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

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

AWF Celebrates Opening of Community-Owned Conservation Lodge in Zambia

Machenje Fishing Lodge offers innovative model for communities that may benefit from conservation-driven enterprise.

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Taonga Safaris, and residents of the Sekute Chiefdom today celebrated the opening of Machenje Fishing Lodge, a community-owned conservation enterprise located about 60 km outside of Livingstone, Zambia. Zambia’s Minister of Tourism and Arts, Hon. Sylvia T. Masebo, MP, officially opened the lodge.

With its picturesque location along the Zambezi River, in close proximity to some of Southern Africa’s most famous attractions, including Victoria Falls, the sport-fishing lodge is an ideal tourist destination for those seeking either a tranquil African getaway or an adventure-filled trip. More notably, Machenje is the product of an innovative partnership between a local community and a private sector tourism operator, formed to enhance conservation in a region that boasts some of the largest herds of elephant on the African continent.

“This region is home to a quarter of Africa’s elephants and has one of the most important terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Africa. It has also undergone tremendous development in the past several years, intensifying competition for natural resources and conflict between people and wildlife,” said Patrick Bergin, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation. “With Machenje Fishing Lodge, we are demonstrating that it’s possible to manage development in such a way that local communities receive direct economic benefits, lands are secured for wildlife, and natural resources are sustainably managed over the long term.”

The Kazungula District of Zambia, where the Sekute Chiefdom is located, lies close to the borders of Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia. Elephants and other wildlife regularly move between these countries to get to various habitats, but over time, unplanned human settlements had disrupted some of the wildlife corridors that connected these disparate protected areas. In exchange for AWF developing Machenje Fishing Lodge and providing other community and economic benefits—including rebuilding a primary school and providing employment opportunities for local residents as wildlife scouts—the Sekute community agreed to set aside more than 20,000 hectares of land strictly for conservation. AWF helped the Chiefdom establish the Sekute Community Development Trust (the Trust) to oversee management of the conservation lands.

AWF and the leadership of the Sekute Chiefdom are looking at Machenje as a long-term strategy to generate revenue for the community—through the Trust—to use toward local development projects. Under an agreement brokered by AWF, the Sekute community owns the land and lodge, while the private sector partner manages the daily operations. A portion of revenues are paid out to the community as part of a benefit-sharing agreement; the operator will also employ local residents for several permanent staff positions, with temporary staff to be engaged on a need basis.

The partnership arrangement has been hailed by the Hon. Ms. Masebo, who previously visited Machenje Fishing Lodge during its final phase of construction, as a model for communities to potentially benefit from conservation-driven enterprises. “We have an example of a viable community-based conservation enterprise model involving communities in partnership with the private sector that contributes to tourism development and wildlife conservation,” the Hon. Ms. Masebo remarked in her speech at the opening ceremony.

Noting that the presence of such a significant elephant population in the region can occasionally result in human–wildlife conflict, the Minister added, “It is through community-based conservation enterprises such as Machenje Fishing Lodge that local communities like Sekute are able to turn that ‘burden’ of living with elephants into an opportunity.”

Read the full article on the Zambezi Traveller webiste here.

Mayu Mishina, African Wildlife Foundation, +1 202 939 3324, mmishina@awf.org
Andrew Simpson, Taonga Safaris, +260 977 333184, info@machenjefishinglodge.com

Read more from the latest issue:
Creating Community Value in Conservation (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
Conservation-Driven Enterprise (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
Easements for Education (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Browse or download past issues of the Zambezi Traveller online

Want to browse old issues of the Zambezi Traveller online?

You can dowload pdf versions (file sizes vary) or view the main menu pages for past issues here:

Zambia and Zimbabwe light up the stage for UNWTO

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly, jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabawe, was officially opened on Sunday evening at the Victoria Falls Hotel. The assembly is the best attended on record, with hotels and lodges on both sides of the river fully booked for the duration of the event.

President Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart Mr Michael Sata committed themselves to the use of tourism to drive economic growth in the two countries and challenged African countries to open up borders through the introduction of regional univisa or visa free regimes. The call by the two Heads of State and Government came as United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary General Mr Taleb Rifai declared that the 20th session of the UNWTO general assembly being co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls is the best attended in the history of the organisation.

