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The Savute Channel - The Animal Highway is Open at Savuti Camp

Since 2008 the Savute channel has been flowing uninterrupted with nutrient rich waters from the Angolan Highlands.


Now, almost a decade later the channel has dried up this winter. There is only one body of water left close to Savuti Camp. This is called Sefo’s Lagoon and right now it is a spectacle to behold.



Who has come to visit recently?


The last couple of weeks have shown why this area is regarded as one of the best in Africa. Savuti Camp is seeing numbers of buffalo and zebra almost unheard of. Estimates suggests that 3,000 buffalo are using this channel to feed and drink daily. Zebras by the hundreds are moving up and down the channel feeding on a fresh flush of grass created from the moisture. The area is an elephant hot spot.



The lions have started following the buffalo herds. The largest being the DumaTau pride, now numbering 18 with the latest addition of three small cubs. The leopard viewing around the source of the channel is something to behold, we have recorded 10 different leopard passing through the area. This puts the leopard concentration at one of the highest anywhere in Africa. Wild dog are regular visitors and are making a decent showing on the channel – watch this amazing clip of five wild dogs and a pod of hippos in hot pursuit of a kudu.



The Famous Log Pile Hide


Without water in the Savute Channel elephant and zebra densities have increased markedly in the Savuti (Mantshwe Pan) and Kings Pool(fault line) area. Right in front of Savuti Camp the new solar pump is pumping up to 6500 gallons of water a day into the waterhole. This is attracting huge amounts of plains game and has made the famous Savuti log pile hide an exciting place to witness the action up close.

News from Wilderness July 2016

North Island Partnership in Seychelles

We are delighted to have renewed our partnership with North Island. This will enable us to continue focusing on delivering the world’s ultimate private-island experience in Seychelles. We are also thrilled that Bruce Simpson, who many of you may know, has been appointed as Managing Director for the Island, whilst Nick Solomon remains the GM based at North. 



Guests Vote Mombo as a Top Safari Lodge


Mombo and Little Mombo have been included in the prestigious Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards for 2016. Voted in the Top 5 Safari Lodges in Africa, the camps were also rated 29th in the Top 100 Hotels in the World category.


Ready, Set, Go...


Having bid the Tour de France goodbye, we turn to another prestigious cycling event: the Nedbank Tour de Tuli. Setting off on 28 July, we wish all our cyclists a wonderful ride and happy fundraising for the incredible Children in the Wilderness programme!



Behind the Scenes with Keith Vincent


The Independent Traveller recently ran an interview with our savvy CEO. Find out about his favourite travel memories and why he doesn’t go to the beach!



One Lake, One Rhino


Two renowned photographers and conservation enthusiasts are taking on the arduous task of paddling the length of Lake Tanganyika to add their impact for rhino conservation. Support them and buy a three-night stay in Savuti Camp.



Reason No. 7 - Hwange Against all Odds


Ecotourism as a social stabiliser and biodiversity conserver is the basis in which we operate our camps and concessions. Take a look at this great infographic on what we do in Hwange alone.



Things are Heating up in the Kafue...


...and we are not referring to the weather! "Completely wild" pretty much sums up the Busanga Plains, and Simon Stobbs captures just that in this set of incredible pictures taken on a recent trip.


Vundu Camp, Mana Pools, Newsletter

June 2016 Update


The Valley weather in June and July is almost perfect, not too cold, the morning sun feels good and the days are warm. The bush is thinning out and visibility is improving. June has been filled with beautiful sightings and interactions with the park wildlife starting with regular visits from Impi in camp. He has been great company and we have really enjoyed each of his visits, even when he manages to break the satellite dish bringing a brief end to our Internet.



A lot of our guests had the opportunity to approach him on foot during their morning and afternoon walks, guided by Nick, creating such special moments.



Boswell and other bulls have been dancing on their hind legs, a Mana Pools specialty. Henry and his guest Laura had the privilege of witnessing this on foot, as well as Nick and his guests whilst out on the canoe trail.




We have had great leopard sightings so far this year. There is a large male that walks through camp on a regular basis and we got a really good look at him the other day marking his territory in camp. We currently have three prides of lion in the areas we do our drives, one near Nyamepi, Mucheni and Little Vundu respectively.


The dog packs along the river have all denned down – the Nyakasanga (13 adult dogs), Nyamatusi (10 dogs) and Chikwenya (only seen 7 dogs) packs. We have seen the pups of the Nyakasanga pack; Black Tip the alpha female has had 10 pups. They were born in mid May,and are looking very healthy at six weeks of age. Peter Blinston of Painted Dog Conservation has been in a couple of times and has put a collar on the Nyamatusi pack.


Lions killed Wicket, the previous dog that was collared, in May. She was the alpha female. Two other females have denned down but the number of pups is not known yet. These are the only two collared packs in the Valley at the moment. Mana has seven packs utilizing the Park and there are also packs in the neighbouring areas of Sapi, Chewore, Dande and Nyakasanga.

We have had some great experiences canoeing this month, with many day trips for our guests as well as three-night canoe safaris. Anything from elephants crossing right in front of your canoe, to an afternoon spent with females and their calves, canoe safaris have definitely been a success and lifelong memories were created and shared on the mighty Zambezi River.




We have been busy putting up the new Little Vundu Camp, which is taking shape and looking good and we expect this to be complete in the next couple of weeks. We have a new logo which incorporates our old tree with a wild dog and we are currently working on an updated website.


The BushLife Support Unit has been continually busy on the anti-poaching front assisting National Parks where we can. Since we started in November 2015 we have, to date, covered 30,000km on deployments of 1300 rangers. We have been supplying food for Rangers who have not been paid for months and are required to supply their own food. Thanks to local farmers for their support: Pieter Gertenbach for donating 2,500kg of mealie meal to Rangers; Andrew Herbst for 200 litres of diesel; Henk Terblanche for 100 litres of diesel and Zambezi Society for 200 litres of petrol. The National Parks Investigations and undercover team have also been busy with a Mitsubishi Pajero donated by Steve Taylor. This has given the team the mobility they have been missing for too long. There are always several operations on the go at any one time.


Thanks also to Kevin Dunholm, who was the ecologist in Mana Pools for 10 years, for his teams hard work on the Great Elephant Census. I have recently received books on all the areas counted in Zimbabwe and it is a huge amount of work. We accommodated Kevin’s team in 2014 when they were counting the elephant in the valley and it is this work, which has shed so much light on the situation of the elephant population in Africa.


