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May 2009 Travel Zambia 39 slowly than most, luxuriating in time spent at each place rather than clocking up the miles. We aim to be at the still point in the magical continuum of events in the natural world. Even to an experienced Africa hand, an art safari can be a revelation. Drawing opens your eyes: you notice the slant of a zebra's eyes and how its stripes flow into the mane; you work out the mechanics of an elephant's ears, trunk and legs, and the slope from the chin to the bagginess of the belly. And this close observation of outward form gives you a fresh insight into underlying structure - such as, for example, how strongly an elephant's shoulders are built in order to support its massive head. I tend to prompt my guests with fiendish exercises to develop ways of seeing - and to explore colour, form, perspective, style and technique. One particular big baobab is now affectionately known as ' that sodding tree' after I'd tormented one group with it ( baobabs, like giraffes, never fit on the page). Other guests have come to know the exhilaration of the ' blink' sketches, where their page soon becomes covered with parts of - and then whole - impala or carmine bee- eaters. Of course animals will insist on moving. Pick one hippo to draw and he'll immediately twizzle his ears and sink. But with practice and tuition it's amazing how you can train your eye, memory and hand to reproduce an animal's position as you sketch it on paper. And yes, cameras can still click away - there's no harm in using your images for reference later. Wildlife, of course, is also about habitat: the nearby vegetation that provides everything from camouflage to food source. When drawing, you begin to look around your subject. You see the ebony tree that towers nine times the height of your elephant, the seed pods in the foreground and the cloud formations beyond. And my guests? Many find that once they've spent time sketching - whatever they think of their results - it's very hard to return to a standard safari. They've developed a new notion of time and now seek out companions who feel the same way. For many, too, the notion of keeping a Victorian sketchbook is not so far- fetched. At the end of a safari they look back over the pages, relive those first- hand experiences and feel again the connection between themselves and that particular animal or landscape. Their trip to Zambia has turned into a highly personal journey, bringing a whole new creative - and, for some, spiritual - dimension to the beauty of their surroundings. Safari Focus The trick is to travel light. I like to have a pencil in my hand all the time, a paint box handy, a camera slung around my neck and binoculars close by. Then it's a juggling act whenever you stop. Art Safari supplies stools and drawing boards. The list of other materials may seem long, but in essence it's simple and should fit in one bag: A3 hard back sketchbooks: watercolour and cartridge soft drawing pencils, conté and water- soluble pencils professional quality full pan water- colour box with integral mixing palette brushes ( mop, rigger, large round and hake) art box or day bag that accommodates EVERYTHING bulldog clips or masking tape ( in case it's windy). Otherwise, you will need the standard safari gear: hat, sun protection, anti- malarials, water bottle, binoculars, torch, camera with good zoom ( plus spare memory cards/ film), adaptors, insect repellent etc. Sharp observational skills, a good sense of humour and boundless enthusiasm all help. Art Safari Essentials Art Safari offers tutored safaris, for experienced artists and beginners alike, to Africa, Asia and Antarctica. The trips are based in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. They may also include visits to centres for carving, textiles, painting and ceramics. Safaris to South Luangwa National Park, based at the new Thornicroft Lodge, depart in September and October 2009. Find out more at www. artsafari. co. uk or info@ artsafari. co. uk; tel + 44 ( 0) 1394382235. ALL PICTURES BY MARY- ANNE BARTLETT

Antelope are more than just big cat fodder. The sheer variety of shape, size and behaviour among these horned herbivores makes them one of Africa's true wildlife highlights. And, with at least 23 species on display, there is nowhere better than Zambia to sort out your eland from your oribi. Every species is adapted to a different habitat, so each corner of the country has its specials. Indeed, certain subspecies - including Cookson's wildebeest and Kafue lechwe - are found nowhere else on earth. Here are ten to look out for. Vakacha Around Zambia · self- drive itineraries · safari news · travel latest · a helping hand · bookshelf Around Zambia: Hotspots for hooves 40 Travel Zambia May 2009 2 Roan antelope, Kafue National Park The horse- like roan is Africa's second largest antelope, standing over 140cm at the shoulder. It is closely related to the sable, but is larger and paler, with shorter horns and distinctive tasselled ears. Roan are grazers, preferring tall grasses. Look out for small herds among the miombo woodlands of Kafue, where they venture out onto the Busanga Plains during the dry season. The Nyika Plateau in the east is another good spot. 3 Sable antelope, Sioma Ngwezi National Park A bull sable is an impressive antelope that can weigh over 260kg and has been known to kill a lion with its formidable, curved horns. The black upperparts contrast boldly with the white belly and striped face. Females are smaller, browner and have shorter horns. Small herds of sable browse and graze in woodland, avoiding open areas except when coming to drink. They are patchily distributed across Zambia, but uncommon and shy. Look out for them in Kafue and along the southwestern Zambezi. 4 Bushbuck, Livingstone This is a largely solitary antelope that likes cover, especially riverine thickets, where its rich chestnut coat and delicate white markings provide good camoufl age. Males, if threatened, defend themselves courageously with their short, sharp horns. Bushbuck are browsers, but also forage beneath trees for fruit and pods. They are common in suitable habitat across Zambia and often quite confi ding around lodges. Look out for them at Victoria Falls. 5 Common waterbuck, Lower Zambezi National Park This large, shaggy antelope has a striking white ring around its backside, as though left by a freshly painted toilet seat, and impressive horns in the male. It inhabits fl oodplains and open woodland, always near water. Lions are alleged to fi nd waterbuck unpalatable, and their bedding places carry a distinctive musky scent. Common waterbuck are abundant in the Luangwa and Zambezi valleys, but in Kafue are replaced by the defassa waterbuck, distinguished by its plain white rump. 1 Blue wildebeest, Liuwa Plain National Park The blue wildebeest is best known for its spectacular treks across Tanzania's Serengeti, yet Zambia's Liuwa Plain also boasts impressive gatherings ( see p30). From a distance, this antelope resembles a lightweight buffalo, with its dark coat and short, cow- like horns. It generally lives in herds of up to 30, but will migrate in thousands. Blue wildebeest inhabit open areas of western Zambia. A separate paler race, Cookson's wildebeest, is endemic to the Luangwa Valley. MIKE UNWINMIKE UNWINSTEPHEN CUNLIFFEMIKE UNWINROBIN POPE SAFARIS 12 4 3 Liuwa Plain NP Sioma Ngwezi NP West Lunga NP Kafue NP Mwinilunga Solwezi Limulunga Mongu Kaoma Livingstone Kazungula Victoria Falls Zambezi River Kafue River