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A proud WINNER of the
Zimbabwe Achievers Tourism Award!
We promote travel opportunities to the wild areas of the Zambezi Valley 
WILD ZAMBEZI invites you to a world of nature where the pace is slow, the sun is warm, the sky is huge and the people are friendly.  Our travel promotion focus is the Zambezi River and its iconic wildernesses, including the Victoria Falls & Zambezi National Parks, Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park and Mana Pools National Park and World Heritage Site.  We provide web-based, up-to-date information on operators, activities, accommodation choices, tours and services in this magnificent area, and offer a reliable, independent travel advisory service.

WILD ZAMBEZI NEWS - OCTOBER 2016

Explore our travel listings & share your own
experiences on our website 
www.wildzambezi.com
PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-NEWSLETTER!
NEWS HEADLINES - OCTOBER 2016
- Regional airlines ban Galaxy Note 7 smartphones
- Botswana joins South Africa in toughening up on children travelling 
- Safari Logistics transfers:  strict luggage and weight restrictions during summer
- Useful tips for the hot season
- Latest Travel Reviews on WildZambezi.com
- Travel Specials on WildZambezi.com
KARIBA
- Fish "bait" this year's Tiger Tournament participants! 
- New website for Zambezi Cruise Safaris
- Time to re-brand the "houseboat" experience?  Help us do it.
ZAMBEZI VALLEY
- Cool off in Jecha's beautiful new pool
- African Bush Camps celebrates 10 years!
VICTORIA FALLS
- Victoria Falls River Lodge upgrades its website
- "Vulture Culture" at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
- Tail Ender - A tale of two tags

REGIONAL AIRLINES BAN GALAXY NOTE 7 SMARTPHONES 
If you're travelling within Southern Africa and haven't already returned or replaced your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, we suggest you do.

British Airways (including Comair and Kalula), South African Airways and Air Zimbabwe have joined other international airlines in banning the device on board their aircraft.  

This is in compliance with precautions taken by regulators and aviation authorities worldwide to safeguard customers and crew, following Samsung’s recall of the device, several of which have caught fire, reportedly due to battery faults.   It seems even the replacements are also causing problems.
BOTSWANA JOINS SOUTH AFRICA IN TOUGHENING UP ON CHILDREN TRAVELLING
Botswana has joined South Africa in introducing new requirements for children travelling into and out of the country. 

Minors travelling through Botswana’s borders are now required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports. 

We will not allow any children under the age of 18 to enter our country without the documents we require from parents,”  Botswana Director of Immigration and Citizenship Mabuse Pule stated.

According to Pule, industry stakeholders in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector were consulted. In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be made available. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.

SAFARI LOGISTICS AIR TRANFERS REMINDER:
STRICT LUGGAGE AND WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS DURING SUMMER 


Safari Logistics, which provides cost-effective road and air travel solutions linking Zimbabwe's top safari and wildlife areas is enforcing strict limitations (for safety standard reasons) on the weight of passengers and their luggage on its transfer aircraft. 

"Passengers' combined luggage and personal weight has to be restricted to a total of not more than 120kgs... to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our guests.."  warned the company in a recent statement.   "Furthermore, we request that passengers only travel with soft-sided luggage- no hard-shell suitcases will be allowed."

The high temperatures (average 36° Celsius) in Zimbabwe's summer months produce air thermals and turbulence which can directly affect safari flight transfers, especially during take-off and landing.  These strict conditions will be applied to all Safari Logistics aircraft especially during the summer months (October - April).


"During the booking process, we ask to be accurately advised of all passenger weights so that we are able to calculate the weight distribution and balance of our aircraft. Safari Logistics uses an average weight of 100 kilos per passenger, including their luggage. Passenger weights are used to plan the balance of the plane prior to departure which is why this information is important prior to flights departing. Seat rates only apply to passengers weighing less than 120 kilos. Alternative arrangements may need to be made for guests weighing over 120 kilos.