The end of June brings a change of landscape as Mana Pools is getting drier and sightings are increasing. A family who recently visited us will certainly agree, after a morning activity offered them wild dogs, lions, leopard, hyena and the famous Boswell, all in the beautifulsetting of the Mana Pools floodplains.


We are looking forward to a busy July.


Best regards









April/May 2016 Update


The first days of April brought us the last rains and our first guests for this new 2016 season. The park is absolutely beautiful at this time of the year, with clear blue skies and lush green bush. The animals are healthy and there are a lot of babies around, from clumsy baby elephants, to buffalo calves only a few hours old, without forgetting the ever playful baby vervets, and lion cubs.




With the rains over and the grass drying out by mid May, the bush is still thick, the pans inland are full and the game has been quite dispersed. As the season changes into winter the acacia trees of the flood plain come out in full leaf and flower with the promise of a good pod crop to keep the game going through the later dry season.


Thanks to kind fuel donations, National Parks have now started to grade the roads and we are happy to report roads in the Vundu concession are near perfect. At Vundu we’ve been busy doing some maintenance around the camp and we’re now happy to be 100% up and running.




We have some familiar friendly faces back in camp for 2016 in the form of Henry (Senior Guide) and Gaddy (Vundu Camp Manager), and alongside them, two new faces, husband and wife team Alex and Marie. Everyone at Vundu work together to ensure guests are welcomed and taken care of throughout their stay with us.


Alex, of French and Italian heritage, was born and raised in Zimbabwe and, whilst he had the opportunity to travel and live in many different countries around the world, the call of the bush has always brought him back to Africa, where his heart belongs. Alex first qualified as a safari guide in South Africa, where he had the immense privilege of working with the elephant whisperer, the late Lawrence Anthony, and his now famous herd of elephants. After guiding for a few years between Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, Alex made his way back home and qualified as a learner guide here in Zimbabwe. Whilst working towards his full Zimbabwean Guides License, Alex is thrilled to be working as a learner guide at Vundu Camp in his favourite place on earth – the very unique Mana Pools National Park.


Marie, working alongside Gaddy as Camp Manager, spent her first 20 years thousands of miles away from the African bush, in Paris. She studied business and graduated in 2012 with a masters degree. Curious to discover what the world had to offer, she packed her bag and backpacked around Australia where she fell in love with travel, wide open spaces and nature. It was whilst travelling in Namibia that she met and fell in love with Alex and together they moved to Zimbabwe where they have enjoyed being based in the bush full time, managing safari camps.



With Vundu Camp in full operation, our next step will be setting up our fly camp ‘Little Vundu’ which has enjoyed a bit of an upgrade with brand new 6mx5m canvas tents, as you know all of our tents are ensuite with bucket shower and flush toilets. Some more updated pictures of Little Vundu will follow in our June newsletter.




Our first guests of the season, guided by Henry and Nick, have enjoyed some good game drives and nature walks during their stay here. Despite the fact that the bush is still thick, we’ve had nice sightings of leopard, lions, and wild dogs over the past few weeks. Close encounters with elephants happen regularly as well as guests enjoying the company of the resident hippo in camp. For many of our guests, the highlight of their stay has been canoeing on the Zambezi, a truly memorable experience.




Away from camp, Nick, Desiree and Kim attended the annual Indaba travel show in Durban at the beginning of May. It was great to see many familiar faces and to meet quite a few new ones too. Since returning to the office Kim has enjoyed a busy few weeks rolling out our new specials for 2016.



Looking ahead Vundu Camp welcomes a team from Painted Dog Conservation to end off the month of May, and we are ready and excited for what will be a busy June.


Best regards










March 2016 update


Parks have been very active, apart from daily patrols. Rangers have been reacting to shots fired in several areas and the Black Mambas have been very busy with various ongoing operations. The gathering of information is a continual process.


The wild dogs have been busy too. Black tip the alpha female in the Nyakasanga Pack is mating with Jiani. This pack is currently 14 strong. Wicket, Jemma and Tait junior from the Nyamatusi Pack are all in season and are being mated with by Twiza, Twilight and Tim. The Nyamatusi is a new pack formed by dogs from the Vundu and the Nyakasanga pack which dispersed from their home packs, this pack is 13 strong. The Vundu Pack seems to have disappeared as there were only four dogs left after this dispersal. So the prospect of pups is looking good. We have seen the Chiruwe Pack only once as they tend to live in the central part of the park where there are no roads. We have had reports of the Chikwenya pack.



The BBC film crew will be with us until the end of March. They have had a helicopter in the park for about 10 days filming the dogs from the air. The dogs pay no attention to the chopper and continue with their activities and they have been able to film some very interesting stuff. At one stage the Nyakasanga and Nyamatusi packs were only 150m apart on the ground but they did not meet, both packs went off chasing impala which took them in separate directions, it would have been amazing to get that meeting from the air. We filmed them hunting baboons and impala from the air also harassing zebra, buffalo and even a hippo still out grazing in the marshy floodplain.



We also did about 10 days with the aerial camera mounted to a vehicle, which gives a whole different perspective of being able to move with the dogs and film at the same time, as mostly these cameras are quite large and need to be static tripod mounted to shoot.



Most areas are fairly inaccessible at this time of year with lots of rain falling in late February and March which seems to have become a pattern over the last few years. As can be expected the bush is full of young from most of the other animals, lots of baby elephant. The pans are all full and I expect we will have more rain in April to keep them topped up.


We start with our first safari clients in April and look forward to giving you some more up dates.


Best regards


Nick Murray








February 2016 update


February has been a busy month. So far during the off season for safaris we have done 16,500km on anti-poaching efforts, transporting 600 National Park Rangers on deployments with about 2500 ranger days of food provided. There have been several contacts between Park Rangers and poachers in the area and tusks have been recovered, it is a dangerous situation as the poachers shoot at the Rangers. We have reports of approximately 10 carcasses of poached elephant which shows that the pressure being put on the poachers by Rangers is having an effect.


On the under cover work with the Black Mambas things have also been active. There have been operations going on in many different places around the Zambezi Valley. This month three pangolin have been recovered alive and put back in the wild in National Parks Estate. The men doing this side also put themselves at risk; a short while ago a policeman was stabbed in an operation arresting some illegal ivory dealers. Thousands of kilometers need to be covered setting these ops into motion and maintaining until the arrests are made. We have put out flyers in certain areas in collaboration with National Parks Investigations Department and we are getting lots of calls. I am learning that intelligence gathering is the most effective way in combating the fight against poaching. We are trying to raise funds to keep this going for at least the rainy season but really it needs a long-term programme.



