin

ground of Mana Pools, Zimbabwe’s wildest national park. At my feet are the tracks of elephant, lion, hippo and hyena. The only sound to punctuate Rob’s words is the call of a fish eagle from the distant Zambezi.

‘So where else in nature do you find in a spiral?’ asks Rob Janisch, our guide, holding up a snail shell. We look around. Somebody mentions a kudu’s horns. I suggest the rings of the millipede trundling past our feet. Soon the ideas start to flow. And Rob – drawing stick diagrams in the sand – explains how a spiral offers the most efficient form of transport in nature, from blood flowing through a heart to nutrients through a tree. ‘We need to tap into the genius of nature,’ he says, explaining how our own species could benefit. ‘It’s our last resort for solving the problems of the planet.’

In peak dry season Mana Pools is renowned for its wall-towall game viewing. Now, with the lush growth of the late rainy season dispersing the big herds far and wide, it’s the perfect time to step back from chasing the Big Five and take a closer look at the bush. And that’s the idea behind this new Super Sensory Safari from African Bush Camps: heading out on foot, we are engaging both senses and brains as we peek and poke our way through the wilderness.

Biomimicry is the concept of designing more sustainable products and systems for the modern world by emulating those found in nature – and it’s fascinating stuff made all the more fascinating by our location. This isn’t some airconditioned lecture theatre; we’re standing on the dusty

Meanwhile, via a combination of headphones and his own wise words, renowned sound recordist Derek Solomon has been opening our ears to the extraordinary soundscape – from the ground level hissing of matabele ants to the nocturnal 8


whistled chorus of painted reed frogs. Lewis Mangaba – a walking encyclopaedia of medicinal and nutritional wild plants – has kept our other senses equally stimulated, inviting us to sniff the fragrance of wild basil and nibble on sweet, nectar-bearing blooms.

Set Departures: 9th - 15th April 2018 8th - 14th June 2018 Number of People: Minimum 2 guests Maximum 10 guests

However, this is Mana Pools and, peak season or not, our armed guides know never to turn off – especially when we find ourselves in the path of a breeding herd of elephants and have to scramble down into the safety of a dry riverbed. By the end of our six-day safari – split between Zambezi Expeditions camp on the river bank and Kanga Camp at a waterhole inland – we have walked beside a pack of wild dogs, crept into a thicket where lion are noisily demolishing an impala and canoed past snorting pods of hippo.

Rack price: US$3,987 per person sharing including our local flights with our Mana Madness Special

For more information on the new Sensory Safaris please contact Kirstine at kirstine@kameric.com or scan this code to see it in action!

This has been nature in the raw; we’re even starting to understand it. 9


Kanana Now more than just a water paradise

Historically Kanana was been viewed as a “water camp” where the focus was traditionally on the smaller things – the butterflies, the tiny reed frogs, and the shy sitatunga. Kanana also has a reputation as a birding paradise, with access to one of Southern Africa’s most important heronries, a highlight for “twitchers.” Yet the sightings of wildlife, particularly predators, at Kanana have dramatically improved over the last year. Guides and guests regularly report viewing lions and leopards in the area.

S o wh y th e ch an ge in predator activit y ? Kanana - part of the Ker & Downey Botswana portfolio - is situated on an island surrounded by the deep-water channels of the Xudum River. 2016 saw significant drought conditions throughout Southern Africa and as a result the channels surrounding Kanana dried to such an extent that animals were able to freely traverse onto the concession. Two prides of lions moved in and have since occupied territories in the northern and southern sectors respectively. The two dominant males which were frequently seen on the concession have mated with females from both prides and at least one lioness is pregnant. Leopard activity has experienced a similar story – new individuals crossed over during the dry season and have established territories. One female was recently spotted trying to conceal her four cubs in a sausage tree. The drought has come and gone, with channels back to normal levels but the visiting predators have settled in and guests. Guests are enjoying regular sightings of predators, plains game, and of course the smaller treasures of the Okavango Delta. See more at www.kerdowneybotswana.com 10


top s p ots

Swamp L ion swim for their supper

Kanana guests and guides alike were amazed as they watched two resident male lions swim across

the Xudum River. The lions, normally averse to

water, showed no hesitation as they swam across the river occasionally being fully submerged.

Their behavior shows how they have adapted to survive in the watery habitat that is the Okavango Delta.

Surprise package in the sausage tree

Wild dogs going wild

Guides spotted a female leopard hiding in the

trunk of a large sausage tree and suspected that

Kanana guide, Simon, came across a sighting of

and his guests went to see if she was hiding in

peaceful sighting swiftly turned into a tantalizing

greeted by the presence of the female and her

the dogs to chase down the antelope, only to run

she was pregnant. A few weeks later, guide Simon

7 wild dogs basking on an open flood plain. The

the tree. On arrival, they were surprised to be

hunt as a reedbuck walked past, causing one of

four cubs at the foot of the sausage tree.

into a herd of red lechwe and lose his prey. 11


The sh in de c h ef Behind the scenes of every great camp is a great chef. We asked Gasekgale (aka “Kelly”) Thebe at Ker & Downey Botswana’s Shinde for her favourite dish. How long have you been with Ker & Downey Botswana? This will be my 25th year, but I started as a housekeeper. In 1996, I fulfilled a dream by training to be a waitress and then in 2010 I went on to cookery school, to become a chef. What is your favourite dish to prepare? Babooti, an African Malay Dish, because I love seeing how much the guests enjoy eating it and hearing their feedback. What is your favourite dish to eat? Vegetable lasagne is one of my favourites, but you can’t beat a traditional Botswana meal of Seswaa, pap and cooked water lily roots (See Kelly’s recipe in the right hand column) Have you ever had a kitchen disaster? I have seen plenty of things catch alight – but we all laugh about it afterwards – its fun working in the kitchen team! What do you like about working at Ker & Downey? I have worked with everyone so long that they’ve become like family! We have lots of fun here, especially on 30th September – when we celebrate independence day. I always bake a cake with pale blue, white and black icing – like a Botswana flag. Guests and staff all celebrate together with plenty of singing and dancing!

Seswaa recipe

The traditional recipe is extremely simple and has only four ingredients: beef (with bones), salt, Oil and water. Serves four 800g slow cooking beef 1 whole onion (optional) 3 bay leaves 1 Tablespoon of sunflower oil Salt to taste Black pepper (optional) Water (enough to just cover the meat) Pre heat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Cut meat into large chunks then brown in a dish suitable for slow cooking in the oven. Add whole peeled onion, salt, cracked black pepper, water and leaves. Bring to the boil then cover and place into the oven for 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove from oven and place onto stove burner in order to cook off remaining liquid. Add the sunflower oil and use a wooden spoon to pound or mash up the meat, the meat should fall apart quite easily. and will appear shredded. You may brown the meat further if desired. Check seasoning then serve with polenta or the more traditional pap (sadza/thick corn meal porridge) and a side of green vegetables.

Do you have children? Yes, two daughters who live with my mother. The eldest loves to cook and makes me teach her new recipes each time I see her. She dreams of one day working as a chef at Shinde, too. What do you like to do in Camp when you’re not cooking? If there is a vehicle free, I love go out with one of our guides on a game-drive. I really enjoying seeing our amazing animals. What is your favourite animal? The leopard – its markings are beautiful, but I love the stripes on the Zebras, too. I really love seeing how much our guests enjoy Botswana’s wildlife. 12


Ta nz ani a fa m tri p 2018

Join safari experts, Takims Holidays on this 7 day/6 night safari of Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. Fly in and out of Kilimanjaro International and visit Tarangire, Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and end in the Serengeti in search of the great migration. Activities include daily game drives and a walk along Tanzania’s first tree-top walkway at Lake Manyara. Cost: $1085.16 Date: 17th-23rd March 2018 For more information and to register your interest, please email Sasha Brunt at sasha@kamilisafaris.com. 13


Chimpanzees IN gombe

“ Long before going to Gombe, I’d learnt from my dog that we weren’t the only beings with personalities. What the chimps did was help me to persuade others!” Steve Ody, Account Director

To the human listener, walking through the forests to hear the call of the chimpanzee can be a spine-chilling experience. The anticipation builds until you come face-toface with man’s closest genetic relative. Noisy and curious, intelligent and sociable, chimpanzees fascinate humans and have been researched in Tanzania since the 1960’s. If in 1950’s Britain you were to have asked a young Jane Goodall if she wanted to be a famous naturalist she would most definitely have said no. If you had asked her if she would like to share a forest home with African animals she would most definitely have said yes. She had wanted to live in Africa to write about and watch animals from a very early age. Whether she wanted to become a world renowned primatologist isn’t really the point. As it is, Jane followed her passion and her fame and extraordinary discoveries about chimpanzees followed after.

