The Traveller's Friend : Travel the Zambezi - Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Livingstone Island tours resume

Livingstone Island tours to resume 2 June 2013.

Tongabezi are pleased to announce the resumption of Livingstone Island trips on Sunday 2nd June 2013 after closing for the annual high water floods. Livingstone Island is located on the very lip of the Victoria Falls, where the water thunders over a hundred metres down into the gorge below, and is where David Livingstone arrived by boat to view the Falls for the first time. Tours operate from the Zambian side of the river and access to the Island depends on the water levels in the Zambezi River, and closes each year with high water.

View from Livingstone Island (Credit: Peter Roberts)

Tongabezi exclusively operate trips to the Island, and offer several tours each day. The trip includes a short guided tour of the island, viewing the Victoria Falls and various snack options depending on the time of day.

Please note that the Devil's Pool is not yet open and is expected to only open in July or August - dependant on water levels.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Tongabezi Lodge

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Ambassadors for Conservation

Charles Brightman discusses the work of the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit with the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr David Bruce Wharton, and his Zambian counter-part, Mr Mark Storella, who last week toured the neighbouring towns of Livingstone and Victoria Falls. The Ambassadors were promoting Zimbabwe and Zambia as tourist destinations ahead of August's UNWTO meeting, to be jointly hosted by the two countries.

The Ambassadors took the time to meet up with Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit rangers and members of Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) to learn about our combined efforts in fighting poaching, and were commended by locals for supporting wildlife conservation initiatives.

Visit the VFAPU page in the Zambezi Traveller Directory.

You can also follow the work of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit on Facebook.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Proflight Zambia launches flights to Lilongwe

Trade and tourism ties between Zambia and Malawi will be given a boost next month when Proflight Zambia begins a three-times-a-week service between the Lusaka and Lilongwe capitals.

The new route, which will be launched on June 4, will be the first international destination for the airline, which already flies to nine domestic points in Zambia, including Lusaka, Livingstone, Ndola and Mfuwe.

“Proflight Zambia has grown from a solid base and is now looking forward to expanding its services to link with our neighbours in Malawi,” said the airline’s Director of Government and Industry Affairs Capt. Philip Lemba. “We expect that the new three-times a week service will boost trade and tourism ties between the two countries, with all the economic benefits that brings.”

Friday, 24 May 2013

Ambassadors visit Elephant Walk

Arriving at Elephant Walk.

In the Ndau Jewellery studio.

Ambassador Storella meets organic vegetable grower Dennis at Elephant Walk.

The Ambassadors met blind basket weavers.

Gail Van Jaarsveldt with Ambassadors.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

US Ambassadors tour Victoria Falls

Today the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr David Bruce Wharton, and his Zambian counter-part, Mr. Mark Storella, met on the Victoria Falls Bridge from where they will start a bicycle ride touring various locations both in Livingstone, Zambia and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to promote the destination prior to the co-hosting the UNWTO Annual Congress in August this year. Over the next few days they will participate in tourism activities, tour the Victoria Falls both from the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides, visit schools, meet local business men and women, chat to local artists and join the Victoria Falls Ant-Poaching Unit in a conservation exercise.

Zimbabwe Ambassador David Bruce Wharton started his cycle from the Big Tree, Victoria Falls.

Lister, from Wild Horizons, and Nyasha, from Khanondo Safaris, prepare the bikes.

The Ambassador and his delegation starting their tour.

Ambassador David Bruce Wharton proudly sporting his 'Buffalo' bike, made in Zimbabwe

'Team Zimbabwe' meets 'Team Zambia' on the Victoria Falls Bridge. Ambassador Storella in the red and Ambassador Wharton in the blue.

Monday, 13 May 2013

The story of Twalumba the rhino sculpture

The talented artists of the Ruoko Project at Elephant Walk shopping village in Victoria Falls created a larger than life-size Rhino made from recycled beverage cans and snare wire recovered by the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU). This amazing work of art, named Twalumba ('thank you' in the local Tonga dialect) was a collaboration between Elephant Walk’s Ruoko project (this promotes local artists), and Environment Africa Vic Falls Green Fund to create awareness of waste management and conservation. Twalumba the Rhino was first exhibited at the 2012 Victoria Falls Carnival.  For four months this sculpture has been prominently displayed at the entrance to the renowned Elephant Walk shopping village, now it is time for Twalumba to spread her message further afield. This icon of art for conservation is on the move.