To ensure the safety of all travellers, we are obliged to weigh all passengers prior to departure.  There is a maximum luggage allowance of 20kg per person, including hand luggage."

For more information on this company's services and contact details, see Safari Logistics

Have you travelled with Safari Logistics?  Please tell us about it by submitting a WildZambezi.com Travel Review at the above link.
USEFUL TIPS FOR THE HOT SEASON

HEAT AND SUN
:  It is almost always sunny and hot in the Zambezi Valley during the safari season, but particularly during the hot dry months of September - December.  Once the rains come (December - April) there is some relief, but temperatures are still high.  
Drink PLENTY of water to keep your hydration levels up. - minimum 2 litres a day.  Make sure you keep safe by drinking only filtered, boiled or bottled water when travelling.  (Read our Travel Blog about  the "Throttle the Bottle" Campaign).  
It's also useful to carry some rehydration sachets or tablets in your personal medical aid kit.  These are very helpful in hot, dry conditions and can make a big difference if the heat is making you feel lethargic.
Sunstroke is not pleasant and could ruin your holiday.  So, if you have a fair skin, take precautions against sunburn by using a high protection factor sunscreen at all times, as well as a good UV protection lip salve. Always wear a wide-brimmed hat (better than a cap) and a good pair of sunglasses.  If you have sensitive skin, it's advisable to wear a long-sleeved shirt in very lightweight cotton (although the heat in September/October may make this difficult).  Carry a neutral-coloured lightweight cotton wrap for throwing over your shoulders and arms to keep the sun off, if need be.


MALARIA:    Victoria Falls, Kariba and other areas of the Zambezi valley, being at low altitude, do harbour malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes.  However the threat of contracting malaria is only really bad between December and May during and just after the rainy season.  Most people visit the Zambezi area during the dry winter months when there are fewer mosquitoes, and the threat is considerably reduced.  But it is sensible to take precautions.
There is controversy over whether or not you should take anti-malarial prophylactic pills, and medical advice on the subject can be confusing.  Our recommendation is:
a)  Make sure that mosquitoes cannot bite you.  Cover up with light cotton:  long-sleeves, trousers or skirts at sundown; use insect repellant spray or cream on your skin and sleep under a net.  Burn mosquito coils at night (or use an insect spray) to ensure there are no mosquitoes under your bed or inside your net. 
b)  Take a course of whatever prophylactic is recommended by a doctor you trust.  Note that some anti-malarials should be avoided by people who are allergic to sulphur, and others can have psychotic side-effects.  But taking precautions with a minor risk is generally better than contracting malaria.  It is important to complete the course fully, even if this means you are taking pills long after you have returned home after your holiday (malaria can take from one to several weeks to incubate).
b)    Symptoms of malaria after an infected mosquito has bitten its host will only emerge 10 days to  two weeks later, by which time you may well have returned from your vacation.  If you experience any of the following:  waves of fever, shivering, headaches, diarrhoea and aching joints - a bit like bad flu but more severe, seek the nearest medical advice immediately and tell them that you have been in a malaria area.


BEASTIES AND BUGS:  Snakes, spiders, scorpions, crickets, bees, flies and ants.   
Don't be paranoid about these.  It is very unlikely that you will encounter a snake, let alone be bitten by one.  If you come across one, simply freeze and then retreat slowly backwards to a safe distance.
Insects and other beasties are a feature of the African bush. None will kill you.  Some can bite. Give them a wide berth and carry antihistamine and antiseptic cream in your First Aid supplies.  
Keep night lighting to a minimum as insects are attracted to bright lights.  If you need lighting, use yellow-colored bulbs or LED strips (yellow is less attractive) and burn coils or citronella candles as repellant.  Spray rooms or tents for flying and crawling bugs at sundown and close them until bedtime.  A simple precaution is to check your bedding before you go to sleep and shake out your shoes and clothes in the morning before you dress!