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane travelled from England to Tanzania and entered the little known world of wild chimpanzees. All she had with her was a pair of binoculars, a writing pad, unfailing optimism and unyielding patience. She arrived, with her mother Vanne, on the shores of Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve for the start of her life long dedication to conservation. It took a long time for Jane to be accepted by the chimpanzees. In October 1961 she saw them hunt for meat. Dispelling the widely held belief that chimps were vegetarians. Later that year she observed David Greybeard and Goliath making tools to dig out termites. This was an important discovery; it was thought that only humans could make tools. In 1965, thanks to a grant from National Geographic she built the first permanent structures, the Gombe Stream Research 14


Centre was born. It is now the location of the Mbali Mbali Gombe Stream Lodge. Jane’s work provided evidence that Chimpanzees have emotions, minds and personalities – just like us! It was documented in several places including ‘My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees’ and ‘The Chimpanzees of Gombe – Patterns of Behaviour’. But her research was most memorably documented in the nature programme – Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees. It gave viewers a rare look into the lives of wild chimpanzees and chronicled the tense struggle for troop leadership between two brothers, Frodo and Freud. The programme captured, before unseen, chimp behaviour from tender hugs to ruthless killing. Jane found highly intelligent and emotional creatures that live in a complex social structure. The work of Jane Goodall lives on in the form of the Jane Goodall Institute and Chimpanzee conservation work is still carried out at Gombe and also Mahale. If you have clients who are looking for their next wildlife ‘rush’ then it would be a perfect opportunity to recommend a stay in Gombe at the Gombe Forest Lodge and also Mahale at the Kungwe Beach Lodge. Both lodges offer spell-binding experiences with chimpanzees followed by a spot of fishing or canoeing on Lake Tanganyika or cultural visits to nearby villages to see how the conservation work filters down to the local community. Located in one of Tanzania’s smallest National Parks, Gombe Stream National Park is a thin strip of ancient forest mountain bordering Lake Tanganyika. This park was made worldfamous for the primate studies conducted by Jane Goodall Set on wooden platforms beneath mango groves on the lakeshore, the seven elegantly furnished luxury tents of Gombe Forest Lodge were designed to have every comfort while minimizing disturbance and impact on the stunning environment. Chimpanzee trekking is conducted in the mornings, with afternoon hikes for the especially adventurous. Relax for the rest of the day or hike towards the spectacular waterfalls of Kakombe, an easy thirty-minute walk, or the slightly further Mkenke. An estimated one thousand chimpanzees roam the lush rainforest spanning a chain of dramatic peaks alongside Lake Tanganyika; Mahale Mountains National Park is a sanctuary for these chimpanzee populations. Kungwe Beach Lodge sits on a stretch of secluded golden beach, deep in the heart of the African interior. With a dramatic mountain range rising up from behind and crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika in front of the lodge, this romantic getaway is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury. Contact Steve Ody / steve@kameric.com for more information or visit mbalimbali.com 15


THE GREAT MIGRATION at SOROI safari lodge

The Great Migration is a natural phenomenon that has been taking place for thousands of years. Seasonal rainfall is the trigger that sparks the mass movement of mega herds in pursuit of the sweet, new grasses that wildebeest love. Guests staying at Soroi Serengeti witness this wonderful, wildlife production that Mother Nature performs each year, right from the viewing platforms and impressive tents at the lodge. 1.5 million wildebeest, accompanied by over 200,000 zebra, take up the main parts of the production and stagehands are various species of antelope that tag along for the ride! Overlooking the Musabi Plains towards Grumeti the mid season production unfolds before your eyes at Soroi Serengeti and is a cacophony of sound that is unique to the migration!

You can get right in to the heart of the action for that ultimate bucket list experience. Soroi Serengeti Lodge is set high on a natural plateau with endless views over the vast plains of Musabi, giving you a truly unforgettable African experience. With its hilltop location in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National Park, Soroi Serengeti Lodge was built for the optimal, panoramic experience of Africa’s most renowned national park, and Africa’s most infamous migration.

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fish & chimps at kungwe in mahale

Approximately 1,000 chimps are the noisy residents of Mahale Mountains National Park From August onwards, they move closer to the shores of Lake Tanganyike, the world’s longest and second oldest and second deepest freshwater lake. In June and July you will find that the chimps move up the mountain, following the ripeness of the fruit.

across country, down valleys, crossing boulder strewn river beds, clambering up sheer slopes using trees to help pull you up and it can be 3-4 hours before you encounter the chimps. You often hear the chimps long before you manage to see them, as they move fast through the forest.

In true Mbali Mbali spirit, surrounded by lemon, fig and mango trees, Kungwe Beach Lodge lies at the base of the mountains along a secluded stretch of Lake Tanganyika’s golden shoreline. Kungwe’s Head Guide Ramadan (Rama) is one of the best guides in the business. After his father worked with Jane Goodall and the chimpanzees at Gombe, Rama’s knowledge and experience of these great apes are in the blood.

“At first we encountered just a few females that were resting in the thick foliage. Then without warning, three bulky males descended towards us, screeching loudly whilst swinging from the branches, before posturing in front of us. The rangers and Rama remained perfectly calm and reassured. Then Primus, the alpha male, appeared; vocal, muscular and very clearly the boss. He scooped up a huge log and threw it provocatively down in front of us, before running downhill to slap a huge tree trunk, sending a boom that echoed throughout the forest.”

Frequently running up and down the mountains, keeping track and scouting out where the chimps are, Rama ensures that he is gives his guests the best opportunities to see the animals in their natural habitat. The treks involve hiking

When the chimps move down the mountain from August 18


onwards, you may hear them in the forest surrounding the lodge, or even see them venturing into camp itself. On the edge of the forest’s dense canopy along the shoreline are ten light and spacious safari rooms. All rooms have their own private decking area, stunning views over the Lake and are all within a short walking distance along the beach to the main lounge and bar. Every night there is a camp fire on the beach where you can watch the sunset beyond the far shores and the stars of the Milky Way slowly appear, all with a drink in hand.

I realised that my legs didn’t ache whilst I was with the chimps. The exhilaration and adrenalin rush of being so close to these amazing wild creatures took over and I didn’t notice the aches until back in camp and the subsequent days after. It was well worth the trekking, sweating, aches and the infamous Kungwe tattoos (scratches).

As well as observing the chimps in their natural habitat, boat safaris down the lake are available where you will encounter crocodile and hippo (one of the main reasons why you cannot swim in the Lake) as well as otter and a myriad of birdlife. Guests can also take part in other activities including local methods of freshwater fishing, kayaking or simply relaxing on the beach.

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Captivating Katavi Katavi National Park is situated in Tanzania’s Western Circuit and is the country’s third largest national park. Captivatingly remote, the animals here are thriving, abundant and less familiar with human contact.

Ideal for the intrepid traveller who is looking for a truly remote safari experience away from the popular tourist routes, Katavi offers some remarkable stories to take home and your own ‘David Attenborough moments’. Commonly you will expect to see large herds of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala and reedbuck providing a fantastic source of food for the numerous lion prides, spotted hyenas, crocodiles and leopards. It is also estimated that 4,000 elephants cover the area, making sightings very common.

local airstrip, and even the transfer will offer you a fantastic game experience.

Unlike other national parks where you may have 20 cars surrounding one lion pride for the perfect photo opportunity, in Katavi, there is a strong likelihood that you will be in the only car in the vicinity, for hours.

“Katavi is one of the best parks I have ever been to. With so much game walking through camp, there is never a dull moment at Katuma.”

“We were an hour behind seeing a lion pride, with three year old cubs, take down a giraffe. The three cubs decided to cross the Katuma River when the rest of the pride stayed with the kill. Over a period of an hour, in which no other vehicles turned up, the cubs were getting a bit anxious. Then 2 hippos strategically positioned themselves in the river between the cubs and the pride. They had no way of getting back without walking to some shallows 100m down river.”

The views over the Katisunga Plain from the lodge and its eleven en-suite tented rooms and one two-bedroomed private suite are vast and ones which you could never tire of. Run on solar generated power (and back-up generators just in case) the eco-friendly lodge offers access to hot water 24/7, a nice treat after the two game drives each day.

Rates for Katuma Bush Lodge start from just $495pppn. For more information on Katuma Bush Lodge and Mbali Mbali Lodges and Camps, contact Steve Ody at steve@ kameric.com or visit their website www.mbalimbali.com.

In prime location in the centre of Katavi lies Katuma Bush Lodge, one of only three lodges within the park. Throughout your stay you may be joined by leopards, elephants, and inquisitive giraffes who regularly walk through the camp, day and night. The lodge itself is half an hour’s drive from the 20


FACING UP FOR F UN WITH M BALI Congratulations to Amanda Atkins and Parita Masani from Somak Holidays for posting the best photograph wearing our popular Mbali Mbali Facecards, which were sent to tour operaors back in the Summer. Your prize - a bottle of champagne - is on its way. Thank you to everyone who entered. We had some hilarious pics..and some we couldn’t even publish! If you’d like some more Mbali Mbali facecards for your upcoming Christmas party, please email rich@kamilisafaris.com 21


t he H Isto ry of Ta k ims Takims Holidays is being increasingly recognised in the UK as an outstanding Tanzania tour operator with over half a century of experience… Safari Magazine takes a look at how it all started. The Takim family settled in Zanzibar, the Spice Island, in 1896 and initially established themselves as traders and merchants. In 1950, Akber Takim started the very first travel agency on the island called “Takim Travel Services” and thanks to an exclusive partnership with East African Airways, the company quickly became successful. This success was founded on Akber’s determination and resilience to develop the local travel and tourism industry. A famous family anecdote demonstrates this resilience – Akber was informed of a flight delay of a plane enroute to

Zanzibar to pick up tourists. At the time there were no night landing facilities and no lights at the airport, so to avoid further delays, Akber called all his friends on the island to bring their cars. They formed a landing strip using their headlights as landing lights - and so the first ever night landing at Zanzibar Airport safely touched down! The family relocated from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika during the Zanzibar Revolution. When Zanzibar and Tanganyika merged in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania, Takims Travel Services was re-launched as Takims Holidays. Takims Holidays was a pioneer of the safari experience, as Tanzania formally licensed the country’s very first safari operators in 1980. Again, the company’s tenacious spirit was called upon to overcome the logistical and infrastructure challenges of tour operations in Tanzania. The directors followed their passion and thus began the era of the Kombi and Land Rover Defender. Ever since, the Takim family has been intrinsically involved in developing Tanzania’s safari and tourism industry and now boasts over 65 years’ experience as one of the premier travel and destination management companies. Offices in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar ensure a seamless experience throughout Tanzania and rigorously trained staff are able to craft fully bespoke private itineraries or assist with shared safari experiences. Now with three generations of Tanzanian experience, Akber Takim’s legacy continues to grow. For more information on Tanzania and Zanzibar, please contact Abbas Takim at abbas@takimsholidays.com or Sasha Brunt via sasha@kamilisafaris.com. 22


A surprise package in Tanzania

major accommodation owners-cum-DMCs (especially Asilia and Nomad), Takim’s rightly recognise a significant gap in the marketplace. A reliable medium sized outfit offering highly competitive rates and an independent perspective.