Officially opening the 20th session of the UNWTO here last night, President Mugabe and President Sata said their governments were committed to using tourism as a driver for economic development within the sector and surrounding communities. "The hosting of this United Nations specialised agency's general assembly constitutes for us an important milestone in the economic history of our two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region," said President Mugabe.


Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and President Michael Sata officially open the 20th session of the UNWTO General assembly which the two countries are co-hosting in Victoria Falls (Source: News Day)

The assembly was declared by UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai as the best attended in the history of the organisation, with a record 900 delegates from the media fraternity, 121 full delegates from the member states, 140 delegates from all over the world, 49 foreign ministers and 750 other delegates attending the event. Rifai challenged delegates to actively participate in the tourism indaba stating that UNWTO was committed to promoting tourism growth in sub Saharan Africa. “We affirm our commitment to place tourism high on the political and economic agenda and to ensure that we co-operate ever more to promote policies that ensure sustainable and exclusive growth in this industry,” he said.

Through a video message played on his behalf during the opening ceremony, United Nations Secretary General, Ban ki Moon called on those attending the general assembly to deliberate on how best their countries could contribute to sustainable tourism. “Tourism is an undisputed driver of economic growth which can benefit people. If managed sustainably, it will assist countries to meet their millennium development goals which we hope to achieve,” he said.

President Mugabe gave a welcoming speech at the ceremony and said it was critical that Africa evolves strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent.

"Your organization’s emphasis on sustainable tourism has great resonance with the importance Zimbabwe places on the principles of development with equity and empowerment of the masses.

"I must conclude by putting on record our appreciation for the assistance that the UNWTO has extended to us this far as a region. This of late included technical support extended to SADC, through RETOSA, whereby the latter has received assistance towards the establishment of a Tourism Satellite Accounting System (TSAS). The TSAS will help us to fully account for the full contribution by tourism to our national and regional GDP.

"I also note with great satisfaction that the UNWTO has approved community based initiatives for Zimbabwe, and their Sustainable Tourism for the reduction of poverty (STEP) program will run under the theme “Enhance the participation of youth and women in the tourism sector.” This is an effective empowering tool which will promote equity and access to tourism revenue. It also resonates resoundingly with the people empowering initiatives that my government is pursuing.

"The thematic thrusts you intend to pursue in this conference are summarized by the catch phrases 'Open borders and open skies, removing hurdles to the growth of tourism in Africa' are very apt in our times."

“There is no way Africa can increase its portion of the global tourism cake without first promoting intra-African travel. The need for open borders, through regional block visa regimes, which we are trying to implement as UNIVISA through RETOSA, will not only allow easier travel amongst SADC citizens, it will make it easier for the long haul intercontinental visitor and investor,” said President Mugabe. “The type of seamless border between Livingstone town and Victoria Falls town that has been put in place for purposes of this conference should become the rule rather than the exception, for all adjacent touristic border communities throughout SADC, and ultimately throughout Africa."

Zambia President, Michael Chilufya Sata congratulated the two co-host countries for the hard work they had done in preparing for the event stating that the co-hosting was a clear testimony of the two countries commitment of exploiting regional tourism.

Communications company Telecel stole the show by illuminating the Victoria Falls Bridge as part of its contribution to the hosting of the event.

See our Facebook page for more information and images.

Sources: News Day, ZimEye, eTurbo News, All Africa,

Friday, 23 August 2013

Livingstone welcomes UNWTO

All images courtesy of Walk on the Wild Side

Read more in the latest issue:
Zambia & Zimbabwe hailed in the region (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
What is UNWTO? (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
Countdown to UNWTO (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Livingstone
Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls welcomes UNWTO


Chief Mvuthu welcomes the UNTWTO


Barbara Mzembi opens the parade - wearing beautiful earrings designed by Victoria Falls' very own Ndau Collection.

Read more in the latest issue:
Zambia & Zimbabwe hailed in the region (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
What is UNWTO? (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
Countdown to UNWTO (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Livingstone
Victoria Falls

Welcome UNWTO!

Friday 23 August saw Livingstone, Zambia, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, celebrating their opportunity to show case their destinations and welcome the UNWTO delegates and VIPs to the jointly hosted General Assembly. Residents and visitors alike lined streets, waved flags and danced as drum majorettes, traditional dancers and local businesses paraded down the roads. Zambezi Traveller takes pleasure in sharing with you some pictures from the day.

