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14 Travel Zambia November 2007 Made in Zambia Copper is not Zambia’s only valuable export. The country has also produced some surprising celebrities. World cup-winning rugby player George Musarurwa Gregan was born in Lusaka in 1973 to a Zimbabwean mother and an Australian father. His family moved to Australia when he was one, where he grew up in Canberra. Gregan played at scrum-half for Australia from 1994-2007, winning the World Cup in 1999 and becoming captain in 2001. He retired from international rugby after the 2007 World Cup, having made more appearances for his national team than any other player in the sport’s history. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s greatest living explorer, has spent most of his career in the frozen wastelands of the Arctic and the Antarctic. But a six-day canoe trip down the Zambezi to Victoria Falls two years ago opened his eyes to the wonders of wild Africa and this year he was back for more, reports Richard Grant. ‘I’m used to expeditions in places where you go for weeks and sometimes months without seeing another living thing,’ said Sir Ranulph. ‘So it’s a real thrill to watch herds of elephants on the riverbank and hear lions roaring at night and see all the other animals coming down to drink. Being in canoes, we’ve obviously heard a lot of talk about hippos and crocs, but we haven’t had any trouble with them yet and they seem rather easy to avoid.’ Fiennes’ first trip, conceived and organised by Simon Wilde at Islands of Siankaba (www.siankaba.net), was a recreation of David Livingstone’s 1855 journey down the upper Zambezi for its 150th anniversary. The team travelled in historically authentic dugout canoes with inauthentic cooler boxes. This year Fiennes took his family canoeing on the lower Zambezi in Canadian-style canoes, then lent his support to some school and hospital volunteer projects in Livingstone and returned to Victoria Falls. ‘I think my favourite place in the world might be Devil’s Pool,’ said the great explorer. ‘To sit there on the very edge of the Falls, in that perfect natural jacuzzi, watching the spray and the rainbows; you really can’t beat it.’ Nkani >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture Fisher king gets hitched Good news from Ana Tree Lodge (www.anatreelodge.com) in the Lower Zambezi, where Mubeen Zumla got married in October, reports Tim Henshall. Son of lodge owners Wardasha and Yousuf Zumla, Mubeen is a guide with a difference. Despite being deaf from birth, he has an extraordinary ability to get close to nature. His passion for fishing, at which he excels, means that Ana Tree’s guests can both enjoy outstanding fishing trips on the Zambezi and taste the delicious fruits of his labours at meal times. Mubeen was educated at Doncaster College for the Deaf in the UK, where he was trained in lip-reading and British sign language. Though unable to speak, his infectious enthusiasm for nature speaks far louder than any words. Explorer smitten with Zambezi DID YOU KNOW? Zambia has the world’s second largest emerald deposits, after Colombia. ERIC GAUSS ANA TREE LODGE CAMERON SPENCER / GETTY IMAGES

November 2007 Travel Zambia 15 PeoplePeopleVakachaVakachaHabitatHabitatNkaniNkani Nuptial know-how Victoria Falls is Chimuka Moore’s idea of the dream wedding destination. And she should know. After all, as managing director of The Bridal House wedding planner service (www.thebridalhouse-zambia.com), she is in the business of making dreams come true. Working with Zambia’s top safari lodges, she provides couples from all over the world with the ultimate Zambian wedding. Chimuka has certainly seen plenty of places to compare with the Falls. Born in Beijing to diplomat parents, she grew up in Zambia, went to University in London and married a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army. Her passion for weddings came after planning her own and that of a few friends – and a course in Bridal Consultancy in the USA helped turned this passion into a business. ‘It is a very full life, managing my household, bringing up my two beautiful children, travelling to buy in wedding apparel, dealing with couples from all walks of life and growing the business,’ says Chimuka. ‘But I feel such an enormous pride when I see a young couple getting married at the Victoria Falls.’ Chimuka herself got hitched in Seattle, Washington. But if she had to do it all over again, I think you can guess her choice of location. Rising star View from abroad Thandiwe Mweetwa, 19, is currently enjoying her second year of an International Baccalaureate at Hastings College in England, sponsored by the Pestalozzi International Village Trust. This unique school takes talented but disadvantaged pupils from developing countries. Thandi’s story is a remarkable one: after losing both parents in 2001 she moved to Mfuwe to live with her uncle. Life in a household with no electricity and 15 other children was hardly conducive to academic success, but her talent and dedication shone through. ‘There’s something very special about Thandi,’ says long-term sponsor Anna Tolan of Chipembele Wildlife Trust, ‘and I know she’ll go far.’ Mike Unwin caught up with Thandi during a break from her studies. Is the UK how you imagined it? In many ways it is, but at first the pace of life completely shocked me. I found that there was something to do for every minute of the day. And although I had heard about ‘English punctuality’, what I found was nothing like I had imagined. Coming from a country where 10:00hrs was actually 10:45hrs or later made adjusting a bit of a challenge. Being late by just one minute meant missing the public transport. What do you most enjoy about life in the UK? The opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. They have taught me a lot of things that I would not have learnt otherwise. Do you ever manage to go home? During my two years here I get to go home only once – in the summer, when college closes. In fact, I have just returned. The break was six weeks long, during which I had to fit in tons of course work and seeing my family. What do you miss about life back home? The food. I live in a multicultural community, with people from all over the world. There are as many tastes in food as there are people, and it gets kind of hard for the care staff to prepare everything to everyone’s liking. How much do your friends in the UK know about Zambia? I have to say they know quite a lot. Meeting people from other countries has deepened my understanding of other customs, and at the same time has made me enthusiastic to share my own. What would you most like to show your UK friends about life in Zambia? It would be one of the most important aspects of our culture: the strong sense of belonging and collective responsibility that is emphasised in every community. Where else in the world would you like to visit? I would love to go to lots of places but my number one choice would be Kenya. I think it’s a beautiful country with a rich and unique cultural heritage. What are your plans for the future? After completing my IB, I hope to read veterinary medicine at university. Living in the Luangwa Valley has given me a strong interest in the area’s diverse animal species, while becoming aware of the problems they face as a result of injuries from poachers’ snares and bullets. I hope to work with the wildlife authorities in saving the lives of animals that are not only of economic value but also ecological and aesthetic importance. Find out more about the Pestalozzi International Village Trust at www.pestalozzi.org.uk THE BRIDAL HOUSE