When we were first contacted by Takims Holidays with the request to provide UK representation, we weren’t too sure. Were they just another undifferentiated Tanzanian based DMC wanting to enter the mature and somewhat over subscribed UK market? Far from it.

We were really taken aback by the quality and extent of their Arusha base in particular. Close to the airport, facilities include a well furnished client lounge, extensive garage facilities where they maintain their own high-spec modern fleet of vehicles and even a staff hotel, where drivers and guides are able to rest overnight.

Add to this, Takims have two well-established bases - in both Arusha and Dar - meaning they are able to provide ground arrangements for both Northern and Southern circuits, as well as overall DMC services across Tanzania as well as Zanzibar.

Within minutes of meeting brothers and co-directors, Tehsin and Abbas Takim, our enthusiasm had gone from unsure, to real excitement. We sense you might do likewise.

Abbas’s presentations made sure we were enthusiastic about their vehicles which lead the industry with little touches like multiple charging points in the main body of the vehicle plus easily access cool boxes and numerous other creature comforts.

Tehsin is the face of the business. His charm and engaging manner are both refreshing and honest. His occasional sideline as an accomplished public speaker is apparent as he puts people at their ease, whilst outlining the ways that their family-owned and run business stands out from the crowd. Abbas is equally likeable and is the engine room of the business, making Takim’s run efficiently and effectively. He also has his ear close to the ground picking up on developments across Tanzanian’s tourism industry.

We were especially pleased by Takim’s “Tanzania First” approach. They seem as keen to update you regarding new properties, upgrades, activities and special offers (often arming UK operators with facts that had failed to reach them from their existing Tanzania partners) rather than just go into some monologue about how they are best!

Having done little marketing in the UK until 2014, concentrating instead on the less crowded European and Australian markets, Takims arrived with a highly polished, much tested formula, intent on establishing themselves as a serious player, able to deliver outstanding service.

A growing number of UK Africa specialists have given Takims a chance to quote, initially using them as a second option. But they don’t stay that for long. Their speed of response, independent views, competitive pricing and comprehensive itineraries are gaining them a loyal base.

With many of the UK’s Africa specialists using either bigname players (such as Leopard Tours and Gamewatchers) or

If you’d like to know more, please contact Sasha Brunt via sasha@kamilisafaris.com

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Back at the start of the summer, the ZMG – Zambia Marketing Group – launched an initiative to help increase tourism to the country from the UK. In recent times, Zambia simply hasn’t grabbed enough of the headlines that its authentic safari credentials so richly deserve. We want to see more Zambia in the media and have launched an intiative to make sure that happens. More than 20 major players in Zambia’s tourism industry are backing the idea See www.zambiatourism.co.uk for full details.

UK Media Takes a Walking Safari

To set things rolling, five award-winning UK journalists and two leading magazine editors joined the Kamageo PR team to experience zebras, lions, elephants, giraffes and leopards on a Zambia-like walking safari in the heart of London. Suitably kitted out in Zambia safari gear, our intrepid group walked on the world’s most photographed zebra (crossing) in Abbey Road; encountered a pride of lion (statues) in Trafalgar Square; sampled Elephant beer; dined at the Giraffe Restaurant and sipped Zambezi cocktails at the Leopard Bar. Due to the inclement weather, the journalists even experienced the spray from Victoria Falls (well, Victoria Embankment) and knew how the Emerald Season feels as the sun broke through to shine after the rains. Adele Cutler, Kamageo’s PR Director added “As a result, all of theparticipants have committed to visiting Zambia within the next few months, so that will produce all-important editorial”.

As Nick Aslin, MD of Zambian Ground Handlers said “We want to increase visitors to our country, so we’ve set aside our individual interests for the benefit of Zambian tourism as a whole”.

Media Sponsorships and& Mareting Ideas &

You can take advantage of this campaign too. Why not sponsor one of our many planned media trips (in exchange for editorial credits)? Plus we’re open to marketing suggestions of all types, but please do recognise we have a small budget. This is about working smart, not spending big! For more information on the ZMG, please contact Tim Henshall via tim@kamageo.com

Bradt Guide to Zambia, Limited edition

Keep an eye on your mailbox in November when we will be distributing copies of the excellent Bradt Guide to Zambia. Our limited edition features a 32-page colour section highlighting all the various members of the ZMG.

Press Ad Campaign

We launched a modest print ad campaign for Zambia, appearing in travel related titles including Travel Afric, National Geographer Traveller as well as the Guardian’s Travel Guide supplement 25


ENThrAlling three rive r s This season, Kafunta Safaris added a new bush camp to its portfolio – Three Rivers Camp. As the name suggests, it is located at the confluence of the Luangwa, Luzangazi and Kapamba Rivers. The new location is about 2 hours south of Kafunta River Lodge, about 7 km upriver from Island Bush Camp. The area features open lagoons and is teeming with wildlife including big herds of elephant and buffalo, giraffe, antelope and plenty of predators. Three Rivers and Island Bushcamp are the only safari operations in the area so you can be assured of a real private safari in a pristine area of the Luangwa Valley. This seasonal camp offers both game drives and bush walks. It’s also possible to walk from Three Rivers to Island, or vice versa. A combination with Kafunta River Lodge is always recommended to maximise game viewing. The camp has 5 large tents on a raised platform, stylishly decorated with natural hues and material. The bedroom is very spacious with twin beds, and a sitting area, large gauze windows overlooking either the Luangwa River or the lagoon. The en-suite bathroom includes 2 sinks, a flushing toilet and offers the choice of both indoor and outdoor shower. Each tent has its own outdoor verandah, but most importantly its own connected and raised platform with day beds which will be turned down at night to offer the opportunity to sleep under the stars under the protection of a mosquito net. For more information, please contact Sasha Brunt at sasha@kamilisafaris.com or visit www.luangwa.com 26


Three Rivers and Island Bush Camps are the only safari operations in the area so you can be assured of a real private safari in a pristine area of the Luangwa Valley.

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PLAY hid e and p eek w i t h sh en to n s Shenton Safaris’ Kaingo Lodge in South Luangwa has long been a favourite amongst discerning UK operators, but its newly upgraded rooms – which opened for the 2017 season – have attracted an even greater number of admirers. As the season has progressed, they have also opened each of their legendary wildlife hides (giving amazing close up photo opportunities in the static hippo and elephant hides, as well as the floating Carmine Bee-eater hide). And for those amongst us who simply can’t go a day without getting our “safari fix”, Shenton Safaris provides Zambia’s first live streaming webcam! They have two set up, one at their hippo hide and one situated in camp, which is proving extremely lively. Take a look for yourself at www.zambiatourism.co.uk/news. You can also view the time lapse to see what’s happened in the last 24 hours in just a couple of minutes! 28


The leopard mag net Being a stand-out guide in South Luangwa is really very difficult, because the standard is just so high. But Godfrey from Thornicroft Lodge really does. He’s somewhat unique in a couple of ways – firstly, as well as being head guide at the lodge, he also part owns it – making him the only black Zambia to be the owner of an international standard property in the Valley. Secondly, we’ve never met anyone with quite the same ability to find the usually elusive leopards in the daytime. We christened him “The Leopard Magnet” as during our last visit to his lodge, we were treated to at least three different sightings on each game drive. What was also notable was Godfrey’s keenness to share his spotting techniques. We repeatedly strained ears to listen for bird and monkey signals to create metaphorical guidelines to chart the leopard’s position. Time after time, Godfrey would stop to locate another of these most stunning of felines. He’s charming, charismatic and full of personality. Godfrey is one of the directors at Thornicroft, which opened in 2010 in the Mfuwe sector near the park entrance. It’s a pretty little 3* camp, more basic than some of its illustrious neighbours, but it’s comfortable, presentable and very homely. We’d recommend Thornicroft as a good option for more budget orientated clients whose priorities are enjoying great game and sharing Godfrey’s fabulous tales of the bush! For racks under $200, see www.thornicroft-lodge.com 29


C ons ervation s ou t h luan gwa Rachael McRobb’s Tusk Award-winning work with Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) strives to ensure South Luangwa is securely protected with sustainable levels of wildlife and intact habitat under the custodianship of Zambian people. CSL supports 65 community based scouts to help ZAWA protect the flora and fauna of the Luangwa Valley, whilst detection dogs (some very newly arrived) are increasingly being used to reduce wildlife trafficking by detecting wildlife contraband. Human populations have more than doubled over the past twenty years and as a result, there is a high demand for bush meat as well as opportunistic and planned commercial hunting forays. Snaring is easy, generates high returns and presents a very low risk to the poacher. Special attention needs to be given to anti-snaring patrols in South Luangwa as the park and surrounding areas face rapid encroachment from human settlement and agriculture. CSL has set up a specialised wild dog and lion anti-snaring team who use GPS locations provided by the Zambia Carnivore Program to determine where best to deploy effective anti-snaring patrols. In addition, all CSL supported scouts conduct regular anti-snaring patrols throughout the GMA.

