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

Monday, 25 November 2013

Baines’ River Camp offers a spacious boardroom

Baines’ River Camp

With seating for up to 16 delegates, air-conditioned and complete with digital projector, canvas screen and flipchart, the venue is ideal for corporate getaways and management meetings. Our green season is the ideal time for corporate groups with great exclusive use packages and a quiet river. Baines offers accommodation for maximum 20 guests and all rooms can be made up in a twin configuration.

Shearwater 2014 bridge activity rates



A gentle reminder that the 2014 rates for Bridge activities are coming into effect on the 1st of December 2013, valid till 30 Nov 2014 as follows;

Bungee Jump



Bridge Swing Solo



Bridge Swing Tandem



Bridge Slide Solo



Bridge Slide Tandem



Big Air Experience Package



Historic Tram & Bridge Tour


US$65 (excluding transfers to the station)

Historic Bridge Tour



Bridge Tour & Lunch



Bridge Tour with Slide



Bridge Tour, Slide & Lunch



Lunch Tour Package



The Gruesome Twosome (Rafting and Bungee) Combo will remain at US$235.

The free Bungee Bus is available for all transfers from Hotels or Lodges in Victoria Falls to the Zimbabwe border. Please advise all guests to bring passports - no visa or stamps necessary.

Bridge Operating Times:
Low water (August to February) - 09h00 to 17h00 daily
High water (March to July) – 10h00 to 17h00 daily

Thank you for your continued support.
The Shearwater Team

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Shearwater Adventures

Royal Zambezi during the green season

Experience the luxury of The Royal Zambezi during the green season - 4 nights for the price of 3

The Royal Zambezi Lodge is just half an hour flight from Lusaka or a short boat trip from Gwabi, situated on the mighty Zambezi River. It is a magical escape that offers the ultimate in comfort and luxury, at the same time as getting you up close with nature. Where luxury meets the wild.

The green season is a beautiful time to visit the lower Zambezi, the land is lush with plains covered in grasses and the foliage full and green. It’s a time when animals can make the most of abundant food to give birth to their young and the area is its most colourful.

For a limited time only we are offering 4 nights at the lodge for the price of 3 for bookings between 03 Jan to 30 March 2014. Please contact our reservations team today and quote "Zambezi Traveller".

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Launch of the HAC Eurocopter

‘The Eagle has landed’

HAC are pleased to announce the launch of the newest addition to their fleet, the Eurocopter B2. Based out of Harare International Airport, the Eurocopter B2 will assist HAC’s already existing fleet of King Air fixed wing aircraft in servicing clients across Southern Africa.

Specifically, helicopters are a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors. This allows the machine to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to accomplish tasks that fixed-wing aircraft and other forms of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft cannot perform.

The addition of this machine to the fleet is key in terms of HAC’s overall business strategy, they understand that their clients have a diverse set of air charter requirements and their objective is to ensure that they can meet these, whatever the set of circumstances.

Chiefly, the Eurocopter B2 will be an invaluable tool within four main areas:
1) Medical air evacuations conducted in collaboration with M.A.R.S.
2) Aerial conservation efforts across the country.
3) Specialised sling transportation requirements.
4) Private and corporate client charters.

We look forward to seeing ‘The Eagle’ take to new heights and become a pivotal part in the positive growth and protection of Zimbabwe, as well as the people that make up Zimbabwe.

Halsted’s Aviation Corporation prides itself on being a Proudly African Air Charter Service. Specialising in the Beechcraft Range of aircraft, HAC manage a portfolio that includes: Private Charters, Corporate Charters, Aircraft Management, Cargo Transportation, Medical Evacuations and Aerial Conservation.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Halsted Aviation


Monday, 18 November 2013

Zimbabwe launches e-visa for China and India

Zimbabwe has launched an e-visa process for Chinese and Indian visitors to encourage increased tourist arrivals and investment from those countries.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said development was expected to result in a further upsurge in arrivals of tourists from the two countries, which have the largest populations in the world. “India and China have the largest populations in the world... The fact that they are both [large] geographically gave rise to the need for us to have the E-visa so that wherever they are in their countries, they can just apply for visas on the internet,” he said.

