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Kafue May 2009 Travel Zambia 27 My fl eeting visit to the southern sector ends at Kaingu, three hours north of Konkamoya, where Tom and Viv Heinecken have built an idyllic retreat on the Kafue. Here the river is nothing like the languid expanse at Lufupa: a bewildering maze of channels rush and tumble through a playground of boulders and beneath an overarching canopy of greenery. There's big game here, too: lions passed through camp two nights ago and elephants are regular visitors. Tom will take you across the river for a walk in the park to look for it - or through the woodlands this side, where you might encounter elusive sable or Lichtenstein's hartebeest. Alternatively you can amble downstream among the boulders in search of the smaller stuff, such as otters and dassies. But ticking off the wildlife is not quite the point. Kaingu is a place to stop and lose yourself in the embrace of the wilderness. And if, like me, you are hot, dusty and travel weary, you can simply lounge on the delightful deck, enjoy the gurgle of the water and dazzle of passing kingfi shers, and dream about trips to come. M y exploration of Kafue's southern sector was all too brief. Indeed my whole whistle- stop tour made a mockery of the park's sheer scale and potential. Yet it was enough to give me a glimpse of a different world. And not just one world, but many. Each corner of this vast wilderness offers its own unique landscape and ecosystem, any one of which is worth a lifetime's exploration. And there are so many more: the Lunga River in the northeast, the Nanzhila Plains in the far south. Next time. Mike Unwin was a guest of Lufupa River Camp and Kapinga Camp ( www. wilderness- safaris. com), Konkamoya Lodge ( www. cookesafricansafaris. com) and Kaingu Safari Lodge ( www. kaingu- lodge. com). He travelled to Zambia courtesy of Kenya Airways. Northern Sector 1 Busanga Bushcamp ( Busanga Plains): www. wilderness- safaris. com 2 Kapinga Camp ( Busanga Plains): www. wilderness- safaris. com 3 Shumba Bushcamp ( Busanga Plains): www. wilderness- safaris. com 4 Lufupa River Camp/ Lufupa tented Camp ( Kafue/ Lufupa confl uence) www. wilderness- safaris. com 5 Lunga River Lodge ( Lunga River): www. wilderness- safaris. com 6 Kafwala Camp ( Kafue River, WECSZ* members only): www. wcsz. com 7 Leopard Lodge ( Kafue River): www. leopard- lodge. com 8 Hippo Lodge ( Kafue River): www. hippolodge. com 9 McBrides' Camp ( Kafue River): www. mcbridescamp. com Southern Sector 10 Chibala Camp ( Lake Itezhi- Tezhi, WECSZ* members only): www. wcsz. com 11 Kaingu Safari Lodge and campsite ( Kafue River): www. kaingu- lodge. com 12 Konkamoya Lodge ( Lake Itezhi- Tezhi): www. cookesafricansafaris. com 13 Mukambi Safari Lodge and Bushcamp ( Kafue River): www. mukambi. com 14 Mushingashi ( Lake Itezhi- Tezhi, self- catering): Darrell@ mushingashi. co. zm 15 New Kalala Camp ( Lake Itezhi- Tezhi): www. wcsz. com 16 Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp ( Nanzhila Plains): www. nanzhila. com 17 Puku Pan Safari Lodge and campsite ( Kafue River): www. pukupan. com The Kushiyana Collection ( www. kushiyana. com) organises tailor- made packages incorporating several lodges ( excluding Wilderness Safaris) * Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia WHERE TO STAY Hippos on Busanga Plains. The Kafue River near Kaingu Camp. MIKE UNWIN ( 3) 3 Kaoma Kafue River Ngoma To Lusaka Kaingu Safari Lodge Lake Itezhi- Tezhi 14 1015 12 16 4 6 9 8 7 15 2 KAFUE NATIONAL PARK 17 11 13

What happens if you fall sick on safari? Dr Ivan Cox, from Birmingham, UK, is the latest ' Valley Doctor' to complete a volunteer stint in the Luangwa Valley. This unique scheme ensures that on- the- spot healthcare is available for all visitors to Zambia's premier national park. Mike Unwin asked him what the job entails. Interview What did you expect when you signed up? Doctors preparing for a sabbatical in Africa expect to deal with ' exotic' tropical disease, such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS, snakebite and attacks by wild animals. All of these and more are possible, of course, and do indeed affect the local population. But, apart from malaria, the valley doctor encounters very few of them among visitors. This is great for visitors, of course, if less than exciting for the doctor! So how far do your duties extend? You have to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a population of around 500 individuals distributed over an area the size of Southwest England for the period of your tenure - usually 12 weeks. What takes up most of your time? Most calls are for coughs and colds, traveller's diarrhoea or cuts and bruises: the basic stuff of general practice anywhere. Ironically, visitors tend to bring their bugs with them; virtually all the gastroenteritis is acquired en route to the valley. Of course no safari is without its minor hazards, such as abrasions and sprains, all of which the doctor is amply equipped to deal with. Indeed you can be stitched up or plastered at no extra charge. Anything more serious? Fortunately major problems rarely occur. For emergencies, such as a broken leg, heart attack or appendicitis, there is a very effi cient air evacuation service to modern facilities in Lusaka or Johannesburg. The critical factor here is the travel insurance company: sometimes their representative cannot believe the valley is 900km from the nearest western medical facility - a nine- hour drive to Lusaka along some of the roughest roads in Africa. That's why insurance with a reputable company is essential. What about insects? Mosquitoes can be a problem. Some visitors fail to provide for what should be only a minor inconvenience. Covering up on walks and drives, with frequent and generous use of insect repellents ( most lodges stock them), keeps them away - and mosquito nets are essential at night. Tsetse fl ies - in those areas where they occur - can occasionally be worse, as normal repellents don't work. Anecdotal reports suggest that antiseptics, such as Dettol, sprayed or rubbed on limbs or soaked in socks or scarves do deter them. Sausage tree balm gives wonderful relief if you do get bitten. And malaria? Malaria - and, more frequently, fear of malaria - is a common call. Many visitors think that any fever on safari must be malaria. Fortunately there is now a rapid diagnostic test that, with just a fi nger prick, can usually determine the truth. And current treatment is very effective once the diagnosis is made. Prophylactics are very reliable and, if taken religiously, will protect nearly all 28 Travel Zambia May 2009 BUSH DOCTOR Dr Ivan Cox Local nurses at work in Kakumbi Rural Health Clinic