If scouts or safari guides see an animal with a snare attached it is immediately reported to CSL and they mobilise the wildlife veterinary unit. In this way hundreds of snared animals have been rescued and have fully recovered. Over 10,000 snares have been removed from the bush by CSL supported scouts and more than 160 elephants, 25 lions, 20 hyenas have been treated for snare wounds since 2005. In partnership with Working Dogs for Conservation, CSL introduced Zambia’s first ever wildlife detection dog unit in South Luangwa. These highly trained and specialised dogs were imported from the USA and now reside in Mfuwe. Six scouts were handpicked for their enthusiasm and rapport with dogs and undertook an intense four months training course in dog handling. See www.cslzambia.org 30


Going t h e ext ra m i le with r e m ot e af r i ca s afar i s

Sat in front of a campfire clinking your icecold G&T, before tucking into your sumptuous 4-course dinner, how often do you consider the work that’s gone into making it all happen? Zambia is rightly famed for some of its amazing bush camps, often built afresh each year. Locations are often remote and access can be difficult, especially out of season. So around the start of April each year, the various construction teams head out into the wilderness to re-create their safari wonderlands. But due to their locations, getting the materials into camp can be far more complicated than it might at first appear. Roads may still be impassable, rivers too high and as for airstrips…well they’re rare indeed. Take Remote Africa’s Chikoko Trails camps, where the nearest road is 10km away. How exactly does the fridge, the sofa, the huge tables and stylish bathroom suites make it into camp each year? They’re manually carried, of course. Every step of the way. So spare an extra thought for the dedication and damn hard work done by the staff of these bush camps to deliver those memorable and often luxurious moments in the bush. I’ll certainly raise my glass to that.

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all to you r self One of the most exciting trends in Zambia has been the emergence of private safari houses – stylish properties offering high-end accommodation for parties of 2-10 from honeymooners, to families (including ‘multi-generational’) or small groups of friends - but all booked on an exclusive basis. Dotted in various locations across Zambia, these outstanding properties offer a new dimension in luxury travel. Come and explore…

The Crocodile Nest, part of Flatdogs Camp in South Luangwa National Park

Jackalberry Treehouse, part of Flatdogs Camp in South Luangwa National Park

River Farmhouse, Livingstone

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The mystery of KaingU’s Meyer’s parrots Over the last few years, KaingU has been observing a rather interesting phenomena; groups of Meyer’s parrots gathering at a mud pool opposite their lodge in Kafue National Park. At first it was assumed that the birds were consuming the vegetation in the muddy water but to their surprise, it was found that they were consuming the mud itself. This unique spectacle has proved to be something of a mystery - even to the experts at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town. KaingU has witnessed flocks of over one hundred birds gathering at sunrise to eat the mud. This behaviour has only bpreviously been observed efore been adopted amongst parrots in the Amazon, due to the soil containing sodium, (salt), So for this to be identified in Africa is rather special. It could be that this soil also contains sodium, or it could be that the clay soil allows the parrots to ingest fruits containing alkaloids that would otherwise be toxic to them; however the element of mystery is drawing in numerous visitors and birding enthusiasts. KaingU has since opened a ”rough and ready temporary hide” for visitors to observe and photograph this unique sight for themselves, which takes place every morning without fail. For more information on KaingU Safari Lodge, please visit www.zambiatourism.co.uk 33


DRIFT over THE kafue

Ballooning over the remote plains of the Kafue can be very special - not only are you the only balloon in the air, but the only vehicle you will see below is your ground crew heading to meet you with a glass of bubbly, as you gently land. The plains of Kafue are vast, dotted with thick foliage allowing the pilot to rise and descend at any time, granting a stunning 360 view of the surrounding area, as well as flitting inches above trees and skimming the last remaining pools of water. One moment you are hundreds of feet up where everything looks tiny, the next you are almost eye level with a pod of hippos.

open plains to the water pools. Lion are common on morning flights as they bask in the early morning sun to warm up after a cool evening. Jackal, hyena and oribi are seen in the taller grasses and even mongoose and serval have been sighted regularly. Just you, the balloon and 22,400 km² of game-rich but unexplored National Park all to yourself. For more info see www.wilderness-safaris.com/countries/zambia

The serenity experienced whilst flying over one of Africa’s most remote wilderness areas is unparalleled. As there are no other balloons when you fly – it’s just the balloon and endless views as the sun starts to rise. Keep a close eye when passing nearby bushes, as zebra, wildebeest, sable and roan are a little shyer as they cross the 34


Chiawa’s Safari Suite : Just in time They had wonderful plans for a stunning new flagship suite at Chiawa...but would it be ready? The construction team was on site and all the building materials were to hand. They even had a booking – a honeymoon couple who’d changed their travel dates especially to be the first guests after the launch of the room. Whilst initial plans went ‘swimmingly’, that description became all too accurate as heavy rainfall made the construction work hugely difficult to complete. With more normal seasonal weather coming just in time, the Chiawa team were able to catch up, but with those all important final touches needed, the room’s nearest neighbours decided to spent the vast majority of their stay either in their room or on the verandah making (noisy) work all but impossible. But never fear, the Chiawa team all joined in to work around the clock to ensure its newest accommodation looked simply stunning ahead of the newly-weds’ arrival. Grant Cummings, Chiawa’s relieved owner is rightly proud of the finished room and of his team’s efforts, too.

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from

The Bushcamp Company

Thirty-six distinct sounds from Vervet monkeys have been identified, including several different alarm calls that identify the type of predator

The average size of tusks has decreased over the past hundred years? Hunting elephants for their ivory has resutled in the b‘ ig tusk gene’ becoming increasingly rare

Check out the fantastic The Bushcamp Company App, Did you know... African Wildlife’

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Ex per ie nce True Z amb ia In March, Tukongote Community School opened its doors to three classes of children in a ceremony attended by around 500 villagers who had walked miles for the occasion.

A few years back, WATERBERRY ZAMBEZI LODGE’s staff suggested that as guests had been asking about life in Zambia, why not offer a village walk to visit their homes and families?

Built on land that the village headman allowed Tukongote to buy in order to protect its status, this school will continue to develop with classrooms added year by year. Older children will be helped by the skills centre to go on to work in trades including building, which is invaluable in this community.

Now the walk is a key activity for guests wanting to see the reality of rural Zambian life. No one comes back unmoved by the contrast between their own home and village life in the riverside communities. Chicken huts are high off the ground to avoid snakes, someone keeps an eye out for crocodiles whilst others do the laundry in the river. Mealie is stored in raised barns to protect it from hungry predators, the headman smelts iron to make axes in exactly the same way as it has been done for hundreds of years, and someone always has to be watching the crops, otherwise the monkeys, birds and elephants would take their share.

Waterberry also has encourage volunteers to come to help in landscaping, farming and general education. All this has been made possible by generous donors, and the astonishing kindness of guests who are prepared to carry enormous quantities of school materials in their limited suitcase space, who give donations, who sponsor children and who encourage them daily with messages, money and goodwill.

The modest fees charged for the walks are shared between the villagers, whilst back at the lodge, the shop sells local gift items made in the local communities too. All profits and guest contributions go towards our community programmes, the most important of which is education.

Waterberry is proud to be able to showcase its contribution towards ‘giving back’ to the community through their various programmes.

Waterberry supports four preschools - three in the riverside communities and one further north closer to the main road. All the schools were set up at the request of the community or, in one case, by a teacher who retired to her home village and saw the need to educate the rural youngsters. All are staffed by enthusiastic and committed local men and women. Waterberry pays the teachers’ salaries, sends them to teacher training college in the holidays, and works with them daily to improve their skills. They have just introduced a food programme into the schools, which further encourages attendance - which was pleasingly already high because of the children’s own enthusiasm for learning. 37


Renovati ons well u n derway at lion ca m p

Lion Camp, one of the oldest camps in Zambia’s renowned South Luangwa National Park, is currently undergoing a big renovation. The team in camp have been working hard to create a more sustainable and lighter camp, enhancing the exceptional views of the Luangwa Wafwa. The structures of the new shaped guest rooms are now in place. In the main area of the camp the thatching is complete and the steelwork for the new extended lower deck has now been installed. The rhinoboard decking timber has also arrived; this timber being one of the most sustainable natural wood building materials available. The decking will cover the main area and boardwalk and will be used in the rooms. It is durable, beautiful and sustainable. The renovation is going to schedule, the camp is starting to take shape and everyone from the Lion Camp team including the waiters, drivers and barmen have all played their part! The camp is due to open in May 2018. To keep up to date on the renovation visit www. zambiatourism.co.uk and be sure to check out Lion Camp’s new website where they too are posting updates. 38


zambi a fa m tri p 2018

On this 5-night trip, you will spend 3 days in the stunning South Luangwa National Park and 2 nights on the banks of the great Zambezi River. You will join Kafunta Safaris at their three camps; Kafunta River Lodge, Island Bush Camp and Three Rivers Camp and end the trip with Waterberry at their River Farmhouse property, only 40 minutes away from Victoria Falls. Highlights of the trip will include game drives and walking safaris, rhino walk, village visit, Livingstone Island and a helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls. Cost: $300 Dates: July-October 2018 For more information and to register your interest, please email Sasha Brunt at sasha@kamilisafaris.com. 39


Four destinations. Two days. One event not to be missed.

