May 2009 Travel Zambia 37 Lodge life Nick Aslin ( NORMAN CARR SAFARIS) Originally from the UK, was based at Kapani Lodge, South Luangwa, for 16 years. Now lives in Lusaka, but returns to the bush often. Early Inspirations: The legendary Norman Carr: his empathy for the bush was quite infectious. Likes: The changing of the seasons. Dislikes: Guests who are more interested in seeing what they thought they were going to see, rather than enjoying the new and unexpected things that the African bush throws at you every minute, however small or seemingly insignifi cant. Top tip: Always investigate the alarm calls of squirrels: it's a noise you'll hear frequently and could easily overlook. Could be a warning of a leopard or something less menacing; either way, it's always worth stopping to check. Still to see: A pangolin would be nice, but I never tire of the same stuff again and again; no two days in the bush are ever the same. Zebron Chirwa ( ROBIN POPE SAFARIS) Has worked in South Luangwa for 14 years: the last eight at Robin Pope Safaris, and previously with Star of Africa, Mfuwe Lodge and Wildlife Camp. Early Inspirations: I once worked for National Parks as an enumerator under Monitoring and Evaluation, which meant going out into the bush regularly. It was easy to become a guide, as the interest for the wild just grew. Likes: Walking in the bush with clients who want to learn more about it. Dislikes: Guiding clients who are demanding and claim to know everything. Top tip: A drag mark across the road, which could mean a leopard or lion kill in the nearby bush. Still to see: Any species that don't occur in South Luangwa - but I'm still happy with what we have here. Leonard Kalio ( BAINES' RIVER CAMP) Started in 1991 with Sobek Safaris as a canoe and white water rafting guide, and progressed to managing the Sobek Canoeing company. Also trained with the Field Guides Associations of Southern Africa. Now working at Baines' River Camp as head guide and as examiner for the Lower Zambezi Safari Guides examinations. Early Inspirations: Growing up in the local villages, plus meeting Shawn Diggib who introduced me to the world of nature guiding. Likes: Meeting new people and making friends. Canoeing the beautiful channels of the Zambezi River. Dislikes: It breaks my heart to see the carcasses of innocent elephants that have lost their lives to sheer human greed. Top tip: While in the wild, all your senses must be sharp. In unexpected circumstances never panic, never run and always listen to your guide. Still to see: Mating porcupines. Becoming a safari guide in Zambia takes years of hard work and study. There are two levels of guiding: Grade Two, which qualifi es guides to take guests out in a vehicle, and Grade One, which is a step up for those who wish to be walking guides. Successful trainees must demonstrate not only that they know everything about the bush, but also that they can ensure the safety of their guests at all times. The guiding exams, traditionally held in May, last for two days, and include written papers on everything from history, geology and ecology to fi rst aid, safety ( including fi rearms training) and mechanics. They also include a demanding practical exam, during which senior guides act as the guests. Only the very best are awarded a coveted guide's licence. MAKING THE GRADE Safari guiding has traditionally been a job for the boys. But times are changing. Rose Jere, the fi rst Zambian woman to qualify as a guide, has blazed a trail for a new generation of female guides. Brought up in the Luangwa Valley, Rose fi rst became a mechanic before she set her sights on guiding. Working at Kapani Lodge, she passed her Grade Two exams with fl ying colours ( including a perfect 100% in her mechanics paper). " I wanted to be in the bush just like the men did," says Rose. " Someone had to change the statistics and of course I had to be the one." Her achievements have already proved an inspiration to other young women - such as Stephanie Phiri ( pictured), who describes herself as Rose's protégé and is studying for the exams. Meanwhile the experienced Debs Tittle, who leads walking safaris for Robin Pope Safaris, has taken things a step further and spends her off- season training new guides. A WOMAN'S PLACE? ANNA DEVEREUX BAKER MIKE UNWIN NORRMAN CARR SAFARIS ANNA DEVEREUX BAKER
38 Travel Zambia May 2009 Quick on the draw Click! Snap! Move on. Such is the safari routine for many, as they dash around the bush bagging the requisite images of wildlife to impress the folks back home. But how much more rewarding might it be to stop still and just look? There's no better way to do that than with pencil in hand, explains Mary- Anne Bartlett, founder and leader of Art Safari. I always knew that if I was going to spend my life painting I should choose a subject that fascinated me, took me into the great outdoors, gave me plenty of physical exercise and brought me into contact with fun people. But I never imagined that I'd end up leading such incredible artistic journeys. Zambia was a natural place to start: the fulfilment of a childhood dream, during which words such as ' Zambezi' and ' Livingstone' had evoked my almost mythical great- great-grandfather, Sir John Kirk, who had journeyed alongside Dr David Livingstone as expedition doctor and botanist during the Zambezi Expedition 1858- 63. I knew I had to grab the first opportunity to visit the places he'd seen. Both Kirk and Livingstone made lively sketches long before photography changed the way in which we recorded images. I found these fascinating and, inspired to do the same, soon discovered that a simple sketch can capture an incredibly intense period of time. When drawing a slumbering lion, for example, I saw his quivering whiskers and heard his grunts and snores as never before. This concentration of observation and memory, I found, heightened the sense of presence, and was much more powerful than the split- second exhilaration of a camera shutter. To sketch from life is to be alert and aware, with all your senses tingling. At the same time, it brings out your inner naturalist: learning, observing and recording as much information as possible. Finding my fulfilment in this way led me to set up Art Safari, and I now lead groups of both beginners and professional artists to Zambia and other countries to learn about wildlife through art. My task is as much about teaching them how to look and observe as how to paint and draw. The safaris are paced more Above: Adding a splash of colour, African style. Opposite below ( left to right): Working up the sketches back at camp; discussing technique with the expert; show- and- tell in the local village.