Read more Travel Advice from Wild Zambezi on our website at this link:  Safety and Health

LATEST TRAVEL REVIEWS ON WILDZAMBEZI.COM 
October 2016  

Read what people are saying about their travel experiences in the latest Travel Review postings on WildZambezi.com.    Follow the links below:- 
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and Spa - exclusive, hilltop safari lodge with magnificent views overlooking Lake Kariba.  


Have something to say about a place you have visited or a service you have experienced?  Tell others about it by submitting a Travel Review on the relevant page on Wild Zambezi.com.
TRAVEL SPECIALS ON WILDZAMBEZI.COM!
There is a fantastic array of great SPECIALS currently on offer from some of Wild Zambezi’s network partners.  
For costs and more details, check out the Specials on each of these page links (scroll down and to the right):-
African Bush Camps  MANA MADNESS SPECIAL – stay min 3 nights at one of these properties (6 nights altogether at African Bush Camps facilities) and get FREE flights in and out of Mana Pools. (Valid November 2016 and 1 April - 30 June 2017)    LONG STAY SPECIAL – at any combo of African Bush Camps – 5% discount for 6+ nights; 10% discount for 9+ nights.  LOVEBIRD SPECIAL - spend your honeymoon at any African Bush Camps properties and get 1 Night FREE when you spend 6 nights or more. 
Caribbea Bay Resort (Kariba):  SCHOOLKIDS SPECIAL - Educational School trips and Grade 7 Leavers Parties.  US$40 per kid sharing rate includes B&B accommodation and lots of activities. 
Changa Safari Camp (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):   EARLY BIRD BOOKING SPECIAL - new bookings made and confirmed up to Dec 2016 for travel dates throughout 2017 will receive a 10% discount;   WILD LOVERS SPECIAL – couples who stay 4 nights or more will both receive one night free! Valid for the whole of 2017; COMBO SPECIAL with The Hide (Hwange) - stay 6 nights (3 in each camp) and pay for 5.   ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIALS special rates available on request. YOGA RETREAT:  28th - 30th Oct - Full Moon!); SUMMER SPECIAL (Oct  - Dec 2016); BUDDY MOON GROUP PACKAGE: Special rates for groups of 12 people or more staying for 2 nights or more.
Elephant Camp (Wild Horizons) (Victoria Falls):  ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIALS: special rates available on request: 2 nights at The Elephant Camp; 5 night combo safari - 2 nights at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge + 3 nights at The Elephant Camp . Valid until 31 December 2016.
Gorges Lodge & Little Gorges (Imvelo Safari Lodges) (Outside Victoria Falls):  Green Season Safari Special - Stay 3 nights, pay 2 (All inclusive rate only)  Valid 1 Dec 2016 - 28 Feb 2017.
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge (Wild Horizons) (Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls):  COMBO SPECIAL.  3 nights Imbabala, 1 night The Elephant Camp. Includes tour of Vic Falls.   ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIALS: (rates available on request):2 nights at Imbabala; 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights Ursula's Camp; 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights Stanley & Livingstone Safari Lodge; 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights The Elephant Camp.   Valid until 31 December 2016.
Jecha Point Fishing Lodge (Zambezi River, Chirundu):  GREEN SEASON SPECIAL for self-catering chalet accommodation.
Musango Island Safari Camp (Lake Kariba):  Cool Waters Package (Vic Falls/Kariba/Mana Pools) and Get a Night on Us (Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3)
Rhino Safari Camp  (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):    ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS - LOW SEASON SPECIAL.  Two Night Package (self-driving to Kariba) includes transfers, accomodation, meals, two activities/day (drives & cruises). Valid until 31 Mar 2017 (excluding Christmas and New Year). 
Spurwing Island Lodge (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):  SIZZLING SUMMER SPECIAL -  Includes all accommodation and meals.  Special transfer rates available.  Valid until 8 December 2016.
Victoria Falls River Lodge (Zambezi National Park/Victoria Falls):  FAMILY VALUE SPECIAL  Share a Family Suite with 2 or more children (4-17 years) and the youngest child stays for FREE. In the case of a twin or a triplet, 1 x child stays for free. (Valid between 1 Nov & 20 Dec 2016 and 7 Jan - 31 March 2017.)
Wild Horizons (Victoria Falls environs):  ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS LODGE SPECIALS for 2 night stays at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge; Ursula Camp; Stanley & Livingstone Safari lodge; or The Elephant Camp.  Also 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights Ursula's Camp (or  +Stanley & Livingstone Safari Lodge or +The Elephant Camp.)   Special rates available on request.  Valid until 31 December 2016.
Zambezi Sands River Camp (Imvelo Safari Lodges) (Upstream of Victoria Falls): Stay 3 nights, pay 2  (all inclusive).  Valid until 31 Dec 2016.
KARIBA
FISH "BAIT" THIS YEAR'S TIGER TOURNAMENT PARTICIPANTS!