“On Wednesday the 24th April, amidst great excitement, Twalumba left Victoria Falls to go on her first nation-wide road tour. She was seen off by Chief Mvuthu who thanked the community and organizations that made this possible and wished her a safe trip. She created quite stir going through the town of Victoria Falls on the back of a flat-bed trailer pulled by the official road tour sponsor – Swift.  Many locals followed them in their vehicles to the outskirts of town and amid horns blasting, people cheering and clapping we saw Twalumba proudly flying the Zimbabwe flag off into the sunset!  It was a proud moment indeed for the artists and friends of the Ruoko Project, Victoria Falls Green Fund and Environment Africa!”  Commented Gail Van Jaarsveldt of Elephant Walk Shopping Village, and patron of the Ruoko Project.

Twalumba will be exhibited at The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo and at the Harare cultural festival HIFA.


Ruoko Project
Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit
Environment Africa Green Fund
Follow Twalumba’ s travels on Facebook – Friends of Twalumba

Shearwater Opens the 28th Season of White-water Rafting

Shearwater Victoria Falls Operations Manager and Chairman of the Rafting Association of Zimbabwe (RAZ) Cephas Moyo, is thrilled to announce that the Mighty Zambezi water levels have subsided significantly. We anticipate to unwrap the delayed start to the 28th season of Whitewater Rafting action on Tuesday 14 May (later than previoulsy announced after river levels took longer to drop than expected). The show will start with the Splash and Dash run (15 to 24) and we expect to resume the High Water run (11 to 24) in a few weeks but we will be sure to update you as it happens.

In 1985, Shearwater was the first Zimbabwean company to run commercial White water Rafting trips in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and has continued to diversify the experiences on offer from One day rafting trips, Overnight trips, Multi-day wilderness adventures, River “boogie” boarding to Team building programs. Let our experienced team take you on an unforgettable journey down the Zambezi River through the picturesque Batoka Gorge.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Shearwater Adventures

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Wild Horizons launch gorge ‘Canopy Tour’

A network of slides, trails and rope bridge walkways within the canopy of the hardwood forest of the Zambezi Batoka Gorges comprise a new eco-adventure in Victoria Falls to be  launched by Wild Horizons.

The Victoria Falls Canopy Tour will provide amazing views of the turbulent rapids, the Victoria Falls Bridge and the spray of the Falls, offering family fun and a unique view of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, suitable for adventure seekers of all ages, including families and groups.

Observe the riverine forest from a variety of different vantage points – from above, below and within the canopy itself, set amidst the unequalled beauty of the Batoka Gorge and Zambezi River.

Bookings are open for tours commencing in June 2013.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Wild Horizons Activities

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Victoria Falls Tram & Historic Bridge Tour….A journey back in time

Come aboard the classic, elegant 19th century-style Tram as you embark on a remarkable historical journey into the romance of a bygone age. Begin with a majestic stroll down the red carpet path which links the iconic, 109-year old Victoria Falls Hotel to the train platform at the station. The twenty-minute meander takes you through the vibrant town of Victoria Falls, looping through classic African bush often habituated by wildlife and passing the Victoria Falls Rainforest. The Tram’s final destination is right in the middle of the Victoria Falls Bridge which straddles the line dividing Zimbabwe and Zambia. This grand Bridge is suspended 111 metres above the Zambezi River and affords spectacular views directly onto the face of the Falls themselves. Once on the Bridge, passengers will be treated to a theatrical performance packed with humour, drama and plenty of facts into the construction of this magnificent structure. On the Morning Tour, the experienced guides will take you on an adventurous walk under the Victoria Falls Bridge with the powerful Mosi-oa-tunya roaring in the background as it offloads into the Batoka Gorge right before your eyes. During the Sunset Tour, guests will be allowed time to relax, absorb and enjoy a glass of chilled champagne as they celebrate a magnificent African sunset overlooking the breathtaking view.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Shearwater Adventures

Friday, 10 May 2013

Introducing Pioneers Camp

Welcome to Pioneers Camp which is finally ready for 12 guests with 6 large en-suite safari tents. Three are nestled in the bush on the ‘the wild side’ although only metres from the river bank, and three are on the banks of the Zambezi River.  All have private decks with panoramic views of the river and enjoy spectacular sun-rises.

The new ‘chill’ lounge tent is a great place to relax with our mokoro bar being the centerpiece. Both chill tent and dining tent encourage that ‘beachy’ feel with sand floors and a relaxed atmosphere to relax and enjoy the surroundings, the river, the birds and wildlife.

The game viewing at Zambezi National Park is excellent, efforts of conservationists like the Victoria Falls Anti-poaching Unit have definitely paid off.  Guests are enjoying a varied and interesting safaris.

Almost every day we enjoy elephant coming through camp and often staying for hours close to camp where you can enjoy watching from a safe distance.  Lovely herds have been seen from canoeing trips, boat cruises and game drives.