The BBC film crew is back, having started on 28 February and we have had some luck with the dogs. We have seen the Nyamatusi Pack, which formed in December last year with seven males from the Nyakasanga pack and seven females from the Vundu pack. I am yet to determine the alpha pair but there are two dominant females: Jemma and Tait Junior. The Nyakasanga Pack is now 14 dogs. Jiani has taken over the position of alpha male. We have seen him totally dominating Hornet who was the alpha male for the past three years. Black Tip the alpha female and Jiani are mating so hope to have pups by late May /June with this pack. Just this morning there was an amazing interaction between the dogs, lions and hyena. Great stuff to capture on film.



We have had several heavy showers so the bush is nice and green and the grass is now established, not very tall but at least it's there. I think we will get up to our average seasonal rainfall despite the rains arriving late again.



The leopards are much more active during the day at this time of year and we have seen several in day time in just a few days. They are taking advantage of the thick ground cover which is absent for the rest of the year. We have also seen a couple of prides of lion of five with two large black maned lions mating with the females.


The well known elephant bull Boswell who stands on his back legs is doing well, as are Impi and Jed and several other of the Mana Bulls.


I look forward to giving you an update of the shoot with the BBC soon.


Best regards

Nick Murray







January 2016 Vundu Camp – Romara Anti-Poaching Unit


Thank you to all of you who have taken time out of your day and contributed to our anti-poaching efforts. It literally would not happen without your donations! You are the ones paying for our antipoaching efforts for the protection of our elephant in the Zambezi Valley, it always amazes me that it is people who live thousands of miles away who are helping so much. I would like to thank The Africa Adventure Company for their help in contacting past guests and for all of their support, The Tashinga Initiative and Global World Conservation for all the help in getting tax deductable funds from donors in the USA to us in the Zambezi Valley, William and Beth and The Painted Dog Conservation both here in Zimbabwe and the Netherlands.


Starting on the 1st November 2015 our efforts are being channelled into transporting and feeding the Rangers who work for National Parks while on patrol and deploying them to areas where they patrol on foot. Each patrol is on average eight days. Each patrol has four men in it. We have deployed and uplifted 248 rangers to date on anti-poaching missions. We are operating on a very limited road system which is in a pretty rough state, and it takes its toll on the vehicles. We have travelled 5500km (2800 miles) in Mana Pools, the park itself is (1400sq.miles). We have designated a land rover to the operation and have today added another which is undergoing a quick service and it will be in the valley next week.


In November the Rangers had a contact with poachers, shots were exchanged. Two poachers were wounded. The poachers ran off but left behind seven sets of elephant tusks. This group of Rangers will receive US$1000 as an incentive. It’s not a lot of money, but equivalent to their monthly salary, which they do not always get in a timely fashion. This week a concerted effort has been made by our National Parks Rangers and our RAPU vehicle in tracking down 11 poachers in the area west of Mana Pools in the Nyakasanga. In an ambush at midnight on Monday the poachers discarded their load of 22 tusks of elephant ivory and disappeared in the thick bush. Rangers have been after them now for days.


Bushlife Safaris - Vundu Camp has also been working on the start of the Ranger Anti-poaching Base at Nyakasikana in the middle of the valley. There is 50T of sand being transported to the site together with 50T of stone for the foundations of the buildings. The sand and stone is coming from 300km away and takes about eight hours to get it there. It will take us 14 trips on those roads in and out to get the materials in. A very good friend of mine, Dave England, has been instrumental in providing the transport of these bulky materials. Alaska Dolomite has offered us a really good price on the stone, and another friend, Steve Swanepoel, has a team of men collecting the sand and loading it for us all free of charge. It is great to see Zimbabweans pulling together for a great cause. We still need 300 bags of cement to get started.


This last weekend three poachers were arrested and more ivory recovered. There are just so many holes to try to close up, but we have to keep on trying. Please spread the word that we need funds to keep the pressure on to keep the poachers out and build our Park Rangers a good base to operate out of. We are making a difference and the Area Manager tells me levels have decreased. We have saved the lives of some elephant.


Thanks again

Regards Nick Murray





We are thrilled to introduce two new faces in the management team at Vundu Camp for the 2015 season. No strangers to the bush, both Gadyy and Aimee's passion for wildlife and the pure enjoyment of being submersed in the thick of it, has already ensured a smooth introduction to camp life. Working alongside Nick, Desiree and our fabulous team, they will be on hand to oversee the smooth running of camp and to make sure our guests are taken care of during their stay with us.


Gadreck Nyamhondoro: Gadreck (Gaddy) was born in the small town of Karoi in Zimbabwe before moving to Harare for schooling.


Soon after leaving school he moved to Kariba where he started his guiding career with Spurwing Island Safari Lodge and qualified as a learner guide in 1997. Gadreck has gained valuable management experience working in safari camps within Zimbabwe and he is also qualified to conduct walking safaris and game drives.



Aimee van der Merwe: Born in 1991 in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aimee grew up in a small farming community in Tengwe and discovered her love and passion for nature at a young age.


She has been keen on fishing since she was a little girl and has fished Lake Kariba, the Zambezi River and various dams and rivers within South Africa. Aimee received a certificate in Photography in 2013 from Oakfields College in Pretoria, South Africa and is currently working on a personal photographic portfolio.


Whilst managing the camp she is excited to be working towards pursuing her Professional Guides License.



To all our 2015 guests, we look forward to welcoming you to Mana Pools over the next few months and helping you create memories to treasure.


Despite the rains commencing very late last year, with the first decent rain falling on Christmas Day, Mother Nature seems to be more than making up for it and in the last six weeks we have had a lot of rain. As a result the grass has grown very well where the concentration of animals in the dry season have left droppings to fertilize the new growth.





Game has concentrated once again on the Mana flood plain and in particular the elephant. There are several hundred elephant feeding on the belly high grasslands, rarely reaching up to feed on a tree. Many have come in from the surrounding areas, I don't recognize them and their behavior is very different from our regular residents. There is an abundance of newly born calves, and many bulls. It is the breeding and calving season for elephant and this year they have congregated in Mana.




The Mucheni pride of lions are doing well, the two new big males in the area are breeding with the females, so there is a promise of cubs to come. The Nyamatusi pride has also been spotted and are a group of 17 in total.


We are not often in the park at this time of year, so it is great to be here, as it is looking exceptionally beautiful. The reason we have started early is because we have a BBC film crew in camp. They have chosen Mana as the place to film a Wild Dog documentary, which is exciting news as they researched possibilities for the documentary across the whole of Africa and have chosen to stay with us. Expectations are high but this is an incredible opportunity for both us at Vundu Camp but most importantly Mana Pools National Park and Zimbabwe wildlife as a whole. They will be with us for five months this year and then again in 2016. The documentary is one part of a five part series, which will include tigers in India, lions in the Mara, penguins in the Antarctic and chimps in the Congo, and is following on from the Planet Earth series.


