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A proud WINNER of the Zimbabwe Achievers Tourism Award!
We promote travel opportunities to the wild areas of the Zambezi Valley
WILD ZAMBEZI invites you to a world of nature where the pace is slow, the sun is warm, the sky is huge and the people are friendly.  Our travel promotion focus is the Zambezi River and its iconic wildernesses, including the Victoria Falls & Zambezi National Parks, Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park and Mana Pools National Park & World Heritage Site .  We provide web-based, up-to-date information on operators, activities, accommodation choices, tours and services in this magnificent area, and offer a reliable, independent travel advisory service.

WILD ZAMBEZI NEWS - APRIL 2016

Explore our travel listings & share your own experiences
on our website
Wild Zambezi.com

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-NEWSLETTER!
NEWS HEADLINES - APRIL 2016
- See you at Indaba 2016!
- We welcome CATS (Central Air Transport Services)
- Latest Travel Reviews on WildZambezi.com
- Travel Specials on WildZambezi.com
- Kariba is 73% full and rising!
- Bumi HIlls in new "Conservation & Culture Itinerary with African Bush Camps
- Ruckomechi Camp re-opening with its new addition
- African Bush Camps rebrands "Zambezi Life Styles" as "Zambezi Expeditions"
- Operational base for anti-poaching rangers takes shape in Mana Pools
- Self-driving into Mana Pools?  Some general info and hints
- Wildlife & cultural photography - how to be ethical
- ACE - providing medical emergency training for Victoria Falls adventure activities
- Spectacular new video shows "Little Gorges" in all its glory
- Tail-Ender

SEE YOU AT INDABA 2016!
MEET WILD ZAMBEZI & PARTNERS AT STAND DEC2B19

Wild Zambezi and some of its network partners are looking forward to meeting with representatives of the travel trade and media at this years INDABA travel showcase in Durban, South Africa  7th-9th May 2016.
Please come and find us opposite the Zimbabwe Stand in the DEC Hall: Stand Number DEC2B19.

Here's who will be represented:-  
Dzimbabwe Lodge & houseboats - Kariba self-catering or full board accommodation, and houseboats
Executive Air - private, professional air charters and medical rescue in remote areas
Experience Africa Safaris - specialist operator for exclusive tailor-made safaris
Kavinga Safari Camp - new 16-bed wilderness camp in southern Mana Pools
Musango Island Safari Camp -  owner-operated safari camp on its own island on Lake Kariba with top professional guiding
Natureways Safaris - guided canoe and walking safaris with mobile tented camps along the Zambezi River and in Mana Pools
Rhino Safari Camp -  authentic, natural, unfenced bush camp in the Matusadona National Park on the shores of Lake Kariba. 
Safaris 4 Africa - experienced tour company for intimate, personalized holidays & safaris.
Tafika Zambezi - specialised, luxury fishing camps on the Zambezi River downstream from Mana Pools
Zambezi Cruise Safaris - luxury houseboat cruises on Lake Kariba combined with various land-based safari lodge options.

Contact us on info@wildzambezi.com to arrange an appointment to meet - or just pop by at the stand and see what's on offer.  

You can also meet with a number of other Wild Zambezi network partners who are also exhibiting at INDABA, including African Bush Camps, Bushlife Safaris/Vundu Camp, CATS - Central Air ServicesChanga Safari Camp, Discover Safaris, Imvelo Safari Lodges (Gorges Lodge, Zambezi Sands River Camp), Wild Horizons (Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge, The Elephant Camp), Victoria  Falls River Lodge, Africa Albida Tourism Group (Victoria Falls Safari Lodge etc), Wilderness Safaris (Ruckomechi Camp & Little Ruckomechi, Wilderness Air & Wilderness Touring), and ZimParks.

WE WELCOME CATS (CENTRAL AIR TRANSPORT SERVICES)
Wild Zambezi is delighted to welcome a new partner to our travel network.  CATS (Central Air Travel Services) is a Zimbabwean company based at Charles Prince  Airport, near Harare.  

They offer air charter services for the tourism industry and for business travellers throughout Zimbabwe and the region.  They have twin and single-engine aircraft which are suitable for landing at bush airstrips in the remote areas of the Zambezi Valley.  

For more information and contact details, see CATS


If you have experienced the services offered by CATS and would like to tell others about it, submit a Wild Zambezi Travel Review at the above link (click on REVIEWS or scroll down to the bottom of the page). 

