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

Thursday, 12 December 2013

VFSL listed in Top 25 Resorts and Safari Camps in Africa

On the eve of its 20th birthday, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has been voted in the Top 25 Resorts and Safari Camps in Africa by Conde’ Nast Traveler. Set high on a plateau, which forms a natural boundary to the Zambezi National Park, enjoying uninterrupted views of unspoilt bushveld, spectacular African sunsets and an on-site waterhole, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is ideally positioned to offer the most discerning traveller a taste of Africa at its best.

With 1.3 million votes cast and nearly 80,000 people voting in the 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, the only Zimbabwean property to be listed in the category, has for the third year running, been recognised along with the ‘Best in the World’ by Conde’ Nast Taveler.

Named in conjunction with celebrated names such as Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, the Singita properties of Sabi Sand, Kruger and Grumeti, Lions Sands and Phinda Private Game Reserve, it is clear that Zimbabwe as a destination is beginning to be thought of by astute, global travellers as a premier destination with Victoria Falls Safari Lodge leading the pack.

Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers superb game viewing opportunities, a range of activities to suit every age, inspired restaurants, unique cultural artefacts and art, banks and ATMs, and a hospital all within a National Park.

Conde’ Nast Traveler predicts that in 2014, more families will choose Africa as their holiday destination of choice. With safaris beginning to grow in popularity amongst families, Zimbabwe, a safe, peaceful, game abundant and beautifully diverse wilderness destination has much to offer. Zimbabwe is renowned for its fantastic National Parks and has a fine tradition of producing outstanding safari guides; eight Zimbabweans were acknowledged by Conde’ Nast Traveler in December 2013, as among the Top 25 Best Safari Guides.

Named by Lonely Planet in the Best Top 10 regions to travel in November and on the back of the success of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly in Victoria Falls in August – an event attended by representatives of 120 countries and 900 affiliate organisations, Zimbabwe has had an impressive 2013.

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

More from the Zambezi Traveller:
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Sunday, 8 December 2013

December Zambezi Traveller online and across the region

December issue of the Zambezi Traveller is working its way across the region and available online to browse. Watch out for your copy!

View online here.

View full contents listing here

Zambezi Traveller (Issue 15, Dec 2013) Full Content Listing

Zambezi Traveller (Issue 15, Dec 2013) Full Content Listing

Cover Story


Necks on the line

Feature Story

First wildlife release launches Simalaha

Cahora Bassa & Tete

A new national park for Tete
Tete Classic takes off
Challenge and opportunity in Tete
Good food, no frills
Riverside elegance
No kidding about goat farming
An amazing race in Tete
New school block project

Kariba & Middle Zambezi


Elephant Charge raises US$170,000
Baobabs and Zambezi Figs working together
A good year for cheetah project
Drama on the Musango flood plains
The 13-year road trip
Where a guide finds home


The best time of year
Tiger-time 2013
Msuna contest – the results

Victoria Falls

Chamabondo comes alive
Seasonal jewels of the bush


Cruising into 2014 with confidence
Vital funds raised for wildlife
Secure that cable!
Farewell ‘dagaboy’ Timot
For the love of forests
Women, property and inheritance
Seventh best in the world
A key returned
The railway and the hotel in history
A shark at Victoria Falls
Elephant's Walk roundup


Opulent advances at Africa Albida
Cresta Sprayview officially opens
Bidding with intent at the BirdLife Zimbabwe Art Auction
A mountain of a challenge
Bikers support wildlife
The ultimate school challenge
Post-natal clinic is reborn
Playground gets a facelift


Wetlands – not just for the birds
Meet you at Meikles
Chivero opens for rhino event


Hwange Elephants – Securing their future
Water is the key


Sable Sands one year on
The smiling faces of children
Oh please let it rain!
The tourists who attracted the wildlife
Volunteer dentists help hundreds



A tall story – how the giraffe got its neck
We’re watching you!


Christmas Crackers
Christmas spiders from heaven


Elephants in trouble
The birth of our city
An epic ride for elephants
Man of many talents
Profits beyond projection
Reflecting on UNWTO
The birth of a sporting dream
Girls building schools



First-hand from Kafue



An African love story
Looking for lion and lechwe
David and Goliath in the wild
Disease threatens domestic dogs



Giraffe in decline
Blisters for sisters
Ele Hills upstages Chobe
Kasane gets to grips with strays
Grow a tree for your country
Try a gourmet safari cruise
Tourism industry meets in Kasane
Peter Comley, the writer

Saturday, 7 December 2013

An African love story


Anyone who has spent time with one of Africa’s most successful hunters, the painted or the Cape hunting dog, commonly known as the wild dog, will know its crafty hunting techniques and pure determination, which inevitably result in a successful hunt.

On the other side of the scale, weighing about half as much, is Africa’s toughest, bravest and most fearless mammal, the honey badger or ratel; a tough creature indeed that will stand its ground when attacked or provoked, irrespective of the size of the assailant.

So, when you get a determined attacker twice your weight with four times your numbers, the outcome should be easy to work out, right? Read on...