Hyena and lion are in the area usually calling at night with fresh spoor seen near camp on a regular basis.  A leopard sighting close to the road was enjoyed by recent visitors.

Our guests have enjoyed game drives and guided walking, half day canoeing – either in the morning or afternoon, as well as fishing excursions.  The fishing is improving and we have seen lots of pockets of fish nurseries.

Email: Victoria Falls Office 
Web address:
Tel:  +26 3 13 45139

Zambezi Traveller Website:
Pioneers Camp

News from Robin Pope Safaris

Update from Robin Pope Safaris, Luangwa, Zambia, April 2013

Tena Tena and Nsefu will soon be open again for a new season. During the past few weeks, the Luangwa River has been too low to boat across and the roads too wet to drive across to get to the camp sites so we had to wait rather patiently for the weather to improve before we could start setting up camp again. Things are now in full swing and both Tena Tena and Nsefu will be ready to open on 22nd May. See you there!

Luangwa Bush Camp welcomes George Bell

At an early age George learnt bush law and tracking from the herd boys and his bush-wise grandfather, and ever since has had a keen interest for the outdoors and wildlife. For the last four years he has been guiding as well as managing camps in the Lower Zambezi National Park and George has now found his way to South Luangwa where he will be joining the Luangwa Bush Camps Team this season. Welcome George!

Robin Pope Safaris Specials - Reduced Rates

Robin Pope Safaris are extending the 2013 discounted shoulder season rates to July for ALL RPS properties! Contact for more details.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Robin Pope Safaris

Norman Carr Safaris support charity football event

Norman Carr Safaris, based in Luangwa, Zambia, participates in a charity football event.

In April, Mfuwe village played host to a football team from Lusaka to play a friendly match against the local 'Salaula' team. A local NGO used the trip as a means of fund raising for both the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) and Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust. Using sport as a medium to spread information about AIDS/HIV and other social issues, it's a fantastic project and they worked with between 80 and 150 children from a local school over 2 days. Working with the community and raising awareness of local issues is close to our hearts; Norman Carr Safaris staff members played in the Salaula team and we offered the main prize for their fundraising evening of a 2 night stay at Kapani Lodge.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Norman Carr Safaris

Musango Safari Camp crayfish recipe competition

Musango Safari Camp has received a very tasty recipe for the red clay crayfish in response to their campaign to rid Lake Kariba from this alien invader that is threatening Kariba’s fish resource. Read more here

Crayfish Recipe:
Recipe: Braaied Red Claw

Read more on crayfish in the March 2013 issue:
Crayfish invasion worries experts

Read more on crayfish in the December 2012 issue:
Alien crayfish colonise Kariba

Introducing Mawimbi Bushcamp, Kafue, Zambia

Mawimbi Bush Camp, Kafue National Park, Zambia.

Mawimbi Adventures introduces their new bush camp - ready for guests in June 2013 - situated on the riverbank of the beautiful Kafue river at the Kafue National Park in west of Zambia.

Currently three luxury large canvas tents are being constructed at the site of the Mawimbi Bush Camp. Each of the tents will have its own en-suite bathroom consisting of, ecological 'green' toilet and a wash hand basin and a bucket type shower that is piping hot all day long. All of the rooms are mosquito proofed, with two beds in the main area of the tent with a covered entrance verandah overlooking the river for perfect game viewing and relaxing. The tent is tastefully furnished with all basic necessities and decorated in subtle African themes.

The Kafue River is perfect for canoeing, the main activity offered. Wilderness game walks and drives in the Kafue National Park are organized every morning and afternoons and are a must for all lovers of the African bush. Of course, there is an amazing wealth of bird life that awaits exploring as well as fishing from the riverbank.

See the Zambezi Traveller website for more information here.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

African Bush Camps support Dete sports event

In collaboration with the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation

The 5th Annual African Bush Camps Foundation 10 km fun run was held in the village of Dete in Hwange, Zimbabwe on the 6th April 2012. Organised in collaboration with the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation, the 10km Fun Run held in Dete sees surrounding communities taking part in the race, together with a team of volunteers raising sponsorship both locally and internationally.

The aim of the event is to bring together the community in a positive context, as well as build community spirit. It is also meant to benefit some of the remote villages who usually do not receive any attention.

