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EDITION 36

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Tanzania is home to the Great Migration in the Serengeti, along with a host of other first-class, but less visited national parks. It’s also where Kilimanjaro stands as Africa’s highest mountain, whilst the beaches of Zanzibar island are amongst the most beautiful and relaxing in the world. Rediscover your childhood images of safari and indulge your lifelong dreams of golden beaches.  www.tanzaniatourism.go.tz

#WildestDreams

LIVE OUT YOUR

wildest DREAMS

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WELC O ME TO S AFARI MAGA ZI N E 3 6

Wa k a n da Vs . Eswat i n i pAg E 7

THE M ETAM O R P HO S I S OF T HE T R A D E S HOW Remember the uncomplicated olden days, when we had just two trade shows to go to - Indaba and WTM London? When buyers attending from dawn till dusk, every day of the shows? How times have changed! We Are Africa has arguably become the premier Africa-based show, whilst WTM London has failed to deliver against expectations for a while now. Experience Africa will no doubt have learned key lessons from their first event and we feel it poses a huge threat to WTM London’s Africa presence. And then there are events like our very own Safari Roadshow. This year’s roadshow has sessions featuring four different destinations and travels to UK tour operators own doorsteps. As other African destinations are showing interest in joining in 2020, do we make events longer (3 days?) or cut them down to single days, that happen throughout the year? Your views are most welcome...

N ew camp s in Zambia PAg es 10 - 13

Uganda’ s c onservation pioneer s pAg E 3 6

2020 VISION?

Tan zan ia: Less visited

Kamageo’s business goal has always been to be recognised as a centre of marketing excellence for Africa tourism. With six countries in our portfolio, along with projects for others, you could argue that we have already reached that goal. Or in quantity terms at least, whilst we will allow you to decide if we have achieved it from a quality perspective. Whilst Kamageo is keen to work with large established destinations (you know who you are!!), we are also enthused by the challenge of launching emerging destinations into the UK market.

pAg E 5 8

Safari is a dedicated travel trade magazine from:

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

Coastal Aviation Developments

VOTED BEST D OMESTI C CAR R I ER & BEST D ESTI N ATI ON D EVELOP MEN T C H AMP I ON At the Zanzibar Tourism Awards in 2018 Coastal Aviation won in two categories – Best Domestic Airline and Best Destination Development Champion, proving that its focus on service standards and safety improvements has been very worthwhile.

M U LT I -C REW C OOR DI NAT I ON Coastal Aviation is pioneering and resetting the standards of operations in Tanzania, having recently rolled out its multicrew coordination with two pilots now working as a team in the cockpit on all future flights. The training required has all been completed with almost eighty pilots being trained over eight months, across eight training sessions. This means that safe flight operations are reinforced and they can be more responsive to delays.

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SAFARI ROADSHOW: A ROARING SUCCESS The latest edition of the Safari Roadshow ended 1st March and with 40 exhibitors and 53 different tour operators attending from the UK, it can easily be described as our biggest and best to date. The show visited Manchester, the Cotswolds and London across five action packed days, and provided us with the biggest catchment areas of UK buyers.

“I feel that I learnt so much to take away with me and I am very grateful.” Louise Seymour, Azure Collection

Exhibitors - almost all of whom were owners or senior management - came from Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each set of 10 exhibitors comprised of well known, well established names, along with a sprinkling of previously hidden gems. This is a format that has consistently worked for our shows.

“Great fun, great networking and great meetings!” Graham Simmonds, Wilderness Safaris

“A HUGE thank you to you and all the team for organising a fantastic roadshow. I thought it really went well and was very productive.” Barrie Gotch, Mahogany Springs

In the coming days, we will be looking for industry opinion on the Safari Roadshow in which we will be encouraging honest and open feedback, including from those buyers who chose not to attend, too.

“The quality of the buyers, the fabulous venues, the format of the event – your energy and enthusiasm – just brilliant.” Samantha Kelly, Perowne International

Follow this link: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NKL8BMX to the questionnaire. 4


Now is the time for the lion to

ROAR

Kamageo is set to launch a major new marketing initiative to promote tourism to Zimbabwe from the UK. We will implement a UK campaign funded by members of the newly created Zimbabwe Tourism Organisation [ZIMTO) made up predominantly by the private sector, but crucially also ZTA. The campaign will include PR, trade marketing and consumer engagement. The new campaign “The King has Returned”, plays on the fact that Zimbabwe has always been a premier safari destination, so after years of turmoil in the country, it is back to claim its throne. The rallying cry, used by Kamageo to get backing for the campaign is “Now is the time for the lion to roar”, with the private sector rising to the opportunity in typically patriotic fashion. The campaign will include images of one of Cecil’s descendants who is now creating a pride of his own, echoing the storyline of Disney’s “Lion King”. Watch this space for more details which will emerge over the coming weeks.

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Big Game Parks launches Culture & Scenery Horse Trail Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary’s Chubeka Trails has launched a new and exciting way of exploring the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)!

With the diversity of terrain, experience, adventure and accommodation, the Swazi Culture & Scenery Trail is a real African trail unlike anything else currently available. The 10day itinerary includes a 6-day horse trail with 3 days of safari, visiting all three of Eswatini’s Big Game Parks. No two days are alike on this trail, with constantly changing habitats. From game-studded plains to mountains, commercial forests, rural communities and spectacular highlands. The trail is completed by heading south to the bushveld for the vehicle-based safaris. The first day of riding is spent at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary to enjoy the wildlife at close proximity and to help confirm the horse-rider partnerships. The following day sees riders head for the hills on the start of a 5-day circular trail.

diversity theme. Guests will stay in the Beehive huts on Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, at Forester’s Arms Country Hotel, in rondavels on Hlane Royal National Park and at Mkhaya Game Reserve’s unique Stone Camp. There are also three nights fully supported camping which includes belltents, campfire catering, pit latrines and bucket showers. Singles are limited and available at a premium.

Highlights include the infamous Nyonyane Mountain, exciting river crossings, trailing through one of the world’s largest commercial forests, traversing through rural Swazi Nation Land and its friendly communities, and climbing into the uninhabited mountains of Mlilwane North with neverending views across South Africa, Eswatini and Mozambique. Riders will then begin their return home to Mlilwane’s Rest Camp along the Usushwana River on Day 6.

Moving between the Big Game Parks reserves, and taking in the scenic areas and local communities in between, gives a wonderful overview of what the Kingdom has to offer, providing a holistic holiday and ensuring riders visit an entire country rather than a single destination. Few horse trails in Africa (if any!) can offer such variety and the opportunity to experience authentic African wildlife, scenery and culture all in one trip.

The horses have been carefully selected and bred for comfort and trained for easy, happy riding. They include a great variety of cross-breeds with foundation stock of Arab, Warmblood, Boerperd and thoroughbred blood, and have recently added Percheron, Friesian, Clydesdale and Shire crosses.

For further information on Chubeka Trails, including contacts for those who are interested in this or any other of their activities, visit www.biggameparks.org.

The accommodation aligns closely with the Big Game Parks 6


WAKANDA VS ESWATINI: HOW AFRICA’S TWO ‘NEW’ COUNTRIES SQUARE UP! In April 2018, at a glittering festival celebrating national pride, King Mswati III announced that South Africa’s diminutive neighbour Swaziland would henceforth become ‘The Kingdom of Eswatini’. A couple of months earlier, the more northerly nation of Wakanda revealed itself to the world in Marvel’s acclaimed, ground breaking and Oscar-nominated Black Panther movie, and was then the site of the final battle in Avengers: Infinity War.

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For more information on Eswatini contact kelly@thekingdomofeswatini.com

Black Panther has just made history as the first superhero movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars (plus another 6 Oscar nominations)! So, as 2019 takes hold, and with a little while to wait for a movie update on Wakanda, we thought it would be worth celebrating one of the top films of 2018, and seeing how close Eswatini can come to providing a real-life Wakanda experience?!

CULTURAL RICH N ESS Wakanda’s six tribes have their own distinct identities, traditions and ceremonies. Each favours a particular clothing style and colour and they join together under their King to protect and preserve Wakanda and its independence from the outside world. Eswatini is a country that has tribal unity under one King, being the land of the Swati, and its cultural history is rich and its traditions are upheld and celebrated as strongly as anywhere in Africa. Traditional dress is commonly seen and its traditional festivals such as the Umhlanga Reed Dance and Incwala, are known around the world for their spectacle and authenticity – carried out by tens of thousands of Swatis, but usually witnessed by relatively few lucky visitors.

M A K I N G A N EN TRANC E Just like the iconic arrival scene of Blank Panther back to Wakanda as he enters through the dramatic mountain landscape, through the portal to the city of high-tech skyscrapers, Eswatini gives you a similar feeling as you enter via the Ngwenya border from the plains of South Africa into overwhelming, panoramic scenery. As you wind down through the valley between the lush Mhlambanyatsi forest and the rolling hills of Malolotja Nature Reserve towards the capital city of Mbabane with its modern cityscape, there is the same excited feeling of entering a new and beautiful country.

Wakanda vs Eswatini: Wakanda’s tribal variety, is more than matched by the amazing spectacle of Eswatini’s traditional festivals & ceremonies.

S CEN IC BEAUT Y There is little doubt that the natural setting of Wakanda is very easy on the eye, with imperious flat-topped mountains, vertigo-inducing waterfalls and fertile valleys. But Eswatini is no less impressive, boasting those beautiful rolling hills along its western border and the Lubombo Mountains to the east, plus areas of genuine wilderness where rivers cut dramatic gorges, like Ngwempisi. The country’s highlands can be explored on foot, mountain bike or horseback, there is a zip-wire treetop canopy tour through one of the gorges; and rafting and tubing are adrenaline-fuelled ways to travel along its rivers.

Wakanda vs Eswatini: The magic portal and futuristic city gives Wakanda the edge but Eswatini isn’t far behind.

Wakanda vs Eswatini: The dramatic and lush scenery of Wakanda is pretty closely mirrored by Eswatini and the latter has a variety of ways to enjoy it.

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ago where Wakanda now sits. Eswatini may not have quite the same remarkable material under its soils, but the country still has some fascinating rocks of historical significance. The mountains that form its western border are amongst the oldest rocks on earth, and the mine at Ngwenya is the oldest mine in the world – having provided iron ore to mankind since pre-historic times. Sibebe Rock, as well as being a beautiful mountain that can be hiked with (relative) ease, is the second largest single piece of rock in the world (after Australia’s Uluru) and there is a fascinating Stone Age rock art cave at Nsangwini.

WILDLIFE The stand-out animals seen in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War were Wakanda’s white rhinos. Bred there as pets and weapons of war, they were seen charging around in their own body armour! Rhinos are also an Eswatini ‘speciality’ and the country is known for offering some of the best rhino experiences in Africa, especially tracking these magnificent beasts on foot. It is home to both black and white rhino. Thankfully, none are clothed in armour but Eswatini does have a record of rhino protection that is the envy of its neighbours.

Wakanda vs Eswatini: No other country in the world has anything to compare with Wakanda’s vibranium meteorite, but Eswatini does have a few rock-based offerings that are certainly worthy of attention, even if they don’t contain ‘the rarest metal on earth’!

EA SE OF VISITIN G This is where the contrast between the two countries is perhaps most marked. Whilst Wakanda has hidden itself away from the world and shuns visitors (and in case you thought we weren’t sure, is fictitious!), Eswatini is a warm and welcoming country where local people are keen and proud to show visitors their small but beautiful Kingdom. Lying just a few hours east of Johannesburg, it’s very easy to get to – and it does exist!

Wakanda vs Eswatini: The rhino is the favoured beast of both countries, but Eswatini has black as well as white and tries hard to preserve its populations, rather than using them in battle. It also has plenty more wildlife on show, including all of Africa’s Big 5.

Wakanda vs Eswatini: If anyone has actually made it to Wakanda, please let us know! Eswatini is ready to welcome everyone and is very easy to visit at any time.

THE RO C KS A slightly odd choice of category, but one that is of importance to both countries. Wakanda’s advanced level of development, and the powers of Black Panther himself are predicated on the meteorite of vibranium that fell to earth millions of years

C ON CLUSION Well – there you have it. Wakanda may be off the radar for all but the most committed of Marvel fans, but fellow ‘new’ African country Eswatini delivers a pretty good real-world Wakanda experience. It is also somewhere to visit while we all wait in anticipation of the next instalments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the next view of Wakanda. We’re rooting for Black Panther at the Oscars and are sure that the next Black Panther film will continue its predecessor’s great job of promoting Africa and African futurism positively to the world. But that’s unlikely to be out until 2021 or beyond. So, if you can’t wait that long and want more than just an image on a screen, why not give Eswatini a go in the meantime?!

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INTRODUCING

THE ‘NEW’ PUKU RIDGE Consisting of 8 tents/16 beds, each tent overlooks the wildlife and expanse of the Puku Ridge lagoon, each with super-king or large twin bed configuration. All include air conditioning, overhead fans within the mosquito net, ensuite facilities, indoor and outdoor shower with views, “his & hers” washbasins, huge bathtub with view, multi-level large veranda and plunge pool, tower with daybed/star bed, as well as all the usual amenities. The main area offers an indoor and open-air lounge and various dining options, campfire, and viewing hide overlooking the waterhole.

The “new” Puku Ridge located well inside Zambia’s incredible South Luangwa National Park, is a collaboration between its new owners, Chichele Safaris, and the Cumings Family of Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro. A 5-star luxury tented safari camp, Puku Ridge is being completely rebuilt in a more eco-friendly manner and reopening August 2019. It will offer outstanding guiding and hospitality whilst meaningfully contributing to the long-term protection of the wildlife and habitat of South Luangwa, as well as improving the prospects of the surrounding communities.

“ Unique in design and now with a lighter footprint, Puku Ridge blends in beautifully with its natural surroundings ” Puku Ridge’s location within the park is spectacular and secluded, overlooking a wildlife-rich floodplain and waterhole, where there’s seemingly always something to see, on one of South Luangwa National Park’s prime sites. This well-known and much-loved camp’s facilities, service and guiding are being upgraded to the high standards for which the Cumings Family’s own Lower Zambezi safari camps have become renowned. Unique in design and now with a lighter footprint, Puku Ridge blends in beautifully with its natural surroundings. 10


Elements from the Luangwa bush camps of old have been combined with traditional village life and authentic, local art works complement crucial creature comforts making for one of the most appealing and welcoming safari camp launches for many years. Previous guests of the old Puku Ridge may feel that everything has changed, but many special touches from the past have been retained.