Visit www.safari-roadshow.com

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Manchester Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th February 2018 Mere court hotel & conference centre

Cirencester Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th February 2018 The crown of crucis

London Wednesday 28th February & Thursday 1st March 2018 or Thursday 1st & Friday 2nd March 2018 The grange wellington hotel

In February 2018, the Safari Roadshow is coming to a venue near you, with 40 of the best camps, lodges and DMCs, from Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana and Zambia. Across 2 days, attend four different country-focused sessions with high quality suppliers. Plus lunch, sundowners, dinner and where required, even overnight accommodation is provided. There are just 10 tour operator spaces available at each venue, so please do book asap.

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First timers in...

t h e m a s ai m ar a

Would the Masai Mara live up to our life-long dreams at Sentinel? Travel and lifestyle bloggers, Giada Secchi & Gianluca Ventura, had dreamt of a trip to the Masai Mara for years and had high expectations. We caught up with the two of them post-trip.

Giada : We were unsure whether Sentinel Mara Camp was as perfectly located as they’d suggested. Would we see all the animals as close-up as we hoped in a fairly tight schedule? Would we get to visit an authentic Masai village? Gianluca : Our safari started the second we stepped down on to the airstrip – there was fabulous game everywhere! We were greeted by Dominic – our smiling Masai guide for the next few days. Within 30 minutes we were in camp, not that we realised it until the very last second, as the tents are so well hidden amongst the trees. It felt so natural and so in-keeping with its envornment. I was really impressed. 42


meal from the full-bellied lions. Amazing!

Giada : Our tent was furnished with all the comforts of home, with a lovely romantic feel and colonial era style.

Gianluca : The Masai Village is a 20-minute drive from Sentinel Mara Camp, and allowed us to get a glimpse of their traditional lifestyle. As we expected, we were welcomed by singing and we enjoyed watching their famous dances. But most of all, we loved just sitting inside one of their traditional homes, huddled around a warming fire, just sharing time

Gianluca : We wanted to see as much as possible in a short space of time, so Sentinel was perfectly located on a bend of the river, with so much animal activity nearby. We were so impressed that our guide recognised our wishes and ‘delivered-up’ so many amazing sightings.

together, with barely a word spoken. Wonderful.

Giada : In less than forty-eight hours we had the opportunity to do four lengthy game-drives, have sundowners in the wild and enjoy a delicious champagne bush breakfast.

Giada : Before coming to Sentinel Mara Camp, we were promised an extraordinary location and an excellent game viewing experience, but the reality hugely exceeded our expectations

Oh, and delicious red wine whilst sitting around the fire, before having a high-class starlit dinner! Gianluca : Sentinel organised our stay so well. It gave us the perfect opportunity to see a wide variety of species and various animal behaviours.

(Words and imagery by Giada Secchi & Gianluca Ventura from their blog at http://www.herbapatistyle.com )

Giada : Being located where it is, we were able to have frequent encounters with the famous Marsh pride of lions. We saw mothers with playful cubs, as well as six young males feasting on a giraffe carcass.

For more information, rates and images regarding Basecamp Explorer’s Sentinel Camp or Kenya’s Masai Mara, please contact Sasha at sasha@kamilisafaris.com

Stealthily, a large pack of hyenas approached – using our vehicle as a shield – and they managed to steal the last of the 43


K en ya fam tri p 2018

For just $700, spend five nights within the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara, firstly at Basecamp Explorer’s 3 eco-camps; Basecamp Masai Mara, Wilderness Camp and Eagle View, followed by two nights at Sentinel Mara Camp on the banks of the Mara River. You can join the local, experienced Masai guides on a traditional walking safari, game drives and village visits, learning about the Masai customs and culture as you go. Cost: $700 Date(s): March or April 2018 For more information and to register your interest, please email Sasha Brunt at sasha@kamilisafaris.com. 44


Each issue we will deliver the views from some of the best camps in Africa. In this edition of Safari Magazine we show some of the magnificent views that the Masai Mara has to offer.

W ilderness camp , mara naboisho conser v anc y Wilderness Camp is a small intimate camp made up of stylish and spacious tents. It’s situated in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy within the acoustic-enhancing Saddle Valley, giving guests the feeling of a private, undisturbed setting deep within the wilderness of the reserve. Set within a private conservancy means Wilderness Camp can offer Basecamp Explorer’s signature Walking Trails which are led by local knowledgable Masai guides.

ea g le v iew , mara naboisho conser v anc y Eagle View is a luxury eco-camp also owned by Basecamp Explorer. It’s so well named, as the panoramic views from the rooms and main communal areas are simply breathtaking. Located within the Naboisho Conservancy it sits on a natural hilltop, providing incredible views of the surrounding conservancy. It overlooks a thriving waterhole, frequently visited by a variety of wildlife including elephants.

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Naibosho - “coming together” is a heart-warming blueprint for tourism The tale of the creation of Kenya’s Mara Naboisho chronciles a community that chose to come together when faced with climate change and depleting natural resources. Proud to play a part in this story is Basecamp Explorer, a responsible tourism operator with a vision that environmental protection and community empowerment should be equal. For nearly 20 years now, Basecamp Explorer and Kenya’s Masai community have worked together to transform lives through tourism and to show visitors the life on the savannah “through Masai eyes”. At the core of this longstanding partnership is a shared belief that natural resource management has to favour both wildlife and local people. Basecamp and the Masai, first came together to develop a scalable model that ‘lifted the bar’ for responsible tourism by focusing on sustainable practices and local empowerment in equal measures. Through hard work and dedication, Basecamp Masai Mara, Basecamp Explorer’s first camp in the Masai, became the first tourism destination in Kenya to receive an eco-gold rating.

In 2005 the Kenyan Government announced that it was to privatise the areas bordering the north of the Masai Mara National Reserve. By doing so, private plots owned directly by Masai would be created. This move provided the inspiration to establish Mara’s first private wildlife conservancies with the underlying principle that land would be leased rather than bought, thereby leaving the ownership in the hands of local people. It took time to identify the plots, boundaries and allocate them to the rightful owners and so it wasn’t until 2010 that the area, now known as Mara Naboisho, had been fully privatised. Reassured by years of close co-operation, the Masai leaders, and new landowners, approached Basecamp with an

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invitation to establish a private conservancy. Only months before, Basecamp secured Wilderness Camp, situated right in the middle of the proposed conservancy area. Months of discussions between Basecamp and the Masai took place and, eventually, in 2010 the lease agreement was finalised and landowners were invited to an initial signing. Setting up just before dawn, Basecamp prepared to greet an expected dozen or so landowners over the course of a day. With the first light came an overwhelming surprise; hundreds and hundreds of Masai landowners striding across the Savannah, turning the sea of yellow grass into a wave of red cloth. A line of almost 500 Masai landowners formed, waiting patiently for their chance to sign the lease and secure a monthly income for their families. Around 12pm, an old man reached the front of the queue. Unable to read or write, he proudly signed the lease agreement using his thumb, nodding with authority while doing so – then picking up his mobile phone to check if his first lease fee had arrived using mobile banking. That day Mara Naboisho was born – named after the Masai war cry used when faced with existential threats, meaning “Coming Together.” By choosing to be part of Mara Naboisho, rather than sell, fence off or convert their land, the Masai chose to stand together as a community to face off the threats of climate change, economic marginalisation and land speculation. Importantly, Mara Naboisho does more than provide a secure income for landowners. The conservancy benefits the wider Masai community through job creation, capacity building and community projects. Today, Mara Naboisho Conservancy comprises of 200km2 leased from more than 580 landowner families. With Mara Naboisho, Basecamp wanted to create a model for conservation that could be replicated and scaled up throughout Kenya, and indeed the world. In the years since, the Mara Naboisho has seen an incredible increase in wildlife populations, proving nature’s strong ability to bounce back if only given a chance. Today, Mara Naboisho has one of the largest populations of lions on the planet. In 2014, all the private conservancies in the Mara region came together to establish “Masai Mara Conservation Association”. The cohesion of 16 conservancies makes up more than 1,300km2 of land which is owned by more than 6,500 land owner families. In 2016 Mara Naboisho was named the “Overall Winner” at the Responsible Tourism Africa Awards, asserting its position as the model to which other private conservancies aspire. For more information regarding Basecamp Explorer and their properties in the Masai Mara, please contact Sasha via sasha@kamilisafaris.com 47


First timer in... murc his o n fall s

Kamageo’s PR Executive, Bex Knight, visited Uganda for the first time in early 2017 mainly with the gorillas in mind, yet it was the beauty of Murchison Falls NP that struck her most. “ Whilst packing my bags for Uganda all I could think about was tracking gorillas in Bwindi. Back then, I couldnt see what could possible compete with that experience. Even by the time we’d landed and passed through the vibrant streets of Kampala, I hadn’t even considered game drives or boat cruises; my heart was set on gorillas.