Talking of the Wild Dog, we have seen the Vundu, Nyakasanga and Long Pool packs already this year. The grass is long along the flood plain with limited visibility for the dogs and access for them is hard as there are many running channels which the dogs do not like to cross, as the crocs come out of the Zambezi into these rain filled channels. The dogs are hunting in the mopane away from the river where there aren't roads, so finding them is tough going. Despite the thick bush and limited access with the amount of rain we have had, but we have managed to film some good stuff so far.


The Vundu pack is now 11 dogs in total, the smallest it’s been in 20 years that I know of. Last year the pack was at 22 individuals, 10 dogs dispersed and the remaining 12 dogs denned and had seven pups. The loss of the alpha male in July last year was a huge blow to the pack, and the remaining dogs were young 1-2 years old with one 5 year old, this would have left them vulnerable to lions and hyenas. Of the seven pups four have survived which is an average survival rate. This year Tait has accepted a new alpha male into the pack, Ox. He is asserting his dominance and leads the hunts for the pack. He is distinguishable by his size and an all black tail. (see sunset photo above)


Janet is the alpha female of the Long Pool pack. She lost her mate last year early in the breeding season and subsequently did not have pups, her pack seemed to have fallen apart. Janet is Taits daughter from her 2009 litter. Three of the pups from the Vundu pack went missing in November last year and were presumed dead. They are however, with their big sister Janet in the Long Pool pack. She appears to have adopted them from Tait, at 4 months of age, which is quite unusual. Most of the dogs that dispersed from the Vundu pack back in April have also joined Janet, there are now nine in her pack. They have moved into the area previously occupied by the Chikwenya pack.


The Nyakasanga pack is 26 strong. Black tip (Taits daughter) and Amos, the alphas, have raised 10 puppies from last years litter, having started with 15 pups. These guys are doing very well and the pack is very stable. Five males dispersed from the pack in July last year, again not sure where they have gone to yet.


We had a report of 40 dogs, which we have seen today. It is the Nyakasanga Pack with possibly what I called the Little Vundu Pack. The Little Vundu pack split from the Nyakasanga pack a few years ago, and they seem to be back and occasionally hunting together. 40 dogs in one group is quite a sight.


The BBC crew will be here now in February, May, August, October and November/December staying at Vundu Camp. As you would expect the crew is very experienced, Nick (producer) and Warrick (camera man) have a combined 40 years of wildlife documentary filming and they are looking to produce something exceptional.


It is a very exciting time.


Best regards,


Nick Murray

Botswana will never be as affordable as it is right NOW!


Dreaming about a safari adventure to Botswana? Pack your bags as Botswana will never be more affordable than it is right now!


Wilderness Safaris is offering early bird savings of 13-20% for new bookings when traveling now until March 2017. Experience world-class game viewing and exclusive camps in the Okavango Delta and Linyati Reserve. 



10 Day Wing Safari to Desert and Delta

Experience the beauty of Botswana's Central Kalahari and the Okavango Delta or Linyanti Spend six nights on this flying safari at two Wilderness camps. Game viewing is done in open 4-wheel drive vehicles (maximum 7 per vehicle) with a resident guide at each camp you visit. From $5,995.00 per person

Botswana - Kwando Newsletter

Our Dogs have Denned


In previous years, the wild dogs have played games with us and made it impossible to predict which Linyanti camp guests should book to maximise their chances of seeing the puppies, as well as the amazing behaviour and dynamics associated with a wild dog den.



This year, we are excited to report that they have made it easier for Kwando guests - with not one but TWO dens, one at each camp, which guests can visit.


At Lagoon, the larger pack of 14 wild dogs have a den 10 minutes from camp while at Lebala, the pack of 13 have a den north of the air strip.


Lagoon is about 4 hours drive north of Lebala.




The guides expect to see the first glimpses of the puppies poking their heads out of the den within the next 2 weeks.


With two dens on our concession, guests staying with us have an increased chance of seeing the puppies (in keeping with our conservation ethos, we limit the number of cars at the den to just two).




Meanwhile down in the delta, in the Kwara concession, we also have a pack of three wild dogs that have been frequently seen near camp including one pregnant looking alpha female looking for a safe place to give birth to her little pups!


Fingers crossed for a hat-trick this year!




3 Bushtails from Botswana

Specialist Guide, Brooks Kamanakao, has just returned from a successful private safari with Africa Adventure Co clients. From the sounds of it, the game viewing in Botswana is better than ever!


"Our adventure began at the world famous MOMBO CAMP. We had an awesome time here and we saw great game including 1 white rhino sleeping, 4 lions and a male leopard who we spotted up a tree and he proceeded to come down and started marking his territory. The highlight was viewing “Pula”, a gorgeous female leopard and her 5 month old cub. Pula became famous in nature documentaries that chronicled her life.



We continued to GOMOTI CAMP, located in the Okavango Delta. Game viewing was special and included 3 lioness walking away from a smelly dead giraffe. That evening we were about to have dinner when we heard a stampede from zebras and the same 3 lionesses killed a zebra foal. Two dominant male lions showed up and took over the small meal which was left.




We had the opportunity to meet Nic Proust from Wilderness Safaris Environmental department. Nic has a web page called “Bush24” which the clients regularly follow. Nick definitely added a value for our 3 nights at Gomoti Camp.


The staff made our stay very special including sundowners and a private bush dinner about 15 minutes drive away from the camp. It was MAGIC! The guests loved Gomoti so much that a few tears were shed when saying goodbye to the team.


Our last camp was CHITABE CAMP and the game viewing was epic! The wildlife sightings included 1 leopard with 3 months old cubs, 2 lionesses with 5 small cubs, 1 cheetah, and we visited the hyena den we saw 2 adults hyena and 4 cubs. We enjoyed a Bush brunch and Boma dinner,,,. We had another great time here."



Signing off...Brooks Kamanakao


3 other Migration sightings to consider for an African safari


Liuwa Plains Safari with the legendary Robin Pope - Nov 2016

Liuwa Plains is home to the second largest migration of blue wildebeest in Africa. Numbers 50,000 in November when they arrive from Angola.



In celebration of their off the beaten track experiences over the past 30 years years, travel to Liuwa with the legendary Robin Pope. Offering a limited number of 5 night departures using Matemanene Camp (NCS). 