QUICK FACTS General Managers: Jason & Michaele Johnstone - ex managers of both Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro. Access & Communications: Via Mfuwe Airport, about a 90-minute road transfer, ½ in the National Park and ½ in community lands with wildlife, villages and curio shops en-route. Season: open - April 1st - November 30th; closed December 1st - March 31st. Activities: Will be led by some of Zambia’s best guides, including day and night game drives in custom 4x4 safari vehicles and bush walks with an armed escort scout. Stargazing from camp, picnics and other surprises will be available to delight guests.

For updates on Puku Ridge or to find out more, please contact Rich via rich@kamageo.com or visit www.zambiatourism.co.uk.

It’s the sister camp of Chichele Presidential Lodge - currently under refurbishment and expected to reopen late 2020. 11


Remote Africa to open new North Luangwa Camp With plans already very much in progress, Remote Africa Safaris will soon be introducing its newest camp, ‘Takwela’, to its collection of authentic and secluded Luangwa camps. It’s due to open summer 2019 and will be situated within the vast wilderness of North Luangwa National Park. We talk to John Coppinger, one of Remote Africa’s founders, about their new venture. Why ‘Takwela’ and what does the camp mean to you and Remote Africa? Takwela will be constructed on our private land on a stunning site at the Mwaleshi/Luangwa river confluence. The area is known as ‘Chitukuko’ which means ‘development’ in the local Tumbuka dialect. Since this does not roll off the western tongue we decided to name it ‘Takwela’ which literally means ‘We have taken off’, a synonym for development.

Tell us a little bit about your plans for Takwela. When do you plan to open the camp? Takwela will be opening on 22nd July 2019. In keeping with the Remote Africa ethos the camp will, as much as possible, be built from local natural materials and constructed with local skills. How many tents will the camp consist of and what other physical elements will the camp include? In 2019 there will only be 2 thatch chalets accommodating just 4 people, so a real intimate experience. In 2020 two more chalets will be added and ultimately we may increase to 6 chalets, hosting a total of 12 guests. Takwela will offer a similar intimately-close-to-nature feel as the other Remote Africa camps and provides the opportunity to see a pristine and lesser explored area of the North Luangwa National Park. 12


“ By virtue of its remoteness, we will have virtually exclusive access to over 50kms of Luangwa river frontage available to Takwela! ” park on both foot and vehicle.

Takwela camp is situated in North Luangwa NP. Why have you chosen this National Park in particular? The North Luangwa National Park is, in my opinion, the best managed National Park in Zambia. This is largely due to the support from Frankfurt Zoological Society and a highly motivated complement of staff from the Department of National Parks. We are privileged to have been operating in North Park since 1990 and I am personally hugely excited by our new development here.

How could Takwela combine with your other camps in the Valley? Takwela will combine very well with Mwaleshi for those wanting a longer stay in North Luangwa National Park. 3 nights in both camps would be ideal.

If you wanted to explore other parts of the Valley, then adding on a stay at any of our South Luangwa camps would then qualify guests for our ‘Safari Rate’ of 7 nights or more, which effectively equates to a 10% discount.

What’s most exciting about Takwela’s location? What does this specific part of the park offer to guests? By virtue of its remoteness, we will have virtually exclusive access to over 50kms of Luangwa river frontage available to Takwela! Whilst the floodplain is not as extensive as in the mid-Luangwa, it is still prime wildlife country and will, I have no doubt, produce excellent viewing.

To keep up to date with Remote Africa Safaris and their new camp plans, follow @zambiatourismuk or for more information, contact rich@kamageo.com.

What activities can we expect at Takwela? We will offer both drives and walks. A stay of at least 3 days in this remote location is recommended to really immerse oneself in the area and give time to explore this part of the 13


SHENTON SAFARIS -

The Ultimate Photographers’ Base for 2019

A LL NEW GI RAF F E H I DE 2019 has some exciting developments for all of the Shenton enthusiasts out there, for both repeat and new bookings. Derek and Juliet Shenton are developing a new hide for the 2019 season, focused on the incredible Thornicroft Giraffe (now also called Masai giraffe). This new hide will be accessed by both their camps; located on a lagoon on a small open plain that has regular giraffe traffic due to its vegetation. The giraffe hide will be focused on watching giraffes come down to drink through the trees to the lagoon. A fantastic spot to sit and enjoy wildlife, or take your camera to get the ultimate giraffe photograph. a game drive or walking safari. The unique nature of Shenton Safaris’ flexible game activities means guests can enjoy variations of mixed game activities in the mornings, changing between walks to drives and hide visits. Having three activities in a day also means that guests maximise their safari experience while at Shenton Safaris.

The new giraffe hide will be made to Derek Shenton’s unique model, handcrafted in the Kaingo workshop and designed to meet all Shenton Safaris’ guests’ standards, comfortable seating and perfectly positioned viewing windows, cooling vents for the warmer months and camouflaged exterior. This will be the perfect spot for Shenton Safaris’ guests to enjoy during midday activities, or maybe even as a stopover during

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I N N OVATI V E VEHI C L ES F I T FOR P HOTOG R APH ER S Shenton Safaris’ game drives have seated a maximum of four guests per vehicle for the last few years, and as a testament to Derek Shenton’s forward thinking, for 2019 the Shenton Safaris’ game drive fleet is getting revamped. The new vehicles will boast two racks, with ample legroom for movement to get into the perfect position to take photographs. Padded flooring, bean bags, super clamps and swing arms will be kitted out on all vehicles, as well as a large storage box and comfortable bench seat, making them any photographer’s dream, game drive vehicle! This step forward in creating four seated game drive vehicles is to maximise the comfort and game viewing experience of all guests, not just the photographers. The added space and comfort will mean that even if you are not a photographer, you’ll get to enjoy longer, smoother game drives as Shenton Safaris’ fleet of Toyota Hilux’s is lower to the ground. The choice of vehicle along with the fact that Shenton Safaris grades an intrinsic road network of 120km in the 80 km2 that Kaingo and Mwamba operate in, means the smoothest roads in the South Luangwa, are guaranteed with enough loop roads to limit views of other vehicles, even when both Kaingo and Mwamba are full. In addition, the positioning of vehicles by the experienced guides means clear views and relaxed, experiences.

1 00% S UC CESS RATE FOR LEOPARD SIGH TI NG S Since 1992, Shenton Safaris has been creating tailored and authentic safari experiences for guests from all over the globe. Shenton Safaris offers an experience that allows its guests to get close to wildlife in complete safety. Located deep within the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, Shenton Safaris’ two exclusive camps, Kaingo and Mwamba, are in one of the most irrefutably untouched and dense game locations in Africa. Indeed, Shenton Safaris has reached the incredible achievement of having for three seasons in a row a 100% success rate for leopard sightings. With ten resident leopards, three prides of lions and two packs of wild dogs, the surrounding area around Kaingo and Mwamba has unparalleled game viewing. These camps and five hides are created by the Shenton Family, a family of wildlife conservationists spanning three generations. Derek and Juliet Shenton ensure their fundamental values are lived every day in their camps, through the experience, people and location. The stunning diversity of wildlife to be seen, added to the expert guiding team trained under Derek, all play a role in ensuring Shenton Safaris’ guests have their ultimate wildlife experience.

For more information on Shenton Safaris, please contact rich@kamageo.com or visit www.zambiatourism.co.uk. 15


PROJECT LUANGWA ON CLIMATE CHANGE Project Luangwa’s Gender Support Manager recently spoke at the important Climate Change Conference held in Poland where she highlighted the connection between education, gender and climate change. effect will be even greater for the women, particularly women who must walk to fetch water from already limited supplies; women who traditionally do most of the work on subsistence farms, and women already struggling for survival in hot and dusty African countries.  

Project Luangwa (PL) is a comparatively small NGO based right next to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. The area is beautiful and one of the best locations in Africa for seeing wildlife, but it can be a harsh place to live for the local people. There are few jobs and most families are subsistence farmers, but a whole year’s crops or a garden of vegetables can be destroyed overnight by a hungry elephant. Life is hard for women, particularly for those who have not had the chance of an education. Girls face issues of early marriage, abuse and early pregnancy - even in primary school. Poor families are more likely to educate a son rather than a daughter and girls who are able to go to school often miss around 25% of their lessons as they have no access to menstrual hygiene products. Unsurprisingly low self-esteem amongst girls is rife.

“So, by empowering girls and encouraging them to complete school rather than marry early; by making washable sanitary pads  - which helps the environment and helps girls attend school every day of the month; by training local women in craft skills and enabling them to become independent wage-earners; by changing the mind-set of boys who will hopefully treat women more equally in the future; and by insisting on environmentally friendly building materials we have quietly been fulfilling some of the UN’s goals . . . and we thought we were just, well . . . doing what everyone else is doing”, explains Karen.

But Project Luangwa is getting something right in its approach to some of these problems. Whilst quietly implementing many of the UN’s Millennium Sustainable Development goals they stand out by doing it in a way that is a little bit different. This was recently recognised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) which asked Fwilane Banda, PL’s Gender Support Manager, to speak at COP24 (The International Conference of Parties to The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) on the nexus between education, gender and climate change especially when it comes to reaching out to those who are usually overlooked. “Our holistic approach and emphasis on community inclusion; our insistence that to empower girls and solicit gender equality you must also work with boys; and the way we facilitate discussion to change the mind-sets of teenagers is just the way we naturally work.  But it is this, we are told, that makes us stand out and it is why the UN asked us to speak”, says Karen Beattie, one of the PL directors.

“We are very proud to have been asked to take part in such a large and prestigious world event and would like to thank UNITAR for the recognition and invitation. And we are very proud of Fwilane for her work here in Mfuwe and her great presentations at COP24”.  

S O, G E N D ER  &  C L I MAT E C HA NG E; W HAT ’ S T HE C O NNEC TI O N ?  As the world’s weather inevitably changes everyone will be affected. However some people may feel the effect a little more harshly and when the changes come it will be the inhabitants of the world’s poorest countries who will feel it most.  And the

You can find out more at www.projectluangwa,org or visit the craft workshop when you are in Mfuwe. 16


Education for Conservation With sustainability and human/wildlife coexistence becoming an increasingly important topic of conversation, it’s vital to educate future generations on these issues to ensure a positive future - especially in the most beautiful, untouched places on earth. So what better time to talk about the amazing projects our Zambian partners are spearheading and how their efforts are directly benefiting Zambia’s future through the minds of local communities? additional fundraising. By providing tangible benefits to local people, the entire community is encouraged to conserve its natural resources.

C OM M IT TO CLEAN WATER One project that is making a tremendous impact is the ‘Commit to Clean Water’ project. In Zambia, around 5 million people lack access to safe, clean water and more than half of the population has no proper sanitation facilities, meaning it’s a major cause of death and disease which reduces a community’s ability to thrive and develop. In the villages of the Luangwa Valley, water is commonly only available from rivers, streams, or wells dug in dry riverbeds which is often unclean and potentially a source of many water-borne diseases. The water is also often a long way from the village so women and children face laborious journeys on foot, into areas where potentially dangerous animals also drink.

L UA N GWA C O N S ERVAT I ON & C OMMU NI T Y FUN D Established as a National Park in 1972, and a protected game reserve 65 years prior, South Luangwa National Park has sustained its pristine wilderness and has grown to be a premier safari destination, thanks to the legendary Norman Carr for introducing tourism into the region as well as the inclusion of many of the successful businesses that operate in the park today. In recent years, however, it has become more apparent that there’s a lot more to be done to conserve and protect the Luangwa Valley. It appears that involving local communities and focusing on their education is key to maintaining the park’s habitat and amazing wildlife in the years to come.

The Bushcamp Company, in conjunction with generous donors, has embarked on this ambitious project to provide a number of deep boreholes in various village locations and schools, catering to hundreds of people. Over 85 boreholes have been drilled to date. Around 30,000 villagers already benefit greatly from this initiative and this number will substantially increase as more sites are identified and new boreholes drilled.

That’s why in 2009 Andy Hogg, from The Bushcamp Company, founded the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund, (LCCF), spearheaded by other leading operators in South Luangwa including Kafunta Safaris, Flatdogs Camp, Remote Africa Safaris and Shenton Safaris. Dedicated and passionate, they had a long-term vision of sustainably funding the activities of Conservation South Luangwa as well as local community projects. To date, the Fund has generated over $1.5 million. Founding member, The Bushcamp Company, exclusively generates approximately $400,000 annually through the fund with the addition of generous donors, match-funding, and

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A popular programme is Photography which started in 2016 as a workshop specifically for its conservation students. Thrown in at the deep end, a number of the students had never even used a camera before! Proving a clear success, a monthly camera club was started and now holds 27 students with a growing interest by female students embracing the technology as well. Every one of them, regardless of ability, enjoys their new found creativity. Part of the enjoyment is striving to get a good shot, part of it is learning new vocabulary and new skills and part of it is just getting closer to nature and noticing the details in their surroundings. The advanced students have had a Photoshop workshop and are now able to use a computer at Chipembele to download, select and edit their photos. Their first female club member finished Year 12 and is now working for a catering business in Kitwe and becoming adept at producing food images..

S H E NTO N ’ S P LOT Shenton Safaris’ operates in one of the poorer regions of Zambia, and as such has always done its best to give back and support the communities surrounding it. The Shenton Safaris’ Plot grows roughly 80% of the fresh produce consumed in camp. This incredible green gem is maintained through Derek Shenton’s years of farming experience and passion for ecosustainable farming. Employing local community members in this project all year round, it also brings employment to local farmers. The surplus of foods grown on the Shenton’s Plot in the safari season is donated to Project Luangwa which shares it with the women and children it supports.

A RT FO R C O N SERVATI ON ‘Art for Conservation’ is the birth child of Juliet Shenton. Collaborating with local artists to sell their imagery, 20% of the proceeds are donated to the Conservation or Community project of their guests’ choice. They’ve been fortunate enough to meet several different artists over the years and are using the gift shop at Kaingo as a base for this initiative.