Mr Kaseke said while Zimbabwe had embassies in New Delhi, India and Beijing, China, processing of visas manually used to take time forcing some tourists to opt for destinations without cumbersome visa-regimes.

“E-visa is very good for us in the sense that they will apply on line and get the response in time since the Department of Immigration is only taking less than four days to respond.” said Mr Kaseke. Mr Kaseke said Zimbabwe was one of the 8 countries in Africa which had an Approved Destination Status (ADS) from the Chinese government.

He said other countries with the ADS status include Kenya and South Africa adding that these enjoyed thousands of tourists from China. “We expect to receive 20,000 Chinese by the end of the year up, from 9,000 received last year and by 2015 we expect to hit the 50,000 figure. As for India more efforts need to be channeled towards marketing our destination there because last year, we received about 5,000 but we are optimistic that with the e-visa regime, more tourists will come from that country,” said Mr Kaseke.

He applauded the government for committing resources to the promotion of the destination to the world. "We need to put more money in making our presence known out there. It is the only way other countries will know about us,” he said.

Source: The Herald (15 Nov 2013)

Khulu Ivory SADC Special

Khulu Ivory is The Amalinda Collection’s latest gem - an exclusive camp with 6 rooms only including one honeymoon suite, this opportunity is not to be missed.

We have specials for SADC residents:

November, January and February for USD275 per person per night FULLY INCLUSIVE

Excluding Park fees only

Friday, 15 November 2013

Wilderness Safaris Six Countries Summer Special

The Wilderness Safaris Six Countries Summer Special

If you have not already taken advantage of this fabulous special, then the time to act is now! A total of 28 luxury camps were launched on this special offer that spans the six southern Africa countries of Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Now a further two luxury camps have been included in the Botswana selection: Chitabe and Little Mombo. This brings the total up to 30 luxury camps in a year in which we celebrate our 30th birthday!

(Image credit: Mike Myers)

This special has been so successful in the past that Wilderness Safaris felt it was important to promote again. The summer season has growing appeal, being viewed in a new light as ‘the season of abundance and growth.’

The features that make this special so unique and successful are:

• The price is right – discounted accommodation rates in the top camps included in this special as well as reduced flying and road transfers.

• The minimum number of nights has been reduced to 5 and there is no maximum required.

• Mix and match countries and camps.

• Only Malawi has a single supplement, other countries do not charge a single supplement for accommodation or flying.

• Reduced rates in Namibian and Zimbabwean camps.

• Children 6 to 16 years sharing accommodation in family rooms only pay 50% of the adult rate.

• Special runs from 1 November all the way through to 15 April 2014, only excludes the dates over Christmas and New Year (20 December to 10 January)

• For Cape Town, Wilderness Touring has special rates on touring and transfers for guests travelling on this special.

For Zambezi Traveller readers, the camps included in the Six Country Summer Special through Wilderness Safaris are Toka Leya in Zambia, Little Makalolo and Davisons Camps in Hwange National Park. Full details of all the camps in the Wilderness Safaris portfolio that have been included in this unique special can be obtained via and from your agent.

(Image credit: Mike Myers)

Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe Summer Special

Zimbabwe Summer Special – Vic Falls, Hwange and Kariba (6 nights, 7 days)

This summer season, Wilderness Safaris and Changa Safari Camp in Lake Kariba are offering a special six-night summer package. Called the Zimbabwe Summer Special, this magical trio links Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Lake Kariba.