However, as we set sail down a this stretch of Uganda’s River Nile and headed towards the Falls, the breeze picked up and all I could think of where the amazing elephants, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, waterbuck, buffalo...the list goes on. Uganda is so much more than just its famous great apes. I’d frequently heard that Uganda was the perfect destination for ‘twitchers’, but as I previously had only known a handful of bird species, I didn’t take much notice at first. But floating down the Nile it’s hard to not to be enthralled by the array of bird life. From the Anhinga (sometimes called snakebird,

As I settled into my room at Murchison Falls with views over the winding River Nile, I did have a moment of contemplation and appreciation of its beauty, but still didn’t really feel like I was experiencing the Uganda I’d read and learned so much about (still talking about gorillas here). The next day as I clumsily jumped into our small river boat, covering myself in a probably highly toxic combination of DEET and SPF 30. I thought about how I wouldn’t get sunburnt whilst Gorilla trekking and wouldn’t have to constantly keep my eye out for scary flying insects! 48


YOUR UGANDA Discover

for very obvious reasons when you see them in action) the dives of the various little Kingfishers, to the pretty Bee-eaters buzzing around the tiny holes they call home in the soft rock on the shores of the Nile. If I’m honest, by then I’d completely forgotten about the gorillas and I’d even excitedly spotted a Great Egret before a bird enthusiast did. Minutes later, I was taking the perfect Instagram shot of my bottle of Nile Special on the River Nile, and noticed an elephant and a giraffe strolling along the river bank in the background – I was hooked. This is my Africa! “

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Gorilla Habituation Experience s ue wat t ta kes part in gorilla habituation in bw i ndi ’ s impen etrable forest I’m extremely lucky through my work to have tracked mountain gorillas five times and each time has been magical. But this Gorilla Habituation Experience takes it to a different, deeper level

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The whole experience was fascinating – you may not get as near to the gorillas and it’s far more challenging than regular gorilla tracking, but you get a deeper, edgier and more immersive encounter. I’d do it again tomorrow!

On normal ‘tracking’ the trackers have already found the gorillas and your guide takes you to them as quickly as possible for your permitted hour with them. On the GHE, you actually physically track the group with the trackers from the start, finding their nests and then moving on to find them. You learn so much more this way – how you can find the gorillas’ trail, what they eat, what their nests are like, how the trackers collect samples and tell which gorillas we’re tracking. For example, a silverback’s poo measures 5-7cms at its widest point and Rushenya’s (the silverback in the Bikingi group we tracked) actually measured 8cms – he’s a big boy!

w i l l w h i t fo r d’ s 5 to p t ip s Will’s passion for photography goes back to the days of film when he would develop black and white images in his dark room in Surrey. These days, you’re more likely to find him in Africa where he’s been travelling for almost twenty years with his partner Sue Watt, taking images of the continent’s wildlife, landscapes and people to accompany Sue’s articles. He’s tracked mountain gorillas six times in Uganda and Rwanda, and lowland gorillas in Congo Brazzaville. willwhitford@hotmail.com •

Then when you do find them, you have to stay with them – that’s the whole point of habituation, to keep in their vision so that they get used to being in the company of different people and to gradually move closer until you get to that cut-off point of seven metres. And that is quite a challenge. We were lucky because we came across the group on an open path so they saw us coming and we hadn’t spooked them. Because of that, they were quite calm. But had we come across them deep in the forest, it could have been a different story.

My partner Will and I had trained a fair bit for this trek, doing some speedy hillwalking and generally improving our fitness, and I’m glad we did because it is physically demanding. These guys move on quickly and you have to follow quickly too in tough and often very steep terrain that can be slippery or unstable underfoot. So it’s very different from normal encounters because you may not see the gorillas close-up at all and you have to be prepared for that.

There’s the emotional side too – although they’re used to their trackers, they’re still unpredictable and there’s that extra risk of charging which adds to the tension. Rushenya did rush towards me at one point because a mum and her baby tumbled down the slope in front of me. Luckily, he was just warning me, it wasn’t a full-on charge. But even that was terrifying – when 250kg of silverback comes hurtling at you, it certainly gets the adrenalin going.

The trail can be slippery, wet, muddy, long and arduous, so have your lens hood in place to protect the lens should you slip. Take a good waterproof cover – this is a rainforest, after all! You don’t need the most expensive kit to take good photographs – good point-and-shoot cameras, entry level DSLRs and smart phones, particularly IPhones 6 and upwards, produce great results too. Taking good photographs of gorillas can be challenging. Because you don’t want to be constantly changing settings, I put the camera onto aperture priority around F8 with ISO and white balance on automatic. Then, if I or the gorillas move around or the light changes, it’s easy and quick to change the AV to suit the conditions. The use of flash photography isn’t allowed near the gorillas because it can alarm them, so remember to disable it. Everyone loves the image of the huge silverback in all his glory, but sometimes just an eye, a foot or a baby’s hand on its mum can be equally as engaging.

And finally… Your one hour with the gorillas will fly by. Try not to spend all of that time behind the lens, however tempting the chance of that final picture might be. Put your camera away for the last ten minutes and simply enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching that special primate scenario playing out all around you. 51


YOUR UGANDA Discover

Primate Lodge Refurbishments With refurbishments now complete, Primate Lodge, set in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park, has never looked so good. Construction and renovations to the lodge have included a new restaurant, guest lounge, fire-pit area and gift shop. Primate Lodge has also enhanced the interior decoration throughout and worked with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to finish the walk ways around the accommodation. The lodge now offers the area’s finest accommodation with nine spacious, luxury cottages; seven mid-level forest cottages, the popular double-storied ‘Elephant Banda’ and, for those who are more adventurous at heart, the secluded Sky Tree House. Being at the base of chimp trekking experiences within Kibale, Primate Lodge welcomes you to experience the amazing wonders of the African jungle! Be among the first to experience the new-and-improved Primate Lodge on our 2018 Uganda Fam Trip and go chimp trekking in Kibale Forest.

For any questions on our upcoming Fam Trip or information on Primate Lodge and Uganda Lodges, contact Kat on kat@kamilisafaris.com 52


Layi ng a strong foundati on fo r a better educati on This is the story of Moses Agaba, one of the housekeeping team at Mahogany Springs in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Moses was an orphan who was adopted and raised by the local community. Now 29 years old, he wanted to give something special back to the community and set about convincing local parents to share their land for a school to be built. Moses raised funds to build the Bwindi Plus Nursery and Primary School. The school has now been open for 2 years and is successful with all children achieving fantastic results. The school now has 220 pupils, offers boarding for those that need it and is growing from strength to strength. Since opening the school the number of young children killed in dangerous accidents on the road is down substantially and the positive effect it’s had on the community is huge. Donors from around the globe who have visited the project and met the children fund the school and every few weeks different people from all corners of the world come and volunteer their services, from teaching to fundraising. At Mahogany Springs, your clients will also have the chance to meet the children of Bwindi Plus at one of their weekly performances at the lodge. For more information, please contact Rich Whiston at rich@kamilisafaris.com or visit mahoganysprings.com. 53


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Uganda Aerolink Uganda connects Uganda’s two premier safari destinations Aeorlink Uganda has introduced a flight which connects Murchison Falls National Park – the country’s largest safari destination – with Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is arguably Uganda’s most popular game viewing area owing to its proximity to the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The 4x weekly flight will operate from 1st June to 31st October 2018. The one-way fare is USD460 plus USD10 taxes per person and requires a min of 4 pax to operate.

Botswana The Tuli Block no longer as REMOTE The Tuli Block in Botswana, home to Tuli Safari Lodge, has traditionally been more conveniently combined with a South African itinerary than the rest of Botswana. However, since 3rd June 2017, it is now possible to fly directly from Maun to the Tuli Block within 90mins. During mid-2018, additional flights will connect Tuli Safari Lodge with Kasane and Vilanculos, Mozambique allowing for “Bush & Beach” combinations.

Zambia Proflight connecting Zambia’s key attractions Proflight Zambia is now operating a direct daily service between Mfuwe and the Lower Zambezi National Park in the safari season, and this will continue during 2018. From March 2018, Proflight will launch a flight from Lusaka to Kafue servicing the Lufupa airstrip. Later in June a direct daily service will link Livingstone, Zambia’s biggest tourist attraction, with the Lower Zambezi National Park. 55


UGANDA : A Kaleidoscopic Destination Earlier this year Kamageo’s Kirstine Vercoe led a group of UK tour operators to Uganda to experience some of the diverse attractions that the destination has to offer visitors. Time would tell which of the attractions would hold the greatest appeal. Trip coordinated by Churchill Safaris.

Our 10-day itinerary was to encompass the chimpanzees of Kibale, safari experiences in Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks, a gorilla trek in Bwindi and finally a crossing to Lake Victoria’s Sesse Islands. The visit to see the gorillas was the much-anticipated experience of the trip. Yet as our journey unfolded and we travelled from verdant Entebbe through the tea plantations at Fort Portal and surrounding Crater Lakes to Kibale Forest it became apparent that the gorillas faced some stiff competition from an unlikely rival. The chimp encounter was unfortunately a soggy affair: mans’ closest living relatives sat huddled in lofty branches of a fig tree as we craned our faces upwards to catch a glimpse of them. Familiarisation trips are designed so travel specialists experience activities first-hand – we certainly know all about tracking in the rain! Queen Elizabeth National Park provided a diverse safari experience with opportunity to game drive the plains of Kasenyi and Ishasha (whose tree-climbing lions eluded us) and boat the Kazinga Channel.

