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November 2009 Travel Zambia 41 People Vakacha Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani SAFARI Field guides Ever wanted to know what happens on a Zambian farm? Zamag Tours and Safaris offers innovative ' agricultural safaris' that combine visits to Zambian farms with the best of the country's wilderness and wildlife. Excellent soils and good rainfall combine to make Zambia one of the most fertile countries in Africa, with a range of agriculture that encompasses beef, maize, tobacco, soya, wheat, dairy, coffee, sugar, paprika, game farming, export fl owers and horticulture. Hosts Ian and Daphne Lindsay at Zamag have been running tours for over 20 years, taking guests to farms they know personally. Each trip is tailored to suit individuals' interests, encompassing both small- scale and commercial farms. NEWS IN BRIEF Sausage tree seclusion Sausage Tree Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River has just launched a new safari house, Kigelia House, complete with two bedrooms and its own swimming pool - ideal for families wanting to enjoy some privacy on safari. www. sausagetreecamp. com River Club joins elite The River Club has joined a select worldwide group of lodges known as Eco Luxury Retreats ( www. ecoluxury. com). Each of these properties combines comfort with environmental sustainability, and all have had to meet strict criteria in such fi elds as community, conservation, architecture, energy and local business. Guests are encouraged to visit community projects in which the lodge is involved. The River Club has been supporting nearby Simonga Village since 2000, using funds from guest donations and the Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust for important projects in such key areas such as water, sanitation, health, education and income generation. Details at www. wilderness- safaris. com Tiger tales The fi sh have been biting at Sanctuary Zambezi Kulefu Camp, reports Yolandi Scanes of Sanctuary Retreats. Tiger fi shing on a catch- and- release basis has been getting progressively better, with more and larger fi sh being caught. Camp manager George Bell landed this 5kg- plus beauty ( above) in August, while guests in September caught a 7kg monster. Details at www. sanctuaryretreats. com Inspecting Zambia's sugar ( top), beef ( centre) and maize ( below) Comfortable accommodation is available on many farms and Zambian farmers are always delighted to meet their counterparts from overseas. Itineraries include visits to some of Zambia's best- known natural attractions, from Victoria Falls to the Luangwa Valley, where guests can enjoy Zambia's wildlife from the comfort of top lodges and bushcamps. " There is so much to see," says Jackie Peel, whose recent safari found her tracking lions on foot from Luwi Bushcamp in South Luangwa. " With a bit of luck, I will be going back soon!" Zamag Tours and Safaris belong to Agricultural Tour Operators International ( ATOI), which comprises 60 such operators around the world. Find out more at www. zamagsafaris. com A safari welcome awaits at Luwi Bushcamp NORMAN CARR SAFARISZAMAG ( x3) SANCTUARY RETREATS

42 Travel Zambia November 2009 People People Vakacha Vakacha Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani NEWS IN BRIEF Making the grade Safari operators in and around Kafue National Park have got together to improve road access to the southern sector. With their contributions and the kind loan of a grader from Zesco ( the Zambian Electricity Supply company), work began in September on grading the whole Itezhi- Tezhi road, from the Great Western Road turn- off to the Itezhi- Tezhi Dam. This will greatly improve and speed up journeys to the park and its surrounding game management areas. TAKING OFF Airline alliance Profl ight Zambia has joined forces with Zambezi Airlines in an alliance that aims to benefi t travellers, tourists and Zambian aviation in general. Zambezi Airlines will operate regional fl ights only while Profl ight Zambia will continue to service the country's domestic route network. The alliance will optimise connections between regional and domestic fl ights, through the introduction of the Zambezi Airlines regional routes, and will offer increased frequency and capacity on the existing Profl ight Zambia domestic schedules servicing Mfuwe, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata and Livingstone. It pledges to offer an excellent service on all regional and domestic scheduled fl ights, with high standards of reliability, customer service and safety. For details visit www. profl ight- zambia. com BA schedule update BA has changed its schedule to arrive and depart Lusaka on Mondays instead of Tuesdays. This change is effective from 25 October- 23 December 2009, though the period may be extended. SAFARI Island camp for Chongwe In 2010 Chongwe River Camp will be opening Tsika Island Camp, offering guests a chance to spend two days canoeing the Zambezi River with an overnight stay on the island in comfortable, fully serviced tents. The community at Mugurameno have pledged the use of the Island to Chongwe River Camp, who in turn have pledged $ 50 of each bed night to the community. Details at www. chongwe. com Changes at Chiawa Chiawa Camp has taken over entire ownership of Old Mondoro, which it previously shared with Sausage Tree Camp. This will not affect existing reservations, though from 2010 guests will benefi t from an upgrading of Old Mondoro's four rooms. Meanwhile Chiawa has converted all its own rooms into superior suites. Canvas sides and thatched roofs blend into the surroundings, while open- fronted bathrooms and teak decks overlooking the Zambezi allow excellent wildlife viewing. The camp has also boosted its award- winning guiding team with Sebastian Sakala and Rory McDougall from Zambia, plus Andrew Smith from Zimbabwe's Mana Pools. McDougall is both an accomplished artist and one of Zambia's top ornithologists. Details at www. chiawa. com DID YOU KNOW? The Zambezi Boat Club, founded in 1905, hosted the world professional sculling championships in 1910. Men's and women's crews from Oxford, Cambridge, South African universities and elsewhere - including six gold medallists and four silver medallists from the Athens, Sydney and Beijing Olympics - have since competed on the same course. Luangwa community levy Safari operators in the Luangwa Valley are introducing a voluntary ' Conservation and Community' levy to their rates. This will help support their ongoing work with the South Luangwa Conservation Society ( www. slcs- zambia. org) and the North Luangwa Conservation Project ( NLCP), and help secure the long- term future of their many community programmes. The fees are $ 10pppn on rates over $ 300, $ 5pppn on rates under $ 299 and $ 1pppn for campers. Revenue will be split evenly between conservation and community projects. The operators involved include Bushcamp Company and Mfuwe Lodge, Flatdogs, Kafunta, Remote Africa Safaris, Robin Pope Safaris, Shenton Safaris and Wildlife Camp. From Africa Zimbabwe: 226,428 Tanzania: 106,284 South Africa: 95,415 Central Africa: 80,674 Other Southern African Countries: 59,096 Other East African Countries: 17,457 From Overseas United Kingdom: 46,516 United States of America: 33,870 Other European Countries: 22,038 Germany: 12,099 France: 9264 Canada: 9183 Italy: 5190 COUNTING VISITORS The ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has published 2008 visitor statistics for Zambia. These include the following. Canoeing at Chongwe CHONGWE RIVER CAMPCHIAWA CAMP Comfort at Chiawa