LATEST TRAVEL REVIEWS ON WILDZAMBEZI.COM 
April 2016  

Take a look at what people are saying about their travel experiences at these latest Travel Review postings on WildZambezi.com.  
Follow the links below (click on REVIEWS or scroll down to the bottom of each page for the Review section):-
Baobab Bookings – agency for accommodation, houseboats, transfers and activities throughout Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba specialists.
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge - intimate, thatched safari lodge on a wildlife-rich private concession overlooking the Zambezi River 80kms upstream of Victoria Falls.
Sengwa Safaris (Kariba Houseboats) – houseboat charters & holidays on Lake Kariba.
The Elephant Camp - award-winning luxury lodge under canvas situated on a private wildlife concesssion overlooking the spray of the Victoria Falls, 10 minutes away.
 

Have something to say about a place you have visited or a service you have experienced?  Tell others about it by submitting a Travel Review on the relevant page on Wild Zambezi.com.
CHECK OUT THESE TRAVEL SPECIALS ON WILDZAMBEZI.COM 
Don’t forget the great SPECIALS on offer from some of Wild Zambezi’s network partners.  
Check them out on each of these page links (scroll down and to the right):-
African Bush Camps (Kanga & Zambezi Expeditions, Mana Pools):  MANA MADNESS SPECIAL – stay min 3 nights at one of these properties (6 nights altogether at African Bush Camps facilities) and get FREE flights in and out of Mana Pools. (Valid until 30 June 2016)    LONG STAY SPECIAL – at any combo of African Bush Camps – 5% discount for 6+ nights; 10% discount for 9+ nights. 
Changa Safari Camp (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):   Combo Special with The Hide (Hwange).  Stay 6 nights (3 in each camp) and pay for 5.   Also specials for Internationals Nov-Dec 2016.  
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge (Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls):  Imbabala-Elephant Camp combo special.  3 nights Imbabala, 1 night The Elephant Camp. Includes tour of Vic Falls.
Musango Island Safari Camp (Lake Kariba):  Cool Waters Package (Vic Falls/Kariba/Mana Pools) and Get a Night on Us (Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3)
Ruckomechi Camp (Wilderness Safaris) (Mana Pools/Hwange):  Special rates for local residents until end June 2016.
Victoria Falls River Lodge (Zambezi National Park/Victoria Falls):  FAMILY VALUE SPECIAL  Share a Family Suite with 2 or more children (4-17 years) and the youngest child stays for FREE. In the case of a twin or a triplet, 1 x child stays for free. (Valid between 1 Nov & 20 Dec 2016 and 7 Jan - 31 March 2017.)

KARIBA

LAKE KARIBA IS 73% FULL AND RISING!
AND IT'S STILL ZIMBABWE'S BEST-KEPT TRAVEL SECRET!

Wild Zambezi is grateful to Bob Collett of Marineland Harbour and other Kariba residents for  providing regular measurements and updates on water levels and inflows at Lake Kariba.  

In addition, houseboat owner, Keith Ballantyne, has just written a very informative, factual and reassuring  account of the current situation regarding Lake Kariba - quashing the many rumours that have surfaced in the travel media recently.

Lake Kariba is NOT drying out!  In fact it is 73% full and rising fast (at an average of about 3cm a day).  Recent measurement of Zambezi River water levels in the upper catchment area and over Victoria Falls upstream of the lake, show inflows that are about double those of last year.  


The problem is that percentages quoted by the authorities in charge of  Kariba Dam and its power-generation capacity,  are misunderstood.  Says Keith:  "You need to know that when ZRA (the Zambezi River Authority) and ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Corporation) talk about percentages, they are referring to the amount of water that is left in order to generate power not the entire level of the lake.  So when they say (as they did last year) there is only 12% left,  it’s how much they have left to use before closing the generators off completely.....    When the Lake is down to a position that it cannot supply water for generation (0%) it is in fact 64% full!

However, Bob Collett points out that although the current water-level situation looks promising so far this season,  a lot depends on the authorities maintaining strict control of the rate of discharge through the Kariba Dam hydro-electricity turbines for power production for Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, the good news for visitors to Kariba, houseboat users and fisherman, is that  there are now some large, exposed areas along the lakeshore which are covered in grass and are attracting the wildlife.  Also, with the water rising, the fish are moving into the newly-inundated grassy areas, and there is some great fishing in these shallows for delicious local Bream (Tilapia) species! 

Wild Zambezi has reproduced Keith's article in full in the news section of our website.  See Kariba Wall & Lake Levels - April 2016 

BUMI HILLS IN NEW "CONSERVATION & CULTURE" ITINERARY WITH AFRICAN BUSH CAMPS

The Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit (BHAPU) is this year set to include guests in their conservation activities as part of an itinerary put together by award-winning US-based safari outfitter Deeper Africa.

Visitors will stay at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and travel with the Anti-Poaching Unit, learning how poachers are caught and assisting in uncovering snares and forensically examining poaching crime scenes.