During the four day stay in Dete, the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation volunteers also donate educational gifts and rugby shirts to local primary and secondary schools. In 2012, the Foundation provided one of the primary school’s with a much needed modem to enable them to get internet access for the first time and delivered the team football team strips kindly donated by Brentford FC to the Detema Secondary School First Boys Football Team.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
African Bush Camps

Halsted Aviation launches Halsted Safaris and new aircraft

Halsted Aviation Corporation add a 19 seater Beechcraft Beech 1900 to their fleet and launch Halsted’s Safaris Halsted’s Aviation Corporation are very pleased to announce an addition to the HAC fleet: The Beechcraft Beech 1900, a 19 passenger, pressurized twin engine turboprop airplane. The Beechcraft Beech 1900 will be based at Harare International Airport where we look forward to servicing our client’s charter requirements across the Zambezi region as well as widespread through Southern Africa. Read more on the Zambezi Traveller website here.

New outdoor bliss at Ngoma Safari Lodge, Chobe


New outdoor bliss at Ngoma Safari Lodge, Chobe, Botswana

The already awe-inspiring views and incredible guest experience at Ngoma Safari Lodge is now even better with the recently completed private ‘refresh and relax pools’ located at each of the 8 luxurious suites. Read more on the Zambezi Traveller website here.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Wilderness Safari specials

Wilderness Safaris has introduced fantastic new deals on travel to Zambia and Zimbabwe for the remainder of 2013.

Davison's Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe (Photo: Mike Myers)

For a stay of at least three nights or more, the cost of flying to and from any camps in both Zimbabwe and Zambia is reduced by 50%.  These camps are:  in Zambia:  Shumba and Busanga Bush camps in the Kafue National Park; in Zimbabwe: Little Makalolo and Davison’s camps in Hwange National Park and Ruckomechi Camp in Mana Pools National Park.

Little Makalolo (Photo: Mike Myers)

This special is effective immediately for all new bookings and is intended to run for all travel during the rest of 2013.  Both Davison’s and Little Makalolo are classic tented camps where the tents are situated on the ground overlooking a waterhole in front of camp.  They are superbly intimate and comfortable offering a traditional safari experience and good game viewing. 

Ruckomechi Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe (Photo: Mike Myers)

Ruckomechi is situated in a private concession of Mana Pools National Park.  It is has a wonderful view over the Zambezi River.  Rooms are canvas tented in the Wilderness classic style.  There are lots of activities that offer game interaction from both the land and the River. 

Busanga Plains (Photo: Mike Myers)

In Zambia in the northern most part of the Kafue National Park, in the Busanga Plains, resides both Shumba Camp and Busanga Bush Camp.  These differ from one another in style.  Shumba is a more up-market classic safari camp with larger rooms and main area that is more comfortably appointed.  Whereas Busanga Bush Camp is, by comparison, more rustic.  Although the rooms and main area are comfortable, the camp is more in touch with the wild.  

Busanga Hot Air Ballon (Photo: Mike Myers)

The bonus offering in Zambia is the hot air balloon!  This is available on a complimentary basis for bookings at Busanga Plains camps if your stay is three nights or more between August and October.  If you have never floated over the beautiful plains in northern Kafue, you simply have to make to plan to do so.  Game viewing from a hot air balloon is the most spectacular experience ever – something not to be missed in a lifetime!

For more information see the Zambezi Traveller website here or visit the Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Wilderness Safaris Little Makalolo
Wilderness Safaris Davisons Camp

Research expert leads wild dog safaris in Zimbabwe

Specialist Painted Dog Safari - Zimbabwe

African Bush Camps are delighted to announce that in 2013, we have partnered up with Dr. Greg Rasmussen to offer our guests a specialized Painted Dog Safari in Zimbabwe.

Accompanied by Dr Greg Rasmussen, a Senior Conservation Biologist and the Research Director of Painted Dog Conservation, this safari takes you into the heart of Zimbabwe, tracking resident and local Painted Dog Packs in Mana Pools National Park, as well as providing you with a guided tour of the Painted Dog Educational and Rehabilitation Centre in Hwange National Park. Dr Greg Rasmussen has spent 24 years exclusively researching African Wild Dogs in Zimbabwe and other African countries. In 1992, Dr Rasmussen founded the Painted Dog Research Project and has conducted extensive research and observations of the species.

Overview of Itinerary
Day 1 – 4                  3 nights Zambezi Lifestyles Camp, Mana Pools
Day 4 – 6                  2 nights Kanga Bush Camp, Mana Pools National Park
Day 6 – 8                  2 nights Somalisa Camp, Hwange National Park

1st July - 15th November: USD 5,466.00 per person sharing
1st April - 30th June: USD 4,868.00 per person sharing

Includes: Accommodation, transfers in Zimbabwe, meals, drinks (excluding premium brands), and two game activities per day.
Excludes: International and cross border fares, Visa Fees and Departure Taxes, Travel Insurance, items of a personal nature and staff gratuities.