Thereafter it was time for the pinnacle experience. Our designated gorilla family, the Habinyanja, played “hide & seek” as we trekked our way through cultivated lands and jungle gorges in search of them. The effort was richly rewarded, juveniles cavorted in the undergrowth while mothers preened and the silverback kept a watchful eye on us as we stood captivated on the threshold of their world. Lake Mburo was the next port of call, and this little national park belies the variety of attractions available. Whilst 56


YOUR UGANDA Discover

predators and big game may not be prolific the game drives (both day & night), boating, walking safaris, mountain biking, and horse riding ensures that there are interests to appeal to a diverse range of visitors. The Sesse Islands enjoy an idyllic location on Lake Victoria, and are easily accessible from Entebbe. While much of Uganda is slowly emerging on the tourist scene, the Sesse Islands still remain an unchartered area for the international visitor. There is a rural charm to the region and for now (at least) it remains a popular lakeside retreat for the urban residents of Kampala and Entebbe. Identifying Uganda’s most appealing attraction(s) was a contentious challenge with activities nominated and debated as the journey progressed. The experience with the mountain gorillas - one of the most memorable wildlife encounters possible – finally won. Yet, it’s strongest challenge came from an unexpected contender: the scenic beauty that is Uganda’s ever-changing landscape.

To hear more about Kirstine’s trip to Uganda and any of the areas she visited, contact her on kirstine@kamageo.com or call 01664 823750 57


Un iq u e Opp o rt un it y to w itness ‘C o n s ervat i o n Malaw i’ Malawi is currently home to one of the most exciting and wide reaching wildlife conservation projects ever seen in Africa.

To allow visitors to witness this amazing country-wide conservation initiative in action, and see the thriving and growing big game populations, Robin Pope Safaris has created an amazing ‘Conservation Malawi’ itinerary.

The African Parks organisation now manages three of Malawi’s parks & reserves and has undertaken a massive programme of re-stocking and wildlife protection across all three. Majete Reserve has already been the recipient of more than 2500 animals at a cost of US$2.5Million and has grown into a Big 5 reserve now with over 10,000 animals.

This 10-day package takes you on a journey through all three parks, giving an unforgettable safari experience of an African conservation success story and a country’s wildlife transformed.

The two other reserves have only been taken over more recently but Nkhotakota is already half way through the biggest elephant translocation in human history, with 250 received in 2016 and another 250 due in 2017 (plus many hundreds more head of game). Liwonde is in the process of receiving a group of cheetah and a relocation of lions is also planned.

The tour begins with a transfer from Blantyre International Airport to Mkulumadzi, a 2-and-a-half-hour drive through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture and the Malawian bush where you will reach the camp. Located on the Mkulumadzi River within Majete Wildlife Reserve, you will be staying in stunning accommodation – the Mkulumadzi Lodge. Once you have rested, you will be 58


ready for the next two days with your choice of game drives, boating safaris, bush walks, hiking, black rhino tracking, cultural tours, birding trips on the Shire river and a gameviewing from a hide, all within Malawi’s Big 5 reserve. The next three nights will see you stay at Mvuu Lodge, hosted in luxury stone and thatch safari tents overlooking a tranquil lagoon located just off the Shire River. Mvuu Lodge is a 4-hour journey from Mkulumadzi towards the serene Liwonde National Park, considered to be one of the top birding locations in Southern Africa. With beautiful riverine surroundings, this will present you with some of the most scenic game viewing experiences. Upon leaving Mvuu Lodge and Liwonde National Park, the 5-hour scenic drive encountering stunning landscapes and culture along the way will lead you to the Nkhotakota Reserve where you will be staying at the Tongole Wilderness Lodge located on the banks of the lovely Bua River. You have three full days here (4 nights) to fully explore the Nkhotakota Reserve and an opportunity to learn more about the recent elephant translocation by African Parks. Once your Malawi experience draws to a close, you will be transferred back to Lilongwe for your onward journey. For more information on the Conservation Malawi project or the 10 day package please contact bex@kamageo.com 59


Budget Safaris in Swaziland Small, compact and affordable, in Swaziland you can safari like a king without the royal budget!

Although it’s the smallest country in the southern hemisphere, Swaziland is big on experiences. Landlocked on all sides by South Africa and Mozambique, its 17,364 square kilometres provide a level of intimacy with wildlife that is unparalleled; it’s a real safari treasure and is far from the mass tourism of neighbouring safari destinations. There are five main parks and a number of smaller reserves, but if it’s the Big Five you’re after Mkhaya Game Reserve (renowned for its Rhino Safaris) and Hlane Royal National Park are the destinations for you. But what makes Swaziland different from other safari destinations is the chance to explore beautiful parks and wild places at completely your own pace and on your own terms. There are plenty of parks where you don’t need a guide and you can explore at your own leisure. But the best way to safari here is to self-drive (although local transport is also good and plentiful). For untamed wilderness and the chance to explore the bush on foot or on bicycle visit Mlilwane Wildlife

Sanctuary and Mbuluzi Wildlife Reserve. The other benefit of a safari in Swaziland is that there is lots of budget self catering accommodation and camping options at most parks and reserves and the conservation fees (park fees) are staggeringly under £3 a day making it affordable for everyone from families to students. The emphasis in Swaziland is to provide visitors with a wildlife experience in areas of natural beauty, and to allow them a certain amount of freedom to explore on their own terms and to their own budgets. This is no place for mass tourism and convoys of vehicles; instead you get an intimate view and gain a better understanding of the bush and experience the thrill of tracking some of Africa’s big mammals.

For more information on Swaziland and its budget safari options, please contact Kelly White at info@thekingdomofswaziland.com

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what makes Swaziland “ But different from other safari destinations is the chance to explore beautiful parks and wild places at completely your own pace and on your own terms.

Kelly White, Tourism Director at Kamageo

Mkhaya Game Reserve is known for it’s exceptional Rhino Safaris 61


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t h e b est of af r ica’ s f estival s #bringyourfire Swaziland is well-known for its stunning landscapes and exciting game but also for its festivals. MTN Bushfire, Swaziland’s internationally acclaimed music and arts festival, Brought it’s Fire for the 11th time this year. Swaziland’s MTN Bushfire invites you to Bring Your Fire and experience three unforgettable days celebrating music, art and performance whilst promoting social responsibility. Announced by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see”, MTN BUSHFIRE is Swaziland’s annual meeting for a multi-generational global community. More than 20,000 experience the three day event renowned for eclectic and multi-dimensional programming rooted in world music and includes a compelling line-up of theatre, poetry, dance, art exhibits & installations, story-telling, puppetry, film, and themed workshops. A vibrant handcraft market, family-friendly performances & KidZone as well as the recently introduced interactive art and dialogue space, The Barn, all combine to create a magically eclectic three day entertainment experience. The festival venue is a unique and innovative space, the House on Fire, situated in the Malkerns Valley, just thirty minutes drive from Swaziland’s capital, Mbabane. The venue grounds comprise an art gallery, an amphitheatre and a large outdoor stage. Each aspect of the venue is given a mesmerising quality by the fairy tale-like stone building structures and the rolling valley scenery which encompasses the site. Donating 100% of its profits to orphans through the Swazi NGO Young Heroes, and 100% of merchandise proceeds to the non-profit rural community development project Gone Rural boMake (www.goneruralbomake.org), MTN BUSHFIRE’s call to action of #BringYourFire has never been stronger.

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Vibrant festivals and celebrations punctuate the African calendar and incorporating one into a visitor’s itinerary offers a colourful and unforgettable insight into Africa’s unique and varied culture. Ashenda is just one of these many lively religious festivals, taking place at the end of the Ethiopian year on August 22 with celebrations lasting up to a week. It is most fervently celebrated in spectacular Northern Ethiopia, in the Tigray and Amhara regions including Lalibela, where lavish processions form part of the festival. Here, priests are cloaked in ceremonial velvet and satin robes with sequinned umbrellas – drums

and chants form an evocative backdrop to the marching and dancing which is echoed by the throngs of worshippers. Mostly celebrated by girls and young women, Ashenda literally means “tall green grass” which is worn by the women around their waists during the holiday. Dressed in colourful traditional costume, beautiful jewellery and specially braided hair, the girls meet in small groups to deliver good wishes to homes in their local area, with a lively accompaniment of singing, dancing and drum playing. In return, they receive bread, drinks and blessings from the head of each household. As the celebrations draw to an end, the women are joined in the village by their male counterparts for dancing and maybe some matchmaking! Contact Dinknesh Ethiopia Tour to experience the best of Ethiopia (www.dinkneshethiopiatour.com) or Kat at kat@kamilisafaris.com for more information. 64

© Photography by Rod Waddington

Celebrate in c olour at A shenda festival in northern ethiopia


AFRICA’ S LA KE OF STARS FESTIVAL RETURNS TO ITS ELECTRONIC ROOTS S Chintheche Inn, Lake Malawi, Africa Awaiting dates (usually September / October) Set on the pristine white sands of Chintheche Inn on the northern shores of Lake Malawi in the warm heart of Africa, festival revelers spend their time dancing until sunrise to musicians from Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Norway, Germany, the UK, South Africa, Spain and more. Since its inception in 2004, the annual Lake of Stars event has brought its unique blend of local and international talent to all three regions of Malawi, helping to boost tourism across the country and generating over $4 million for the economy during that time. The Lake of Stars project has promoted cultural tourism and Malawi’s creative industries for 13 years and has been recognised by the Malawian government for the crucial part that it plays in the country’s culture and tourism spheres. Lake of Stars has supported a number of other arts projects in Malawi including the Malawi Musician’s Union awards, Tumaini Festival, Likoma Fest, Sand Fest, Blantyre Arts Festival and the Ndife Amodzi concerts and has delivered training for artists in all three regions of the country. There is a range of accommodation in the area; a list of options can be found on the travel page of the Lake of Stars website. For queries about festival accommodation please contact festivaltravel@lakeofstars.org.