The 10-day programme will also include active involvement in the conservation and cultural activities on offer at African Bush Camps'  Somalisa Camp in Hwange National Park, and at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge in Gonarezhou National Park

Deeper Africa's  innovative approach to travel is based on their concern that "what is left of our wilderness paradise will soon be destroyed by an exploding and very hungry population," and their conviction that responsible tourism contributes to the economic value of wilderness and plays a vital role in its preservation.  

This is an active itinerary, that involves not just watching wildlife, but also doing things to keep them safe from poachers,” says Deeper Africa Co-Founder, Wil Smith. “The experience is all the more real if you can do something positive like disarm a snare.”

For more information contact African Bush Camps or  Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

ZAMBEZI VALLEY
RUCKOMECHI CAMP RE-OPENING WITH ITS NEW ADDITION!
Wild Zambezi reported in our last newsletter (March 2016) on the re-build of Wilderness Safaris'  much-loved Ruckomechi Camp and on the addition of its new, intimate, tented camp - Little Ruckomechi.


We have been watching progress via these images posted online by Wilderness Safaris.   (Note the presence of the rather large "Building Inspector" who arrived to assess the proceedings and prune the vegetation a bit!).  It seems that even with Mother Nature throwing some late rain into the mix during March/April, the re-build is on track for a May opening.   

The camp has brand new decking and some of the new, luxury tented rooms have already been erected.   When complete, this classic camp will have 10 tents (including 2 Family Tents which will open in August 2016)

The new Ruckomechi promises to be as beautiful as before and will offer canoeing, boating, nature walks, catch-and-release fishing and game drives.

Meanwhile, Little Ruckomechi, which is also situated on the Zambezi River just downstream of the main camp and within the Mana Pools National Park, will consist of 4 tents and a central dining/living area.  Three of the tents will be for guests and the fourth for private guides/hosts.
 
This camp is set to open in July 2016.

The same activities will be on offer here as at the main camp, but the atmosphere will be much more intimate and private.  

For more information and contact details, see Wilderness Safaris - Ruckomechi Camp


We would be delighted to receive first impressions from visitors to these camps.  Please tell us about your experience by submitting a Wild Zambezi Travel Review at the above link (click on REVIEWS or scroll down to the bottom of the page).

AFRICAN BUSH CAMPS REBRANDS "ZAMBEZI LIFE STYLES" AS "ZAMBEZI EXPEDITIONS"

African Bush Camps has a whole new look for its upgraded and re-branded Zambezi Expeditions Camp in Mana Pools National Park. This riverside camp (previously known as Zambezi Life Styles) offers an alternative (or additional) mobile tented safari experience to African Bush Camps' Kanga Camp which is situated next to a pan in the interior of the Park.  


For Zambezi Expeditions, the company has invested in six modern Meru-style tents with en suite bathrooms which include flush toilets and alfresco bucket showers. A spacious new canvas main area with an elegant dining table and lounge overlooks the Zambezi River and offers 360-degree views of the surrounding bush.

Activities include walking, game drives and canoeing safaris in this magnificent wilderness area.

For more information and contact details, see African Bush Camps.


Please tell us about your experience with African Bush Camps in Mana Pools by submitting a Wild Zambezi Travel Review at the above link (click on REVIEWS or scroll down to the bottom of the page).

OPERATIONAL BASE FOR ANTI-POACHING RANGERS TAKES SHAPE IN MANA POOLS 

A new Mana Pools ranger anti-poaching base has begun to take shape near Nyakasikana, constructed by  The Tashinga Initiative, with funding from The Zambezi Elephant Fund.  

So far, the base comprises two ablution blocks, two barrack room blocks, two kitchens and an Operations room, all constructed using Z-Imba, a Zimbabwean-produced, modular housing product.  A  Community "hall" is also on the cards.

This project is part of a collaborative effort on the part of conservationists and stakeholders who have united to address the dire situation of elephant poaching in the Zambezi Valley.   The Zambezi Elephant Fund and its partners ( which include The Tashinga Initiative and The Zambezi Society) have received support from donors around the globe, and locally, all of whom are passionate about keeping elephant alive.

Funding is still required for operational equipment, maps, VHF radio communications, kitchen units, solar powered lights, VSAT for internet and the community hall.  

All donations welcome!  Contact the organisations involved via the links above.

SELF-DRIVING INTO MANA POOLS?  
SOME GENERAL INFO & HINTS

Wild Zambezi is indebted to Trevor Beckett, who is a frequent self-driver into Mana Pools National Park, for putting together some very useful information and hints for first-time visitors to the Park.  

If you'd like to know more about the best access routes, where to pick up fuel, where to stay en route, what accommodation is available, what food is best and how to prevent the monkeys and baboons from ruining your camping experience, Trevor has some excellent suggestions.  

