Posted Sep 21, 2010

Carmine Beeaters

To those  of you who have received this newsletter already we sincerely apologise for sending this again, but when sending this out we had  a major problem with the server and more than 60% of people never received it.  Those of you who never got it here goes........

We are now well into  peak season in Zambia. The weather has started to get very warm,  but the game viewing at this time of year is exceptional.  The Carmine Bee-eaters have arrived in mass in the Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi valley in their annual migration from East Africa. These beautiful birds nest in their thousands along the banks of both the Luangwa and the Zambezi rivers and its certainly a spectacular sight to wi.

News from Mfuwe lodge

Wonky tusk and WinstonMfuwe Lodge has reported that Wonky Tusk and her family have been coming through the hotel to check out the Wild Mango Tree which is in full bloom but no fruit as yet. As from November onwards this family of elephant will be walking through the hotel on a regular basis to eat the wild Mango’s. I personally can’t wait to be back in the Luangwa Valley at this time of year when we will have clients on safari led by Derek Solomon, a wildlife specialist and we will be able to once again witness this amazing sight.

Wonky tustk

John Coppinger reports on rhino sightings in North Luangwa National Park.

rhino in north luangwa

 John Coppinger who has been in Luangwa for over 26 years and owns runs a number of excellent bushcamps in both North and South Luangwa, reported that recently clients at his Mwaleshi camp (North Luangwa National Park ) have seen their first sighting of Black Rhino in the wild in Zambia for over 20 years (certainly in Luangwa)
Sadly all the rhino in Luangwa were poached out during the 1980’s. The North Luangwa Conservation Project, which is funded by Frankfurt Zoological Society, commenced a reintroduction programme and in 2003 the first animals arrived by air from South Africa. The translocation schedule culminated in the arrival of the final 5 animals this May. In the interim there have been 2 natural deaths and 3 births, resulting in a total population of 27 animals, believed to be a sufficient number to propagate naturally. Most of the  black rhinos exist in the 300 kms sq sanctuary but some have moved beyond these boundaries, whilst still closely monitored by the NLCP team and ZAWA scouts.

 Mwaleshi North luangwa Mwaleshi camp Hippo in NorthLuangwaSwimming at Mwaleshi Falls
For those of you who love to do a wild walking safari in the remote wilderness of North Luangwa National Park then we definitely recommend a trip to Mwaleshi Camp. This 8 bedded rustic camp which is built out of reeds and thatch is built on the banks of the Mwaleshi River. Situated on a scenic bend of the Mwaleshi River ten kilometres from the Luangwa confluence. This is a true wilderness area and the  park is renowned for its large herds of buffalo, big black maned lion, hyena the endemic Cooksons Wildebeeste and plenty of species of plains game. Now  there is also a chance to see Black rhino in the wild  which adds a new dimension to the safari. The camp manager will be your guide and host, assisted on walking safaris by an armed national parks scout. Limited access roads facilitate exploring further a field by vehicle. The camp is only open from 15 June till 31 October.


The regatta on the zambeziElephants join the regattaThe first regatta on the Zambezi
  Regatta on the Zambezi                            Elephants join in the race                        The first to row on the Zambezi in 1910

During the past week Livingstone has been  hosting an International Regatta for the the fourth Oxford vs Cambridge vs South African Universities boat races at the Zambezi Boat Club. Various teams compted and races include rafting below the Falls, skulling on the upper Zambezi, makoro races and many more. Once again it was a great success and particularly special as this year was the Centenary of the World Professional Sculling Championships  to be held on the Zambezi River. In the past we have had Olympic Gold Medallists (Luka Grubor, Andrew Lindsay in Sydney, Ed Coode in Athens for Great Britain and Jake Wetzel in Beijing for Canada) and reigning World Champions and Gold Medallists in Beijing (Peter Reed, Andrew Triggs-Hodge [GB]) and Olympic Silver Medallists (Colin Smith [born in Zimbabwe] Josh West, Matt Langridge and Acer Nethercott in Beijing) rowing in the crews.

The event in 1910 was hosted by the British South Africa Company to ensure that the development of Central Africa to be included  in the sports world. They put up a purse of £1,000 for the winner. Richard Arnst (NZ) and Ernest Barry (Eng) the two top professional rowers of their day competed in the race, which was won by the New Zealander (oddly enough sponsored by the city of Sydney).

The results of 2010 Zambezi Regatta

Rafting in the gorge:

  • Men: 1. Oxford 2. Cambridge 3. UCT
  • Ladies 1. Oxford 2. UJ 3.Cambridge


  • Ladies eights 500m 1. UJ 2.Oxford 3. Cambridge
  • Ladies eights 2,000m 1.UJ 2.Oxford 3.Cambridge
  • Men's eights 500m 1.Oxford 2. Cambridge 3. UCT
  • Men's eights 2,000m 1.Oxford 2.Cambridge 3. UCT

Raft sprints:

  • Men 1. Zambia 2. Zambia 3. Oxford
  • Ladies 1. Zambia 2. Cambridge. 3.Oxford
  • Victor Ludorum 1. Oxford

 Single Sculling race:

  • 1. Dan Arnold 2. Dan Barry 3. Rika Geyzer


 Zambia has the largest Crocodile Farm in Africa!

Croc Farm at SinazongweAt Sinazongwe on the shores of Lake Kariba, on the Zambian side of the Lake, there is the largest Nile Crocodile farm in Africa. A family run business, where they have over 2000 breeding animals and over 100,000 crocodiles  on the farm.  They slaughter up to 3000 reptiles a month. The skins get exported to Singapore and Hong kong. In addition they have some lovely tented chalets on the edge of the lake for that weekend getaway. They offer tours of the crocodile farm, fishing, cruising. It is off the beaten track but again worth a visit. The family is delightful and it is so nice to visit an owner run operation.




Galloping through Swamps 2010game viewing from horsebackElephant swimming in the Deltaswimming the horses through delta

Game viewing on horse back I  recently took a group of friends to go horse riding in the Okavango Delta.  Once again we had another brillant trip and I can't recommend it enough.  We decide to go when the water levels where a lot higher and the Delta looked completely different to when I had ridden there during the drier months.   Besides galloping through the swamps, we also swam the horses  far more. 

I was amazed that although there was so much water around the game viewing was excellent. Lots of  elephant everywhere and close to camp.  Big herd of buffalo, lots of giraffe, kudu, zebra and lion could be heard most nights. The bird viewing was amazing and it was great to be able to go out game viewing by boat. One of my friends didn't ride at all but enjoyed going out with a private guide on the boat.  She loved it so much she is going back again next year.  Mactoo's hospitality as usual was second to none - excellent guiding, good food, accommodation.  Actually through popular demand we are going back again in May 2012. Those interested in coming please get in touch with us. Non riders welcome as they can go out game viewing by boat, canoe or game drives.

Relaxing at Mactoo campLunch in the bushZebra swimmingyellow billed hornbill

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Take Care

Ian, Daphne and the Zamag Team



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