Office Africa March 2014

Dear all!

End of March is upon us, some of us have lost an hour of sleep for the Daylight Saving Time adjustments, or are about to (I personally will have lost TWICE one hour of sleep, having been in two different continents on their respective changes!) and depending on your geographical location you would have enjoyed the transition to spring or to fall.

End of March is upon us, which means that our Safari season is fast approaching, with less than 60 days before Kaingo Camp reopens (May 20th)!

Friends and family tell me: “You must be ready to go back”. You bet! But am I ready?? Unbelievable how time flies and the list of things we always plan on doing “during the rains” has hardly been touched! But yes I’m excited to think we are almost back into safari season, and I can’t wait to go back to South Luangwa, check out the river, find out how the lion cubs are doing, and see all our staff again.

And to get ready to welcome you all! Think of that first sundowner on the banks of the Luangwa River!

Jules, Derek, Saphire and Jayabella have enjoyed the last few weeks in their new vacation home in Sweden.

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Jayabella and Saphire Shenton

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Jayabella, Jules and Derek Shenton

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Shentons in Sweden (7)It looks really gorgeous there. The house is near a lake and they even have 24ha of forest on their property – where they can track wildlife such as fox, Eurasian lynx, red deer, elk and wild boar. How exciting! But the best really was the arrival of snow, as it was the very first time for the girls to see and feel snow.

At first they had only a little bit of snow and managed to build a rather tiny snowman.

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Saphire and Tiny Snowman

Shentons in Sweden (10)But then came one of the biggest snowstorms of the season and along came big snowman!

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Saphire, Jayabella and Big Snowman!

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Shenton in SwedenBy the way, let’s wish a happy belated birthday to both Saphire and Jayabella. The family looks in super form, it is so nice to see them in such a different setting! For those of you who may not know this, Derek’s mother, Marianne, is from Sweden, and Derek has visited the country several times, still having relatives there.  Shentons in Sweden (18)

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The Shenton House in Sweden

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Spring has come to Sweden

Let’s just go back in time for a minute, and have a look at these beautiful pictures of Saphire Shenton and her cousins, during the New Year celebrations. It is Derek’s nephew, Kane Shenton, who took these fun photographs while the family was playing outside with sparkling sticks.

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Once back in Lusaka, Derek will quickly head to South Luangwa and gather the troops to start camp building. It has been raining nicely in February, but land can dry fast and if not for the occasional showers we think the rainy season may be over. Wind has started blowing, skies have cleared up and temperatures have dropped. Fall has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere.

Here are a few pictures taken by Mfuwe resident Emma Robinson, last February.

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This is “the shelf” for those of you familiar with the area north of Lion Plains

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Gorgeous isn’t it?

Moving on to some good travel news as I’m sure these will delight many of our upcoming guests. As of April 1st, Proflight will increase its luggage allowance on the flight Lusaka-Mfuwe (and vice-versa) from 15kg (32lb) to 23kg (50lb)!! This is really helpful, especially for the keen photographers amongst our guests.

Luggage must be a maximum of 2 pieces to check in (with a maximum total weight of 23kg), in addition to the carry-on luggage of maximum 5kg (11lb).

new luggage allowanceThis increase does not apply to flights to Lower Zambezi.

For updated and complete information about the luggage policy for Proflight, click here.

 

Talking about travels, I just returned from a 5-week marketing trip to the USA. Our Facebook fans would have followed my travels on an almost daily basis. From East to West and North to South I was able to meet up with numerous travel agents and also attend the New York Times Travel Show in the company of the representatives of the Zambian Tourism Board. Thank you again to all the agents who have taken the time to welcome me and to learn about how wonderful Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bush Camp are!

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Margaret Makungo and Marsha Achiume on the ZTB stand at the NY Times Travel Show, Feb 2014

I’ll take this opportunity to send an invitation to members of the tourism trade to meet at the upcoming INDABA trade show that will be held in Durban May 10-11-12, 2014. We will be on the Zambian Tourism Board stand, # DEC 2A05, in the DEC hall.

Please send me an email to make an appointment.

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In our last newsletter we were excited to announce the many categories in which Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bush Camp were voted FINALISTS for the 2014 Safari Awards of the Good Safari Guide.

Safari Awards History Kaingo

Safari Awards History MwambaUnfortunately we did not win anything this time around, but it was really cheering to have received so many votes and seen such enthusiasm from our guests, travel agents and peers. THANK YOU!

The good news is that both Kaingo and Mwamba are already nominated for the 2015 Safari Awards, and therefore we will kindly solicit your votes again, and hopefully look forward to many categories in which your votes will single us out.