About UNWTO

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is the agency of the United Nationsresponsible for the development of international policiesfor the tourism sector, to facilitate its contribution to global economic growth. It currently has 160 member countries.

The UNWTO General Assembly is held biannually on a rotational basis. Participants are member states’policy-makers from relevant ministries and government agencies, supported by the private sector.

UNWTO engages regional and local organisations,academia and research institutions andcivil society in its quest to develop a competitive and productive world tourism industry. UNWTO seeks to promote sustainable policies and practices which optimise the use of natural resources, both consumptive and non-consumptive; to advance respect for the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities and to provide socio-economic benefits for all.

Thank you Greg Shaw for your wonderful pictures from Livingstone.

 

 Image courtesy of Walk on the Wild Side
Image courtesy of Walk on the Wild Side
Image courtesy of Walk on the Wild Side
 Image courtesy of Walk on the Wild Side

And in Victoria Falls...

 
 
 
 


Read more in the latest issue:
Zambia & Zimbabwe hailed in the region (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
What is UNWTO? (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)
Countdown to UNWTO (ZT, Issue 13, June 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Livingstone
Victoria Falls

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Two Valleys - Rivers and Rainbows!

Zambia combination safari offered by Chongwe Safaris and Norman Carr Safaris

Green season elephant
Elephants in the green season

Combine Kasaka in the Lower Zambezi National Park with Kapani, Chinzombo or Kakuli (20 Jan – 31 March only) from November 2013 – March 2014 for an amazingly affordable safari, we have a range of itineraries available, please email bookings@normancarrsafaris.com or reservations@chongweriver.net for more details.

- 9 nights Kasaka/Kapani = $2655pp + Park Fees and flights
- 9 nights Kasaka Hippo Pod/Chinzombo/Kakuli FROM = $4250pp + Park Fees and flights
- 7 nights Kapani/Kakuli = $2285pp + Park Fees and flights

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Chongwe Safaris
Norman Carr Safaris

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Download the latest issue of the
Zambezi Traveller

UNWTO Congress - Increased traffic at bridge border post

Update from Wild Horizons (August 2013).

Due to the UNWTO congress being held in Victoria falls and Livingstone, between the 20th and 30th of August, we are expecting an increased amount of traffic at the border post between the two destinations. Therefore we expect delays will be experienced on transfers between Livingstone and Victoria Falls. We will adjust transfer times accordingly to allow for these delays, however, it may be pertinent to advise guests that they may experience delays in their transfers over this period.

Victoria Falls Canopy Tour

A big thank you to all supporters of the Vic Falls Canopy tour! This 'budget friendly' activity is proving to be very popular with families and groups. Since opening on June the 1st, over 1,000 guests have enjoyed this unique experience.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Wild Horizons Activities
Wild Horizons Accommodation

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Livingstone Destination Profile
Victoria Falls

Read more latest news from across the region in the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Download the latest issue of the
Zambezi Traveller

ZT eNewsletter Specials (Aug 2013)

The following 'specials', on offer from our advertisers, are taken from the latest Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No.5, Aug 2013). Click here to see the full eNewsletter online and here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Zambezi Specials

Last Minute Specials (Zambia) - African View Tours and Safaris have some great 'last minute' packages on offer in Zambia, only a few seats remaining in each one. Read more.


Free Hot-Air Balloon Safari (Busanga Plains, Zambia) - Wilderness Safaris has reintroduced its seasonal offer for guests visiting Busanga Plains in Zambia’s diverse Kafue National Park. Free hot-air ballooning during August, September and October is being offered to all guests staying for three nights or more at the charming Shumba or Busanga Bush Camps. Read more.

Royal Zambezi Lodge - Win 2 nights for 2 people at Royal Zambezi Lodge. Read more.

Mawimbi Adventures - Memorable African Safaris with Mawimbi Adventures. Kafue, Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park. Read more.

African Bush Camps End of Season Specials - African Bush Camps delighted to announce three exceptional safari packages at an unbelievable 20% discount. Read more.

Kasanka Bats (Kasanka, Zambia) - There are few wildlife phenomena that really stand out as extraordinary events - the bat migration in Kasanka is one of them. Up to ten million straw-coloured fruit bats converge upon Kasanka National Park as the fruits of a local tree ripen. From late November to early December Robin Pope Safaris run the Kasanka Bat Safari which gives guests a chance to witness this extraordinary bat migration. Read more.