Itinerary: 5 nights Liuwa Plain

Scheduled departures: 23 & 28 November 2016 only!

Rates from: US$5,900 for Nov - per person sharing.

Single supplements - please contact us for details.

Includes: Transfers starting and ending in Lusaka, accommodation, full board, all local drinks, all activities and laundry.

Excludes: Gratuities, visa fees where applicable + international flights.


  1.                                                      Click here to watch Liuwa Plains video


Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks - Zebra Migration


Every year, at the onset of the rains in January through March, up to 25,000 zebra begin their annual migration through Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks. Known as the second largest Zebra Migration in Africa, the mass movement of these animals starts from in the North from the Boteti River.  Two camp locations can offer this spectacle - Meno A Kwena and Jack's Camp.



Gambella National Park White Eared Kob Migration


The Migration of the White Eared Kob, of Boma-Jonglei-Gambella, is in the remote corner of western Ethiopia. It is inside this, Gambella National Park, where it has recently been discovered, that these massive Kob herds congregate during their annual dry season migration in January/February.  Contact us for details in interested in joining this intrepid expedition.


Client Trip Reports - January - March 2016

“Bespoke Namibia Spectacular” to Sossusvlei, Damarland and Skeleton Coast




I wanted to get back to you with a short review of our safari to Namibia. My daughter and I have a wonderful time and everything went perfect. All the logistics and information you provided were right on.


The itinerary we had developed was very good for the time frame we were limited to and I think the order was perfect for traveling through Namibia. I was very impressed with Wilderness safaris - their camps were outstanding and the flights all were on plan to get us to the appropriate camps.


Soussusvlei - our guide Chris met us and took us to Little Kuala where the assistant manager reviewed camp with us. Very beautiful and great accommodations. They were prepared and offered us lunch and then we met up with our guide around 4:30/5 for first sundowner drive (which we had every evening while in Namibia). Chris was our guide for our 3 days and a great guide. Little Kuala met its description and was fabulous. Outdoor shower, AC, hairdryer, plugs in room, fridge , coffee/tea maker, private plunge pool with very large private patio all overlooking the water hole. Loved the room and the lodge layout. We had a wonderful bush dinner with friends we met on sundowner. We even had the staff singing and we all danced around after dinner. Also very good choice of food at this dinner and very good South African wines at all camps…



It is very sandy there with the wind blowing sand all the time. Best hint I had reading blogs was to bring baggies to store camera/glasses.


As offseason, ended up having private drives with our guide Chris and it was perfect. He climbed Dune 45 with us (took our pictures), gave us great information on the dunes and animals and did a great job showing us all the highlights of the area. Very knowledgeable and professional guide. He even (as he had background in restaurant service) chilled our wine glasses at sundowners. We decided to take balloon ride and it was worth the money. The pilot takes you up fairly high and then back low to the desert—great picture opportunity. Glad we did it on the 2nd day as could see the dunes from a different perspective. The company running the balloon ride is doing a great thing with operating a school for locals who work in area and even picking up the children and transporting them to school. Instead of tipping him ands staff, he had container for school.


If we had not done the balloon ride think 3 nights would have been too long…


Damaraland—Chris took us to airstrip to wait for our plane to take us to Damaraland. (Note- the guides really take care of everything for your trip, to coming by tent for wake up calls to walking back at night to tent, handling luggage and waiting at airports until after takeoff. They suggest times to have breakfast and timeframes for days schedule so we felt like all we had to do was just show up. Being an independent traveler, was a change to have someone else in charge of everything -was nice and made week very relaxing.



…The staff at Damaraland Camp were friendly, particularly James the manger. We felt like he was welcoming us to his home and he was always around t meet us when we came back…Our guide was Teek and he is walking instructor on the geology of land. We caught up with friends we had met at Little Kuala and had fun evening at Boma for dinner. Saw lots of elephants the next day and Teek found them first so we had time to be by ourselves following them around. later, quite a few other vehicles showed up so we toured more of the area looking for zebras (no luck). Our sundowner had a full car load and as soon as we started Teek got message that there had been a zebra kill by group of lions. He asked if we all wanted to go and we said of course and held on as we drove very fast to get there… our group bonded so was nice at dinner at one big table to have great conversations and exchange experiences. It was interesting as one of the staff would translate menu in “click” language at dinners. They also had a very nice bush breakfast on a hill near the camp…


Skeleton Coast/Hoanib- Loved this camp!!!!! This was such great camp and experience- it was highlight of trip (2nd would be the sand dunes). I can’t say enough about the staff, accommodations, and activities. Clement, the manager was the best we experienced. He was so involved and also there to talk with (or pour wine) and make us feel welcome. He was always there and we felt like special friends staying at his home. He set the tone but everyone we met at the camp gave us the same positive feeling. We were in the farthest tent and the views were amazing and we had feeling of being on another planet. The setting is so amazing. All the meals were excellent and we had a great guide Elias. He was so enjoyable to be with and we spent a lot of time out looking. Think we had longer drives than the other 2 camps. He was very knowledgeable and showed us even the very small animals (spiders) but also saw giraffes, elephants, oryx, seals, springbok, and a brown haired hyena walking across from water hole while we were having breakfast.



We were very fortunate to have time with MC and to hear of her work with the brown haired hyenas plus Dr. Phillip Stander was there. One evening he spotted a leopard stalking a giraffe with a baby and all of us went out and were able to see the leopard. Then Dr. Stander came back and sat around the fire pit having a glass of wine and talking about his work. What a wonderful opportunity we had. The next evening Elias let us stay out during our sundowner to watch the mother giraffe over the deceased baby and observe all the animals that were trying to scavenge.


We also enjoyed the trip to the coast and was surprised how much we saw on the drive over to coast. They had a wonderful lunch set up on the beach that was great and the pilots who flew us back managed to find group of elephants that we flew over. It is amazing how the camp operates on solar power only and with food, water, supplies all trucked in. It was a 5* experience. They showed the movie that Nat. Geographic made about Dr Standers 17 year work with the mother lion and the 5 lions. I have been finding on line other videos of his as was so impressive for conservation and protection of the desert lions.


In summary, we had a wonderful trip and I would recommend your organization and also Wilderness Safaris. In fact, I want to go to Botswana and stay at Wilderness camps. While expectations were that we would not see many animals, knowing it is a desert environment we were very fortunate and I feel saw a lot. They had rain the month before so that helped as many animals in the riverbed. And our guides were very good. Having been in Kenya on safari, this was such a neat change as felt like we were only ones in the parks or reserves. We would drive for hours and not see other cars. So different from Kenya. Plus as most people were also staying at the different camps you ran into them multiple times-either at a camp or airport.


