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oing to the zoo as a child, you just look at the animals," commented Anne- Marie Harris after her fi rst safari in Zambia. " But our guide taught us how to really watch the animals and - I know this sounds strange - how to feel them." For travellers such as Anne- Marie, many enjoying their fi rst trip to Africa, the guide is pivotal to the experience. Acting the role of both chaperone and interpreter, he can turn a simple safari into a potentially life- changing experience. Under his tutelage - whether on foot, in a vehicle or a canoe - the guests see the bush through new eyes, learning its secrets and understanding its timeless rhythms. A great guide will tell his guests a story by reading the signs left in the bush overnight. He might reveal the direction taken by a passing family of elephants by pointing out the scuffed indentations that mark the front of their footprints; or show how deeper hoof marks reveal the spot where impala sensed danger and took fl ight. He - or she, as an increasing number of female guides are now following the calling - will educate, inform and entertain, and will encourage the guests to get stuck in: perhaps measuring their own stride against the tracks of a giraffe or listening for alarm calls that might indicate a lurking predator. And, as night falls, the guide will join the guests to swap tales of the bush in the glow of the campfi re. Many fi rst time safari- goers are concerned about safety, especially on walking safaris. But Zambia's guides know exactly how to look after their guests in the presence of potentially dangerous wildlife, judging carefully how to optimise the experience while eliminating any element of risk. The Zambian Wildlife Authority enforces a rigid code inside national parks: an armed ZAWA scout accompanies every game drive or walk. In the event of a close encounter the scout deals with the animal, while your guide looks after you. But your guide's experience and expertise ensures that such encounters are extremely rare. May 2009 Travel Zambia 35 Lodge life NORMAN CONQUEST Norman Carr is often described as the father of walking safaris. Of British descent, but born and raised in Africa, he started his career in Zambia's Luangwa Valley as Elephant Control Offi cer. ' Control' soon turned to conservation, and the valley remained Carr's home until his death in 1997. Carr was instrumental in inspiring the local community's involvement in conservation, and built his fi rst camp for adventurous guests in 1950. A legendary guide, he is also famous for the two orphaned lion cubs, Big Boy and Little Boy, that he fostered and returned to the wild - as related in his book Return to the Wild. Carr's legacy lives on in the form of Norman Carr Safaris, which operates fi ve camps in South Luangwa, and in the many top guides who learned their trade at his side. A memorial to Carr stands close to the main gate in South Luangwa National Park. Robin Pope, one of Zambia's most respected guides, introduces his guests to the Luangwa Valley. ROBIN POPE SAFARIS NORMAN CARR SAFARIS X 2

36 Travel Zambia May 2009 Zambia's guides come from various backgrounds and each has a different story to tell. Some of the more experienced have achieved almost legendary status; others are quietly establishing themselves as part of the new generation. But what unites them all is a passion for what they do. Travel Zambia tracked down seven different guides during their off season to fi nd out a little more about them. Manda Chisanga ( BUSHCAMP COMPANY) Has worked in South Luangwa National Park for the last 12 years, for Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamp Company. Has also led groups in Lower Zambezi, Kafue National Park and Livingstone. In 2006 won the prestigious international ' Guide of the year' award from Wanderlust magazine in the UK. Early Inspirations: I grew up in very remote parts of Zambia where my grandfather worked in construction. These areas had wildlife in abundance and inspired me to learn more. Likes: Walking safaris, African traditions and communities. Dislikes: When I feel I am not giving enough information to my guests - I like to think they are learning as well as enjoying themselves. Top Tip: Listen carefully to alarm calls. For example, the sharp shrill calls at the end of a vervet monkey alarm generally means that a leopard is in sight. Still to see: Bushbaby droppings. Phil Berry ( KUYENDA CAMP) Has worked for 30 years as a professional guide and safari lodge manager in South Luangwa; previously also for 12 years in the Northern Rhodesia/ Zambian Game Department, and also for four years with Save the Rhino Trust. A renowned authority on Thornicroft's giraffe. Early Inspirations: I fi rst became interested in wildlife when I was growing up in Northern Rhodesia in the 1950s. I learned about wildlife from Game Rangers Frank Ansell and Johnny Uys, and Norman Carr. Likes: Repeat clients who become good friends. And fi nding and photographing a pangolin at Kuyenda Camp in 2007 ( only the second reported sighting in South Luangwa since 1938). Dislikes: People who come to the bush for the wrong reasons, ie not interested in learning about our wildlife. Top tip: Try not to overwhelm guests with too much scientifi c detail; try very hard to make it interesting. Still to see: A zorilla ( striped polecat). Derek Shenton ( SHENTON SAFARIS) Guiding career began in 1987 under Norman Carr. In 1992, won the concession for Kaingo camp ( South Luangwa National Park), where he had camped with his family as a child. Now runs Kaingo and its sister bushcamp, Mwamba. Early Inspirations: Growing up in Kafue. My father, Barry Shenton, was the warden and I lived in the park for three years. Likes: I love exploring the bush around Kaingo and Mwamba, fi nding new wildlife ecosystems, then sharing them with guests. Creating special hides where you can sit and watch - private windows onto nature - is probably my greatest thrill. Dislikes: trophy hunting - especially the hunting of big game. Top tip: Stop and turn off the engine. Be quiet: look, listen and feel the bush around you. Still to see: A crocodile carrying her newly- hatched young to the water in her mouth. Grant Cumings ( CHIAWA CAMP AND OLD MONDORO BUSHCAMP) Has lived at Chiawa Camp in the Lower Zambezi since establishing it in 1989, and was instrumental in setting up Conservation Lower Zambezi. Early Inspirations: My Dad's photo albums. He was a mineral prospector in Tanganyika. We took numerous trips into Zambia's vast protected areas. Likes: Guests who appreciate the bush; the awesome splendour and sanctity of any unspoiled wilderness; playing an active role in conserving these areas and training new guides to do the same. Dislikes: Anyone who doesn't respect the wilderness, crocs close to my canoe, hippos under my canoe, and - horror of all horrors - a warm G& T! Top tip: Use all your senses and you will see everything you could wish for on safari. Still to see: A year without poachers ( but I am working on it!); a pangolin and an aardvark on the same night drive. IN THEIR OWN WORDS Left: Levy Farao, of Old Mondoro Camp, explains how a buffalo met its demise. OLD MONDORO MIKE UNWIN SHENTON SAFARIS ANNA DEVEREUX BAKER CHIAWA CAMP