In a quiet area of the Selinda Concession, not far from Selinda Camp in Botswana, a pack of nine wild dog find a pair of honey badgers unusually walking around during the day.

The pack works quickly as a team, and it’s not long before the badgers are separated.

The attacks are relentless, coming from all sides. It’s only a matter of time before fatigue sets in. The female is the first to show the signs. As the attacks continue, the group surrounding the female are getting closer and closer with more bites successfully reaching the loose skin of the tiring badger.

All seems to be lost for the female as her last energy reserves are sapped out of her body. For the first time, as far as I can remember in my quarter of a century as a guide, I feel a sick feeling in my stomach at the thought that she will be killed and the male will be left without a partner. I don’t normally take sides during hunts, but this time I felt for the badgers.

I am getting ready to accept the inevitable when out of the pack where her partner is also fighting for his life, through the dust, noise and pungent smell, emerges the male - heading toward the other group where his partner was about to become his ex. Now he started fighting with that group of dogs while he still has his own attackers following him. There he was, in the middle of this ever decreasing arena, surrounded by nine dogs and an almost unresponsive partner.

With a burst of energy, he grabs his partner and drags her to the base of a nearby tree. Here at least he is protected on one side and can defend his companion.

The fight continues, and the female begins to regain her strength.

As unexpected as his previous act of bravery, the badger chose the right time to execute his final plan. At a slight lull in the fight, he grabbed the female by the scruff of her neck and dragged her toward and into a hidden hole in the ground. The dust finally settled, the canine sounds stopped and, although the badger’s stink still lingered in the air, the bird sounds could be heard once more. I felt relieved. If there ever was an animal award for bravery, this male deserves it!


More from the Zambezi Traveller:
Okavango Destination Profile

Drama on the Musango flood plains

By Adam Jones

Searching for malachite kingfishers by pontoon turned out to be a spectacular afternoon of lion versus buffalo.

Just before entering the river, close to the malachite nesting sight, I noticed two lionesses on the Lake shore, relaxing.

Moving closer for a better look we noticed a lone buffalo not two hundred metres away from the reclining ladies.

Suddenly the lionesses became more active and moved into the bush out of sight. The wind was in their favour, they were moving towards buffalo.

Suddenly the buffalo came running out of the bush followed by one lioness, she tried to take the buffalo down three times, but failed.

The buffalo swam through a shallow gulley hotly pursued now by three lionesses

We quickly maneuvered the boat to the next bay where we found the three lionesses on the buffalo at the waters edge.

With all the commotion, crocodiles had been attracted and the one lioness started growling at an approaching one as can be seen by this image.

We continued to watch this spectacle whilst enjoying our gin and tonic sundowners.


Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Musango Safari Camp

Zambezi Traveller Destination Guide:
Kariba & Middle Zambezi Profile

More articles:
Kariba & Middle Zambezi

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Victoria Falls geared towards multi-generational travel

Image Credit: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls is the ultimate destination for 2014. Recently named in the ‘Top Ten Best Regions to Travel’ by Lonely Planet, the town on the edge of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe has much to offer. Combining wildlife experiences with culture, art and adventure, there is something for everyone at one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Mecca of adventure travel, those young at heart travelling to the destination have a wealth of activities to choose from. You could find yourself bungee- jumping off one of the most famous bridges in the world, the grand Victoria Falls Bridge or wrestling the mighty Zambezi River waves whilst white-water rafting, or even taking a walk on the very wild side with the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit. If it is adventure that you are searching for, Victoria Falls is the place for you.

However, if it is the quieter side of life that you find most appealing, sipping on a gin and tonic (the drink of African sunsets), exotic cocktail or something a little stronger, on-board a sunset cruise is always a favourite. There are a variety of vessels that cater for all budgets. The Zambezi Explorer, a three-tiered, solar powered boat, floats so silently past that not even the African Skimmers are bothered.

Game drives, elephant interactions, steam train trips, fishing expeditions and of course, wandering through the Victoria Falls Rainforest to emerge drenched by the magnificent Smoke that Thunders, the Victoria Falls are a firm favourite regardless of age. Take the kids to see which of the 1,8 million different colour possibilities is illuminating the Victoria Falls Bridge at night – it truly is a spectacle to behold.

Time may be spent wining and dining at world-class restaurants - the Mukuwa-Kuwa Restaurant, an a la carte dining experience that overlooks a stunning vista and a waterhole frequented by a variety of animals including, Elephant, Buffalo and Impala, serves a fabulous ‘Pumba Fillet’ and carries an extensive, international wine list. Amazulu, a local accapela company, make desert that much sweeter with their melodious Shona and Ndebele music. The town offers a variety of restaurants with spectacular views and varied dining options. For families with young children, The Boma-Place of Eating, is a fun night of interactive drumming, dancing, face-painting, fortune-revealing, story-telling adventure, all with an African flavour and delicious food. Eating a Mopani worm always goes down a storm with the boys!