More information and contact details from the Zambezi Traveller Directory:
African Bush Camps

Stanley Safari Lodge (Livingstone) becomes part of Robin Pope Safaris portfolio

Robin Pope Safaris, famed for their bushwalking safaris in Luangwa, have taken over the operation of Stanley Safari Lodge just outside of Livingstone.

Stanley Safari Lodge was built by Reinout De Gruijter and his wife Vinciane Geelhand de Merxem and opened in 2004. The ten-room lodge is a mile and a half from Victoria Falls on a hill bordering Mosi oa Tunya National Park, within view of the spray from the Falls.

The new management will honor contracted rates and existing lodge bookings. The booking process and email address at Stanley Safaris will not be affected.

RPS has properties in Zambia (South Luangwa National Park, where they have two private safari houses and four high-quality safari camps) and Malawi (Pumulani on Lake Malawi and Mkulumadzi in Majete Wildlife Reserve), and plans to open a new property in Malawi’s Liwonde National Park.

Established in 1986, Robin Pope Safaris has always been synonymous with outstanding service, expert guiding and responsible tourism (pioneers of village tourism in Zambia and extremely active in various conservation initiatives).

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Robin Pope Safaris

Monday, 6 May 2013

Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter Specials

From the latest Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (April 2013)

This quarter the Zambezi Traveller focused on zebra. Read More

Zambezi Traveller launch iPad App
Zambezi Traveller is proud to announce Zambezi Traveller issue 12 has just been released in the App Store as a free download for iPads.  Download your copy now and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Zambezi region.  Links to products and conservation organisations are all available on this informative and beautiful App. Read More

Find us at Indaba
Zambezi Traveller – you can find Frances Jackson and Teddy Brightman at Indaba in the SADC Hall, stand B09. You can also find some of the advertisers from the Zambezi Traveller. Read More


Autoworld  - The Autoworld Monthly Specials bring huge savings on the first Thursday of each month, running for one week only, so be sure to contact your nearest branch or check out the website for details – Read More

Mawimbi Adventures presents the June special
The unspoiled river trail in the Kafue National Park, Zambia.  Special 4 nights/ 5 days. Fly –In Option. From 14 – 18 June 2013. Read More

Specialist Painted Dog Safari, Zimbabwe
Accompanied by Wild Dog expert Dr. Greg Rasmussen.  From 1st April – 30 June special rates apply. African Bush Camps are delighted to announce that in 2013, we have partnered up with Dr. Greg Rasmussen to offer our guests a specialized Painted Dog Safari in Zimbabwe. Read More

Robin Pope Safari- Specials - July 2013 Reduced Rates - July 2013 marks Pumulani’s fifth year of operation. To celebrate this milestone, Robin Pope Safaris  are extending the 2013 discounted shoulder season rates to July for ALL RPS properties! Contact for more details. Read More

Wilderness Safaris - Wilderness has introduced fantastic new deals on travel to Zambia and Zimbabwe. For a stay of at least three nights or more, the cost of flying to and from any camps
in both Zimbabwe and Zambia is reduced by 50%. Read More

Read full newsletter here.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (April 2013)

The latest Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter his now out and is available to view online here. You can subscribe to recieve our eNewsletter here.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Zambezi Traveller at Indaba - find us and our advertisers

Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, showcasing the widest variety of Southern Africa's best tourism products and attracting international visitors and media from across the world.

Indaba 2013: 11-14 May 2013, Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC), South Africa

Indaba stand numbers and contacts:

Zambezi Traveller – you can find Frances Jackson and Teddy Brightman at Indaba in the SADC Hall, stand B09.

•    Changa Safari Camp (Kariba, Zimbabwe) – SADC Hall, stand no B14 – please contact for an appointment.

•    Chobe Marina Lodge (Chobe, Botswana) – Bernard will be on the SACD stand no 07 to tell you all about the exciting refurbishments.  Contact: for an appointment.

•    Cresta Mowana (Chobe, Botswana) – please find the Cresta team on the SADC stand no C09 for all enquiries.

•    David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa (Livingstone, Zambia) will be on the Zambian stand in the SADC Hall, no A06.

•    Halsted Aviation Corporation (Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe) will be on stand ICC A030.  Contact Judy for appointments.

•    Ilala Lodge (Victorial Falls, Zimbabwe) can be found on the Zimbabwe Tourism Stand J in the SADC Pavillion.  Contact Martin Vaughan for appointments.

•    Miombo Lodge (Hwange, Zimbabwe) is on the ZTA stand (meet Mike Sherren) and Wild Frontiers and Pioneers Camp, Victoria Falls, are on SADC 07.