IN TRODUCIN G TH E ZAMBEZI WILDLIFE TRUST The Davy Family owns and runs one of Zambia’s finest safari operations with the 3 camps: Kayila, Anabezi and Amanzi. Since taking ownership of Zambezia Farm and Anabezi camps, they have been doing their best for the Wildlife and people of the Lower Zambezi and soon recognised the need to support the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, (DNPW), in order to combat poaching that was decimating the wildlife populations in the Lower Zambezi. Therefore, in 2017, Anabezi founded the Zambezi Wildlife Trust and its operations began last year. The Trust’s principal aim is to work with DNPW and other conservation organisations and enhance community benefits from conservation. It also aims to promote sustainable conservation practices in line with tourism institutions that exist in the area.

P H OTO GRA P HY FO R T HEI R F U T U R E

Providing Direct Support to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Anabezi believes that the DNPW has an important role to play in the protection and preservation of the Lower Zambezi. Other organisations have limited their material and resource support to an already under-resourced DNPW, further limiting its ability to effectively protect the areas under its charge. Zambezi Wildlife Trust hopes to provide more direct

Chipembele, based in Mfuwe, is an organisation that generates and runs inspiring conservation education programmes for local children and young people. Its aim is to encourage the young people in the area to be active conservationists and empower them to make the changes that are necessary to sustain livelihoods, conserve wildlife and protect the natural environment long into the future. 18


Teacher training is high priority to keep pace with the demand for learning. Tukongote funds teacher training during school holidays and so far nine teachers have completed their studies, sat their exams and are anxiously waiting the results.

support in its efforts to combat poaching in the western game management area. Zambezi Wildlife Trust will take over the seven scouts, which are employed through the Chiawa Community Resource Board to continue the anti-poaching activities in the game management area.

The 8ha Tukongote site was bought with permission of the local headman, to ensure the future of the school projects. In October a tree planting scheme started – not just to beautify the site and give shade, but also to teach the importance of environment. Ninety trees have since been planted with hundreds more waiting in Waterberry’s tree nursery.

Community Based Projects The Zambezi Wildlife Trust would like to undertake more tangible community projects in the neighbouring communities including the building of teachers’ accommodation at Mugulumeno, rural lighting projects, the construction of schools and clinics as well as mitigation measures for humananimal conflict.

All of this was started by Waterberry at the request of staff who mostly come from the local villages. It is supported by the generosity of guests who frequently report their visit to the village as a ‘highlight of their stay’. Waterberry is in the process of registering Tukongote as a charity in the UK.

We look forward to hearing more about Zambezi Wildlife Trust’s projects, plans and its commitment to conservation through communities.

ILA S AFARI LODGE Driven by its passion to preserve nature through sustainable tourism and community involved programmes, Green Safaris set up its Green Safaris Conservation Foundation in order to help fund a variety of projects in Africa. Key projects that it has ventured into in Zambia are ‘Panthera’ - Zambia’s new radio network, a new base for Zambian Carnivore Project and The Ila Community Farm, which is located at the entrance to the Kafue National park. The farm produces a wide variety of vegetables for Ila and surrounding lodges, so guests’ food is always fresh and most importantly locally and sustainably sourced. The Green Safaris Conservation Foundation directly provides the funding for the farm as well as training and management support to a group of ten local ladies, that will soon become

‘ W E M AY HAVE A F U T U R E P R ES I D ENT OF ZAMBIA RI GHT HERE I N T HI S P L AC E! ’ were the excited words of the local headman at the opening of the new Tukongote school building in March 2017. Tukongote Community Projects, founded and funded by Waterberry Zambezi Lodge, Livingstone, provides educational opportunities in the lodge’s nearby villages and so far is successfully schooling more than 600 children from the local community, from preschool to high school. In addition to the primary school classes at Tukongote itself, many pupils from all grades come for extra tuition during school holidays in the hope of achieving better grades in their exams. The library of 30,000 books, brought in with the help of Books2Africa and set up with the help of two Scottish librarian volunteers, is open to the entire community and is used not only by pupils and teachers but also by adults from the village who want to learn to read. Many villagers did not have any educational opportunity at all as youngsters and are now enjoying classes – some starting from scratch to learn reading, some regaining lost knowledge and some even revising to sit exams that they could not afford years ago. The oldest pupil sitting exams is 47! As Kelly, the project manager says, “We are astonished by the resilience and determination of those who have decided it is never too late to learn”.

self-sustaining. This project benefits the community with new found passions and skills and in direct correlation, benefits the environment, with Green Safaris’ main aim being to preserve Africa’s pristine wilderness.

For more information on our partners’ projects or how you can get involved, please get in touch with Rich at rich@kamageo.com. 19


HELP SAVE CHILONGOZI SCHOOL WITH THREE RIVERS CAMP their own food, cook for themselves and only return home occasionally.

Ron & Anke Cowan started Kafunta Safaris over 20 years ago and have since supported a number of projects to help the local communities, starting with employment of course, and as part of Project Luangwa of which they are a founding member.

Sadly, the Chilongozi school is in such a poor state that the District Education Secretary is considering closing it unless something can be done to help, and soon. The roofs are leaking, there are cracks in the walls, some classrooms are already condemned as unsafe to use. 

In 2017, after consultations with the Head of the Malama Chiefdom they opened Three Rivers Camp, which is set on land owned by the Chief and his community. The benefits of a safari operation in their area are significant for the villagers, such as jobs, better access to Mfuwe through road grading, and exposure. But there’s one thing Kafunta Safaris cannot offer alone. The Malama community is about 70 km away from the general Mfuwe area (the hub of safari tourism). It is a harsh and unforgiving place to live. There is no tarred road to get there, no public transport. During the dry season access is via rough tracks, and with a 4 x 4 vehicle only, but during the rains, which may last from November to March, the area is often inaccessible due to the many seasonal rivers.

The future of the Malama children is at stake, if the school closes they won’t have any alternative. Kafunta Safaris has started a fundraiser to try and rebuild a school, at least a Three-classroom block. Their campaign is ambitious as an estimated GBP 55,000 will be needed. But it’s the condition to ensure the children of Malama a brighter future.

There are roughly 100 households in the Chiefdom, which survive mostly by subsistence farming, a challenge of its own due to conflict with wildlife. For the children of the Chiefdom, there is only one public primary school, Chilongozi Basic School. The school teaches primary levels 1 to 7, as well as grades 8 and 9 of junior secondary (over 200 pupils). Most pupils come from great distances, too long (and too dangerous) for daily foot travel so many kids have no choice but to sleep in disused teachers’ houses, in deplorable conditions. They have to bring

To make a donation or for instructions on how to, please visit www.projectluangwa.org/donate or uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Chilongozi.

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CELEBRATES 10 YEARS PROMOTING ZAMBIA Selling Zambia as a destination in 2019 is easier than it has ever been,. Around the world the country is regarded as one of Africa’s finest safari locations and with Kamageo running marketing campaigns in the UK, the country’s notoriety has spread far and wide. But it wasn’t always like this… Turn the clock back 20 years and Zambia was regarded as something of an alternative destination, sold and promoted only by the few agents who knew of its closely guarded secrets, so international promotion was attempted by just a handful of safari operators. So, what has changed? Well the introduction of specialist in-bound ground handling companies for starters and first among those was Zambian Ground Handlers which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Nick Aslin, the company’s founder, had been running safaris in the South Luangwa through the 90’s and early 2000’s and established ZGH in 2009 when he recognised the lack of expert, and more to the point, independent advice for the travel trade wanting to book their clients into Zambia. Zambian Ground Handlers has developed steadily over the past decade and today is the first point of contact for anyone looking for inside information on the latest trends and developments in Zambia.

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New to Waterberry this 2019 season 2018 saw a variety of changes at Waterberry Zambezi Lodge and River Farmhouse including new outside bathrooms, complete new upholstery in the Farmhouse and even some quirky new additions to the drivers’ wardrobes - in the form of bright pink shirts! This year, in time for Zambia’s peak season, Waterberry Zambezi Lodge has introduced a new extra deck to its dining and lounge area. The deck offers uninterrupted views over the mighty Zambezi river, on which the lodge is positioned. Whether guests are enjoying a meal or relaxing with a drink, the deck invites guests to absorb the river at their own pace. The entire lodge has also undergone a soft refurb. They have replaced all the windows to well-fitting insect-proof, retrostyle metal windows, there’s new shower floors and they’ve repainted and introduced new upholstery in the lodge. Bathroom extensions have also been added to the last of the cottages which were in need of enlarging so all cottages are now as spacious as possible. New paths have been put in place throughout the grounds as well as new planting, to enhance the already beautiful gardens.

For new images, please contact rich@kamageo.com.

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TWO NEW MEMBERS JOIN THE PACK Ila Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park and Zambezi Grande in Lower Zambezi National Park are the latest properties to join the Zambia Marketing Group (ZMG).

I;la Safari Lodge

Zambezi Grande

Zambezi Grande Private Game Experience is a luxurious, privately owned game lodge on the mighty Zambezi River. Minutes from the Lower Zambezi National Park, it’s the ideal destination for those seeking a 5-star escape with untamed Safari and endless indulgences.

Renowned for its eco-friendly practices and community development projects, Ila Safari Lodge is setting the standard for sustainable tourism in Zambia. They’re the proud owners of Zambia’s very first electric Land Rover as well as an E-boat, meaning that thanks to the lack of engine noise, guests are able to get far closer to Kafue’s diverse game on both land and river.

The lodge has a seamless open-plan design so guests can enjoy the majestic views of the river throughout the day. 5 freestanding ‘Superior Suites’ boast unique riverfront settings and expansive verandas and 5 ‘Luxury Rooms’ are tucked away in the shelter of the lush vegetation, with views across the magnificent Zambezi River. Activities include game drives, river safaris, fishing and cultural village visits. Guests can also enjoy wellness treatments overlooking the River.

On top of this, Ila Safari Lodge offers exceptional and luxurious wilderness living with 10 state-of-the-art suites, each with its own private decking overlooking the Kafue River. Ila is owned by Green Safaris, whose mission is to design and operate camps in the most sustainable way and actively involve local communities.

To find out more about Zambezi Grande, please visit www.zambiatourism.co.uk and stay tuned for the next issue of Safari magazine.

Find out more about their conservation work on page 24 and their community projects on page 17.

PLANS TO REINTRODUCE BLACK RHINO INTO LOWER ZAMBEZI WITH ZAMBEZI WILDLIFE TRUST

PROFLIGHT CONTINUES TO MAKE ZAMBIA MORE ACCESSIBLE THAN EVER

The Zambezi Wildlife Trust - established by Anabezi believes that the reintroduction of Black Rhino in the Lower Zambezi would be an important move in the conservation efforts in the area.

2018 saw the start of the direct Livingstone - Lower Zambezi flight service operating daily between 15 June and 31 October. In 2019, Proflight Zambia will continue with the direct flights from both, Mfuwe and Livingstone into Jeki, but not Royal.

The Zambezi Wildlife Trust believes a community park within the Game Management Area will be a project that will not only provide the community and Zambia Wildlife Authority, with an income, but will also be a conservation initiative that Zambia can be proud of.

In addition, a new twice weekly scheduled flight from Livingstone/Kalabo will operate and two charter aircraft services will be available from Livingstone throughout 2019. For more information and updates on Proflight Zambia, please contact Rich at rich@kamageo.com.

Full story and updated news to follow in the next issue.

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Combating poaching in the Kafue Kafue National Park is the largest of Zambia’s Park’s meaning much is unexplored - a haven for those wanting a truly untouched wilderness experience. Although a positive in many respects, being very much unexplored means that for a long time many areas have been unprotected, encouraging a huge amount of illegal activity. Since the introduction of tourism within the park, however, positive changes are happening and wildlife is bouncing back at an encouraging rate. Here are the operators making a difference in Kafue National Park. The first few days were spent watching wildlife and getting to grips with what the lions were doing as time was needed to find out which animal would be collared and which collars would be replaced.

WI LD E RN ES S S AFA RIS ’ F RONT I ER EC OTOU R I S M PR ES E N C E - TRAV EL W I T H P U R P O S E I NT I AT I V E Wilderness Safaris’ overriding purpose is to conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness and wildlife through their highend ecotourism approach. They aim to change people’s perspectives on the planet and inspire the adoption of positive change in their own lives. To celebrate 35 years in business, they launched their ‘Travel with Purpose’ initiative; 12 months of impactful itineraries to exciting locations whereby guests are accompanied by local experts and have unique access to Wilderness Safaris’ conservation and community processes.

On their third day, after forfeiting the hot air-balloon experience in favour of searching for lions, the group got lucky with what they thought would be a terrific collaring experience right in front of Shumba Camp. The lions were all together in an open clearing and everything looked like it was going to plan… until a herd of 400 buffalo moved into the area. They chased the lions away which made it impossible to dart them. That night everyone enjoyed a talk by Ben on the purpose of the ZCP projects before gearing up for the next day’s mission.

In October, they hosted an incredibly successful Travel with Purpose trip to the Busanga Plains in Northern Kafue. The trip included guests’ participation in conservation work, (usually only afforded to a small group of wildlife professionals) as well as a life changing opportunity to take part in a game capture experience, all within a six-day adventure. Chief Marketing Officer Chris Roche hosted the trip, along with a team of wildlife experts: Ben Goodheart from the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), Dr Kambwiri Banda, (field-based vet for the ZCP) and Arnold Tshipa, Wilderness Safaris Zambezi Environmental Manager. The group was joined by four guests and guided by legendary Busanga guide, Isaac Kalio. The focus of this specific trip was to collar a lion and participate in a road count survey of large mammals on the Busanga Plains, as well as take advantage of being in the company of experts and authorities and engaging with them on a one-on-one basis, learning first-hand the importance of what they are doing.