All the information and documentation you provided were valuable and everything we needed. (The camps did such a good job with laundry we realized we had over-packed.)


Thanks for your planning and support and this was a trip my daughter and I will remember for a very long time.

Sydney Bland, March 2016





Exploring Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Linyanti Reserve


Dear Mark,


You and AAC did an outstanding job with our first safari. Thanks so much for the wonderful and careful planning. We had so many fascinating experiences in the bush, and we found our accommodations superb! We even did some of our game rides with clients of yours from Canada! Small world--a lovely couple.


The guides at the lodges were excellent! Duke, at Chitabe, was especially interesting and most accommodating.


Again, thank you for your professionalism and topnotch plans for our trip!



Mary Campbell and Stewart Brockett, March 2016




Desert and Delta Safari to Botswana and Victoria Falls


Hi Alison, we had a wonderful time on our African adventure——thank you and your team for all your help! Everything worked just beautifully!


Every transfer and road trip was seamless and on time. The drivers shared lots of history and stories. The camps were just so comfortable and wonderful. We enjoyed each one of the three camps for itself and its particular environment. The camp managers and staff were so friendly and knowledgeable, also very accommodating and caring. Every need was met. The three of us all felt the same positive way about the camps. The small plane flights in between the camps were totally fun. Each pilot was so personable and made the short hops fun.


Duma Tau—Probably our most favorite was so interesting and exciting. Dave was an especially skilled people person and his staff reflected his enthusiasm and energy. It was a lovely site and so beautifully set up. Game viewing was exceptional and “Moke” really knocked himself off to ensure that we saw as much as possible of the landscape and animal life. The boat trip and lecture about Botswana were a definite highlight.



Kalahari Plains—very nice with an equally caring staff. The opportunity to interact with the Bushman was very special. Andy was also an excellent safari leader. He made sure we saw and learned as much as possible.


Kwetsani—exceptionally beautiful camp site—tree house effect. We all had a wonderful time there and would have liked another day just to sit around and enjoy the room, deck and view.


Moyo also was an excellent safari leader. We saw a considerable amount of animals at this site also.


We loved the small sites, and the restricted number for Land Rovers per animal viewing. This fact more than anything ensured an excellent experience. The food in the three camps we visited was fresh, tasty, varied and plentiful.


We so enjoyed the Victoria Falls Hotel…also could have used another day here to have more fully utilized the facility. The Falls walk leader, Esther, was definitely a wealth of knowledge.


What a joy. We definitely would recommend the helicopter ride, the 25 minute one.


Four Seasons in Johannesburg turned out to be a smart thing to add to the trip. The ride to the hotel gave us a few minutes just to see the town and some of the neighborhoods. The hotel was, of course, very lovely and a relaxing way to end our trip.


We felt that the entire experience was excellent. The organization and experience of your company and Wilderness Safari is impressive. We have a great respect for the Wilderness Safari Company, and the work it preforms. From camp to camp we heard others sharing compliments for the company. Their work was seamless and very impressive. They appear to have highly trained staff members in the various job categories. Staff members certainly seemed to enjoy their jobs and were very good ambassadors for their country.


Lastly, your materials, check lists and field guide were excellent for trip preparation.


We appreciate your work and send you our thanks.

Carol and Stan Pugmire, March 2016




South Africa Family Safari including Singita and the Cape Grace


We wanted to thank the entire team for a wonderful and most memorable family vacation. Once again the Africa Adventure Company not only delivered but exceeded all expectations.


It was truly special to revisit our honeymoon trip 20 years later but this time with kids. I'm sure we will be returning again.


Thanks again for the personal touch.


Warm regards,

Marko, Susan and the entire Sonnenberg family, March 2016




Best of Namibia and Botswana Wing Safari including Skeleton Coast and the Okavango Delta


Dear Elena,


We returned on Tuesday and just received your letter asking for our feedback. We had a wonderful trip. Thanks to you all for being so good at what you do!


Everything worked like clockwork and we enjoyed it all.


Namibia was a very different experience from our past Botswana safaris. The Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was extremely comfortable, we loved the contemporary flair, the manager and staff were first rate, and the food was spectacular-- the best of all the camps.



We enjoyed our drives into the desert and had interesting animal sightings in this stark desert environment. We took a very enjoyable walk one morning for about 1.5 hours from the camp.


We think this camp should promote a walk since it gave our guide a chance to fill us in on so much about this environment and, because there is little danger from animals close in to camp, a walk really works. On our drives out from the camp, we saw the "five musketeers" and learned of the efforts to expand this very small lion population in this part of Namibia. We had other animal sightings and many spectacular vistas of the desert. The sunset/moonrise was something special!


Our next camp was Chitabe in Botswana and we loved it. We had the great good luck of having Duke as our guide. We had him three years ago and he made that safari and this one memorable. The camp manager encouraged us to always request the guide we want. No guarantee, but they like requests so you might want to encourage your repeat guests to do so. The animal and bird sightings were spectacular. So much animal behavior this time including lions mating, hippos mating (big splashing!), one outcast lion returning to the territory and challenging the two who sent him away. No direct confrontation but lots of challenging roaring in both directions. We also saw cheetahs and hyenas that we did not see the last time. And of course many, many zebras, giraffes, elephants and more and everything so close to the vehicle. Fabulous safari experience. We would definitely return to Chitabe.



The last camp in Botswana was Vumbura Plains. I am glad you persuaded me to stay in this "premier" level camp. We are very comfortable in Chitabe which is "classic," but we had no trouble enjoying the luxury of Vumbura. Our "tent" was a virtual suite and the adjacent deck was huge. Spectacular accommodations. They even had an exercise bike that we kept on the deck and enjoyed. The staff were very friendly and the service was great. We enjoyed the option to dine alone rather than family style as at Chitabe. Family style was fine but the twosome option was good. Our guide, Ike, was excellent. The guide really matters as you know and Ike's passion for his world and great knowledge of the animal, bird and environment were on a par with Duke's. We would definitely hope to get paired with Ike on a future trip...


And, speaking of overnight stays, the Olive Grove hotel in Windhoek, Namibia where you had us stay before we continued to Hoanib was so excellent that we wished we had two nights there! Such a comfortable place with great staff and very good food. And we would have liked to spend some time in Windhoek and in their beautiful museum learning a bit more about this country.


All in all, Elena, a wonderful safari experience. You and your team did a great job and we are recommending your services to friends who are considering safari.


Our best,

Donna Sorgi and David Bernstein, March 2016




50th Anniversary Flying Safari to Namibia and South Africa

Hello everyone -


Just a quick note to thank you for an amazing trip! The Weale family absolutely loved all of it. And you guys made it easy for us to do so. I am happy to be a reference for anyone thinking about working with you guys. I also just responded to a forum post on TripAdvisor about tour operators (I told the woman to check you guys out) - and will continue sing your praise wherever I can.


A few specifics, in case they're helpful:


1. Little Kulala: You guys were very smart to start with the trip with Namibia. (I think I had originally wanted it to be at the end.) It was amazing - so vast and breathtaking there, but if we had ended with it, I suspect (maybe?) that we would have been disappointed with the lack of animal life. Instead, we took a million pics of every springbok we saw (not many) - unaware that we'd see so much animal life that we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves. Our guide was Chris at Little Kulala - he was phenomenal. We loved our stay at Little Kulala (sleeping out under the stars was incredible). We also did the hot air balloon ride - another stunning keeper. The company was fantastic.


2. Cape Town: Our guide (Lucia) was perfect - thank you for matching her with us! Use her wherever you can - your guests will never be disappointed. We went to Signal (at Cape Grace), Del Aire Graff, Mondiall, and Black Sheep for restaurants. And Karibu in the V&A Waterfront. Oh - and Two Oceans at Cape Point. All were excellent - no disappointments. (And the dollar is so strong!! It's ridiculous how impeccably you can eat & drink in South Africa for very low prices.)


3. MalaMala: Nothing bad to say about the safari. We loved it. The animals, the scenery, the lodging, the food, the service... They were amazing to us - and our ranger Dave was phenomenal. We loved the history of the place & the old school vibe. And of course, the game viewing was fantastic.



I'd go back and do any of it in a heart beat.


You gave us the trip of the lifetime. Thank you. Please let me know if there are any other ways that I can spread the word about you guys. I'm so glad that John recommended you when I started my search; I hope to be that person for many others in the future. And as I said, I'm happy to be a reference for you if ever necessary.


All my best,

Liza Weale, March 2016




Spectacular Safari to Namibia and Botswana


Hi Mark


The trip was fabulous.


Highpoints were


Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Jack’s Camp in the Kalahari [perhaps the favorite]

Mombo Camp and Sandibe

The Kalahari and the Skeleton Coast were sublime.

The guides were all uniformly excellent. Highest marks to “Bones” at Jack’s Camp and Jonah at Sandibe. Sandibe was the most “thrilling” of all the camps — really felt like we were out there and had to be alert to game at all times. Although Mombo was certainly like that, too.


We definitely plan to go back to Africa some day! Maybe Ethiopia?


Thank you,

Tony Eaton, Feb 2016




Classic Botswana Flying Safari to the Linyanti Reserve and Okavango Delta


I am home and happy to report that the planned trip went smoothly and well. I had a wonderful time with never a worry about where I should be when.


The tented camps you suggested were great, very different personalities and somewhat different landscapes. I enjoyed both. Tim and Hailey are especially good hosts and go out of their way to please. Plus, the food at Seba cannot be surpassed.


Guides and managers were knowledgeable and helpful. At Chitabe Lediba, Molousi gave us history and political lessons when he joined us. Just terrific.


Ruby made sure I had a birthday cake even though I was avoiding this birthday, but we all had fun and the cake was delicious.


All of your people were polite, on time, and very helpful every step of the way. Thanks for planning so well.

Marcia Mumbrue, Feb 2016




Best of Southern Africa including the Sabi Sand Game Reserve


Greetings Elena!


The trip was outstanding and we had a great time. Kirkman's Kamp service, guides, staff, etc. were amazing and a perfect start to our trip. Zimbabwe was an eye-opening experience on many, many levels. Our guide in Cape Town and in the wine country, Rob Byram, was excellent. We were blessed with outstanding weather the entire time - there was no animal we did not see (including a leopard in a tree with its kill on the lower branch), no experience we did not get to enjoy (including Table Mountain, Robben Island, Shark Cage Diving, and climbing Lions Head), and no day that we did not have great food and wine.


Thanks for you help.

Marlene Nations, Feb 2016




Flying Safari to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and Botswana’s Okavango Delta


Hello Mark and team,


What a great adventure!!! Such wonderful people in the genuinely caring and gracious. They are very hospitable and will do everything in their power to make your stay as perfect as possible. The food was terrific and I will have to learn to live without afternoon tea!! Our itinerary was well thought out ….. loved the change from desert to savannah.

Diane Stillman, Feb 2016




Cape Town, Whale Coast and Safari to South Africa and Botswana


Hi Elena and Alison:


I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how wonderful everything has been here in South Africa. All of the arrangements you made for us have been perfect and transfers, etc have worked like clockwork! Alison, you clearly did understand what we were looking for. We LOVED our guide in Jo'burg& Cape Town, everything about Mashatu, the Turbine Hotel and Mosaic! They were each perfect for us. Thank-you for once again facilitating an excellent African Adventure for us.



We had a fabulous time… I think you were right with your initial idea though - we should have stayed at Mosaic 3 nights. The same in Knysna. Oh well, next time I won't second guess you haha!! All the staff at both Mosaic and Mashatuwere just so incredibly friendly, caring and helpful. They really make those places wonderful. And the food!! Oh my!!


I hope it won't be another 10 years before we head back to this amazing continent. I'd actually like to come back in about two years with all of our grown-up "kids". I'm thinking Mashatu and then the Okavango Delta or maybe Zimbabwe or Namibia. I'll be in touch again when that idea becomes closer to reality. In the meantime, keep me on your mailing list.


Just a couple of more days here in Cape Town and then back to the cold, grey reality of life - hopefully spring will be just around the corner!


Thanks again,
Tracey Bennewies, Jan 2016




Big Five Game Safari to South Africa


Hi Elena!


Yes, I am back home safe and sound. I am totally jet lagged but still on a very high 'high' from the awesome experiences I had on safari. Thank you so much for arranging everything in short order - everything was perfect and amazing!


I enjoyed both Kirkman's and Ngala Tented Camp. I met amazing people both staff and other guests, and saw amazing things at both locations. Finishing off my trip at Ngala was definitely a highlight for me though - I loved the tented camp experience!



Thanks again for everything!

Kind regards,

Willy Drost, Jan 2016


On Why Drought Is Not Always A Bad Thing


Around the world, our planet is experiencing the effects of El Nino, including drought in many countries. The first thought is always: what will happen to the wildlife in times of drought? And is it always a bad thing? Map Ives shares his thoughts on how this impacts on wildlife in seasonal weather patterns of a green or a dry season.


"I have heard quite a few reports recently that have painted this year in a rather negative light, mostly due to the relatively low rainfall throughout northern Botswana and indeed across southern Africa. There can be no doubt that this season’s rainfall so far is definitely within the bracket of ‘drought,’ which can be perceived as being very tough on wildlife and environments. However, one of the basic tenets of biodiversity is that all species have to be able to adapt to conditions that occur around them, and this is exactly what most, if not all, of the resident animals would have achieved over many thousands of years.



A lot of people may not have lived here for long enough to have experienced a previous dry spell, but there is enough data for us to know that there is a chance of such dry spells occurring about once every two decades and which can last anywhere between one and three years. I have lived in the northern Botswana region for the last 35 years and have experienced at least two other episodes of dry spells, such as we seem to be heading for, and I have noted some extraordinary movements of wildlife – which actually allows for a pattern of ‘use and recovery’ (if I can use that phrase).



The Okavango, for example, will still receive floodwaters from upstream in Angola, but the area that is inundated will probably vary considerably over the next few years. (In fact, in the dry spell of 1987/88, the flood that arrived in 1988 was actually quite large due to increased rain in Angola.) The grazing ‘lawns’ that occur around the floodplains of the Okavango and Linyanti systems become incredibly valuable and I have noticed an increase in buffalo, lechwe and other grazers as well as their attendant predators along the edges of the islands and land masses. I expect that there will be a return to the ‘buffalo days’ at Mombo and around Chitabe, as well as at Vumbura and the lower floodplains below Kwetsani. It was during these dry spells that sitatunga were common in the permanent swamp zones around Xigera and in the Jao Reserve.




This is repeated all along the Linyanti fault where the elephant numbers will actually make for some of the very best elephant viewing on the African continent, whilst it is well known amongst all of us who have spent time there that the Savute Channel attracts large congregations of wildlife. There are some wonderful Cynodon grazing areas along the drying channel flanks which makes for much better game viewing than when the channel is full.



In summary, the dry spells up here are as important to wildlife as are the so-called wet spells, with the animals utilising the environments in different ways. Many of the adaptations to wet and dry involve moving to different browsing and grazing areas. Much of this information is passed on from female to female, mother to daughter, in what I call “matriarchal memory” so that the young animals know where to go and what to do when the next wet or dry spell comes along, as it surely will.


They have adapted to this, and we should too. All it takes is an understanding of the subtleties of life in a completely natural and dynamic environment.


I am looking forward to a great year, and why not?"


Written by Map Ives, Wilderness Safaris Botswana Environmental Manager - Photographed by Dana Allen and Caroline Culbert


A Wild Dog takes to the air!


Months ago I was tickled to receive a request from Dora and Vaughan in Zambia for artwork, to transform their Britten Norman Islander into a flying wild dog!


Of course I said Yes! What else would I say…


I did rough artwork, which looked doggy enough!




This project ticks all my boxes:


*It is public and interactive art, (loving street art and graffiti as I do…)


*It is art that will stimulate discussion and promote tourism and conservation awareness in Southern Africa


*It is art that will indirectly but meaningfully support community development in a Zambian Game Management Area


*It is art in celebration of my favorite animal, the African Wild Dog!


The Islander will fly between Kantunta Lodge, a unique and beautiful spot on the great Kafue river, and Livingstone.






Kafue Wild Dogs….


So, a few months later, here we are on the runway at Executive Air, Charles Prince Airport, in Harare…..towing the unsuspecting Islander to her painting hanger…

Javinos, the master spray painter at Executive Air, has matched a beautiful semi-metallic gold for the first coat of the Britten Norman Islander..


We complete the first masking, using thin masking tape, torn brown paper and torn strips of wide masking tape, allowing for the wonderful semi-metallic golden coat colour, and saving for the striking white markings that so many of our Zimbabwean and Zambian dogs have…


Javinos and I have been high on a scaffold masking the tail, and I have been on my back on a mechanic’s trolley underneath the plane masking the tummy area. Quite a task. (I want her tummy to look as good from underneath as her sides do…)



Javi does all the bigger areas I have marked-the tail being a special challenge…eventually wrapping the plane totally in brown paper, like a little boy’s dream present! Hard work for the team!



Javinos starts spraying smoothly from tail to nose tip…two coats of deep dramatic gold on each side of our wild dog plane.



I can’t wait to eventually unwrap her, but we have to let her first colour dry for more than 24 hours to be sure the base colour is well set for the next masking session by Javi and I …Patience is a virtue…Hunter, the Hanger Cat, hangs out on a tractor seat and waits with us….



At last, I am able to mask for the black areas…This next masking is a two day marathon…


I have to do lots of CAREFUL planning of the black patches in our dogs coat, thinking about the lie of the fur- (and fondly remembering the gorgeous silky feel of a real wild dogs coat when I helped Clive and Graham remove a wire snare from the neck of our female dog‘Snare”.….)


I lay torn masking tape strip by strip to get the effects I want (hopefully), and the plane looks like a huge golden parcel – no detail to be seen under the gold spray and the masking!



The tail masking is very involved…



Then comes the jet black spray coat. Javi works on high, and Rob Demblon and I plan the flying flag of the dog’s tail!


Black spray painting done…



The masking comes off…a long and careful process



So exciting, as the dramatic black and white doggy shapes emerge out of the gold…



We have done a softer gold colour on dogs head and neck – looks perfect!



the tail looks magnificent!



I have allowed nice large eyes for our wild dog since she is a girl…!



Choosing a gorgeous deep red background for the eyes, I want them real, but DRAMATIC!



revealing the eye, very pleasing…






and I am happy with the nose as well….




What a great effort by Javinos, spray painter par excellence!




Our wild dog exits the spray painting hanger, ready for her next adventure…




She’s off to the main hanger for her final fittings….




The plane is owned by four lodges: Kaingu, Kantunta, Konkamoya and Mukambi.


Check out SafariTalk for more on the lodges…


The main flying routes will be Lusaka – Chunga, and Livingstone – Ngoma/Chunga. But it will be available for other routes (Lufupa for J&M Safaris) and Busanga for the plains camps. On demand it will also be available for other routes on a charter basis.


The owners of “Wild Dog” are involved in the Kafue Conservation Hub , which seeks to develop the Kafue National Park through a sustainable development strategy that incorporates social and economic development with environmental sustainability. The greater Kafue National Park is one of Africa’s last remaining great wildlife wildernesses. So she is going to have many many adventures……

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