•    Robin Pope Safaris (Luangwa, Zambia) - come and meet Tony de Rooy and Rob Clifford and hear about all their exciting developments and plans. Contact Geno if you would like an appointment

•    Royal Zambezi Lodge (Livingstone, Zambia) will be at Indaba this year, you can find them at the Unlimited Destinations stand ICC A028 and can make appointments by contacting Chileya ; or on skype:

•    Russell Gammon (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) will be on the Africa Albida stand; Stand ODWA (between ICC and DEC).

•    Sable Sands Lodge (Hwange, Zimbabwe) meet Marleen Post at Indaba on the Moivaro Lodges & Tented Camps stand, SADCC 03.

•    Safari Par Excellence (Livingstone, Zambia) - Gene, Saf Par Activity Centre Manager will be there discussing our 2014 Activities and Rates. You can find her on the Zambian Tourism Stand A06 in the SADC Hall. Please contact her on to make your appointment

•    Shearwater Adventures (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) – Trish will be available on stand no ICCA027 and can be contacted on email: for appointments.

•    SKL –  Rachel and Connie will be on the SADC C07 to let you know all about their new site and give you updated news.  Contact for an appointment.

•    Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) will be represented on the Mantis stand  ICC L025.  Contact Ignus le Roux or Paul Gardiner  for appointments. 

•    Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) - The Africa Albida team at Indaba 2013.  Stand ODWA (between ICC and DEC).  Africa Albida will be represented by :  Ross Kennedy-Chief Executive, Brian Gardiner – Group Operations Manager, Wendy Bourne – Destination Marketing Executive, Nommy Vuma AAT Marketing Manager will be representing Ngoma Safari Lodge (Chobe, Botswana) at the Botswana Tourism Stand SADC EO7.

•    Zambezi Explorer (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) – meet Charles Chakanya and Messias Maoneni to get the details on this new and exciting venture.  Zimbabwe Tourism Stand: SADC E02. Please contact or to make an appointment.

•    Wilderness Safaris – meet Dean Morton ICC main stand G002.

•    Wild Horizons (Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe) – meet Shane White and his team on Stand no ICC 021.  Contact for appointments.

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Victoria Falls Hotel identifies Rose of Charity Orphanage as part of community responsibility

As part of their community responsibility, The Victoria Falls Hotel has committed to assist The Rose of Charity Orphanage based in Victoria Falls. The main project of assistance will be in various forms which include donation of linen and creation of a worm project and vegetable garden at their new site.  The Hotel will  then also assist with the general upkeep of the home.

The home currently has 70 orphans with the youngest “Owen” aged 2 years. As an expansion of the Hotel’s Sustainable Tourism Program, the Victoria Falls Hotel team is assisting with the setting up of a worm farm and garden at their new site near Mpisi Village.

In line with the successful project that has been running at the Hotel for the last year, the wings continue to grow and The Rose of Charity was identified as an opportunity to spread recycling and sustainable gardening projects to children to get the concept starting at a tender age.

Experience derived from the Hotel team will be used to create a viable organic garden and enable the orphanage to have a variety of vegetables for their consumption and income generation.

With refurbishments currently underway at the ‘Grand Dame’, bed linen, towels and pillows have been donated to complement other donor’s that have been assisting the Home with bedding.

The Victoria Falls Hotel Peer Educators Club made up of staff members from across all departments will also work together with the home in HIV/AIDS activities, presentations and awareness programs along with pledging to providing manpower for the brick making process for the new home.

Zambezi Traveller Victoria Falls Hotel Directory Page
Rose of Charity

Zambezi Traveller iPad App

Zambezi Traveller is proud to announce that the latest issue of the Zambezi Traveller (Issue 12, March 2013) has just been released in the App Store as a free download for iPad, with a new feature - live news feeds. Download your copy now and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Zambezi region. Links to products and conservation organisations are all available on this informative and beautiful format.

Visit the App Store Zambezi Traveller page here.

Let’s dance! Introducing Mwedzi Muchena – the Clear Moon Arts Ensemble, Victoria Falls

After enjoying a traditional dance performance given by Mwedzi Muchena, a tribal dance group, Usch Pilz, a German writer and translator who spends several weeks each year in Zimbabwe, took the opportunity to talk to two members of the ensemble. Pardon Kanda and Simbarashe Chilenga from Mwedzi Muchena were happy to answer her questions.

UP: How do you choose the dances for your repertoire?
SC: We want to give people an idea of our traditional Zimbabwean culture, and there is a dance for almost every important occasion: A hunting dance, a war victory dance and – of course – a lovers’ dance.