The next morning Maggie, one of the lionesses, and her male cub were located. Immediately the researchers and vet were called in to begin the darting whilst Ben explained the process and chatted about the collars, the dart gun and drugs being 24


used. Chris explained that in a situation like this you don’t want the animal to associate multiple vehicles with a stressful event like collaring. During this time Maggie’s cub moved into the palm thickets roughly 20 metres away. Once Maggie had been darted, the vehicles parked tactically, shielding the cub from seeing its mother (so as not to create additional stress). The crew quickly got to work, fitting the collar, taking blood samples, and recording the breathing rate and temperature while also pouring water over her to keep her cool. The guests got involved with measuring the canines, body width, shoulder height and body length. Dr Banda followed up by administering the reversal drug and the cub soon came out to see what his mother was up to. She soon woke up, looking a little groggy but not at all concerned about the new collar.

M USEKESE C ON SERVATION - AN ESSEN TIAL C ON SERVATION IN ITIATIVE IN KAFUE Seven years ago, Phil Jeffery & Tyrone McKeith, two young conservation biology graduates, embarked on a project to create a remote bush camp in an unexplored and inaccessible sector of the vast Kafue National Park. After an exciting period of exploration and deliberation they decided upon the ‘Musekese’ area, named after a specific and uncharacteristically majestic Musekese tree, in which anti-poaching teams of old would camp out during irregular deployments. Phil and Tyrone began tourism operations in 2012. The preceding few years allowed them to develop a greater understanding of the wildlife and the conservation issues specific to this remote sector. The first lion seen was a beautiful, lone lioness, limping along with only 3 legs, likely to have been lost to a poacher’s snare - a sure sign of the greater conservation issues in the area. Safari camps in remote locations can and do have a positive impact on the protection of those areas as poachers do not want to be seen or heard and it didn’t take long for this to happen in the Musekese area. The lion population bloomed under this new found protection and together with an effective fire protection regime, general game numbers sky-rocketed.

As Chris says,

“One of the first questions many people ask is if the collar will upset or hurt the lion in anyway. This is why it’s important for someone to hold and feel the collar. It is much like us wearing a necklace. The collar weighs about 2% of their body weight and has minimal impact”. Maggie then re-joined her cub and moved to the shade – looking a little like someone with a Sunday morning hangover! To end this amazing experience, back at camp Isaac began sharing stories of the lions and talked about their individual personalities and the fascinating dynamics between the lions on the Plains. That afternoon Maggie joined up with both of her cubs and the very next day was seen mating. As they say, life goes on!

22 months ago, however, things began to unravel in Musekese and sightings of zebra, hartebeest and lion carrying wire snares or snare-induced injuries became far too common a sighting. In just a few short months the area was losing elephants, hyena, and wild dog to name but a few. Lions were

For more information on the trip and all that Wilderness Safaris do in Kafue, scan this code using the camera on your phone.

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and resources are limited. It is not possible for the current infrastructure and efforts to cover the entire Park and surrounding Game Management Areas, therefore Jeffery and McKeith feel a great deal of responsibility to play a role in helping where they can. particularly affected, with seven known deaths from illegal wire snares. Potentially due to increasing numbers of wildlife in the area it had once more become a lucrative spot for poachers to utilise and as such, they had resumed their illegal activities. But who to call and what to do about it?

To learn more about what Musekese Conservation, visit their website at www.musekeseconservation.com or follow them on social media at @musekeseconservation

TH E GREEN S AFARIS FOUN DATION AN D PAN TH ERA ZAM BIA

This is when ‘Musekese Conservation’ was incorporated. Discussions with Department of National Parks and Wildlife, (DNPW), began in order to formalise conservation efforts in the greater Musekese area. What was always a longer–term plan for Phil and Tyrone, to have a more formal approach to conservation, research and protection in the Kafue, was expedited.

The Green Safaris Foundation, founded by Green Safaris, directly helps a variety of conservation projects in Africa, in particular Panthera’s base in the Kafue. The Foundation provides both financial and logistical support to the team based up-river from Ila Safari Lodge. Panthera is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s wild cats. In the Kafue, their team of locally based biologists and law enforcement experts develop innovative strategies to address the dire threats facing cheetah, leopard and lion. They do this by working closely with DNPW, local communities and other stakeholders in the park. A major development saw the Green Safaris Foundation sponsor the deployment of a new radio network in the park with the aim to improve communications required for more effective antipoaching.

Musekese Conservation very recently headed out to the Chunga Training Centre in the Kafue National Park to witness the passing-out parade for more than 80 wildlife police officers, (newly trained recruits for protected areas across Zambia). For Musekese Conservation, it was a proud moment as they received 12 scouts to be based out of the newly built Musekese Anti-Poaching Unit (APU). The base camp has been funded and built through generous donations from guests of Jeffery & McKeith Safaris and a founding grant from the Lion Recovery Fund, as well as the support of many other local businesses and individuals.

To learn more about The Green Safaris Foundation, visit www.greensafaris.com/stories/green-safaris-conservationfoundation/ or for more information on how you can get involved with all our partner’s conservation efforts, contact rich@kamageo.com.

There are a handful of great organisations working alongside the Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW) to address the issues of illegal activities, but the Kafue is big 26


WHY DON’ T YOU TAKE YOUR GUESTS TO SEE THE AARDVARKS? That innocent question has gone on to create an entirely new and highly rewarding experience for clients staying at Konkamoya Lodge in southern Kafue. up warm (dependent upon the season, of course) and with torches in hand, they head for the ‘secret’ location. Incredibly, these walks have delivered aardvark sightings more often than not.

A newly appointed waiter, Albert, recently asked the lodge’s co-owner, Italian-born Andrea Porro, why he didn’t allow his clients to see one of Africa’s most elusive mammals. Andrea’s response was instinctive, “because we have no idea where the aardvarks are going to be!”

As Andrea explained, Albert was equally quick to respond, “well since I was a small naughty boy, we headed up to the top of that ridge and we used to see an aardvark almost every night!” Andrea could barely believe what he was hearing, but was committed to joining Albert in the night in search of these amazing creatures. Sure enough, just after midnight, Andrea gasped as a piggy like shape emerged from his hidden abode to amble off into moonlight.

“I am almost happy that there is no guarantee, but we do regularly see aardvarks. We have identified a number of different individuals in the area, too. So, we are not even seeing the same one over and over”.

Soon after, Konkamoya launched its late night walks in search of aardvarks. Leaving camp after midnight, guests wrapped

For more information on Konkamoya Lodge, please see www.konkamoya.com or contact rich@kamageo.com.

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A family friendly safari in Botswana The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is one of the least travelled to safari environments and really is unlike any other part of Botswana. This year-round destination includes a mystical combination of stunning rock formations, unusual shaped kopjes, spectacular landscapes and an abundance of wildlife suitable for the perfect family safari. Tuli Safari Lodge offers a family friendly approach with children of all ages welcome. Its classic suites are spacious enough to accommodate families of up to four and the large wrap-around decks provide a relaxing outdoor space for the whole family to enjoy. The safari guides love spending time with the little ones, teaching them about tracks, smaller insects and immersing them in an educational safari experience. When not on safari, Tuli’s scenic surroundings and large swimming pool set by a rocky outcrop, allows families to spend quality time together as the shallow sections of the pool are suitable for children. The idyllic environment allows families to spend time relaxing at the lodge outside of safari activities.

For more information on Tuli Safari Lodge please contact, Kristina Harlow, kristina@kamageo.com.

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Muchenje Advocates Community Projects PACK FOR A P URP O SE The Muchenje family has supported the Pack for a Purpose initiative for the past eighteen years. Guests contributions to the first project for Mabele Primary School all those years ago, have helped thousands of local children ever since. The idea behind Pack for a Purpose is that before they travel, guests use a small amount of space in their luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world, adding value to their trip by providing things the local community needs most. Since 2010, Pack for a Purpose travellers have taken over 119,205 kilograms of supplies, meeting essential needs in over 60 countries. Muchenje Safari Lodge is involved in two major projects as part of this programme. Kachekau Primary School is a special unit for disabled learners and is the only one of its kind in the Chobe Enclave, where Muchenje is based. The children stay at the school and have two staff members who look after them after the school day is finished. The project is to provide additional educational aids as well as physical aids to improve the educational opportunities at the school for not only the children already based at the unit, but to extend this to other families who require support within the region. The required supplies include some of the following items: book bags, flash cards, farm animals & the English alphabet, text & reading books in science & English Language, story books including picture books, puzzles, educational games and toys. The other project, the Mabele Primary School, was first introduced by Muchenje Safari Lodge and serves around 176 children from ages 6 through 12 years old. The school requires a variety of supplies to help with teaching from pencil cases, bags, rulers and calculators, to educational computer software, chess sets and puzzles, to sports and outdoor activity items such as jump ropes, basketballs and footballs.

For more information on Muchenje Safari Lodge and how guests can get involved in supporting these projects, please email Kristina Harlow, kristina@kamageo.com.

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Think you know all about Muchenje? Think again.

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Muchenje is currently undergoing a complete reinvention on the back of a new set of owners recently taking over one of the industry’s favourite properties. They’ve listened to the views of the trade, clients and to staff to painstakingly creating a new Muchenje which is returning to its roots. This superbly located lodge offers such outstanding game-viewing and everything you loved about the place is being maintained (like its warm, friendly atmosphere and outstanding guiding), whilst the lodge itself is being given an overhaul, with new bathrooms, just one of the planned enhancements. Excitingly, they are also set to extend their activities programme, with more river journeys, walking safaris, dining locations and cultural experiences to add to their already extensive activities options.

Look out for more news in the coming weeks or contact Marketing Manager, Alex Johnstone at alexandra@muchenje.com.

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UGANDA JOI N S T H E C OOL GANG With the ‘cool kids’ Kanye West & Kim Kardashian giving the country their seal of approval earlier this year, Uganda has now made National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List for 2019; the magazine’s hotly anticipated list, names the “must-see” destinations of the year and here is why Uganda is one of them :

G O R I L L A P ERM I T P RI C E LOW ER T HA N RWA NDA When Rwanda doubled the price of its gorilla trek permits from $750 to $1,500 (£572 to £1,144) in 2017, neighbouring Uganda responded by freezing its own rates at $600 (£458) until mid-2019 as well as increasing the number of permits and more habituated family numbers. Almost 20 families can now be visited by guided groups of up to eight. Uganda is also celebrating 25 years of Gorilla Tourism this year!

STREET FOOD In Uganda a Rolex sells for 40p! No, you didn’t misread that… Although just as well-known in Uganda as the infamous watch brand the rolex varies between regions. The most common version however, involves 2-3 eggs cooked to make an omelette with cabbage, tomato, onion and a large pinch of salt. The chef then sticks a chapati on top of it, rolls it up and voila!

M OUN TAIN S OF TH E MOON Dubbed the African Alps, adventure enthusiasts say that the Rwenzoris offer far more than their famous neighbour, Kilimanjaro. With their ever-changing landscape and terrain the Rwenzori Mountains are a Unesco World Heritage Site, and are 5109 metres above sea level. The outstanding scenic beauty, and year-round snow and glaciers all set this national park apart as one of the true beauties that Uganda has to offer.

KICK BACK AN D RELAX Known for its amazing wildlife and famous great apes, did you know Uganda has a very different hidden gem? The Ssese Islands are a lush white sand archipelago of 84 islands dotted along the northwest waters of the world’s largest tropical lake, Lake Victoria. There are several beach lodges that are ideal to relax at after experiencing Uganda’s many wildlife highlights. Brovad Sands Lodge and the Ssese Palm Beach resort are known favourites with nightly fires where you can sit back with a tipple and watch the famous Sesse sunsets.

B EST FO R P RI M ATE V I EW I NG For those in the know, Uganda is one of the top destinations for primate watching, with a wide variety of places to see them throughout the country. Kibale Forest National Park is top of the list as it has the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in Africa. There are almost 1500 chimpanzees and with a community of 120 habituated chimps you can now spend one hour or even a whole day shadowing a ranger and taking part in their adjustment process, monitoring the chimps’ routine from dawn till dusk.

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 32


A REPEAT VISIT 19 YEAR S LATER! Kamageo’s Resources Director, Mandy Henshall, talks about her first time visiting UWEC. the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, 19 years ago and how today, it is definitely one to add onto anyone’s Uganda trip. I first visited UWEC, on my first trip to Uganda in 1999. Back then it was called the Entebbe Wildlife Orphanage and I remember very little about it other than two of its orphans. One was a particularly cute, and very young, chimp which heart-wrenchingly reached his tiny arm out to me through the bars of his pen, the other was a young (though five foot tall) ostrich, which followed his keeper everywhere he went! Other than these orphans, I only really remember it being like a small zoo, with chimps, lions, monkeys and a shoebill. I’m sure there was plenty more, but in all honesty it just wasn’t really that memorable. So, when I had the chance to go back in December last year, I was curious to see how things had changed.

Throwing carrots and bananas to the chimps, which live in an all male troop on an island, was another great experience. Watching one of them “fishing” for the bobbing fruit and veg was a real highlight, as he cleverly used a branch to “reel” in the goodies.

Conservation and zoos have moved on significantly in 19 years and I was delighted to see, and experience, a much improved “zoo”. Indeed, it is not now called a zoo, or an orphanage, although it is predominantly orphans (often as a result of poaching or animal trafficking) that are cared for and rehabilitated here. Instead, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is now a thriving and well-visited place for locals and visitors to get up close and personal with its wildlife. It is open daily for normal visits, but it’s also possible to book, in advance, a “behind the scenes” tour, which I was delighted to participate in and I am pleased to say that it’s a really interesting and heart-warming way to spend a couple of hours.

I also got close to lions, an adult elephant and fed a giraffe, but my real highlight of the tour was going into the shoebill enclosure. There are two large enclosures for this Ugandan “mega-tick” bird, but one of the storks is particularly friendly and allows you to stroke his head! Before this happens he requires you to respond to his head and neck shaking ritual. This is hard to describe on paper and I’m sure I was nowhere near as elegant as he / she was (they are not sure of the bird’s gender as they are apparently very difficult to sex), but it obviously met with approval as we slowly approached each other and I was able to stroke the beautifully smooth head feathers as (s)he closed his / her eyes in appreciation! UWEC is not called a zoo, but, to all intents and purposes, it is one. Some of the enclosures are smaller than our western ideologies expect, or would like, but there is no doubting the care and love the animals receive. Perhaps most importantly, it seems to be doing a great job at educating the children of Entebbe and Kampala, as well as further afield, about African and Ugandan animals, which can only be a good thing.