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A D est i n ation Beyon d t h e Fall s Thorntree River Lodge - the newest camp within the African Bush Camps portfolio, has now opened its doors to guests. Undoubtedly, Africa provides some of the most mesmerising sunsets, and to sip a G&T while gently drifting on the Zambezi aboard one of the lodge’s boats is a memorable end to a day in Africa.

The lodge is situated within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, 12kms upstream of Victoria Falls and a convenient 20 minute transfer from Livingstone Airport. The chic and contemporary accommodation retains the relaxed atmosphere of a safari lodge which is of paramount importance.

Those seeking the thrill of the wild, will relish the opportunity to go on a walking safari with African Bush Camps’ knowledgeable guides. Guests’ will learn about the local fauna and flora and have the opportunity to encounter, on foot, the endangered White Rhino resident in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.

Experience determines enjoyment, so African Bush Camps ensure that guests have the best experiences possible. There is a wealth of activities to be enjoyed onsite or nearby during a recommended three-night stay. A visit to the World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls, is the most popular activity no matter the season. Guests staying at the lodge during the Dry Season will also have the opportunity to view the Falls from the Zimbabwean side; visas permitting.

If this doesn’t provide sufficient adrenalin rush for guests, the lodge is able to organise scenic helicopter flights, directly from the property, along the Zambezi and over the Falls.

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For those looking to unwind and reflect on their safari experience, the infinity pool and deck offers a relaxing retreat - of course there is always the serenity of the spa to enjoy too‌ Thorntree River Lodge has 10 luxury suites including 2 family units, each with interconnecting bedrooms. The rooms are a restful haven complete with private plunge pool, decking and lounge area serviced by a personal butler. The 2018 rack rate starts from USD600pppn inclusive of all meals, selected beverages, LVI transfers, and two activities* per day as offered. *certain activities carry additional charge and park fees apply.

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African Bush Camps is delighted with the latest property and are confident that guests will love the lodge just as much as we do. UK representative, Kirstine of Kameric, believes that “Thorntree River Lodge represents one of the finest products in the area.” But don’t take our word for it, read some of the feedback from industry colleagues who have visited: “[Thorntree River Lodge] occupies a high-quality niche in what available product there is in the area and with people like Dumi and Yaliwa at the helm, I’ve no doubt guests will be very well looked after.” – Peter Fisher, True Luxury Travel “With its introductory offer of USD600 pppn rack this year Thorntree River Lodge represents excellent value and I have no hesitation in recommending it.” – Nick Aslin, Zambia Ground Handlers “I adored everything African Bush Camps had. I am going to get married at Somalisa and have my honeymoon at Thorntree, first anniversary at Khwai etc etc. I loved all of it!” – Claire Picknell – Mahlatini Travel “I am thrilled I have had the opportunity to experience this gorgeous property… Very comfortable and it would appear every detail has been extremely well thought through.” Sally Moon – New Frontiers Travel

For more information on Thorntree River Lodge or any of African Bush Camps other properties, please email kirstine@kameric.com 68


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Katie, Kate, Kat or Kirstine? With over 400 African lodges, camps, boutique hotels, DMCs and destinations marketed by 40 specialist representation agencies in the UK, it’s not easy keeping track of who represents who. But help is at hand. There’s now a free website that’s been created specifically to help UK travel professionals to quickly and easily find the answers. www.who-represents-who.co.uk 70


Atta Member Benefits: Professional services The team at Atta HQ is backed up by the professional services of highly specialised advisors who are available to provide members with relevant advice to help ensure the smooth running of your tourism business. Available free of charge*, this is another great reason to join Atta. Legal : Alan Bowen at Alan Bowen Associates Alan qualified as a Solicitor over 20 years ago and his knowledge of the travel industry is second to none. As well as eight years as Head of Legal Services for ABTA, he is Company Secretary for a tour operator specialising in the Caribbean and has vast experience in advising operators, large and small, on regulation, customer service, terms and conditions and other contractual matters.

Human Resources : Claire Cooper – at Claire Cooper HR CCHR offer advice, support and guidance on all Human Resource and People Management issues. They can get involved in a one off project or provide on-going consultancy to support your organisation as it grows including: • Employment Policies & Procedures • People Management Coaching • On-Going Support Service

Medical : Dr Richard Dawood atThe Fleet Street Clinic Dr Dawood is a founder member of the International Society of Travel Medicine. He lectures and broadcasts frequenty on travel health issues and gives evidence to The House of Lord’s Select Committee on air travel and health.

*Atta members receive the benefit of an initial complimentary consultation from our team of Advisors with an agreement of further costs prior to progressing further.

New Atta Web site

Crisis Management & Insurance : Andre du Toit at SATIB Insurance Brokers SATIB had the privilege of breaking ground in terms of providing cover for the tourism industry over twenty-four years ago. From humble beginnings insuring wild game in transit it now insures private reserves around Africa and much more besides.

After months of hard work the new Atta website went live on 6th September. The new site has been built on a responsive design so that it adapts to screen size across all platforms from phone to tablet and laptop and onto desktop. From the front end the new site has much greater flexibility and includes: • Improved image galleries • Ability to feature video on the membership profile • Individually featured blogs • Increased exposure for sponsors and partners • The ability to easily add new pages and information

SATIB realises the need for specialist attention and have taken the approach of developing skilled teams dedicated to each of our business units to ensure they retain the highest level of focus and expertise required by your particular business. SATIB is also home to Africa’s leading incident management unit which has been made available to Atta members through the Atta24 Crisis Call service.

Check the new site out at www.atta.travel

Responsible and Eco Tourism : Serendipity Africa Helen Turnbull, Atta’s dedicated responsible tourism advisor is based in Cape Town and has been a responsible tourism consultant for over ten years. During that time she has worked with some of South Africa’s best hotels and adventure companies, been part of the adjudication panel for Africa’s responsible tourism awards and is a member of the green economy specialist advisory committee for the provincial government of the Western Cape.Helen will make herself available to members by providing a free fifteenminute consult for those seeking advice on how to make ethical changes that make real business sense. 71


The Kamageo team has been busy jetting off and around Africa gaining first hand experience of it’s various product, cultures and wildlife, as well as doing a little work along the way! This year, the team has travelled to nine different African countries! Here is what some of us have been getting up to :

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Namibia wildlife s anctuary Safari Magazine’s own Art Director, Izzie Ludbrook, embarked on her first trip to Africa – Namibia! She volunteered at N/a’an Kuse Wildlife Sanctuary where she played her part in wildlife and landscape conservation. Her daily activities included looking after orphaned animals, including her favourite residents ‘Speckie’ the baby warthog and ‘Lucky’ the threelegged Cheetah; playing with baboons; and game counting by horseback in the surrounding game reserve.

Tanzania with mbali mbali Steve Ody, who manages our Mbali Mbali account, took a trip to see the camps first hand, visiting Tarangire, Serengeti, Mahale and Katavi. His highlights included watching the stunning sunrises and sunsets at Katuma, seeing a lion pull down a giraffe in the Serengeti and having an alpha chimp charge at him at Kungwe! Read his own account of his trip to Mahale on page 14.

Uganda press trip PR Executive, Bex Knight visited Uganda at the start of the year on a press trip where she led 5 journalists exploring the Pearl of Africa and all it has to offer. She tracked chimpanzees in Kibale Forest NP and gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP, but it was her visit to Murchison Falls NP that left her in awe of Uganda’s beauty. Read her perspective on the park on page 48.

ZAMBIA REVISITED Every trip to Zambia is filled with nostalgia for Tim Henshall, as it’s the place where the “ligh bulb moment” to start the business occured, back in 2005. Tim visited amazing camps in South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi to learn more about those ZMG members. He quotes (his first ever) canoeing safari as one of his best experiences in Africa, which is saying something after more than 60 trips.

Cultural experience in Swa ziland Kelly White made his annual trip to Swaziland, enjoying a luxurious stay at Mogi Boutique Hotel, one of an emerging set of small, high quality lodges in the country, in a beautifully scenic setting on the flanks of the Ezulwini Valley. The highlight of his visit was the new Unphakatsi Cultural Experience offered by Big Game Parks. This turned out to be a truly immersive experience in a homestead just outside Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Hosted by an energetic and charismatic (female) chief, it was a fascinating, entertaining and hands-on insight into Swaziland’s rich culture. 73


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Eye-catching ways to increase your tourism. Since 2011, Kamageo has successfully raised tourism numbers to Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda and Swaziland. And now Zambia. Using the perfect blend of modern and traditional techniques Kamageo inspires travellers; engages with the UK’s very best Africa specialist tour operators; and generates $5,000,000+ of editorial every year. If your destination needs dynamic marketing, you should talk to us. We don’t expect big budgets, just big ambitions.

Kamageo AFRICAN DESTINATION MARKETING

See kamageo.com and email Tim Henshall, Chief Executive via tim@kamageo.com 75


Zambia's walking safaris, in game rich national parks, are the very best in Africa - Outstanding lodges, world class guides and exceptional wildlife CHRIS Breen MD of wildlife worldwide

www. za mbia t o urism . co . uk 76

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@ Z ambia t o urismUK

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Safari Magazine Edition 32  

Safari Magazine Edition 32