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The votes for 2015 are already open, you can click on the icon below to process your votes.

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If you are a movie fan, you’ll remember that early March was the Oscar night, the Academy Awards rewarding the performance of actors and movie makers. Maybe it was because I was physically in the USA that I got especially excited about the event, but it inspired me to celebrate our own Luangwa celebrities and to reward them with a “Golden Rhino”. I think I got a little carried away while sitting in my hotel room on a Sunday afternoon. You can let me know what you think!

SAFAWARDS 2014, our version of the Academy Awards!

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And the Golden Rhino goes to…

Best Make Up and Hairstyle

Best Original Screenplay

Best Actress

Best Picture

Having fun? Click here to see the many more categories and the winners.

 

More seriously, Shenton Safaris, Project Luangwa and the South Luangwa National Park made the headlines in several media recently.

National Geographic Travel Writers Marcus and Kate Westberg published their article about their 12-day trip in South Luangwa, talking about the involvement and support of safari lodges in the local community. During their 2012 visit Marcus and Kate visited many projects with Karen and Dave, managers for Project Luangwa, and stayed at Mwamba Bush Camp as well as other member lodges of Project Luangwa.

Project Luangwa charity manager Karen Beattie helps a local student with her schoolwork. (Photograph by Marcus and Kate Westberg)

Project Luangwa charity manager Karen Beattie helps a local student with her schoolwork. (Photograph by Marcus and Kate Westberg)

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All of the kids gave a helping hand at Katapila Community School to paint a tree mural. (Photograph by Marcus and Kate Westberg)

School cook Mrs. Mabao makes lunch over an open fire at Mfuwe Day Secondary School. (Photograph by Marcus and Kate Westberg)

We invite you to read the full article here.

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Project Luangwa was also the feature of a press release by UK Aid and the British Council on February 25th, 2014.

As part of the Connecting Classrooms education initiative of the UK government, the British Council selected Elmtree School in Chesham to develop links with Zambia. Elmtree School and Project Luangwa have been working closely together since 2009, in supporting Katapila School in Mfuwe, and it is an honor for both to have been selected by the British representatives to tighten the relationship and to allow teachers to take part in an exchange visit with Katapila School.

You can read the full press release on our blog here.

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Shenton Safaris and South Luangwa also made the cut in a brand new video used by the Zambian Tourism Board, featuring the Best of Zambia, and distributed to thousands of travel agents and shown at recent and upcoming shows.

Enjoy the video by clicking on the logo below.

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Finally, South Luangwa was also the main feature (22 pages!) in the March 2014 edition of Wild Travel magazine. Click on the magazine below and enjoy your free copy of the magazine, courtesy of Wild Travel. The feature on Zambia starts on page 76. We strongly suggest subscribing to Wild Travel, it really is a superb publication.

Wild Travel March 2014

Phew, lots to talk about!

Our newsletter wouldn’t be the same without some great safari pictures! First I would like to feature some from our guests Vincent and Veronique Brahamcha, who visited us in October 2014. In addition to photographs Vincent also takes videos and made up a beautiful montage of his trip which we are delighted to share here. A pre-taste of your upcoming safari for those joining us this season!

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Patrick and Maxwell ready to cross over to the Carmine Bee-Eater Hide

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Bungalow at Mwamba Bush Camp

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Outdoor bathroom at Mwamba Bush Camp

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The photographic hide at Mwamba Bush Camp

Vincent’s video can be seen on his website www.vb-photo.com or by clicking here to go to the YouTube version.

In our last newsletter I promised you some more pictures from Meyam, this time specifically relating to a spectacular kill of a buffalo by the large Mwamba Kaingo pride, just on the banks of the Luangwa River (September 1st, 2014). We had already featured some pictures of this kill by our guest Regine Lacroix as well as some obtained from the guides’ videos, but I didn’t want you to miss out on Meyam’s shots.

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Shortly after the kill, a male lion from the Nsefu Pride, decided to cross the river and provided another amazing sighting for our guests. One of the Mwamba-Kaingo males was not  about to let that intruder enjoy the greener grass (or rather sandy beach) of our side of the Luangwa, and chased him off rapidly. All this caught by camera.

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In the meantime, I was able to finish the montage of the video together, and you can enjoy it here.

By the way, it’s not too late to book your safari! We still have some availability in July and in October!

Well I think that is it for now. We’ll catch up again in May as Kaingo reopens! I can’t wait to have new pictures to show you all!

Until then,

Izzy

 


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