My guide, on my late afternoon tour was Alfonse, who has been at UWEC for around five years. Charming and full of interesting facts, he was delighted to provide me with my first animal encounter which was with the white rhinos. You don’t actually go into their enclosure, but you are close enough to feed them, with long grasses freshly pulled from the ground, and give them a pat or a pet, which they definitely seem to enjoy.

As for me, well I am sure I will remember this visit more clearly than my first one in another 19 years. In fact, my young elephant and shoebill encounters are definitely two of my finest and most memorable wildlife experiences to date.

The next opportunity to meet one of the animals was Edward, a two month old, orphaned elephant. At the call of his name, and at which point I didn’t yet know who, or what, Edward was, he came running to Alfonse. The first glimpse of the tiny ele running towards us with his trunk swinging, brought out an instantaneous “ahh” from me! Edward wasn’t alone as there was another orphan Nyakato, who was three months old. Although separated from Edward on my visit, as he was being treated for a skin condition, he looked equally happy in his surroundings.

UWEC is open daily and is $15 for foreign adults’ general admission. The behind the scenes tour is $70. It is about 15 minutes from the international airport and 35km from Kampala. For more information about UWEC, please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 33


I N SEA RC H OF A S H O EBI LL astonishing. It also amused me as I had no doubt that if I tried to do the same I would immediately be face down in the water! Despite the higher viewpoint she achieved through her balancing act, we scoured near and far for well over an hour without any luck, until she spotted one, and then two, of this most prized bird flying, way off in the distance. Being honest, without her skill, I wouldn’t have seen them, let alone have been able to identify them at the distance they were away from us, even with my binoculars.

Before Mandy’s close up encounter with the shoebill at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, she had the opportunity to try and spot one in the wild at Mabamba Swamp. Here she talks about her experience: If you are staying in Kampala you need to allow a good hour and a half to get through the always chaotic, city traffic and traverse the typically Ugandan roads. It is closer to Entebbe and around 40km away, but it still takes about an hour to get there. As ever, when travelling around Uganda though, the journey takes you through some wonderful villages allowing you to observe daily life, so getting to Mabamba is a pleasant experience in itself.

I was apparently unlucky not to have a better view of the bird and my guide was genuinely disappointed not to have found one closer for me. Yes, it would have been great, but I loved the Mabamba experience anyway. Cruising the waterways of the 100km2 Swamp is a lovely and very relaxed way to spend a couple of hours and I would highly recommend it to anyone, particularly if they are interested in birds.

On arrival at the small launch area, the enthusiastic guide was waiting for me and after the necessary paperwork was swiftly dealt with, I was clambering into a dugout canoe and we were on our way.

I mentioned the length of time it takes to get to Mabamba at the beginning of this article as it is quite significant to my visit. I was unavoidably delayed in getting there and arrived about thirty minutes after my boat trip was meant to begin. Only after my two hours on the boat, and as I was about to leave, did I find out that if I had been on time, I would have seen a shoebill standing really close to the edge of the water!

The local boaters have developed the boat trip concept here, which is not only great for the community as well as for tourists, but is also playing an important role in conserving the shoebills. The waterways are very narrow to begin with and are bordered on both sides by tall grasses, reeds and papyrus, making close up views of malachite kingfishers (three in the space of five minutes) and other birdlife, fantastic. As the channels open out into wide bodies of water, herons, cormorants and jacanas become prevalent. At the time of my visit, in December, the water lilies were in full flower, creating a really beautiful landscape.

Oh well, I may not have the photo I wanted, a black dot in the sky doesn’t really work, but I can still say that I have seen a wild shoebill. As for photos, the one of me with the friendly shoebill, taken at UWEC in the afternoon following my Mabamba visit, will do just fine!

For more information on Uganda or any of its spectacular wildlife encounters, please contact nadia@kamageo.com.

The agility of my bare-footed guide, as she balanced on the side of the canoe on the lookout for a shoebill, was quite 34


Romance in the Bwindi Forest

At the end of 2018 Mahogany Springs was busy preparing for one of its most special events of the year, a wedding vow renewal ceremony, overlooking the stunning Bwindi Forest. It really doesn’t get more unique or memorable than a ceremony by the Munyanga River overlooking a forest full of mountain gorillas. The couple loved their truly special ceremony followed by a sit down dinner at the lodge. The areas natural setting and panoramic views provided the perfect place for the couple to be photographed, along the stone pathways and intricate gardens. The honeymoon suite at the lodge added to the unforgettable experience for the couple with an extra-large bed, freestanding bathtub, open terracotta shower and a sprinkling of other romantic touches. In 2019 Mahogany Springs will be opening a second Honeymoon Suite, offering an extra incentive for couples to visit, whether that be for a wedding, anniversary or any other special event. For more information, contact nadia@kamageo.com. 35


International Awards Spotlight Uganda’s Conservation Pioneers Recent months have seen a host of international award schemes heap praise on the conservation efforts being implemented across Uganda trafficking ivory and pangolins. NRCN works closely with the Uganda government, acting on its behalf to prosecute wildlife crimes. As a result of their success they now have a specific court dedicated to wildlife cases and make up to four arrests per month, making it quicker and more efficient to prosecute offenders of illegal wildlife activities with harsher sentencing for such crimes. Ones to watch, Best for Local Economic Benefit, WTM Uganda was shortlisted for the ‘Best for Local Economic Benefit’ at The World Tourism Awards 2018 at this year’s WTM. Although they did not win the prize, they were identified as the ‘one to watch’ for the incredible work they are doing in Bwindi, Uganda.

W I NNER O F THE TU SK W I L D L I F E R A NG ER AWA R D JU LIU S O BWO N A

The Responsible Tourism Project in Bwindi, funded by the Darwin Initiative, provides training for the local community to give them the skills to create beautiful handcrafted products as well as key services that can be offered to tourists. Some of the trainees go on to become experts in their respective fields and able to share their knowledge as teachers themselves. So far, the project has worked with 14 small enterprises and trained over 300 local people in basket weaving, guiding, carving, horticulture and beekeeping. The judges are looking forward to the final phase of the project, which will demonstrate the impact of the work on the livelihoods of the beneficiaries.

The Tusk Conservation Awards celebrate the dedication and bravery of those unsung heroes that work in conservation, many of those whom risk their lives, in the fight to preserve Africa’s wildlife. Winner, Julius started his career in 1995 as a ranger for Uganda Wildlife Authority working his way through the ranks to become Warden in Charge of Law Enforcement. Despite being confronted with death threats as well as being away from his family for long period of times, he continues to lead the fight against wildlife crime. Julius, alongside his team of 600 rangers (consisting of specialist units including marine rangers with patrol boats and strategically placed ranger posts) has successfully reduced the number of elephants caught in traps from three a day to three a month. They also prosecuted 720 suspects for wildlife related crimes. By the end of 2017 they had confiscated 24 tonnes of snares, numerous AK47’s, ammunition and poachers’ boats from Murchison Falls National Park.

The Responsible Tourism Project in Bwindi was shortlisted for ‘Best for Local Economic Benefit’ at the World Tourism Awards 2018 at this years WTM. Although it did not win the prize, it was identified as the ‘one to watch’ for the incredible work it is doing in Bwindi, Uganda.

W I NNER O F THE TU SK C ONS ERVAT I ON FOR A F R ICA AWA R D - V I N C EN T O P YENE Vincent has changed the way Uganda addresses the illegal wildlife trade, risking his life to bring criminals to justice. The Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) was established in 2013 and brings together Vincent’s experience in the field with the rangers and the courts as a state prosecutor. Uganda has long suffered illegal wildlife activities, including

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Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

Her work in the past 23 years has seen her projects scoop multiple awards and be recognised by powerful organisations like the World Economic Forum, Whitley Awards, International Scientific Seed Magazine, World Summit Award, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and Wings World Quest Women of Discovery Humanitarian Award. In 2003, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka started Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), a non-profit that promotes co-existence among people and animals. With half a decade of experience in dealing with wildlife, Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka had learnt that animals, especially gorillas, which share 98% of DNA with human beings, were increasingly getting exposed to danger. With the species having gone through two traumatic periods of scabies outbreak, in 1996 and between 2001 and 2002, CTPH was started to offset such tragedies.

DAV I D SHEP HER D C ONS ERVAT I ON AWA R D ERI C EN Y EL Eric is a vet for Uganda Wildlife Authority who has worked alongside Uganda Conservation Foundation for the past 15 years and was shortlisted for the award this year. Eric has found himself in many dangerous situations working around rebel activity and despite an inadequate kit, he has managed to save countless animals from snares and traps as well as removing dangerous ‘problem’ animals close to communities. His crucial work has enabled wildlife numbers to flourish in the country and shine a light on the negative impact of these heartless traps.

CTPH relies heavily on donations and grants. However, in a bid to raise more funds to guarantee a positive future for the mountain gorillas in the mist-shrouded hills of southwest Uganda, Dr. Gladys and her team launched the Gorilla Conservation Coffee Project in 2015. Dr. Gladys becomes the second African, and first Ugandan, to win the EarthCare Award after Wangarĩ Muta Maathai, a Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate, who bagged it in 1991. Well done to Dr. Gladys!

EARTHCA RE AWA R D- G L A DYS K A L EMA-Z I KUS OKA Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, better known as the Gorilla Doctor, is most famous for her work with the endangered mountain gorillas of East Africa, where she works as a pioneering veterinarian. She was presented with the EarthCare award from the Sierra Club in September at a ceremony in Denver, Colorado. Sierra Club Awards recognise public servants, academicians, journalists, organisations and anyone that has made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment.

With the triumph of recognition received by Ugandan conservation pioneers we must remember that many work on the frontline, dedicate and risk their lives on a daily basis. And as a result of this incredible work Uganda has seen great success and significant increases in its wildlife population, the number of poachers prosecuted, and their equipment seized.

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 37


Uganda’s Eastern Promise With much of western Uganda now being a well established tourist route, Africa enthusiasts are starting to discover the less visited parts of this beautiful country. With little visited wildlife reserves and national parks, mountain terrain, waterfalls and a fascinating cultural landscape, Uganda’s wild east is just waiting to be explored. From the peaks of Mount Elgon to the plains of Kidepo Valley National Park, this diverse, off the beaten track area, offers a very different view of Uganda.

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SIPI FALL S In the foothills of Mount Elgon, there is a series of three waterfalls with great walking trails and fantastic views of the nearby mountainous landscape. Often the starting point for Elgon climbs, the Sipi Falls region offers hikes and trails for all abilities.

M OUN T ELGON Located on the Uganda/Kenya border, Mount Elgon was once Africa’s highest mountain. Years of erosion have meant it is now only the fourth largest, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth visiting! Home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer, Mount Elgon makes a fantastic addition to any birding itinerary.

TES O As enticing as the wildlife of Uganda is, it is often remarked that it is the friendly, welcoming local culture that makes the trip memorable. The region of Teso is increasingly opening up to tourism and gives visitors the opportunity to see rural Uganda up close and take part in traditional village activities. Join farmers ploughing the fields, sample locally grown coffee or visit a market as you pass through the region on your tour of eastern Uganda. For those wanting to stay in the area, longer homestays and volunteering opportunities are available.

PIAN UPE A trip to Pian Upe is a trip to wild Uganda, where other visitors are few and far between. Located in the Karamoja region of north east Uganda, Pian Upe is the second largest protected conservation area in Uganda. As well as being the only reserve in Uganda to have Roan Antelope, there are also leopard, cheetah, hyena, zebra and buffalo. In addition, there are plans this year to repopulate giraffe in the park, through the translocation of giraffes from Murchison Falls National Park, an exercise that has proved a great success in Lake Mburo. Primates are also well represented here with vervet monkeys, patas monkeys and olive baboons. Accommodation in the park is limited to Bandas near the park’s headquarters, with a handful of lodges, hotels and homestays in the surrounding area.

KIDEP O VALLEY N ATION AL PARK The most isolated National Park in Uganda, Kidepo Valley in the north east, is also arguably one of the best wilderness areas in Africa. With abundant wildlife and over 450 species of bird, it’s little wonder that a CNN travel report names Kidepo as one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Culturally very different from the rest of the country due to its proximity to Kenya and South Sudan, Kidepo offers an interesting alternative to the usual safari circuit of Uganda’s south west. A true hidden gem, the combination of large wildlife herds (around 13,000 buffalo!) and small visitor numbers means that this is a safari destination where you’ll enjoy viewing the game, not the other tourists.

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 39


1 0 YEA R S OF C ONNECT I N G PEO PLE A N D WI LD LIFE

THE Q U E E N ELI Z A B ET H PA R KS PROJ ECT, UK A ND UGA NDA BY LIZ B O U RN E, W R I T ER A ND P ROJ EC T S U P P ORTER (WWW.LIZB OURN E.C O.UK) clothing and binoculars. UK rangers have also benefited from the link with their Ugandan counterparts, including learning from them about telemetry equipment, wilderness management and wildlife conservation law enforcement procedures. Ranger exchanges have also supported the professional development of both UK and Ugandan rangers.

Ten years ago this year, a small group of UK rangers from Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire visited Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and signed a memorandum of understanding with Uganda Wildlife Authority. This ‘twinning agreement’ officially kicked off a project that has successfully supported wildlife rangers in both parks. The chance meeting of two rangers a couple of years beforehand – one from the UK and one from Uganda – led to the realisation that although at first glance their two parks had little in common apart from their names, the issues faced were very similar. Thus, the Queen Elizabeth Parks Project (QEPP) was born, a charity with conservation and community at its heart. Run mainly by volunteers, QEPP primarily supports conservation and communities through the rangers who work to protect the natural environment. There are three main strands to the project: ranger support and training, conservation education and community engagement.

Solar panels gifted to Kafuro Primary School by their twinned school in the UK so that children can still study in the dark

C ON SERVATION EDUCATION Schools in and around the parks in the UK and Uganda are ‘twinned’ and share information about their culture, geography and environment, through blogs, cluster meetings and exchange visits. For example, Kafuro Primary School placed beehives around their community to ward off elephants who were encroaching on their land. Liss Juniors, their twinned school in the UK, learnt about this initiative and acquired a hive for their school grounds (although there are no elephant problems in Hampshire!).

