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12 Travel Zimbabwe December 2009 visit www. wildfrontiers. com for some refreshing ideas! Wild Frontiers launches in Zimbabwe Our new operation in Zimbabwe offers a range of safari options throughout the region. Select your ideal safari from luxury mobile safaris in private sites, or permanent camps & lodges. We use spacious landcruisers, and offer walking, canoeing and a variety of other activities snynonymous with Zimbabwe as part of your itinerary. Scheduled departures, or private tailormade options available. Operations commence from June 2010, and will be based from Victoria Falls. CONTACT: reservations@ wildfrontiers. com Tel: + 27 11 702 2035 OR + 27 72 927 7529 www. wildfrontiers. com © Africa Albida TRAVEL AFRICA AD - ZIM 10/ 30/ 09 3: 25 PM Page 1 Composite CMYCMMYCYCMYK · Tours & Transfers · Canoeing · Cruises · · Whitewater Rafting · Highwire · · Elephant- Back Safaris · FIT & Incentive Groups · Tel: + 263( 13)- 44571, 44426, 44282, 42313, 42029 Cell: + 263( 11) 213 721 or + 263( 912) 209 118 Email: info@ wildhorizons. co. zw www. wildhorizons. co. za Victoria Falls

THE SECRET GARDEN The mopane woodland abruptly gave way to an extensive pan of swaying grassland. It resembled a miniature Serengeti, and I'd never seen such a habitat elsewhere in Zimbabwe. Located on the Botswana border between Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, the 31,300ha Kazuma Pan National Park is as small as it is obscure. Seasonal fl ooding inundates the depressions locals call the ' white grass plains', which become a haven for myriad migratory birds. Oribi and roan antelope and giraffe can be seen, while sizeable herds of buffalo and elephant are not uncommon during the dry season. It's a little gem waiting to be discovered by visitors. to this region because of its airport facilities and bed availability." Imagine the sense of freedom, enjoying Victoria Falls then jumping into a hire car to visit Zambia's Kafue National Park or Botswana's Okavango Delta without border hassles? Almost magnetically drawn back to the waterfalls, I joined a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi and watched yawning hippos just above the gaping chasm. On another occasion, I boarded a helicopter for the awe- inspiring ' Flight of Angels' over the Falls. During the fl ight I noticed a brave soul about to attempt the heart-stopping bungee jump off Victoria Falls bridge. It struck me as an almost perfect metaphor for the recent past here. With visitor numbers booming, tourism was hurled off a precipice when Zimbabwe's troubles began. The elastic stretched to its limit, but the harness held, and now Vic Falls' fortunes are rebounding with a new positive energy. ? Mark Stratton stayed in Victoria Falls with thanks to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge ( www. vfsl. com / www. africaalbidatourism. com), Ilala Lodge ( www. ilalalodge. com) and Victoria Falls Hotel ( www. victoriafallshotel. com). Victoria Falls rehabilitate degraded forest and reintroduce species such as rhino. " By creating permanent jobs in anti- poaching patrols and the lodge, we'll be offering a more sustainable return from the forest for the local community," enthused Wild Horizons' Shane White. His company own another popular attraction nearby, Elephant- back Safaris, where visitors interact with orphaned elephants and take wildlife-viewing trips onboard the broad backs of pachyderms. Perhaps the most remarkable development is the rapidly evolving Kavango- Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area ( KAZA). The brainchild of the South African- based Peace Parks Foundation, KAZA is an ambitious undertaking aimed at creating a mega- park spanning fi ve countries. It would become the world's largest conservation area, covering a region the size of Italy and encompassing 36 protected wildlife parks and reserves across the Okavango and Zambezi basins. It's hoped that visitors to KAZA will be able to travel around it on one single visa. " The point of KAZA is to share resources effi ciently and create a world- class brand that will benefi t both conservation and enrich local communities," explained Alan Sparrow, one of its coordinators. " Victoria Falls," he believed, " is perfectly placed to benefi t as the gateway 22 WAYS TO SPEND YOUR DAYS THUNDER-STRUCK Visit Victoria Falls National Park, walk close to the precipice, and feel the thunder of the majestically mighty Victoria Falls. Rain or shine, you'll get soaked. EASY DOES IT Take to the peaceful and scenic waters of the upper Zambezi in a canoe or a cruise boat ( sunset is best for the latter). Listen to birdsong, occasional grunts from hippos and trumpeting from happy elephants. A BRIDGE TOO FAR See the Victoria Falls bridge in a way few others have seen before - from its inner workings. Strap in before doing ' the bridge walk' beneath the impressive structure to learn its storied history. December 2009 Travel Zimbabwe 13 MORE INFO: ¦ Cansaf Adventures ( www. cansaf. com) ¦ Safari Par Excellence ( www. safpar. net) ¦ Shearwater Adventures ( www shearwateradventures. com) ¦ Wild Horizons ( www. wildhorizons. co. za) ¦ Other activitities, visit www. gotovictoriafalls. com MARK STRATTON IMBABALA A sense of occasion. Traditional entertainment at The Boma - Place of Eating