UP: And the name of your group?
PK: We call ourselves the Mwedzi Muchena Arts Ensemble. Mwedzi Muchena means ‘Clear Moon’. SC: Because nights with a clear moon are nights for celebration.

UP: Tell me more about the ensemble.
SC: We have been together for about a year, but all of us have been involved with traditional dancing and music before.
PK: Most group members have known each other a long time. But some new dancers have just arrived from Harare. That means extra rehearsals...

UP: The instruments you feature …
PK: Our drums are the driving force. They power our dancing and make people move …
SC: And then we have the mbira for the quieter moments. The mbira is a very old and spiritual instrument. We think, especially our foreign guests should see it, hear it and know about it. This instrument is traditionally used for communication with the spirit world.

UP: But how about this world in the here and now? Can you make a living with the work you do?
PK: It is very hard, and we are not quite there yet. I give drumming lessons and do fire shows as well. Sometimes I teach gymnastics or help other artists with their training.

UP: Pardon, I think, I have seen you on TV!
PK: (laughs) Yes, together with a friend I was hired to do a fire show for a German production called Million Dollar Model. We were breathing fire and juggling with fire for a whole day while the models were posing for the cameras.

Read the full article here.

Where do the Zebra go?

Zambezi Traveller, Issue 12, March 2013


Cover story:
Where do the Zebra go?
Written by Kelly Langden of Elephants Without Borders, we look at the recently uncovered migrartion routes in Botswana.

Linked stories:
Findings reveal critical wildlife corridors
Zebra Without Borders

Cahora Bassa & Tete
Tete’s historic forts
Rare orioles and shy elephants (Gorongosa National Park)
'Senduana’ serpent of Songo

The hidden value of basket craft
On the Old Hunters’ Road
History of Chobe National Park
An elephant-size problem

The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust
Maun Animal Welfare Society

Tracking and saving pangolin

Kariba and Middle Zambezi
Crayfish invasion worries experts
Kariba floodgate to open
Painted Dog, fast and efficient predators
Zimbabwe wetlands incorporated into RAMSAR
Wetlands and RAMSAR
A confusion of stripes

Eagle study holds world record
The Black Eagle Breeding Survey
History written in stone

Victoria Falls
Luxury cruise boat due in May
Chasing rainbows in the spray
Mantis to manage Rani property
Batoka Gorge Dam: to be or not to be?
Russell Gammon: Bringing history to life
Introducing Pioneer Camp
World class accolades for Elephant Camp
Birds-eye ‘Canopy Tour’ launched
‘Let’s make this work’
Rolling out the green carpet
Portrait of a pangolin

Why travel when it rains?
The secrets of Hwange’s zebra
The Long Shields lion guardians
Still fit for a Queen, Sable Sands re-opens

Zambia’s endemic lechwe

New wings over Western Zambia
Relationships make the destination
Encouraging creativity
The dream to open up Africa
Slavery – the scourge of Africa
Berry banquet
Wonders of an African childhood
Planning to re-green a country
Hell and high water
Are they praying or preying?

Valley to Valley

'The Long Shields' - lion guardians of Hwange

The lion is an iconic symbol of Africa, yet co-existing with lions poses hardships for many African communities. Lion depredation on domestic livestock and has negative impacts on the livelihoods of livestock owners. Carnivores are impacted when retaliatory action is taken against them.

Globally, human populations are expanding and this has resulted in increasing human-carnivore conflict and declines in many carnivore populations across the world. In the case of the African lion, populations across Africa are shrinking and lions are now absent from 85% of their historical range.

Great ingenuity, dedication and the will and support of local communities are needed to solve the problem of human wildlife conflict. The ‘Living with Lions’ project in south western Kenya has hit upon a unique solution. Maasai warriors were recruited to work alongside conservationists to protect both their community’s livestock and the predators in their areas.

This ‘Lion Guardian’ programme has enjoyed significant success in reducing human-lion conflicts. Following the notable achievements of the Kenyan programme, a number of similar projects have been initiated in community areas across Africa, including Ruaha and Ngorongoro in Tanzania and around Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

The Hwange programme has been named the ‘Long Shields’ and is run by the Hwange Lion Research Project with sponsorship from Panthera, Great Wall Motors and SATIB Trust. The programme name has local resonance; in the late 19th Century the Matabele were known as ‘the people of the long shields,’ so named because the fearsome warriors of the tribe carried tall rawhide shields for protection in battle.

Our modern usage of the name communicates the protective role that the contemporary Long Shield officers play in their communities, protecting both village livestock and their community’s natural resources, including the predators that are so valuable to Zimbabwe’s tourism industry.