(Image credit: Mike Myers)

Starting with a Wilderness Air flight from Victoria Falls, guests spend three nights at either Little Makalolo or Davisons Camp in Hwange National Park. The package then includes a Wilderness Air flight from Hwange through to Kariba Airport after which a 30-minute road transfer takes guests to the harbour. Once at the harbour a boat transfer that takes about 45 minutes gets guests to Changa camp where they spend three nights. Guests then return to Victoria Falls from Changa, retracing their steps to catch a Wilderness Air flight to Victoria Falls.

(Image credit: Mike Myers)

The Zimbabwe Summer Special is available from 15 November right the way through to the 31 March 2014, except over the festive period from 20 December to 10 January. This is a special time of the year to travel to Zimbabwe, as summer is the time birth and renewal. There is plenty for everyone - predator and prey, as many species give birth to their young, and predators take their opportunities.

(Image credit: Changa Safari Camp)

All the migrant bird species arrive over this time, which adds another dimension to the season of plenty. Many bird species are displaying in their breeding plumage in order to impress the fairer fowl and this makes for a spectacular splash of bright vibrant colours against the glorious lush green of the bush.

Temperatures at this time of the year are warm, but not usually overbearing, which means comfortable early morning game drives and lovely romantic evening sunsets. As this is southern Africa’s rainy season, the traditional African thundershower can be known to strike with great drama to create a spectacular show that is usually quite dramatic, but short lived and the feeling of freshness that it leaves in its wake is rejuvenating for everyone.

For more information contact your agent or the Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe office at or .

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Two rhino poached in Matopos, Zimbabwe

Two rhino have been killed by poachers in Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe. The two rhinos, one estimated at over 50 years known as Swazi and another aged 10, were suspected to have been killed last Thursday.

Image credit: David Amyot

The poaching crisis in Zimbabwe has been making international news headlines, after the mass poisoning of elephants in the Hwange National Park.

In response to the incident it has been reported that the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) have commandeered crack rangers from Hwange National Park and Matopos National Park in large-scale operation to attempt to catch the poachers involved.

Sources said the two rhink were killed on Thursday. The same sources added that ZimParks officials were unsure whether the culprits were a local, regional or international syndicate. "There is a big follow-up, Parks are on it. Rangers have been brought in from Hwange and Bulawayo," a source close to the incidentr was reported as saying.

Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has not yet commented. However, David Coltart, a former minister in the past coalition government expressed outrage at the poaching. "This is a national outrage." Coltart said. "It would be good if the Tourism minister (Walter Mzembi) flew down with him (Kasukuwere) as our rhinos will increasingly become a magnet for tourists the scarcer they get in the world. My heart goes out to those in national parks and the local community who have worked so hard to rebuild the fence and to protect these magnificent animals. We must all publicise this and express our outrage. Only a stirring of our national conscience will stop these animals from being rendered extinct (in our country)."

The former Cabinet minister said the Zimbabwe government should speak with governments of the countries where the rhino horn is traded "to see what measures they are going to take to prevent this destruction of one of our national assets".

"If countries like China are truly our ‘all weather' friends they will demonstrate their abhorrence by acting to deal with their own nationals involved in this scandal."

Source: (10 November 2013), (08 Nov 2013).

Zambezi Traveller November eNewsletter

The latest Zambezi Traveller eNewsletter has been mailed to all our email subscribers. You can view the newsletter here, and sign up for future issues here.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Protea Livingstone hosts 'fatkidonabike'

Protea Hotel Livingstone recently supported Ron Rutland on his epic journey from Cape Town to London on a bike.

His incredible journey named Lettie’s ride – is a tale of a proud South African’s 27 month, 43,000km bicycle expedition through every country on mainland Africa, and onto the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London – celebrating health, vitality, mobility, adventure, life and the #HumanSpirit.

Ron is an inspiration to us all and we wish him the very best on his adventure through Africa.


Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Protea Hotel Livingstone

Monday, 11 November 2013

Update from Pioneer's Camp

An update from Pioneer's Camp, on the banks of the Zambezi above the Victoria Falls.