Reports from the just-ended Kariba Invitation Tigerfishing Tournament (KITFT) (which was held at Charara near Kariba on 26th - 28th October) tell of a disappointing catch this year.  

Marineland Harbour says:  "The fishing was not easy and many teams did not weigh in a single fish.  This has reportedly been the worst fishing in the Tournament's history! As the sun set on the final day many disappointed fishermen now had to set their sights on next year for better luck and tight lines!"

Whether the elusive tigerfish can be attributed to extremely hot weather conditions, the current low water levels of Lake Kariba, lack of kapenta, the tigerfish's favourite prey, or the changing habits of the species - who can tell?  However, you can be sure that a myriad theories, excuses and fishermens' tales will result!

It was good news, however, for the Fin's Fishing Safaris team (pictured above centre) who emerged winners of this year's tournament (having come second last year).  They caught a total of 47 fish weighing 80 kgs altogether - more than double the amount of the Charter 'B' team who came in second, with 20 fish in total.  3rd and 4th places were taken by teams from Isuzu Trucks and Macguires Chicago respectively.

Despite the disappointment of the overall catch, some residents of Kariba were happy.  Ellen (pictured above right, holding a fish) runs the Tony Waite Organization which helps to feed orphans in Kariba Town.  Some of the tournament teams donated their daily catch to local charities.    

But you can't hold back a good party!  And in the end, everyone seemed to have a good time, despite the disappointments.
Reports Marineland:  "Sponsors donated prizes for the biggest fish of the day through their weigh bays and lots of the teams had a lot of fun out there daily!"

Thanks to Sonya (Chawara Harbour Houseboats),  Marineland and Baobab Bookings for the images.

NEW WEBSITE FOR
ZAMBEZI CRUISE SAFARIS

Lake Kariba's  largest privately owned fleet of luxurious boats, Zambezi Cruise Safaris, have a brand new website and online booking service.  
Check out
zambezicruisesafaris.com 

Visitors to the site can choose from the following cruising options already available:-
  • Victoria Falls - Sengwe River (2 nights)
  • Kariba - Binga (2 or 3 nights)
  • Binga -Kariba (2 or 3 nights)
  • Wildlife & Fishing in Matusadona
or you can design your own cruise safari.   Online choices allow you to select dates and even cabins on any of the three luxury cruiseboats - Umbohza (9 cabins/28 passengers), Shikra (10 cabins/30 passengers) or Karabezi (5 cabins/14 passengers). 

For more information, Travel Reviews, images and contact details see Zambezi Cruise Safaris

 
TIME TO RE-BRAND THE "HOUSEBOAT" EXPERIENCE?  HELP US DO IT... 

When you promote travel to Southern Africa, and you try to get people to understand that there's more to visit than just Cape Town and the Victoria  Falls, getting across the concept of a “houseboat” on Lake Kariba is sometimes a problem.
 
