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False 14 Travel Zambia May 2008 Nkani >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture Hollywood star Ewan McGregor, together with fellow actor and bike fanatic Charlie Boorman, have described sampling the delights of Zambia during their epic motorcycle journey from Scotland to Cape Town, dubbed ‘ Long Way Down’. Their 24,000km marathon, which lasted from 12 May to 4 August 2007 and passed through 18 countries, took them through some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth. On the way they used 16 tyres, consumed around 336 boil- in- the-bag meals and fell off their bikes 75 times. The Zambian leg, however, was one of the most pleasant and trouble- free. It took the team westwards from the Malawi border, via Lusaka, to Livingstone, camping in roadside villages en route and, at one point, stopping for impromptu trouser repairs from a roadside tailor. “ Everyone was so polite, full of smiles and handshakes,” recalls McGregor. At Livingstone they visited a crocodile farm, where old croc hand and fellow Scot Ian McGregor Bruce introduced them to some man-eaters. And, of course, they saw Victoria Falls, where McGregor watched in horror as Boorman bunjee- jumped from the bridge. “ Long Way Down has been an amazing journey and it has been a real privilege to be able to experience these diverse and beautiful places,” says McGregor. “ We were both up for an adventure and Africa has certainly given us that,” agrees Boorman. “ We both feel incredibly lucky we’ve been able to experience this together and to have survived with some brilliant stories to tell.” Ewan and Charley supported three charities on their travels: UNICEF, the Children’s Hospice of Scotland ( CHAS) and Riders for Health. Find out more at: www. longwaydown. com SAFARI NUPTIALS Happy news from Kapani camp ( www. normancarrsafaris. com), where two ????? staff members have recently tied the knot. Firstly there was Cosam Phiri, from accounts, who married Honester in August 2007. Their baby girl, Sibong’ile ( which means ‘ thank you’) was born on 28 March this year. Then there was Tamara, whose smiling face at reception is the first to greet visitors to Kapani. On November 18th she married Prince Mutale, who works as a guide at Robin Pope Safaris ( www. robinpopesafaris. net). Travel Zambia joins NCS and RPS in wishing both happy couples all the best. LONG WAY DOWN THROUGH ZAMBIA Made in Zambia: Thandie Newton Zambia tends to keep quiet about its Hollywood connections, but did you know that BAFTA- award winning actress Thandie Newton was born and raised on Zambian soil? Daughter of an English lab- technician father and Zimbabwean health- worker mother, her name means ‘ beloved’ in Ndebele – which proved prescient when, in 1998, she played the character ‘ Beloved’ in the film of Toni Morrison’s famous novel. Newton made her film debut in Flirting ( 1991) alongside Nicole Kidman. She has since gone on to star in numerous hit movies, including Mission Impossible II and Crash, and as Makemba “ Kem” Likasu on hit American TV series ER. Her next role will be as US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in W, Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic of US President George W. Bush. Newton is married to English writer and director Ol Parker, and has two daughters. McGregor and Boorman finally reach Cape Town NORMAN CARR SAFARIS

False May 2008 Travel Zambia 15 People Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani Home for Maggie Mwale is the bush of the Luangwa Valley, where she works in marketing and reservations for Norman Carr Safaris. For years she has enjoyed guests’ stories of the UK and dreamed about one day seeing the place for herself. In February this year she finally got the chance. Here are a few extracts from her journal. 2 February ( flight out and arrival in London): After a week of a hundred imaginings and emails it is finally time to say my goodbyes. Oh my word! Nine hours on the plane! Will I manage? I have never sat in one place for that long. We have to get on a tube to Graham’s flat in High Street Kensington. Is this the same tube that my two colleagues, William and Raphael, who visited earlier, referred to as ‘ the place for the dead’ and refused to get on? 4 February ( London): The one thing that I find most strange is the pleasure of walking miles and miles without meeting elephants. Did I expect to see some here? I am tremendously fascinated by the buildings. Most were built over 100 years ago. That makes me wonder why we don’t have such back home: is it the material used or just lack of care? 7 February ( London): I spend a lot of time in Marks and Spencer. Amazing! I hope they can come to Zambia. I would bring the whole shop home if I only had a private jet. 8 February ( Newcastle): An evening couldn’t get any better than a meal in a Japanese restaurant. Tasting prawns for the very first time and using chopsticks is just awesome. 15 February ( Droitwich): John and Diane welcome me to Droitwich with a lovely walk on the Malvern Hills. Watching the sun go down takes me back to the Luangwa, sitting beside the river with a bottle of Mosi. 19 February ( Lyme Regis, Dorset): I see the sea for the first time and I can’t leave without soaking my feet in the cold water for at least 30 minutes. It is one way to just reassure myself that I am really there. I also have fish and chips, which I consider a funny combination – and amazing that it is an English thing. Don’t we learn every day! 22 February ( Worcester): We visit a Catholic church and I fall in love with the architecture and design. If I moved to the UK and found a man, I would love to wed under the ceiling of Sacred Heart St. Catherine of Alexandria Church. 28 February ( London): How time flies! I’m back in the busy and multi- cultural city. It’s so amazing to just stand and watch everyone move from left to right, north to east and south to west. 3 March ( last night): Having once had many pictures of the UK in my own imaginary world, I am now putting my dreams to sleep. I had always laughed about the million lights and never thought it would be something that could make me so emotional. But now my times of listening to stories are over! I have graduated from listener to storyteller! Maggie’s UK Journal View from abroad CITY SLICKERS The siren call of the Zambian bush reaches some unlikely ears. In a true story that sounds more like something from a Hollywood movie, a high- flying advertising executive and his partner, a senior EU translator, have sold their stylish apartments in cosmopolitan Brussels and headed for a new life in the wilderness of Kafue National Park. But Andre Plaisir and Heiner Maag are no ‘ wet behind the ears’ would- be adventurers, reports Tim Henshall. Having driven their way around much of southern Africa armed with little more than a GPS and thermos flask, they both feel well prepared for the challenges ahead. “ We know it’ll be more than a little different to Brussels. And believe me, that’s the biggest attraction,” says Andre, with a glint in his eye. Andre and Heiner first visited Kaingu Lodge, located on the eastern boundary of Kafue, as paying guests in 2006. Like many visitors it was a case of love at first sight. They are now major shareholders and will move permanently in June. “ If we ever had any doubts,” added Andre, “ these would have been completely blown away by the fabulous response we’ve had promoting the lodge to tour operators across Europe.” Find out how they settle in at www. kaingu- lodge. com DID YOU KNOW? The 2,574km- long Zambezi is Africa’s fourth longest river. It flows through six countries before entering the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. On the London Eye ZELDA PERKINS Dorset: the sea, at last! JOHN DRURY Covent Garden DAVID DRURY The Kafue River at Kaingu TIM HENSHALL