The recent installation of a solar powered mister in the chill tent has provided respite for our guests from the hottest months of the year.

The river is low with wonderful pools and squeaky sandy beaches. Here we bring our guests to see spectacular Zambezi sunsets while enjoying a sundowner and delicious home-made canapés. Back at camp guests are treated to a three course dinner freshly prepared by our chefs. Before being guided back to their tents guests convene around the fire pit to enjoy the African night skies.

The Mpala Jena spring line has remained green the whole season and is an ideal food source for warthog, waterbuck, baboons and a myriad of birds are regular daily visitors, with elephant, buffalo, kudu and other game on a frequent basis. We have a resident aardvark, a small herd of kudu and even eland.

Game has increased and we have regular visitors in and around the camp with elephant often in camp providing 'intimate' photographic opportunities for guests.

Not only is day time game viewing testimony to this but our new motion sensor camera gives us 'eyes in the dark'! The camera has shown us our resident aardvark, regular hyena and other game as well as ‘lion filming lion’ behind tent 3. Late September the motion sensor camera was ripped off its strap by a large male lion which then 'walked around' carrying the camera and managed to film a younger male companion before dropping the camera and losing interest. Video is on YouTube!

The highlight of a very recent trip was wonderful sighting of a mating pair of leopard. The leopard are seldom seen but they are here, proven by footprints on the sand in the dining and chill tent! A good reason for sandy floors!

More from the Zambezi Traveller:

Introducing Pioneer Camp (Zambezi Traveller Issue 12, March 2013)

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

Email:, website:, tel: +263 13 45139

Friday, 8 November 2013

VFH Livingstone Room voted one of the Best in the World

Victoria Falls Hotel Livingstone Room voted one of the Best in the World

Management of The Victoria Falls Hotel are extremely proud to announce that the new refreshed Livingstone Room has been voted as the 7th best hotel restaurant in the world. This prestigious achievement was awarded by The Daily Meal, which is a highly respected international website, concentrating in the field of culinary excellence.

The achievement is made more spectacular owing to the fact that The Livingstone Room is the highest ranked Restaurant on the African continent. Situated in the heart of the 110 year old Grand Dame, The Livingstone Room strives to offer the best of fresh and exciting cuisine with an old world charm. The atmosphere is charming with a vibrant sense, which comes alive at night. Having recently been lovingly restored to its former glory the new design and feel is the genius work of Graham Viney of Graham Viney Designs, which was responsible for the 1996 hotel refurbishment and has return to bring the look and feel to a modern, yet stately feel.

A recent edition to the family saw the arrival of a full size Grand Concert Piano, at over sixty years old, this beautiful instrument graced many a concert hall and she is perfectly positioned to thrill diner’s nighty as Takesure Mvasa tickles the ivories and sets the mood for romance.

Management of The Victoria Falls Hotel would like to this opportunity to not only congratulate the entire team for their brilliant achievement but also to thank each and every staff member that contributed to this magnificent success. We are extremely proud of entire team, from the dapper front of house ambassadors to the crafted professionals behind the scenes. Without the diligent approach from all members this triumphant success would not have been achievable.

A further cause to be hailed is that The Victoria Falls Hotel has joined forces with a community project, whereby producing most of the fresh vegetables, lettuce and herbs for restaurant. This project is situated right on hotel grounds and ensures daily produce is fresh from the soil to the table.

While the restaurant is trading as normal, the work continues to the exterior walkway, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The Victoria Falls Hotel looks forward to launching this exciting revamped product to the marketplace with much celebrations and to showcase the wealth of talent we have right here in Zimbabwe.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
The Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls in Lonely Planet top ten

Africa Albida celebrate Victoria Falls being named 6th on the Lonely Planet list of the top 10 regions to travel.