For some people (especially those who come from outside Southern Africa) the term “houseboat” has confusing connotations.  Not everyone is convinced that this is an option they should consider as an add-on to their safari holiday planning.

It seems it's a conceptual problem......“Houseboat” holidays are NOT things that one does on safari in Africa .......  

Why not?   What part of PERFECTION don’t they understand?

What do people from overseas think "houseboats" are?
What should we do about it?
How do we convince everyone that they are missing out on one of Africa’s best kept travel secrets?

Wild Zambezi thinks that “houseboats” need a bit of re-branding.  We have some suggestions, but we'd like to hear from you......

Read our new website Blog -  Time to Re-brand "Houseboats"
and help us with your comments and suggestions!
ZAMBEZI VALLEY

COOL OFF OVERLOOKING THE ZAMBEZI IN JECHA'S BEAUTIFUL NEW POOL! 


The folks from Jecha Point Fishing Lodge and Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River just downstream from Chirundu have finished their new swimming pool!  

Says Anneline:  "It certainly was a challenge given that we are basically sitting on a massive beach (sand as deep as you dig) and we often had the 'building inspectors' (elephants) constantly poking their very long noses into our business!   It was quite entertaining to say the least and I am sure these builders have never dug themselves into such a hole!" (see image above left).

The lodge owners are delighted with the result (see above right).  "There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in the pool enjoying a cold G& T, watching the river flow by , listening to hippos grunting, fish eagles calling ...absolute bliss that we are sure you'll enjoy!

Now - all they have to do is keep the elephants and hippos out of this enticing new addition!

For more information and contact details (include Specials), see Jecha Point Fishing Lodge and Camp.
AFRICAN BUSH CAMPS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS! 
African Bush Camps is 10 years old and celebrating!

Back in 2006, founder, Beks Ndlovu (pictured) started offering bespoke safaris in luxury tented camps.  His dream was to create a range of camps which not only reincarnated the fantasy of ‘Old Untouched Africa' but also focused on the guest experience and high quality guiding - the essence of a great safari.  Today, African Bush Camps is one of the most respected names in the tourism industry.

Somalisa Camp in Hwange National Park was where it all started.  Then, over the next decade, the African Bush Camps portfolio flourished to include 8 different camps across Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Kanga Camp in Mana Pools (below left) was added in 2010, and its satellite mobile tented operation, Zambezi Expeditions (below right) - formerly Zambezi Life Styles - launched in 2013.   The new Thorntree River Lodge in Zambia is due to open in May 2017.  It with be the ninth in the portfolio! 

In 2012, African Bush Camps launched Safari Logistics its sister company and logistical arm which promotes cost-effective travel around Zimbabwe with both road and air access to some of the country’s top safari and wildlife areas, including Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Matusadona, and Mana Pools National Park.   

The company also created the African Bush Camps Foundation, which fosters responsible development and conservation projects in local communities living adjacent to the National Park areas.  

For more information and contact details for African Bush Camps tourism products within the Zambezi Valley area, see African Bush Camps - Kanga Camp & Zambezi Expeditions
VICTORIA FALLS

VICTORIA FALLS RIVER LODGE UPGRADES ITS WEBSITE

Check out the beautiful new video-based website showcasing a guest experience at Victoria Falls River Lodge.

This luxury tented camp on the banks of the Zambezi River upstream from the Victoria Falls (and within sight of the spray from the falling water) was the first privately owned lodge to be situated in within Zimbabwe's Zambezi National Park.  

Accommodation consists of 13 large, luxurious double or twin canvas-under-thatch suites (five of which have an extra bedroom which can accommodate up to three sharing children under 17 years).  Each has its own bathroom, indoor and out outdoor showers, large decked verandah, air conditioning, fans, tea/coffee-making facilities and private plunge pool. 

There is a spacious, thatched, central dining, sitting, bar and central pool area with Wi-Fi facilities overlooking the Zambezi River.  The Toa Spa, privately-located nearby, offers guests the opportunity to truly relax and unwind.