In late 2012, after fruitful discussions with the Tsholotsho and Hwange Rural District Councils, CAMPFIRE officers and local traditional leaders, the programme was launched around Hwange National Park. The programme is led by the Hwange Lion Research Project’s Brent Stapelkamp and Lovemore Sibanda and has, over the last few months, recruited seven men and one lady from candidates put forward by the local chiefs.

Each Long Shield is equipped with a rugged mountain bike (donated by Des Stephens of SATIB insurance), a cell phone to communicate with project co-ordinators and GPS to record information about conflict incidents in their area. As fearless as the warriors of old, the Long Shields actively mobilise villagers to deter would-be stock raiding lions with loud noises and bright lights and by lighting watch fires.

They also warn their neighbours to move their cattle away from areas where lions are present. This strategy appears to work well and we have monitored the movements of these lions as they move back into the National Park to avoid this unwelcome disturbance. The Long Shields also monitor local wildlife, assist and advise local people with livestock protection.

The Long Shields lion guardian programme is part of ongoing long term research being undertaken by the Hwange Lion Research Project in close collaborative partnership with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Since 2007 the project has focused on understanding the causes and extent of human conflict with lions in the Hwange area. This programme has been extended to the Victoria Falls region in partnership with Roger and Jess Parry of Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.


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Batoka Gorge Dam: to be or not to be?

At the end of 2012 the Zambezi River Authority invited expressions of interest from companies interested in tendering for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme, a joint initiative by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe and supported with funding from the World Bank. Sources expect the project to commence this year and reach completion by 2019.

Details of the proposed dam design were summarised in the invitation document as being a 181m high gravity arch dam with two underground power stations carrying four 200 MW turbines and giving a total capacity of 1,600 MW.

The reservoir formed by the dam will be contained within the Batoka Gorge and is predicted to have a relatively small surface area of 26km2 and a water level of 762m above sea level. The location for the dam on the Zambezi River 54km downstream of the Victoria Falls is given as 18º 1’ S 26º 34’ E.

Zambezi River Authority chief executive officer, Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa, was reported by media sources as saying that the Batoka project was expected to have a positive socio-economic impact on people from the two countries. “We are looking at the economic benefit locals are going to derive from the project,” he was quoted as saying.

A few months prior to the announcement of the tender process an American hydrologist criticised the proposed plans for the Batoka Gorge Dam and Mphanda Nkuwa Dam (also on the Zambezi in Mozambique) for being based on archived hydrological data which had not been re-evaluated for potential climate change risks, including regional drought, reduced flows and increased risk of extreme flooding events. The original technical, legal and environmental feasibility studies were carried out in the early 1990s.

Zambia’s power utility managing director, Cyprian Chitun, said fresh technical and environmental studies will be conducted before the actual construction begins. “An expression of interest was tendered in the press to look for consultants to review the study that was conducted in 1992. We need to ensure that the feasibility study is brought up to speed,” local sources reported. ZRA public relations and communications manager, Elizabeth Karonga, confirmed the authority was waiting for a new updated Environmental Impact Assessment report before commencing construction of the dam.

In January 2013, ministers from Zambia and Zimbabwe met in Victoria Falls to discuss the development of the project.

FACTFILE: History of the Batoka Gorge Dam project

The first geological studies of the Batoka Gorge were undertaken in 1904 with the construction of the Victoria Falls Bridge and planning for the Victoria Falls Hydro Electric Scheme. The bridge was opened in 1905 but the power scheme was not realised until 1938.

The Batoka scheme was conceived in 1972 out of a study instituted by the Central African Power Corporation (predecessor of Zambezi River Authority). The 1972 report by Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners identified several sites on the Zambezi which would be potentially suitable for development as hydro electric schemes. These included Batoka Gorge, Devil’s Gorge, both upstream of Lake Kariba, and Mupata Gorge, downstream of Kariba.  The 1981 Gibb report relocated the proposed dam site some 12km upstream, due to a mapping error. The current technical, legal and environmental feasibility studies were carried out in 1993.

Early in 2012 the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe agreed the settlement of outstanding debts relating to the Kariba project, clearing one of the last major obstacles to the Batoka project.

Read about the Batoka Gorge Dam in the March 2012 issue of the Zambezi Traveller:
Batoka Gorge Power Scheme Revisited

Read more on the Batoka Gorge Dam in the July 2012 issue of the Zambezi Traveller:
Batoka gorge dam one step closer

Zambezi Traveller - in print and online

The Zambezi Traveller - The Travellers Friend, is a definitive guide for destinations along the zambezi river. It is distributed world wide to travel agents, industry shows, hotels, lodges and key public areas throughout the region, including capital cities. Travel the Zambezi - Botswana, MozambiqueNamibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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