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14 Travel Zambia November 2009 Places Places Soaking up the rays Africa - the so- called ' dark continent' - enjoys 51% of earth's most concentrated sunlight. No surprise then that solar energy is capable of providing for all of the continent's energy needs. A pioneering project, driven by Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamp Company in South Luangwa, is aiming to make the most of this. The scourge of ivory poaching continues to affl ict many African countries, including Zambia. Staff from the Lower Zambezi Conservation Trust ( LZCT) came across this elephant bull in a sorry state; the magnifi cent animal was suffering from gunshot wounds to the stomach that had developed into massive abscesses. After sedation and treatment from Dr Ian Parsons he was soon back on all fours and has since made a full recovery. The Lower Zambezi Conservation Trust is working in partnership with the Zambian Wildlife Authority and local Chiawa community to manage the Eastern Chiawa Game Management Area ( GMA). This pilot project, known as the Chiawa Partnership Park, is located along the western boundary of Lower Zambezi National Park. It aims to involve the local community in the active conservation of their area while generating income from tourism and other sustainable activities. Its success should help ensure that ivory poaching becomes a thing of the past. For details email: info@ lzct. org A jumbo task The Mfuwe Solar Cooker Project was the brainchild of Bushcamp guide Manda Chisanga, who won the Bill Morrison Guide of the Year award run by UK-based Wanderlust magazine. Manda had heard about solar cookers from visiting guests and decided to spend his prize money on something that would make a real difference to the community. The 15,000 people who inhabit the Mfuwe district on the edge of South Luangwa National Park come into daily confl ict with elephants as they collect fi rewood for their families, sometimes with tragic consequences. This problem is increasing as the area becomes further deforested, forcing fi rewood collectors to walk further each day - even into the park itself. Mfuwe Lodge, supported by Wanderlust magazine, SunFire Solutions and Solar Cookers for Africa, aims to raise enough funds to introduce 500- 1000 parabolic solar cookers and fuel- effi cient stoves. This will reduce the need for fi rewood by between 50- 60%, thus making life safer for the community while also preserving the natural habitat that brings tourism and employment opportunities. The project has already placed 31 dishes in the village and any of Zambia's newest solar chefs will happily confi rm that ' food cooked with the sun just tastes better'. It's good for the planet too: recent studies of ' dust' in the higher atmosphere reveal that cooking using fossil fuels makes a signifi cant contribution to global warming. " The simple, cheap and speedy distribution of solar cookers and fuel- effi cient stoves could reduce global smog levels by a third within a year," says Crosby Menzies of SunFire Solutions. The Mfuwe Solar Cooker project is managed by Solar Cookers for Africa, an NGO dedicated to highlighting and co- ordinating solar cooker activities around the continent. Find out more at www. solarcookersforafrica. com Solar dishes offer a more sustainable energy supply to this Mfuwe community CROSBY MENZIES ( x2)

November 2009 Travel Zambia 15 Places Reader's Diary Zambia's wildlife is giving you the hard stare. But can you tell which creature each of these four eyes belongs to? It might help you to know that two are feathered, one furred and one scaled. Name all four and you could win one of fi ve copies of Zambia: the Bradt Travel Guide. Send your answer on a postcard to Zambia Bradt Competition, Travel Zambia Magazine, 4 Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Oxford, OX9 2NZ, United Kingdom. Or email it to competitions@ travelafricamag. com, putting Zambia Bradt Competition in the subject line. Entries MUST include your full postal address and daytime phone number. Only one entry per household. Entries close on 31 January 2010. EYES ON THE PRIZE Win the Bradt guide to Zambia Michelle Attala, assistant manager with Robin Pope's Walking Mobile Safaris ( www. robinpopesafaris. net) had her work cut out looking after the Mupamadzi River camp. But nothing was going to disrupt her fi tness routine - as her diary reveals. Setting up camp The moving days are tough but fun. The team and I load everything onto the truck then tie down the green tarpaulin and climb on top. No space in the cab (" That's for fragiles!"). We lie on our backs as Webbie drives to the next camp; it's a good height for spotting game, but we duck to avoid the low- hanging sausage fruits and wicked winterthorns. I clutch laptop and camera case and hold onto the rope for dear life. Baboons scatter as we pull into camp. James always jumps off fi rst, bouncing around and doing his primate impersonations to warn them that we humans are back. The truck is unloaded even quicker than it was loaded: the full camp - including kitchen - is up in less than three hours. Yogging The guests left at 6.15 this morning. Great! Time for me and Emmanuel - the waiter - to go yogging ( yoga and jogging combined). The sunrise kisses a pair of saddlebills as they glide down into the shallows; hyena howl in the distance and puzzled puku watch as we do our stretches. I lie down on the soft sand and smile inside - but not for long: Robin radios to tell us the troops get back in 20 minutes. I rush off to fi nd six guinea fowl feathers to decorate the plates for tonight's crème caramel. Next day Must cut back on desserts, cakes and snacks: I feel like a hippo. I ask Emmanuel if the exercise is helping. " You don't vibrate as much as before," he tells me. Such honesty! I work with a great team - super- effi cient and each with his own task. On my fi rst day I helped by carrying all the ' girlie' stuff to the truck: basins, water jars, kitchen pots etc. As we were leaving, I noticed that the chairs weren't packed. " Hey guys, we forgot the chairs!" They all looked at me. " No, you forgot the chairs. That's your job!" I guess I have my tasks too. GOOD VIBRATIONS The answer to the bird identifi cation competition in Travel Zambia 5 was, from left to right; black- headed heron, hamerkop and sacred ibis. Congratulations to the fi ve winners: Marion Reinhardt ( Holzkirchen, Germany); John Herring ( Essex, UK); Harriete M. Frak ( North Carolina, USA); Barrie and Anita Staley ( Burton- on- Trent, UK) and Mrs S Kennedy ( Newcastle, UK). Each receives a copy of Zambia: the Bradt Travel Guide. ROBIN POPE SAFARIS ( x3) STEPHEN CUNLIFFE ROBIN POPE SAFARIS ( x2) 12 34