We have reproduced his article as a Blog on the Wild Zambezi website.  You can read it at this link: Information for self-drivers visiting Mana Pools for the first time.   

You can also find more useful information elsewhere on the Wild Zambezi website at the following links:-
Happy travels!

If you have more information or tips that you would like to share with Wild Zambezi readers, please feel free to submit these in the comments section at the bottom of the page on any of the above links.

WILDLIFE & CULTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY - HOW TO BE ETHICAL


As the safari season in the Zambezi Valley's wildlife areas approaches, and enthusiastic amateur and professional photographers gear up to capture that award-winning photograph, Wild Zambezi would like to share some thoughts about the ethics of photography in wild places.

Wildlife Photography
Firstly, when it comes to photographing wildlife, a recent excellent article from non-profit organisation Conservation India  provides spot-on guidelines on how to balance visitors needs for "capturing the moment", with responsibility for ensuring that wild animals in their natural habitat are left undisturbed by human presence.   Wild Zambezi has adapted their sound advice to the  African situation by reproducing their article with appropriate modifications.    You can read it at this link:  A Guide to Ethical Wildlife Photography.  

Cultural Photography
Taking photographs of people in Africa requires you to be considerate and sensitive to cultural and/or religious differences. Learn when it's inappropriate to take the camera out.  Here are some tips:-
  • Always consult with the people before you take photographs.  Try to explain to people why and where you are going to use the picture and get their consent before taking the photo.   If they refuse, respect that and put your camera away.
  • Never persuade children to pose for a photograph in exchange for sweets or money.   This sets a damaging precedent and encourages children to beg and expect tourists’ tips.  Sometimes they may even stay away from school in expectation of receiving something.  It is your responsibility not to entertain exchange of gifts for photographic poses because this could easily damage the childrens' future. 
  • Avoid taking pictures of clients for marketing purposes. They may want to enjoy their holidays in privacy away from Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Respect that, or you may offend them and receive negative travel reviews.
Selfies
Selfies have become an important part of modern photography, providing a quick method of capturing a moment of adventure or encounter and sharing it with the world through social media.  The temptation is to extend the selfie phenomenon to encounters with animals in the wild.  Visitors to Africa need to understand the dangers of such an activity.  It is not only dangerous to yourself, but also to those around you and to the animal itself.  Getting too close to wild animals can have terrible consequences.  Even if they seem calm and “happy” to be photographed, these changes in behavior could have a knock-on effect on their reaction to humans, especially if they learn to rely on human contact for food.  As a general rule, please avoid the temptation of taking selfies with animals in the wild. 

VICTORIA FALLS

ACE - PROVIDING MEDICAL EMERGENCY TRAINING FOR VICTORIA FALLS ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES


The above pictures were taken during a recent intensive training course provided to Zambezi River Guides and tour operators in Victoria Falls by medical emergency services company Ace Air & Ambulance

ACE is Harare-based and provides basic and advanced first aid training within Zimbabwe and the region.  It works in close collaboration with its sister company, HAC (Halsted's Aviation Corporation) in providing ground and air ambulance evacuation with state of the art medical rescue equipment.

For more information and contact details, see ACE Air & Ambulance

SPECTACULAR NEW VIDEO SHOWS "LITTLE GORGES" IN ALL ITS GLORY

Take a look at this awesome video showing Imvelo Safari Lodges' Gorges Lodge and its new luxury tented addition, "Little Gorges" opened this year.


Perched right on the edge of the famous white-water rafting Batoka Gorges downstream from Victoria Falls, this place has to have one of the most breath-taking views on offer.  And what's more.... for birding enthusiasts, it's absolute paradise!  The Batoka cliffs are home to majestic Verreaux Eagles which frequently soar straight past the lodge at eye-level and often below.  Check them out on the video.  It's called "On the Edge with Eagles".  You can view it from this Wild Zambezi listings page:  Gorges Lodge & Little Gorges (Imvelo Safari Lodges)   ENJOY!

TAIL ENDER.....
Resident Kariba revelers leaving the bar in the morning, after an all-night session!    
Thanks to Glynis Nobbs for capturing this wonderful image at The Dome Restaurant & Bar,
Lomagundi Lakeside, Kariba.


Have a pictorial advert relevant to travel in the Zambezi Valley?  Like to distribute it through our mailing list?  Advertise on our shared advertising platform, the BULLETIN BOARD.  
Contact us on 
info@wildzambezi.com


WILD ZAMBEZI TRAVEL ASSOCIATES :-      




THERE'S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ON THE BANKS OF THE
ZAMBEZI!  
PLEASE PASS ON THIS NEWSLETTER! 
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