Victoria falls from the air (Image credit: Tom Varley)

Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide publisher in the world announced its Best Top 10 regions to travel this month, giving Victoria Falls reason to celebrate. As a joint destination shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls was ranked 6th the Lonely Planet list. Lonely Planet has a wide readership with the ever popular travel guides, a globally distributed monthly magazine the Lonely Planet Traveller, the vast online community The Thorn Tree as well as a television production company. From February to April of 2013, Lonely had 10.3 million unique visitors and 45.9 million page views. Impressively, Lonely Planet has over 400,000 points of interest throughout the world and Victoria Falls is the 6th best!

Victoria Falls is truly one the world’s great wonders. Standing in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in front of the mighty Zambezi falling 108m down the first gorge with such exceptional force that you are drenched, is a remarkable experience. As David Livingstone perfectly summarised, “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight”.

Victoria Falls offers superb game viewing opportunities, a range of activities to suit every age, superb restaurants, unique cultural artefacts and art, banks and ATMs, and a hospital all within a National Park. The completion of the infrastructural developments at the Victoria Falls airport, including a new terminal in 2015 and 4km runways in 2014 to handle long haul wide body jets will be an exciting development for the destination.

Such achievement and recognition comes on the back of the successful co hosting by Zimbabwe and Zambia in August, of the United Nations World Trade Organisation general assembly in Victoria Falls. The event saw representatives of 120 countries and 900 affiliate organisations experience firsthand the splendour of one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

The destination caters to all budgets and tastes, from backpacking lodges to luxurious lodges and hotels. New properties such as Africa Albida Tourism’s lavish butler-service Victoria Falls Safari Club (VFSC) have placed the destination on the discerning travellers radar. The VFSC has earned a reputation as a trend setting and innovative establishment. The first of its kind on the Zimbabwean side, the VFSC has broken the mould offering world class, 5 star luxury clothed in the warmth for which the region is famous. As the destination continues to gain attention from the world, there is little doubt that Victoria Falls is The place to be.

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

More from the Zambezi Traveller:
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ndau nominated for Africa Fashion Award

The Ndau Collection are extremely proud to have been nominated for Accessories Designers of the Year at the prestigious African Fashion Awards, held by African Fashion International recently at the Montecasino Hotel at the close of Mercedes Benz African Fashion Week 2013. Fellow nominees were Anita Quansah London and Pichulik from South Africa. The final judging was done by supermodel Alek Wek, TV personality Diana Opoti, supermodel Sayora Grigorian, ambassador of Azzedine Alaia, with interests in luxury fashion, and South Africa's Chris Viljoen, a renowned fashion director who has been in the local fashion industry for more than 17 years. Whilst the award went to Anita Quansah London on the night, the Ndau team were very honoured to be included in such a prestigious line up of designers from Africa and the diaspora. Watch this space next year!

Read more on the Ndau Collection from the Zambezi Traveller:
Ndau Collection

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
The Ndau Collection

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

New appointments at Bumi Hills

Home-Coming For Dardley Tafuruka and Catherine Norton

The Bumi team are delighted to welcome both Dardley and Catherine back to the fold. Zimbabwe-born and grown, they both in fact started out at Bumi and in the Kariba area, and have both been out of the country for many years enhancing their skills and learning to really understand the needs of foreign and regional clients.

Dardley Tafuruka, who is a Professional guide, and who has been in the industry for 20 years, who states “leadership, teamwork, training and communications” as vital to him, is a larger than life effervescent personality who creates an immediate impact when he walks into the room. He is well-spoken, and incredibly knowledgeable about wildlife. His passion and knowledge of wildlife and all creatures great and small, and the ability to relate to people from all over the world has been further enhanced in the other countries where he has worked for the past few years (such as Tanzania, Botswana - including the Delta - and Zambia)

Catherine Norton also started her career working at Bumi and in the Kariba area in the early 1980s – and also after being out of the country for several years, and having worked in the hospitality industry for many years, has returned home to Bumi! Catherine is a Food and Beverage specialist and is a personality of her own, she is witty and creative and this comes through in the choice of menus and cuisine creations and displays that come forth from the kitchen. Despite being a real lady (having attended Cheltenham Finishing School!) really knows how to get stuck in and ensure that that despite operating out of a kitchen miles from any shops and town, in the heart of the bush, delicious meals are produced and clients constantly marvel at what is produced and presented to them.