This lodge is currently offering specials for families with accompanying children. 


For more information and contact details, see Victoria Falls River Lodge.
Be the first to review this lodge on WildZambezi.com at this link.
TAKE IN A BIT OF "VULTURE CULTURE" AT VICTORIA FALLS SAFARI LODGE

Vultures may not be to everyone’s taste (so to speak).    Like hyenas, they are scavengers, and so get bad press.  But actually, they are vital to ensuring the on-going health of wild ecosystems.  However, they are under severe threat worldwide, including in Africa.  (Read more at our latest Blog:  
Vultures - cute and cuddly they are not, but they need protection ).  

Some members of the tourism industry have come to the rescue of these extraordinary avian "sanitisers" of the wild.  Some hotels have created special “Vulture Restaurants” -  feeding posts where fresh meat is regularly provided (usually leftover scraps and bones).  Visitors are treated to the spectacular sight of hundreds of vultures swooping down to feed.    This not only provides  a useful source of food and help to support vulture populations, it is also a great opportunity to educate visitors about vulture conservation and to monitor the numbers of vultures and detect any sudden declines that might indicate poisoning events or other threats.

The folks in Victoria Falls having been doing their bit for vulture conservation for some years now.  Victoria Falls Safari Lodge offers a free “Vulture Culture” activity every afternoon at 1p.m.   It begins on a deck beneath Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, with a briefing about the ecological importance of vultures and the plight they are facing, before guests take a short walk down a bush path to a specially-constructed hide to view the vultures feeding.   This is a very interesting and worthwhile experience which appeals to all age groups. 

For more information and contact details see:  Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

If you have experienced the "Vulture Culture" activity in Victoria Falls, please tell us about it by submitting a Travel Review on WildZambezi.com at the above link.

Back to Headlines


TAIL ENDER.... A TALE OF TWO TAGS

There was great excitement at RIFA Conservation Education Camp on the Zambezi River this year, when, on two separate occasions a vulture carrying bright yellow identification “tags” on its wings appeared at the camp's “Vulture Feast”! 
 
The first was spotted by students from Belvedere Technical Teachers College on 14th June 2016. Its tag showed the number 126.  This was recorded, but unfortunately not photographed.  The tag number traced this vulture back to the VULPRO Rehabilitation Centre near Hartebeestpoort Dam north of Pretoria, in South Africa (see map), where the bird (a Cape Vulture)  had been rehabilitated as a young inexperienced fledgling early this year.   "He was found grounded under dense cover, unable to fly out, "  says Maggie, who works for VULPRO.  "We released him on the 4th of February 2016 and he was seen regularly at our vulture restaurant until March. He has also been spotted in Zimbabwe at Humani Ranch (in the Save Valley Conservancy , SE Zimbabwe) in May.”

Later, on 13th September 2016,  another tagged vulture with the identification number w301 attended the Vulture Feast and was watched by an excited group of children from Lilfordia School. This time, the above photos were taken of this bird feeding on an impala carcass with 64 other vultures.  The birds devoured the whole 48kg carcass in 3 minutes!    Tracing back revealed that this, too, was a young Cape Vulture.  It was tagged as a youngster on the nest at Dronfield Nature Reserve in Kimberley, South Africa (see map) on 11th October 2015.

 In both cases, the tagged birds were sighted at RIFA when about a year old.  It is extremely interesting to see how far they had come from their original location.   The sightings of tagged vultures provide valuable information about their ranging activity and habits, and it is hoped that more such sightings will come from RIFA and from the other feeding sites at Victoria Falls (see above).

Want to know what to do if you see a tagged vulture?
For more information about how to report a tagged vulture if you see one in the wild while on safari, (or if you simply want to know more about vultures and the need for their urgent conservation), read our latest Blog:-  
Vultures - cute and cuddly they are not, but they need protection.

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