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November 2007 Travel Zambia 19 Back in May Travel Zambia reported the birth of a second calf to the reintroduced black rhinos of North Luangwa National Park. We are thus delighted to announce the arrival of a third – its tiny spoor having been detected on May 9th by the rhino monitoring scouts of the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). With the total number of animals now standing at 16, preparations are under way for a third and final translocation. This will bring Zambia’s founder population to the recommended number of at least 20 unrelated animals, thereby maximizing its chances of survival in the long term. The success of the black rhino project owes much to the dedication, skills and hard work of the ZAWA team. These men rise at five every day to search for spoor and then follow it, sometimes for many hours, day after day, until the rhino is seen. They walk, encumbered with heavy rifles, through tall, treacherous grass that impedes views – not only of rhinos, but also of buffalo and elephant. In recognition of their service, half the team was recently sent to Zimbabwe’s Bubiana Conservancy for a six-day training course. This proved very successful. ‘The men have returned with renewed interest and their own ideas on how to improve the monitoring in North Luangwa,’ commented Jessica Groenendijk of the North Luangwa Conservation Project. The NLCP hopes in due course to repeat the initiative with the rest of the team. NLCP is supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society. The black rhino project is assisted by the Zambia Wildlife Authority, South African National Parks, the South African North West Parks and Eastern Cape Parks Boards. Find out more at www.fzs.org. The African skimmer (Rhynchops flavirostris) is a tern-like bird found along broad low-lying rivers, including the Zambezi and Luangwa. Its long wings give it a distinctive buoyant flight, but what most catches the eye is its bright red bill. This extraordinary appendage has a lower mandible markedly longer than the upper. A skimmer feeds by flying methodically back and forth over water with this lower mandible dipped beneath the water’s surface, its bill snapping shut on any tasty morsel it encounters. Small groups sit quietly on sandbanks, periodically taking off to ‘skim’ the water and scoring V-shaped wakes in the surface. Unfortunately their low-lying nests are highly vulnerable to the wash of powerboats. African skimmer Wildlife focus Justin Gosling, a former UK Police Officer, visited Zambia in August to train scouts from the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) and Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in ‘intelligence-led investigations’. This strategy aims to combat the illegal and inhumane practice of snaring for bushmeat, by targeting not just the poachers but also those who buy their illegal products – the wealthy customers, ‘middle-men’ and wholesalers. Prosecuting these more serious offenders acts as a deterrent, reduces demand and prevents the initial crime. Working with a carefully selected team of scouts, Gosling taught the methods also used by enforcement agencies to tackle other forms of serious crime, such as drug trafficking. The team practised interview skills, and systems for searching Trailing the traders: tough on the causes of wildlife crime buildings and vehicles. They also discussed how to develop sources of information, including informants, and used role-play exercises to practise surveillance techniques in urban settings. Intelligence-led enforcement is essential to combating wildlife crime, believes Gosling. This is one of the most profitable forms of crime in the world today and is controlled and fuelled by comparatively wealthy individuals. Enforcement agencies must target these few, in order to protect habitats like the South Luangwa National Park. Justin Gosling is based in Thailand, where he works as Wildlife Programmes Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). JESSICA GROENENDIJK / NLCP JULIET SHENTON / SHENTON SAFARIS JUSTIN GOSLING SLCS scouts tend a snared baby elephant. Ahead of the game Scouts give leg-up to rhinos

20 Travel Zambia November 2007 Our Journeys Change People’s LivesThe unspoilt areas, wealth of wildlife to be experienced and the beauty of Zambia are just a few of the elements that inspired Wilderness Safaris to open a number of lodges and bush camps in this amazing country. Busanga Bush Camp, Lunga River Lodge, Kapinga and Shumba Camps reside in Kafue National Park, one of the largest parks in Africa. Its northern sector is what Wilderness Safaris strives for when choosing its camps: remote, wild and diverse with vast tracts of pristine wilderness. Kalamu Tented Camp is Wilderness Safaris’ camp in South Luangwa National Park and is situated in the Luamfwa. One of the most remote areas in the Park, the Luamfwa is a true wilderness location, with incredible species diversity and endemics such as the Thornicroft’s giraffe. Our offering in Zambia is rounded off with the elegant River Club on the banks of the Zambezi River just 18 km upstream from the world-famous Victoria Falls.www.wilderness-safaris.comwww.steveblagus.com sblagus@zamnet.zm tel: +(260) 1 227739 / 227740 / 229560 / 221445 fax: +(260) 1 225178The people factor There is no disputing that Zambia offers a diverse and extraordinary range of attractions. The challenge is to ensure that you get the most out of your safari experience. For that, you need to rely on knowledgeable, experienced people with a proven track record in compiling Zambian safari itineraries. You need to rely on the team at STeve BlaguSTravel, the oldest travel agency in Zambia. So let us help you to organise your next safari to the real Africa...