Both Dardley and Catherine are delighted to be home after many years, and we are delighted to have them and all the new ideas and skills they bring!

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Kimple Africa launch new 530 RiverRunner with fishing deck layout

Kimple Africa is proud to announce the launch their new 530 RiverRunner with customised fishing deck layout. This model offers both the personal and tour operator the flexibility of a people carrier or specialised fishing rig.

We fitted this demo boat with a 125 optimax to give it the sport performance that many pro fishing users require. The RiverRunner series of Kimple Boats has been received very well in the African market, lodge owners have given us only positive feedback. The order book for January 2014 is still open. Call us to discuss a customised option for your needs.

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Kimple Africa

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Latest news from Wilderness Hwange

Here's an appetiser from our forthcoming eNewsletter - are you signed up? Subscribe here.

The Wilderness Safaris concession in the Hwange National Park is one of the prime game viewing areas in the Park. The diversity of landscape from the border at Ngweshla all the way through to Ngoma provide interesting habitat for a large selection of species. Within this area Wilderness Safaris constantly nurtures, protects, monitors and cares for this precious wilderness. Arnold Tshipa is the conservationist whose job it is to keep an eye on conservation matters and this month his report deals with the stresses of a lingering dry season.

In September Arnold reported early rains, which were probably attributable to conventional currents, and yielded a welcome 4mm to Little Makalolo. This was most needed as the gauge had climbed to 39ºC and the heat was becoming unbearable at times. Whilst this early respite was welcome, it was short-lived and the month of October is expected to yield the typical unrelenting heat that precedes the real rain.

(Image credit: Mike Myers)

During the dry months, Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe looks after the water levels in 14 waterholes. Willem Botha maintains and runs Lister and Kubota diesel engine pumps to ensure an adequate supply of water for game species. As the water levels drop owing to the demand of elephants and buffalo especially, so the level of diesel required increases. This is carefully monitored and reported on, and from the reports, the movement of elephant, particularly, can be seen. At the moment, the pumps are pushing out around 1M litres of water a day. Keeping up with demand is difficult, but is ongoing and as the thud of the engines yield fresh water, we look to the skies for signs of some natural relief.

(Image credit: Mike Myers)

The anti-poaching unit continues its patrols to prevent off-take. Every month large amounts of snares are found and removed, but now with the concentration of game around the few waterholes, the incidents of snared elephant and buffalo is on the rise. This is being closely monitored and de-snaring tactics are being put in place.

We also have a number of camera traps that have been set up and the results from these traps are starting to be very rewarding and interesting. This month the white-tailed mongoose and leopard were the most exciting sightings.

We acknowledge all the hard work done by our conservation team for without their care of the wilderness, there would be no Wilderness.

Read more about the region in our destination guide:

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Little Makalolo Camp (Hwange, Zimbabwe)
Davison's Camp (Hwange, Zimbabwe)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Elephant societies 'disrupted decades after cull'

Source: BBC News (1 Nov 2013)

Image source: BBC News

African elephants' decision-making abilities are left impaired by culling operations that ended decades ago, University of Sussex research suggests.

The study found that elephant herds that lost adults to culls during the 1970s and 1980s were less able to respond appropriately to other elephant calls.

Lead researcher Prof Karen McComb said the animals' "social understanding" had been impaired by the loss of adults.

The scientists, from the University of Sussex, say this is the first "systematic evidence that fundamental social skills may be significantly impaired by man-made disruption".

The results are published in the Journal Frontiers in Zoology.

Read the full article here.

More on elephants from the Zambezi Traveller: