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May 2009 Travel Zambia 17 CHIMFUNSHI LATEST Exciting news for Chimfunshi Wildlife Sanctuary and Chimpanzee Orphanage, reports Lesley Thomson. Thanks to the generosity of donors the centre now has a new offi ce, complete with satellite dish and solar panels. A new access road to the large chimpanzee enclosures is also being constructed for visitors, while African Impact has provided assistance with new accommodation for volunteers. Meanwhile Sandy, one of the orphans, moved to his new home in February. This chimp was nursed back to health after a serious crocodile attack but, severely traumatised, has since found it hard to share living quarters with the others. Now enough funds have been raised to complete the building of his new home. Four other chimps, whom he has befriended in the last year, will be joining him. Chimfunshi would like to thank all donors, including those who responded to the appeal in the last edition of Travel Zambia. Please keep it coming! Visitors are welcome at Chimfunshi. Entrance is ZK50,000 per adult, ZK25,000 per child and ZK10,000 per person for school groups. A visit includes a talk, a trip around the education centre and time with the chimpanzees. For further information contact Tony Raunch at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust, PO Box 11190, Chingola, Zambia, or email chimfunshiwildlife@ iwayafrica. com Brendan Reisbeck, manager of Chongwe River House ( www. chongwe. com), must have been a good boy last year: Santa brought him the top prize on many a safari wish list - a real, live pangolin. This bizarre nocturnal animal is so elusive that many old bush-hands go a lifetime without ever seeing one. Imagine Brendan's surprise, therefore, when one of his staff knocked on his offi ce door on Christmas morning to report having found one in camp. " The next thing we knew," he recalls, " this huge pangolin was ambling around the offi ce and testing out the diamond mesh like a climbing frame." Brendan couldn't quite believe what he was seeing. " We stood there in amazement," he continues. " Eight years of working in the bush and this was my fi rst ever sighting. We truly were very lucky." Reisbeck released the pangolin outside, where he watched and photographed it for a while before it headed home. Better make sure he writes your Christmas list next year. Chongwe's Christmas pangolin The common pangolin ( Manis temminckii) rests in a burrow by day and ventures out at night to feed on ants and termites. It uses a strong sense of smell to locate anthills, powerful front claws to break in, and a long, sticky tongue to lap up its insect prey. Its pine cone- like scales are made of a keratinous material, like fi ngernails. When threatened it will roll into a protective ball, and can work these scales with a vicious cutting action to deter any predator that comes too close. This species is the most widespread of four found in tropical Africa, with another fi ve occurring in Asia. Despite their similar appearance and diet, pangolins ( order Pholidita) are completely unrelated to the armadillos ( order Cingulata) of South and Central America. WILDLIFE FOCUS: PANGOLIN Habitat Nkani Nkani BRENDAN REISBECK CHIMFUNSHI GETTY IMAGES

18 Travel Zambia May 2009 Launched in November 2007, the Royal Livingstone Express is the brainchild of Bushtracks' managing director Christopher Tett. But perhaps its real hero is Ben Costa, who has brought his considerable experience on the rails to restoring the 1920s British- built locomotive. Every day that the train runs - usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday - you'll fi nd him on board, carefully nurturing his iron charge as it gets up steam ready for a night out. When you tread the red carpet alongside the carriages, helping yourself to a cool drink as you board, it all feels very adult. Passing through a plush lounge car, gleaming with polished wood, you pass the bar and take your place on a small observation deck. More drinks arrive, with nibbles to match. It's when the train pulls slowly out of the station, however, that the excitement really mounts. Children race alongside as you pass through villages where families gather for the evening meal. Soon homesteads give way to fi elds, and then to Mosi oa Tunya National Park. The train may stop for game viewing if an elephant is spotted, but it is the iron horse that remains the star attraction. Just short of Simonga - a distance of some 15km - there's a fl urry of activity. With a slow hiss, the old locomotive shudders to a halt, is uncoupled from the coaches, then shunts off alone. Points are moved, cameras fl ash, and the loco is relocated to the back of the train, ready to push it the last few hundred metres. As darkness falls over the bush, passengers are ushered in twos and fours to tables set with cut glass that glitters under the soft lights. Classical music accompanies a fi ve- course meal, prepared on board by chefs from the Royal Livingstone Hotel. By the time dessert is served the train is on the move again, but this time the rocking of the rails seems to escape notice: the return to the 21st century is altogether a quieter, gentler affair. The Royal Livingstone Express runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening ( subject to a minimum of six passengers). Reservations can be made through Bushtracks Africa; tel: + 260 ( 0) 213 3323232; www. royal-livingstone- express. com; tickets are US$ 150 per head. Tricia Hayne visited Zambia courtesy of Expert Africa: www. expertafrica. com The Zambezi Express owes much to renowned British artist, conservationist and locomotive lover David Shepherd ( see Travel Zambia 4). The Mulobezi line, along which the locomotive runs, was built in the 1920s to transport timber to Livingstone from the teak forests of Mulobezi. When the railway ceased operations in the early 1970s, Kenneth Kaunda, then President of Zambia, gave two of the locomotives to Shepherd, who had already painted a famous picture called Mulobezi Princess. Shepherd transported one loco to the UK, where he donated its passenger car to the National Railway Museum in York. The other he donated to Zambian National Heritage, where Bushtracks has since renovated it to full working order. Find out more about the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and its work in Zambia at www. davidshepherd. org SHEPHERD OF THE RAILWAYS People People Vakacha Vakacha Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani Culture Culture Romance lives - it's offi cial! Just make your way to Livingstone and hitch a ride on the Royal Livingstone Express, reports Tricia Hayne. OK, ' hitch' is pushing it, since the experience does not come cheap, but this could be the occasion to put the recession on hold and step back to an era when the whistle of a steam engine promised a journey to remember. DO THE LOCOMOTION TRICIA HAYNE X 2 DSWF