C OMMUN IT Y EN GAGEM EN T Various communities and community groups have benefited from the project. For example, regular support has been given to the Katunguru Women’s Group by buying crafts from their stall near the entrance to the national park, a place often missed by tourists. Back in the UK, these crafts are sold for donations to boost funds as well as showcase the talents of the craftspeople.

R A NG E R S U P P O RT AND T R A I NI NG Over the past ten years, the project has developed and delivered training workshops to rangers in Uganda, including best practices in community engagement, customer care and interpretation, and environmental sustainability. Vital equipment has also been donated to the rangers, including

Over the past ten years, the project has realised that conservation comes in many forms. Recognising that communities are key to successful conservation, and that 40


many people may only come across rangers when they are being reprimanded for encroaching or poaching, QEPP works with the community rangers in Uganda to find innovative ways to connect people with wildlife:

H OW TOURISM CAN H ELP S UPP ORT C ON SE RVATI O N QEPP encourages visitors to spend their money in local communities close to and in the national parks, which can play an important role in boosting the local economy. Communities can then benefit directly from tourism and therefore feel more positively towards the national park and its wildlife and staff.

The Conservation Cup Held on an annual basis, this sports tournament brings together children from schools in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park. Organising the event is a joint effort between the UK and Ugandan teachers in the project, and sports coaches travel from the UK to share their skills with the children. The teams are given wildlife-related names and the community rangers attend to help dispel negative feelings towards them. It is a fiercely fought competition and great fun!

Visitors can also support conservation and the rangers’ community engagement initiatives by visiting some of these projects. Ronnie Bwambale from Range Land Safaris (www. rangelandsafaris.com) has played an important role in QEPP for many years. For example, he has taken tourists to Bukorwe Primary, a twinned school in an out-of-the-way community close to the DRC border and within the Queen Elizabeth National Park limits.

Supporting girls’ education It is estimated that 30 per cent of Ugandan girls from poor families miss school because of the lack of sanitary towels. Four out of five girls do not go on to high school, and up to 40 per cent of girls are married before they are 18 and then start families. This can put pressure on resources and lead to human/wildlife conflict. QEPP supplies reusable sanitary towels to the schools they are linked with. This gives the girls dignity, freedom and the chance to stay in school to complete their education.

Visitors can meet the children, find out about their lives and see the impact the national park has on them. Ronnie puts a percentage of the money he earns from his tourism business back into the school, supporting children/orphans who may not otherwise be able to afford to pay for their primary education.

Chimp guides A chimp guide from Kibale National Park approached the project and asked for some help. He explained how it could take new guides up to a year and a half to learn the characteristics and features of each chimpanzee in a group, so QEPP produced ‘chimp ID’ cards to help. A series of postcards were printed, each with a chimp’s face on and its characteristics described on the other side.

Ronnie can coordinate taking clients visiting Uganda to QEPP’s twinned schools and community projects. QEPP is looking forward to the next ten years. As well as continuing with the success of these initiatives, the project is also investigating the possibility of supporting local community wildlife scouts to protect their communities from animals such as elephants and buffalo which invade their farms and eat crops. This project is truly connecting people and wildlife.

All the information and photos were provided by the Kibale chimp guide. These are now used to support their learning which can then help provide a positive visitor experience for tourists. It is hoped that a tourist version of these cards will be produced once funds allow it, and money raised from their sale will go towards equipping rangers in the field.

Find out more about the project and the communities involved by visiting www.queenelizabethparks.org. 41


Emburara Farm Lodge Anyone passing the long stretch of road between Mbarara and Kampala will have noticed the captivating long horned Ankole cattle. The Ankole district is located 280KM South West from Kampala. It is en route to the traditional Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi National Park circuit, however Emburara Farm Lodge offers a new unique experience. Home to 40 Ankole long horned cattle, Emburara Farm Lodge is a working farm, which opened its doors to guests last year. Daily activities include spending time with the herdsman caring, watering, feeding and milking the cattle. It is believed that Mbarara is derived from Emburara (Hyperemia ruffa), the local tall grass which the Ankole cattle keepers treasured and still treasure as the best fodder for their cows. It is said to boost the fat content of the milk enabling the production of high-grade cow ghee. The milk is kept in a room named the ‘orugyegye’, with empty gourd shells used as pots, having been cleaned by a process called ‘okwitira’ where the pots are smoked over a small fire. As well as yoghurt the milk is churned in an ‘ekishabo’ to create ghee and this is often turned into ‘Eshabwe’, a local delicacy that originates from the Ankole area. This is usually prepared for special occasions such as weddings and served in a traditional clay pot. The process involves washing the ghee, adding salt and water and stirring until the mixture changes from yellow to white. It is served with millet bread, matoke (green banana), sweet potatoes or posho (cornmeal).

Other activities include bike riding as well as visiting nearby Lake Mburo National Park home to a large number of zebra, impala and newly reintroduced giraffe.

For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 42


UGANDA AND WO RLD WAR ON E: A BR IEF HISTO RY When World War One broke on 28th July 1914, the colonies of the nations at the heart of the war were enlisted to fight for their colonial masters. Uganda was no exception and as part of British East Africa, her soldiers fought the soldiers of German East Africa in modern day Kenya and Tanzania. The colonial regiment in the Protectorate of Uganda was formed in 1895, when the British authorities organised soldiers into regiments under the Uganda Rifles. In 1902, they were amalgamated into the King’s African Rifles, the army of British East Africa, which incorporated 6 battalions. By 1914, the King’s African Rifles consisted of 2,319 African soldiers. By 1918, they numbered more than 30,000.

the German army out of East Africa, through Mozambique. When the German East African forces formally surrendered on 25th November 1914, 4,237 East African soldiers fighting for the British forces had sacrificed their lives.

When war broke out, the Kings African Rifles were initially sent to attack the German port at Tanga, in modern day Tanzania. German troops, the Schutztruppe, managed to repel the attack, despite being significantly outnumbered by the allied forces. Bruised by defeat, the King’s African Rifles were then reassigned to defend the vital Uganda railway, which was essential to transport supplies from the coast.

On Remembrance Sunday each year, the British High Commissioner, and other representatives from Commonwealth Countries visit one of Uganda’s four war cemeteries to pay tributes to the war dead.

It was not until 1916, and the arrival of 20,000 South African troops, that the King’s African Rifles became involved in major offensives against the Germans. Eventually, they pursued

Images have kindly been supplied by Changing Horizons. For more information on Uganda please contact nadia@kamageo.com. 43


JUST BAC K FROM UGANDA 10 lucky tour operators were able to experience Uganda for themselves at the end of 2018. Highlights included a once in a lifetime opportunity to trek with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest and leopard spotting in Lake Mburo.

Photo: Sam from Red Savaannah

“Don’t limit your visit to just seeing the gorillas as there is so much more to see and do. Uganda should be sold as a stand alone destination. Do make the time to get fit before gorilla tracking and definitely hire a porter.”

Here is some of their feedback:

B I G G EST S U RP RI SE FROM YOU R T R I P “How close we got to all the wildlife and how many different birds species there are. Also how friendly the people of Uganda are.” Debbie from Wildfoot Travel

Top tip from Albee from Rocksure Club

WH AT WA S YOUR BEST EXPERIEN CE IN UGAN DA “My most magical experience of my life to date was encountering Christmas the magnificent silverback, I cried with joy!” Gengis from Tropicus Holidays

BIGGEST S URPRISE FROM YOUR TRIP TO UGAN DA

WH AT I S YO U R B EST MEMORY F ROM T HE T R I P ?

“The fantastic game viewing and beautiful scenery of the Murchison Falls National Park. Game viewing here compares favourably with elsewhere in Africa including a close encounter with 3 beautiful lionesses.”

“Seeing the gorillas, yes, obviously, but also seeing my first leopard!”

Alison from Wexas

Liz from Liz King Travel

WH AT WA S TH E H IGH LIGH T OF YOUR TRIP TO UGAN DA

WH AT W ERE YO U R E X P EC TAT I ONS OF U GA NDA? “I had expected a very unique and exciting wildlife experience visiting the chimpanzees and gorillas. This exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend it.”

“My highlights include staying in Bwindi and trekking for gorillas, seeing lions within Murchison Falls, following a bull elephant down the road for an hour in Murchison Falls, the boat rides and Bigodi Community Swamp experience.”

Paul from Safari Club

Lara from Naturetrek

WH AT W ERE YO U R E X P EC TAT I ONS OF U GA NDA?

WH AT IS YOUR BEST M EM ORY FROM TH E TRIP ?

Photo taken by Albee from Rocksure Club

“Having travelled to a number of African countries I was expecting Uganda to be fairly similar. I was not expecting the wildlife (excluding primates) to be as impressive as in other African countries.”

“Aside from the obvious (gorilla trekking, chimp trekking, shoebill sighting) it has to be swimming in a volcanic lake and riding (galloping through a herd of zebra!) in Lake Mburo NP.”

Steve from Distinctive Travel

Sam from Red Savannah 44


Fam Trips 2019 We still have spaces remaining on our 2019 fam trips. Please contact nadia@kamageo.com for further details

S UB SIDISED UGANDA FAM TRIP S 2019

DATES & DETAIL S

Proposed itineraries (subject to change)

We’re pleased to hear that most UK Africa specialists are reporting a significant increase in their enquiries for Uganda. With media coverage at an all-time high and our consumer marketing campaigns promoting the country like never before, it’s no surprise that more and more travellers want to discover the delights of this amazing destination. But how well do you folks know Uganda?

MAY 201 9 Murchison Falls NP, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi, Lake Mburo / 11 days / 4 places*

JULY 201 9 Kibale, Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi, Lake Mburo / 9 days / 4 places*

We know that many of you know the main attractions Uganda has to offer so these fam trips are going to take you to some of the less explored places.

OCTOBER 201 9 - BIRDIN G SPECIAL Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi, Lake Mburo, Entebbe / 9 days / 4 places*

Did you know Kidepo is home to a wide variety of game as well as unique cultural experiences not found elsewhere in Uganda?

N OVEM BER 201 9 Kidepo, Murchison Falls NP, Kampala, Entebbe / 7 days / 4 places*

Did you know that Uganda is Africa’s leading birding destination, with an amazing 1,057 different species of birds?

We will provide all relevant park fees, plus accommodation and transportation within Uganda. You will be required to fund your own international flight cost and visa. Whilst most meals are included with the accommodation, some en route meals and drinks may need to be paid locally. *Please note that some of theses itineraries are very busy with a lot of travelling time.

Did you know there are ten National Parks in Uganda, offering great big-game viewing, gorilla trekking, chimp watching, amazing birding and more? Would you or a senior member of your team benefit from a 7-11 day trip to experience Uganda with us and learn more about this great destination?

If you’re interested in participating, please let us know by contacting Nadia at nadia@kamageo.com. 45


E T H I O P I A C ELEBR ATES Celebrations in Ethiopia are truly spectacular, colourful events, mostly religious, and frequently take place over several days. The country hosts locals and visitors from all over the world and these one of a kind joyous celebrations are something that all clients should experience.

culminates with the priests delivering the final service taking the Tabots back inside the church. After this the celebration continues with a big feast with traditional special dishes including doro wet (chicken stew) and kitfo (minced raw beef).

FA SIKA This Easter ceremony starts on Good Friday. Pilgrims dressed in white fill the churches, praying, resting, and listening to the priests. There is a spiritual solemnity to the events, as priests and deacons chant for many hours to the rhythmic jingling.

T IM K AT

In Lalibela, Fasika is celebrated in every church. Pilgrims with their white shawls, move from church to church bowing a certain number of times in each one depending on the promises they make to God in exchange for answering specific prayers.

Exclusive to Ethiopia, this colourful annual street festival is a three-day event running from 18th - 20th January. Locals go outdoors in masses wearing their best traditional clothing to worship and commemorate the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. The eve of Timkat (Ketera) involves moving the Tabots, a model of the Ark of The Covenant from the churches. The Ark is carried by high priests who bless the pilgrims with holy water.

The ceremonies culminate with a mass in the early hours of Sunday morning. Clients are invited to light candles and clap to the devotional music, looking down on the several hundred priests and deacons participating in the rituals below. It is rhythmic, mesmeric and beautiful.

On the celebration day of 19th January, locals gather in Addis Ababa to watch the ceremonial baptism and worship. This awe-inspiring festival continues in Lalibela. The festival

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M ES KEL The Meskal Festival is celebrated on 27th September with floral processions and the burning of torches. It commemorates the discovery of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified, by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in the 4th century. The festival centres on the legend that Queen Helena had a revelation in a dream when she was told to light a great bonfire and the smoke would reveal the resting place of the cross. Today, the bonfire (demera) is erected in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa and is topped by daisies in the form of a cross. Priests and worshippers circle the bonfire singing before it is lit. Colourful dancing and feasting are all traditions of the festival. Why not organise your clients visit to Ethiopia during one of the celebratory periods with help from Dinknesh Ethiopia Tours, one of Ethiopia’s premier tour operators? Providing exceptional itineraries to groups and individuals, Dinknesh assures attention to detail, experienced guides and excellent service standards and has decades of experience, organising authentic itineraries, including religious tours.

For more information on Dinknesh Ethiopia Tours or to find out more about potential future Fam Trips to Ethiopia, please contact kristina@kamageo.com. 47


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Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains A M AJ O R N E W TO U R I S M I N I T I AT I VE Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains – a major new tourism initiative. Africa Wildlife Foundation has been working in the SMNP for many years now, with the next stage in their plans to conduct a comprehensive analysis of existing facilities, services, activities, pricing and general tourism infrastructure. Kamageo is delighted to have been asked to complete this project which will also require us to make significant recommendations regarding potential improvements to the park’s appeal to tourists, in both the short and long-term. With fairly unique wildlife – including Gelada baboons, simien wolves, and lammergeier (bearded) vultures to add to the hikes to take in the park’s stunning scenery, SMNP already has much to offer, but it’s clear that its potential is huge. The report will be published later this year, but if you have any opinions, suggestions or recommendations that you feel should be included, please contact tim@kamageo.com.

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More magic from

Malawi

W I LD L I F E T RAN S FO RMAT I ON ‘C OMP L ET I NG’ M A LAW I For a long time Malawi’s stunning beaches, beautiful and varied landscapes and fascinating and friendly cultural experiences have been some of the best that Africa has to offer. With the conservation projects and wildlife transformations continuing, courtesy of African Parks, Malawi’s safari experiences are now starting to match its other attractions as it emerges as one of the most complete destinations in Africa. 2018 saw a focus on lions. A group was introduced to Liwonde National Park, some of which came from Majete, where the lions introduced a few years ago have increased their numbers very successfully. To widen the gene pool, more lions have also been added to Majete from South Africa. With the cheetahs introduced to Liwonde in 2017 already breeding very successfully and more predators rumoured for Liwonde, there is no let-up in Malawi’s wildlife transformations.

With giraffe recently re-introduced to Majete, and plans for elephant, rhino and antelope relocations in 2019, the country is fast becoming one of Africa’s most complete destinations.

TOUR S & TRAIL S Malawi’s dynamic tour operators are keeping pace with these exciting developments by launching new tours and trails to meet demand. Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has launched a brand new Malawi Conservation Experience that combines wildlife rescue and rehabilitation work with research and some lakeshore R&R. Malawi stalwarts Land & Lake Safaris has a new set of tours covering even more locations and Central African Wilderness Safaris has launched brand new trails in Liwonde and Nyika National Parks. Ever the innovators, as well as the launch of the Women’s Entrepreneurship & Women’s Challenge programmes, The Responsible Safaris Company ran its first 50


‘Sport with a Purpose’ challenge and counted Dame Kelly Holmes as a participant! It has recently launched the 2019 Challenge and Dame Kelly will be returning to Malawi to take part!

N EW & I M P ROV ED Developments in Malawi’s accommodation also show no signs of letting up. The headline grabber in 2018 was Robin Pope Safari’s Kuthengo Camp, which opened to rave reviews in Liwonde in April. Although not quite a stand alone new lodge, Makokola Retreat’s brand new Lake Suites and Lake Villa are set apart from the rest of the accommodation and have their own exclusive pool and bar area, offering a (large) touch of private luxury coupled with access to all the resort’s fantastic facilities. At the other end of Lake Malawi, old favourite Chintheche Inn will also expand this year with 4 new luxury rooms. Hot on the heels of its ground-breaking #500 Elephants project, Nkhotakota Reserve is a current ‘hotspot’ for developments: Kachenga Camp (sister property to Tongole) offically opened last year and is already being expanded and developed. Under new ownership, Bua River Lodge is being fully renovated with new woodland accommodation and a larger, family tent has already been added; and the owners of Ngala Lodge have recently announced the opening of the brand new Rafiki Camp just outside the Reserve. Serendib Hotels has launched two new lakeshore properties, Zaburi Beach (Mangochi) and Kambiri Beach (Senga Bay) and new budget-friendly lodges opened in 2018 include Kuwona Cottage at Senga Bay (run by Kiboko Safaris) and Africa Wild Truck Camp & Lodge at Mulanje. With many other renovations and developments taking place in existing properties this year, Malawi is very well equipped to meet the ever increasing demand for it!

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Other Malawi Highlights: CAWS

rooftop tents. Dzalanyama Forest Lodge has been expanded as have the tours and team of personnel. More is planned through 2019 in all these areas.

Malawi’s best known operator Central African Wilderness Safaris (CAWS) is always on the look out for ways to improve its offerings and customer experiences. Last year, as well as introducing new plunge pools at Mvuu Lodge in Liwonde, it launched an app for guests to use whilst in Malawi, and new trails in Liwonde and Nyika. There is plenty more to come in 2019, including 4 new luxury rooms being built at Chintheche Inn

RO B I N P O P E S A FA RIS The new Kuthego Lodge opening was RPS’s big news for 2018, but they haven’t been idle at their other lodges, either. Amongst other things, a stardeck was launched at Mkulumadzi and Pumulani celebrated 10 years of operation with a brand new speedboat.

KUM BALI C OUN TRY LODGE Lilongwe’s premier lodge has an on-going programme of upgrades and developments and 2018 saw a broadening of guest experiences that now include involvement with onsite bat and carnivore research. Volunteers, school groups and budget groups are now catered for at the new Kumbali Base Camp, 1 km from the lodge.

BLUE ZEBRA ISLAN D LODGE New managers have embarked on a long-term development strategy with additional chalets and full re-furbs planned during 2019. There is also a raft of new conservation initiatives, including reptile and antelope relocations and plans for a permanent conservation base. As well as a rapidly growing reputation as a foodie destination offering authentic cuisine, niche events such as yoga retreats and wine-tasting weekends are also being introduced.

LA ND & L AK E S A FA R I S One of Malawi’s longest established operators, Land & Lake Safaris has upgraded its fleet of vehicles to include a fullykitted Toyota Hilux for self drive tours that can carry two 52


BUA RI V ER LOD G E The Lodge’s new owners have begun wide-ranging developments and refurbishments, including new woodland and family accommodation, and new thatching and decking throughout.

L U WAWA FO REST LODG E The ever popular 3-4 day wilderness trail to Lake Malawi can now be assessed as a Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition and will be used for a charity challenge in 2019. Horse riding is rapidly gaining in popularity and Luwawa is about to assume management of a new Environmental Protection Zone in which they will build an Environmental Education Centre. In addition, a new, en suite triple room has been added to the lodge.

ZOM BA FOREST LODGE The lodge owners have been hard at work to preserve and maintain the environment around them. Their tree planting and conservation project (Zomba TREEZ) has protected another 50 hectares of forest which is now mature enough to attract leopard, hyena and jackal to name but a few species. They are aiming to manage a significant part of the forest for conservation, setting up an eco-tourism, research and scientific study area. The Run 4 Reforestations was established last year and will run again in 2019, and the network of walking trails has been expanded with similar plans for bike trails next year.

KIB OKO S AFARIS Renovations and refurbishments were undertaken at Africa House Malawi and Kiboko Town Hotel in 2018 and are continuing in 2019. In addition, Kuwona Cottage opened at Senga Bay and new custom-made safari packages have been created.

LILON GWE WILDLIFE TRUST Alongside its ongoing conservation and wildlife protection work, LWT last year launched the Malawi Conservation Experience and Primate Conservation Course, both of which offer hands-on conservation experience and education in Lilongwe and north Malawi.

TON GOLE & KACH EN GA Tongole welcomed a new management couple last year and renovations are underway to maintain its very high standards of accommodation, service and experience. Sister property Kachanga opened in 2018 and is already undergoing extensive upgrading of all facilities which will see the camp offering walk-in safari tents, cottages and serviced camping bays.

For more information on Malawi and their product offerings, please contact kelly@kamageo.com. 53


“ We had a wonderful conversation, without either of us speaking the other’s language. “ Kamageo’s Tim Henshall in Kunene, Namibia

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THE H I D D E N GEM :

S E LO US GAM E R ESERV E For the safari connoisseur, Selous Game Reserve offers a traditional African safari experience with excellent game viewing. An intimate safari is almost guaranteed at Selousm but its remote location in southern Tanzania means it is also one of Africa’s least visited reserves.

Renowned for having some of the largest surviving populations of wild dog, lion, hippo and buffalo, secluded and off the beaten track, the Selous Game Reserve offers visitors a slice of undisturbed wilderness, teeming with a spectacular array of fauna and flora. Selous offers an amazing introduction to unspoilt raw Africa.

R E WA R D I N G & EN J OYA B L E GA ME V I EW I NG The Northern section of Selous is home to a network of channels and lagoons that run off the Rufiji River through the northern section of the park. In the dry season it becomes a Mecca for all types of game seeking water. Game viewing is both rewarding and variable, with activities available by boat, vehicle and walking. Unusually for Tanzania, in Selous Game Reserve, guides are allowed to off-road drive, making it easier to get closer than ever to the best sightings. When it comes to boat safaris there is no better way to get up close to hippos and crocodiles, and the colourful bird life, than via the Rufiji River. Some of the largest herds of elephants, antelopes, giraffes and lion roam the plains along with waterbucks, zebras, impalas and buffaloes.

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Azura Selous is the carnivore capital of this wild reserve - and in the space of 72 hours, wild dogs, lion and leopard were spotted by guests on a weekend safari excursion! It may be the large herds of plains game in the immediate area that are attracting so many carnivores or it could be that this part of the Selous Game Reserve is less crowded with game drive vehicles. Undisturbed by tourists, these predators can live and hunt in peace and provide guests with some unforgettable encounters. For the ultimate safari experience, ditch the Land Rover and opt for exploring the bush on foot instead. The walking safaris offered at Azura Selous give guests the rare chance to get upclose and personal with the landscape and wildlife.

A Z U RA RETREATS Located in a remote part of the reserve, Azura Selous is an exclusive retreat located along the banks of the Great Ruaha River. It offers an authentic, yet luxurious safari experience, as its 12 ‘tented villas’ come with with unique touches such as private plunge pools overlooking the Ruaha River and butlerhosts, designer décor and air conditioned rooms. The camp has a beautiful living and dining area and a fabulous infinity pool which overlooks the river. It’s the perfect place to relax, have a dip or a drink whilst gazing at the surroundings and passing wildlife.

With an experienced guide and armed Park Ranger to accompany you, a walking safari is not only thrilling, but a uniquely enlightening experience as guests see the flora and fauna up close, while ticking the ‘little five’ off their list.

For more information and updates regarding Tanzania, its key destinations and the best of its camps and lodges, please contact kristina@kamageo.com.

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The best conservation efforts: S AV I NG THE R HINO S A successful conservation story in the Ngorongoro Crater over recent months has been the increasing population of endangered rhinos which have risen from twenty-five in 1977 to more than fifty in 2018. The increase has come at a time where there has been a successful reproduction programme and enhanced anti-poaching efforts, with most of the rhinos being under 24-hour camera surveillance to protect them. Statistics show that the famous Crater had a total of 108 rhinos in 1968, a figure that dropped sharply to 25 in 1977. Since then significant effort has been placed on re-introducing rhinos in the Crater via the support of international conservation bodies. Chief Conservator, Freddy Manongi stated that,

“ One of the rhinos under protection, named Fausta, is believed to be one of the oldest in the world, aged 54 years old and has been put onto a special care programme to protect his survival. �

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NATRO N 100: NO O R D IN A RY FESTIVAL The spectacular landscape of Lake Natron is the home of a unique micro festival – Natron 100. The two night festival is a celebration of music, art, culture and food with performances from artists like Sauti Sol and Maia and the Big Sky among others. Natron 100 isn’t an ordinary festival, the experiences offered to those attending make it a cultural experience as much as a music festival. Tickets are limited to 100, to ensure that the festival remains boutique and has a low environmental impact. Festival goers can expect fantastic food and free flowing wine during the performances included in their ticket price, as well as waterfalls, village walks, yoga and swimming. A true celebration of nature, culture and adventure, Natron 100 is generating income for the local community through the festival and shining a spotlight on this unique and captivating part of Tanzania. The impact that the festival goers made from attending Natron 100 in 2018 helped to fund a women’s clinic on Ngare Sero airstrip, which gives women a private, safe place to be seen by the flying doctors. So, by attending this festival, not only are you going to have an incredible time, but you are also helping the local community and are part of a very unique, special, eco-micro festival! Natron 100 is run by Ake Lindstrom, owner of Lake Natron Camp, a luxury tented camp on the lake edge. Festival goers can extend their stay and take part in one of the many activities on offer – from Rift Valley treks to Maasai homestead visits.

For more information about Tanzania and Lake Natron Camp please email kristina@kamageo.com. 59


Tanzania Less Visited: THE BEST KEP T SECRET Tanzania is often referred to as the go to safari destination for first timers as it has everything guests would expect from a safari; amazing game, panoramic views of stunning landscapes, experienced guides, and more wild animals per square kilometre than any other country in Africa. Tanzania, however, offers far more with fascinating and diverse scenery, from sandy shores to crater lakes. It is also home to some of the oldest lakes in the world.

T H E D RA M ATI C L AN D S CA P ES OF L A K E NAT RON As fascinating as the legend behind this extraordinary lake Lake Natron forms part of Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley and this captivating deep red soda lake is a backdrop for some of the most dramatic scenery to be found in the region. Unearthly and remote, this lake’s incredibly high alkaline levels mean very little wildlife can survive. The legend of the lake turning animals to stone, although not exactly true, provides a fascinating history and the truth behind the story is bound to intrigue guests. As one of the most unusual places on earth, even more interesting is the 2.5 million flamingos that survive by the lake and have made this area one of their only breeding grounds due to the barrier the lake creates to predators, leaving them unthreatened. This hostile environment makes for some of the most incredible photographs with the Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano providing a grand setting, and being one of the only active volanoes in the world to produce black lava. 60


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A S PE C TAC U L AR WAY TO S EE T HE S U NR I S E This region delivers many guided walks and different activities utilising the natural environment. Guests can take part in a diverse range of activities, including a climb up Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano. Not for the faint hearted, this climb usually starts at midnight and takes around six hours to complete and reach the stunning views at the top by sunrise. This is an active volcano with a very tough climb and therefore wouldn’t be suitable for everyone. A more relaxed alternative is to take an early morning or late afternoon guided walk across the baked mud to the shores of the great soda lake itself to see the flamingos feed on algae. Whilst in the region a recommended activity is a walk up to the Engero Sero Waterfalls. The scenery provides a blend of volcanic rocks and lush tropical plants, with the walk leading to a natural swimming pool, which guests can enjoy a dip in.

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LAKE N ATRON CAM P S An intimate, remote and adventurous experience Located on the edge of its namesake, Lake Natron Camp offers 10 luxury tents and amazing adventures around the area through Great Rift Valley Treks. Located within walking distance of the camp are the hominid footprints, waterfalls and Lake Natron itself. Lake Natron Camp’s goal is to employ as many locals as possible and 17 women are currently on rotation to train and work in most areas of the camp, from assisting in receiving guests to room service and working in the kitchen.

For more information on Lake Natron Camps, please contact kristina@kamageo.com.

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TA KI M S H OLI DAY S INCR EA SES ITS C O M M I TM EN T TO C O NSERVATIO N Takims Holidays, has been working hard to increase its conservation efforts to ensure it contributes towards protecting the delicate ecosystem of Tanzania. Poaching remains a major challenge in Tanzania, which is why Takims has partnered with the Frankfurt Zoological Society on a special anti-poaching initiative called the Serengeti DeSnaring Program. Snaring targets species like wildebeest, zebra and antelope, but they are also deadly traps for many other animals including elephants.

Takims Holidays is a family run DMC with over 65 years’ worth of experience providing outstanding tours that showcase the very best of Tanzania and Zanzibar. Specialising in private, tailor made safaris, Takims always ensures complete flexibility. These true Tanzanian pioneers provide exceptional itineraries, experienced guides and high-quality service standards along the way.

The goals of this programme are two-fold, to conserve wildlife, create a sustainable future for tourism, and to establish a job for ex-poachers and give them an alternative livelihood. On average, 35 snares are collected a day by the team and when they find a poacher’s den, they destroy the bush meat and other materials to discourage poaching activities. Over the past 16 months, the programme has resulted in 17,536 snares being removed, 125 poacher’s camps being found and destroyed, and 157 animals have been released.

Originally starting out as a travel agency in 1950, since they began Takims Holidays has been intimately involved in developing Tanzania’s safari and tourism industry.

This is a unique project and the only one of its kind in the Serengeti National Park. A proportion of revenue from each bed-night in the Serengeti will be going towards funding the special anti-poaching teams involved in this project.

For more information on Takims Holidays, please contact kristina@kamageo.com. 64


Tanzania

Fam Trips 2019 Experience the best Tanzania has to offer on this trip, living out your wildest dreams. The itineraries have been split into Northern, Western and Southern Circuits, to allow you to decide what experience best suits your operator needs.

DATES & D ETAI L S Proposed itineraries (subject to change) Tour 1 Northern Circuit - Serengeti, Lake Natron, Western Corridor, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar May 2019 Tour 2 Western Circuit - Katavi, Gombe, Mahale & Zanzibar June 2019 Tour 3 Southern Circuit - Ruaha, Selous, Mikumi & Zanzibar July 2019 For more information and to register your interest, pleases email Kristina Harlow, kristina@kamageo.com.

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The untouched remoteness of Ruaha National Park

The Remoteness of Ruaha is undeniable with less than 20,000 visitors a year. It is 40% bigger than the Serengeti, yet it has a small fraction of the visitors. This off-the beaten track destination was named one of the best places to visit in the world by National Geographic in 2018 and is just waiting to be explored and admired. This first-class wildlife sanctuary holds the largest concentration of elephants in the country with more than 12,000 migrating through the Ruaha ecosystem. You could be forgiven for thinking that this less visited region would have fewer predators, however Ruaha hosts 10% of the planet’s lion population and some of the largest lion prides. The dramatic scenery of open plains, rolling hills and baobab trees, that are several thousand years old, makes Ruaha unique.

UN TAM ED AN D RAW WILDERN ESS Ruaha is home to some of the rarest wildlife and has a real diversity of species from Sable and Roan antelope to gazelle, giraffe, zebra and waterbuck. It also boasts over 500 different bird species.

The untamed landscape has only a handful of lodges allowing guests to see game up close with the entire park almost to themselves. Indeed, it would be very rare to spot another game vehicle during the entire trip. 66


SLEEP UN DER TH E STAR S A wonderful way to get even closer to the wilderness is to fly camp at Foxes Safaris, where guests can immerse themselves in the African bush and sit under the stars, listening to the sounds of nature in a simple, yet comfortable camp. Small tents are set up in a private camp with their own host, guide and chef. Fly camping is available for a minimum of 2 nights for 2 people and is an exciting alternative to staying in the main lodge.

ST EP BAC K I N T I ME TO T HE T RU EST A F R I CA

The Fox family was a pioneer in setting up safari camps within Ruaha’s pristine wilderness and there’s no better place for taking in the extraordinary wildlife than at their River Lodge.

The Great Ruaha River runs through the southern section of the park providing a much-needed water source for wildlife in the dry season. From June to October, herds of elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelope and big cats all flock to its bank to keep hydrated, delivering a rewarding safari experience.

Each of the 24 stone chalets has stunning views from a large veranda to the front, while the interiors feature a sitting area, writing desk and either twin or double beds. At the rear of each chalet is a large bathroom, shower and double basin.

The guiding standards within Ruaha are truly exceptional and a great sense of isolation surrounds guests, allowing them to fully appreciate the game action right in front of them. An incredible experience in Ruaha is a walking safari with the highly experienced guides who have travelled from some of the best regions in Africa to work within the park.

For more information and updates regarding Tanzania, its key destinations and the best of its camps and lodges, please contact kristina@kamageo.com.

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A M U LTI -GENER ATIO NAL B E ACH G ETAWAY For those seeking the perfect paradise that caters for multi-generational families, from the very young to the young at heart, look no further than the multi award-winning resorts, The Palms and Zawadi, part of the family owned and operated, The Zanzibar Collection. Instead of hiring a private island, which can be very costly, The Palms with just six, exquisite villas and Zawadi, a modern contemporary resort with just nine villas, can be hired for exclusive use. Perfect for those seeking privacy and the decadence of their own exclusive resort for substantially less than hiring a private island! By selecting to stay at The Palms or Zawadi, guests can fully immerse themselves in the true spirit of Zanzibar. From the expertly designed dĂŠcor to the mouth-watering cuisine, both The Palms and Zawadi offer authenticity, where privacy and excellent service are guaranteed. Suitable for intimate weddings, family get togethers or even a girls-only holiday, both resorts are all-inclusive meaning that guests can sit back, relax and let award-winning The Zanzibar Collection effortlessly cater to their every need.

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A Zestful Zanzibar Retreat The Hatha Yoga Course

Baraza Resort & Spa is the only hotel in Africa among the top 25 for luxury in the world. With Breezes Beach Club & Spa also forming part of the fully inclusive collection in Zanzibar, both stunning resorts evoke the heritage of Zanzibar dating back to the era of the Sultans. Now, there is a new, unique opportunity to learn and practice Hatha Yoga.

DAY 1 - PRAN AYAM A Morning (60 mins): Start with Loosening Exercises and Pranayama (Breathing Exercises) & meditation Evening (60 mins): Relaxing Aromasoul Massage

DAY 2 - P O SE

Whilst staying within Baraza or Breezes, guests will be guided for two, one-hour sessions per day in the tranquil spa, which overlooks the Indian Ocean, by a yoga instructor who has over twelve years’ experience.

Morning (60 mins): Hatha Yoga Practice (Standing Pose, Sitting Pose, Prone Pose & Supine Pose) Evening (60 mins): Pranayama (Breathing Exercises) & Hatha Yoga Practices

Both spas have a dedicated yoga centre with specialist treatments and massages and an exotic relaxation room featuring a selection of Swahili spiced infusions and teas which can be enjoyed before and after each session.

DAY 3 – STRETCH Morning (60 mins): Hatha Yoga Practice, Yoga for Eyes, Back Bend Stretching Evening (60 mins): Hatha Yoga Practices with four stages of yoga.

DAY 4 – N IDRA Morning (60 mins): Hatha Yoga practices Evening (60 mins): Hatha Yoga Practice, Yoga Nidra (Deep relaxation) Swahili Cooking Lesson

DAY 5 – RELAX Morning (60mins): Hatha Yoga practices with Pranayama & Meditation Evening (60 mins): Yoga Nidra (Deep Relaxation).

DAY 6 – YOGA SH ALA M EDITATION Morning (60 mins): Hatha yoga practices & meditation Evening (60 mins): Deep stretch and relaxation For more information on The Zanzibar Collection and its yoga retreats please contact kristina@kamageo.com. 69


Zanzibar: Fit for a queen When you think of Zanzibar you no doubt think of a tropical paradise with the endless shores of the Indian coastline, the powdery white sand, the shallow turquoise ocean and the breeze between the palm trees. But, there is much more to it than meets the eye.

STEP BACK IN TIME WHILST IN STONE TOWN

BE STUN N ED BY TH E ARCH ITECTURE AT PALACE MUSEUM Awe inspiring architecture, crumbling palaces and ruins, the palace museum is known as one of the most historic buildings in the town and is a must see. This 19th century home for the Sultan and his family offers a glimpse of the relics and history of a bygone age.

Zanzibar is an exquisite jewel fit for any queen and the birthplace of the great Freddie Mercury.

VISIT WH ERE TH E LEGEN D H IM SELF ON CE LIVED

With far more to offer than its beautiful beaches, wandering the narrow winding streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar’s capital, with its rich historical and cultural significance, dating back for hundreds of years, its original ancient charm isn’t spoken about enough.

You can stand outside Mercury House, the exact building that proudly marks the spot where Freddie Mercury was born and raised in Stone Town. The information board allows you to find out a little more about the legend’s life although you cannot go inside the building itself.

Time seems to have stood still and with little changed in 200 years, visitors are transported back to an alluring historic era where they can buy all manner of goods from the towns bursting bazaars.

The Zanzibar Collection offers a trip to experience the island’s culture and history as well as learning more about Freddie Mercury. Highlights include a visit to Stone Town & Spice Island. 70


“We literally walk down memory lane as we explore the historic UNESCO World Heritage streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar; where Freddie was born and lived until the age of eight when he left to school in India. After finishing school, he returned to Zanzibar and the family later migrated to the UK when Freddie was 18 years old.”

A M ELT I N G P OT OF C U LT U R E & C OLONI A L H ISTORY As you are captivated by the mix of cultures and amazing atmosphere, a visit to the oldest building in Stone Town; the Old Fort, built in the 17th century, is a must! This Arab fort was built to defend the island from the Portuguese. There is also the Old Dispensary; an intricately decorated building with wooden carved balconies & stained glass decorations, showing the Indian influence. The main structure is built with traditional Zanzibari coral rag and limestone but, with European elements. The inside of the building is just as detailed, with a covered courtyard and carved bridges connecting the floors. The Zanzibar Collection offers some of this cultural diversity in its four stunning, luxury hotels and resorts. Combining Arabic, Indian & Swahili design, inspired by the magic of Zanzibar, they are located on some of the best beaches in the world on the South East Coast of the island. The Collection has won a range of awards and accolades for its service, atmosphere and amenities. The Collection’s diving centre, Rising Sun, is East Africa’s only National Geographic affiliated PADI 5-star Dive Centre. Along with outstanding spa facilities, The Zanzibar Collection offers a great balance of activities and relaxation.

EN TI C E AN D I NS P I R E YOU R S ENS ES ON A SP I C E TO U R Perfectly placed on the famous ‘Silk Road,’ a visit to Zanzibar is not complete without visiting a spice plantation. Its nickname of the Spice Island comes from the sights, smells and tastes of Zanzibar. Spices such as vanilla, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon are used for cooking or in rituals and traditional medicines. The spices were originally introduced by Portuguese traders in the 16th century when they were brought over from India and South America. The tour gives you an insight into local life and shows how the spices are grown and cultivated. At the end of the tour you will have the chance to taste different teas made from the spices.

around the stunning bay. This dichotomy of the island’s dark past, symbolised by the prison building, and surrounded by the beauty of nature and sea-life, is a real experience. On the northern area of Zanzibar, Kilima Juu Pwani, you can stay at Hodi Hodi and have a choice between three private boutique villas. Sleeping between six to eight people, each has its own private rooftop sun terrace and lounge and is suitable for larger families.

ES CA P E TO P R I S ON I S L A ND Once the site for slaves, Prison Island, just off Stone Town, also served as a place of quarantine. The prison building still stands and is now fringed with fabulous coral reefs. It is also home to giant tortoises, a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles in the late 19th century. Some of the oldest are over 150 years old and the average weight is 200kg. Beside the tortoises you can see peacocks and butterflies as well as snorkel

For more information and updates regarding Zanzibar and its key destinations, please contact kristina@kamageo.com. 71


Sierra Leone is one of West Africa’s hidden gems as it’s virtually unexplored by tourists. It boasts lush rainforests, pristine beaches, amazing wildlife, fascinating history, and a truly vibrant West African culture. In a country that was plagued by civil war and health issues in the past, the people of Sierra Leone are some of the most warm and welcoming people you’ll ever meet. Whilst religious beliefs and practices are very present in every day life, there is no prejudice between the different groups. Uniquely you see a cross over of religion and shared practices, creating a potpourri of Islam, Christianity and traditional tribal religions. Different groups, including ‘secret societies’ (nowhere near as scary as it sounds!) perform their own religious rituals and ceremonies throughout the year. Sierra Leoneans have a unique blend of cultural traditions. They are vibrant, exuberant and expressive people and their cultural values, traditions and belief systems are widely practiced and respected. A variety of food, flamboyant clothing, jewellery, hand-made crafts, lively festivals and the performing arts are expressions of this colourful society. Keep your eyes open and you never know what you might come across! Around the next corner, there could be a national cultural show where traditional dancers twirl and revel to the drums and music. Sierra Leoneans are well known for their love of food and music and these elements are ever-present in the country’s capital, Freetown. Be it pop music blaring out of a bar, pounding reggae blasting from a poda poda (taxi), or local hip hop booming from street stalls and markets... you’ll hear music wherever you go in this most vibrant of capital cities.

FAM TRIP Interested in a fully-funded (excluding international flights) fam trip to Sierra Leone in April/ May? If so, register your interest with emma@kamageo.com.

MEDIA SPONSORSHIP We’ve nine high quality journalists heading to Sierra Leone in April, so the potential to sponsor their flights in turn for media coverage is all too obvious. Contact emma@kamageo.com for details.

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“There is something seemingly

prehistoric about safaris in Zambia; a raw authenticity I've not felt anywhere else.”

JULIAN CARTER-MANNING, YELLOW ZEBRA SAFARIS

WWW. ZA MBI A T O UR I S M. C O . UK 74

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@ ZAMBI AT OURISMUK

Profile for Kamili

Safari Magazine Edition 36  

Travel trade publication promoting Africa as a tourist destination

Safari Magazine Edition 36  

Travel trade publication promoting Africa as a tourist destination