It is often difficult as a family or small groups travelling together, to find accommodation that provides the space, privacy and pricing options. Families often have difficulties finding an environment that caters adequately for multi-generational travel and the differing needs and wants each member has. However, Victoria Falls has a wide ranging choice of lodgings. Lokuthula Lodges, replete with rustic charm, are a great value-for-money, family friendly option. Kids , parents and grandparents alike love the swimming pool and being entertained by the resident warthogs as they root around the lush garden lawns. Lokuthula Lodges can be booked on a self-catering or bed-and-breakfast basis.

If you are looking for an elegant, luxurious retreat, opening on the 20th December 2013, are 6 Victoria Falls Safari Suites. The Safari Suites, come in 2 or 3 bed-roomed options and are designed with families and close-knit groups in mind. The Victoria Falls Safari Suites are a child-friendly, high-end product that offers the freedom of space and the luxury of intimacy without compromising on comfort. The Suites are spacious enough to enjoy the family holiday without feeling on-top of one another.

Hosting the annual Jameson Vic Falls Carnival in December, the tough but beautiful Vic Falls marathon and 3 day Mountain Bike Challenge in June, the town is a truly multi-faceted destination with something to offer all ages and requirements. Victoria Falls, is certainly the ultimate destination.

Read more from the Zambezi Traveller: Victoria Falls Safarii Lodge Victoria Falls Destination Guide

David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa wins top award


The David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa, Livingstone Zambia scooped two prestigious awards for 2013, the most recent being the World Luxury Hotel and Spa Awards held on 1 November 2013 at an exclusive red carpet event in Phuket, Thailand.

Named the Global Winner of the Best Luxury Lodge category and the Best Luxury Safari Spa in Zambia, David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa, is also a previous award winner having taken awards in 2010 and 2012 as well.

The World Luxury Hotel and Spa Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for Luxury Hotels & Spa’s internationally. Established as a celebration of ultimate achievement in service excellence, the highly sought after awards reward and congratulate hotels and spas that have achieved excellence.

The exclusive event was attended by some of the world’s top hoteliers and leading decision-makers and included a 6 course gala dinner followed by top entertainment and presentation of the coveted awards.

David Livingstone Safari Lodge Operations Manager, Keith Rissik was present at the event to receive the award for World’s Best Luxury Lodge. Elated with the announcement, Rissik attributed the lodge’s success to its world class standards and guest relations. “The team at David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa is honoured to have been recognized internationally with this award,” he said. “We endeavor to not only maintain the standards, but to exceed our guests’ expectations in the years to come.”

The safari-styled, five -star Lodge & Spa is situated 5km from Zambia’s tourist hub, Livingstone, and 8km from the splendid Victoria Falls, known as the Smoke that Thunders. With 72 tastefully decorated en-suite luxury rooms and five executive suites, The David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa boasts some of the most spectacular views of the Zambezi from the private balconies.

Zambezi Traveller Directory
David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Proflight Zambia launches Mongu route


Mongu last week becomes the tenth domestic destination in Proflight Zambia’s expanding schedule of national and international routes.

The service, which was launched today (Wednesday, November 27), is the first new local route for the airline since commencing Mansa and Kasama routes more than two years ago, and means that passengers can now fly to the capitals of all the provinces in Zambia that have designated airports.

“The addition of Mongu to Proflight Zambia’s schedule is long overdue and has been received enthusiastically by travellers,” said Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Capt. Philip Lemba. “We can now say that we cover the length and breadth of the country.”

Dignitaries accompanying Capt. Lemba on the inaugural flight included Mongu Central Member of Parliament and North-Western Province Minister Hon. Nathaniel Mubukwanu, Yichidi Ndhlovu from the Department of Civil Aviation, Western Province Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga and Zambia Tourism Board Publicity Co-ordinator Caristo Chitamfya.

Proflight’s twice-a-week service from Lusaka to Mongu will run on Wednesdays and Thursdays, leaving Lusaka at 07:45 on Wednesdays and arriving in Mongu at 10:05, before returning at 10:25 and arriving back in Lusaka at 12:45 on the same day. On Thursdays the flight leaves Lusaka at 12:35 and arrives in Mongu at 14:55, returning at 15:15 and touching down in Lusaka at 15:35.

The schedule is designed to fit with both business and leisure itineraries, enabling travellers to spend either a day or a week in Western Province, or indeed for Mongu travellers to travel elsewhere for similar periods.

The service will be operated using a 12-seater Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft. Return fares from Lusaka to Mongu start from around K3,502 including taxes.

Mongu is the capital of Western Province and gateway to the famous Kuomboka traditional ceremony on the Zambezi River floodplains, as well as the renowned annual wildebeest migration on the Liuwa Plains.

Proflight also flies to nine other domestic destinations within Zambia: Lusaka, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa and Kasama, as well as to Lilongwe in Malawi and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.

The airline is now considering services to Harare, Tete and Johannesburg, subject to regulatory approval.

Proflight Zambia celebrates 22 years of operation this year and prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service.

About Proflight Zambia

Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is Zambia’s only scheduled airline. From its base in Lusaka it flies to Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa, Kasama and Mongu, and to Lilongwe in Malawi and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.

The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.

The airline operates three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft; four 18-seater Jetstream 32; and two 12-seater Cessna Caravan C208 aircraft.

Zambezi Traveller Directory
Proflight Zambia