Carnivore Week (South Luangwa, Zambia) - In November Robin Pope Safaris host a special six day safari – 'Carnivore Week' with the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), dedicated to learning about and viewing the large carnivore species in the South Luangwa Valley. Read more.


Two Valleys: Rivers & Rainbows (South Luangwa, Zambia) - Combine Chongwe Safaris' Kasaka River Lodge in the Lower Zambezi with Norman Carr Safaris' Kapani, Chinzombo or Kakuli Lodges from November 2013 – March 2014 for an amazingly affordable safari with a range of itineraries available. Read more.

Green Season Specials (Okavango and Chobe, Botswana) - Take up this opportunity of a 10% discount on all trips with Kalahari Skies from December to end of March - a time when nature is at it’s most beautful, parks are almost empty and all the top campsites are available. Read more.

Follow In Livingstone's 'paddle strokes' (Livingstone, Zambia) - Safari Par Excellence showcase their river safaris. Explore the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls in the 'paddle strokes' of David Livingstone. Read more.

Autoworld (Livingstone, Zambia) - 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.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Go bats at Kasanka

Robin Pope Safaris - Kasanka Bat Safari - Late November, early December 2013

There are few wildlife phenomena that really stand out as extraordinary events, the bat migration in Kasanka is one of them.

 

Kasanka Bats
Kasanka fruit bats (Image credit: Frank Willem for Robin Pope Safaris)

 

Up to ten million straw-coloured fruit bats converge upon Kasanka National Park as the fruits of a local tree ripen. Then at sunset they all take off and fly out to forage. The sky is thick with bats.

 

Kasanka Bats
Kasanka fruit bats (Image credit: Frank Willem for Robin Pope Safaris)

 

You can view all this from the 60 ft high hide, in a tree top, next to the woodland.

From late November to early December Robin Pope Safaris run the Kasanka Bat Safari which gives guests a chance to witness this extraordinary bat migration.

Email info@robinpopesafaris.net for more information quoting the Zambezi Traveller website.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Robin Pope Safaris

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Download the latest issue of the Zambezi Traveller

Visit Kafue and Hwange with Mawimbi

Memorable African Safaris with Mawimbi. Kafue, Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, September 2013

Mawimbi Adverntures
Canoe safari (Image credit: Mawimbi Adventures)

Duration 9 nights/10 days.
08/09: Arrival to Mawimbi Bush Camp
09/09: Day at Mawimbi Bush Camp – Kafue National Park
10/09: Day Canoeing on the Kafue River – The Donna River Trail
11/09: Canoeing on the Kafue River - The Labyrinth River Trail
12/09: Departure for town of Livingstone, Zambia
13/09: Day at magnificent Victoria Falls
14/09: Departure for Hwange National Park
15-16/09: Hwange National Park
17/09: Return to Victoria Falls
Rate per person sharing: 6 pax including air transfers: US$ 4590/person
Rates subject to change without notice - Conditions apply for a private chartered flight.
Above rate includes: Accommodation, meals, local drinks, park fees and activities stipulated. Charter flight from Kaingu to Livingstone
Above rate excludes: International flights to Lusaka and from Victoria Falls, travel insurances, personal expenses, tips, 2% government levy.
Contact Mawimbi directly for more information, quoting 'Zambezi Traveller Specials'.

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Mawimbi Adventures

Download the latest issue of the Zambezi Traveller

Shearwater Special

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Shearwater Adventures

Namibia Renames Regions

President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia announced last week that Namibia now has a new region and renamed two regions.

The Caprivi Region is now to be known as the Zambezi Region, while the neighbouring Kavango Region will be divided into Kavango East and Kavango West. Karas Region has been renamed to !Karas Region.

The Caprivi region was named after Count Leo von Caprivi, the German Chancellor from 1890 to 1894. The southern African nation was a German colony from 1884 to 1919, and following World War II was administered by South Africa until independence in 1990.

Two other towns bearing the names of Germany's colonial politicians were changed to local languages. Schuckmannsburg, in the former Caprivi Region, has been changed back to its original named, Lohonono. The harbour town of Luederitz is now called !NamiNĂ¼s, which means 'embrace' in local Khoekhoegowab, a Khoisan language.

The decision to change the names comes after the President received a report from the Delimitation Commission, a body tasked with recommending changes to boundaries of regions, creating new or dividing regions.

Read more online:
Namibia wipes colonialism off the map (external link, opens in a new window)
German's 'forgot' Victoria Falls (external link, opens in a new window)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Kalahari Skies Okavango and Chobe Green Season Special

Kalahari Skies – Okavango and Chobe – Green season special – 10% discount on all trips

Cheetah
Cheetah (Image credit: Kalahari Skies)

 

Take up this opportunity of a 10% discount on all trips with Kalahari Skies from December 2013 to end of March 2014 - a time when nature is at it’s most beautful, the parks are almost empty and all the top campsites are available. Contact us and quote 'Zambezi Traveller 10% discount offer'.

 

Wild dog
Wild dog (Image credit: Kalahari Skies)

 

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Kalahari Skies

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Chobe
Okavango

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Wilderness Safaris Offers Free Hot-Air Balloon Safaris In Zambia

Wilderness Safaris has reintroduced its seasonal offer for guests visiting Busanga Plains in Zambia’s diverse Kafue National Park. Free hot-air ballooning during August, September and October is being offered to all guests staying for three nights or more at the charming Shumba or Busanga Bush Camps. Guests will also receive a 50% discount on flights to and from Kafue from either Livingstone or Lusaka.

 

<Ballooning, Wilderness Safaris Busanga Plains
Wilderness Safaris Busanga Plains Hot-Air Balloon Safari (Image credit: Mike Myers for Wilderness Safaris)

 

All guests will also receive a complimentary copy of Swamp Lions – the compelling documentary on the Busanga Pride. Lions are the dominant carnivore and prime attraction for many on the Busanga Plains which is renowned as one of Africa’s hidden gems.

Shumba and Busanga Bush Camps are perfectly located to provide safari-goers with unbeatable wildlife sightings, either from the unique vantage point of a hot-air balloon or on an interpretive game drive led by an experienced guide. In addition to excellent lion sightings, guests may see cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyaena and various plains game such as red lechwe and puku, as well as large herds of buffalo.

Hippo are also abundant and can be viewed on boating safaris during the months of May through to June. Specially adapted motor boats which are able to operate in very low water levels offer excellent birding opportunities and great sightings of hippo, lechwe and puku.

Wilderness Safaris’ Shumba Camp has six luxurious safari tents raised on platforms under shady trees overlooking the surrounding plains. The large en-suite tents are served by a central raised dining and lounge area. Busanga Bush Camp provides an intimate and authentic experience in Kafue consisting of four well-appointed Meru tents.

In addition to exciting wildlife experiences, guests will be spoilt with delicious sunrise breakfasts and evening meals often cooked over an open fire. Meals may be served in the elegant dining areas or in the traditional boma where elements of local Zambian culture come to the fore. An experience not to be missed.

<

Sunset Ballooning, Wilderness Safaris Busanga Plains
Wilderness Safaris Busanga Plains Hot-Air Balloon Safari Sundowners (Image credit: Mike Myers for Wilderness Safaris)

 

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Kafue

Website:
Wilderness Safaris Busanga Plains

Friday, 9 August 2013

Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter No.5 August 2013

The latest Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter is available to view online here. Check out the latest safari news and special offers from across the region.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Somalisa Safari Highlights from Hwange

 

African Bush Camps
Bat-eared fox, Hwange (Image credit: African Bush Camps)

 2013 has been a positive year at Somalisa Camp so far with excellent and unusual wildlife sightings. Bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, cheetah, leopard, serval and caracal have all been regular Hwange highlights for our guests.

The male lions around Somalisa have been playing out the challenge of who is the dominant male in the area – with three particular males involved in the Drama: Cecil, Kakori and Jericho. Regularly seen with the females and cubs in the area, guests have encountered the lions on several kills including giraffe and a buffalo kill which took place on the outskirts of Somalisa Acacia.

African Bush Camps
Lion, Hwange (Image credit: African Bush Camps)

Read the full update from African Bush Camps on the Zambezi Traveller website here.

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter:
Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter (No5, Aug 2013)

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
African Bush Camps

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Hwange Destination Profile