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  • ENVIRONMENT IS AT THE HEART
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    ENVIRONMENT IS AT THE HEART

    The Great Rift Valley, a dormant volcano, vital water tower, and a Critically Endangered forest antelope.


    Date:     Kenya’s Great Rift Valley 11 – 15 June 2018


    • A chance to see rare and elusive Critically Endangered mountain bongo
    • Active contribution to mountain bongo and Rift Valley Water Tower.
    • Conservation through camera trapping and community support.
    • Camp out on forested dormant volcano
    • Explore the floor and lakes of the Rift for flamingos and big game.

    Species and Range:
    The bongo is split into two subspecies. While the lowland bongo (T. e. eurycerus) is fairly widespread across the Congo Basin and further into West Africa, the mountain bongo (T. e. isaaci) occurs only in the mountains of Kenya’s Rift Valley. It is Critically Endangered with only around 100 mature animals remaining in fragmented forests that also happen to shelter the most important watersheds in the country making their conservation a double priority.

    Itinerary

    • 11 June: Fly Nairobi to Loldia, late afternoon lecture on bongo by Mike Prettejohn, overnight Loldia House.
    • 12 June: Morning boat outing on Lake Naivasha with an afternoon drive onto Eburu Volcano to check and reset camera traps.  Overnight Eburu fly camp.
    • 13 June: Morning forest walk, afternoon honey harvesting with Ndorobo tribesmen, overnight vigil in the bongo blind.
    • 14 June: Morning forest walk and camera trap check, return to Loldia House for lunch, afternoon boating to Crescent Island, overnight Loldia House.
    • 15 June: Early morning outing to Lake Elmenteita for flamingo spectacle, return to Loldia for lunch and onward flight to Nairobi or Masai Mara.

    Meet your Hosts

    Chris Roche – Wilderness Safaris
    Chris has spent more than 20 years working in the ecotourism industry and over the past 10 years in particular has been intimately involved in the evolution of Wilderness Safaris out of the savannahs and deserts of southern Africa into more specialised habitat niches in the rainforests of central and east Africa. He is convinced that ecotourism can do more in helping conserve these ecosystems (and the services they provide to humanity – such as provision of water) and believes that mountain bongo and flagship species will be the mechanisms through which this will take place. Armed with a Master’s degree in springbok ecology in South Africa’s Karoo and a background in biological research and guiding, Chris is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Wilderness Safaris but does his best to spend time in the field exploring new opportunities for the company.

    Dominic Grammaticas – Governors’ Camp Collection
    Dominic, a native of Kenya, grew up spending time in the pristine Masai Mara; first on long summer holidays, then later working and growing up alongside Governors’ Camp and its Masai community neighbours. Governors’ Camp, the first permanent tented camp inside the Masai Mara, was the brainchild of Dominic’s father Aris. Before ecotourism was even really defined,  Aris understood the important role responsible tourism played in the conservation of wildlife areas, beliefs he passed on to his children.

    For Dominic this, and a formative life in the wilderness, led to studying a degree in Biological Science at the University of Edinburgh. Armed with this base he later moved into a successful career in finance in both the UK and Hong Kong.  By 1999 though, the inescapable call of Africa became too loud, and Dom returned home, taking over the reins of the family business as Managing Director. Under Dominic’s leadership, involvement in wildlife conservation and community support initiatives has been integrated even deeper into the fabric of Governors’ Camp. Amongst its achievements, some 4 000 students in Kenya and Rwanda are being taught in classrooms built and equipped by Governors’ Camp, its community trust partners, and with the key support of its guests. The opportunity to play a pivotal role in the future of Kenya’s bongo population speaks to the very core of what Governors’ Camp is all about.

    Meet your Experts

    Donna Sheppard – Rhino Ark / Calgary Zoo
    Donna has been with the Conservation and Research Department of the Calgary Zoo, Canada, since 1999. After some years seconded to projects in Guyana, South America, her time has mostly been spent in Africa. From 2004 for 2014, for example, she was based in Ghana developing community-based conservation projects on hippo, western sitatunga and West African manatee. At the same time, she was able to contribute to community forestry programmes in Liberia.

    For the last three years Donna has been based in Kenya, seconded to Rhino Ark and its work on water towers and endangered species. It is a return of sorts, since Donna’s Master’s degree looked at red-tailed monkey ecology in neighbouring Kenya.

    Solomon Muriithi – Bongo Surveillance Project
    Born just outside the Eburu Forest in Ndabibi village, Solomon has known the dormant volcano his entire life. He started with the Bongo Surveillance Project in 2004 and since then has worked on tracking and camera trapping this threatened population. Before that however, he was a poacher and charcoal maker....

    Today, he estimates there to be between 10 and 13 animals only, with the reasons for their decline being human encroachment and resultant poaching and deforestation for charcoal production. Like Solomon, things have changed though. Fencing has reduced illegal utilisation of the forest, and community awareness projects (in which Solomon himself is involved) have changed local perceptions about the importance of the bongo and its forest habitat. According to Solomon, tourism is the last piece of the puzzle and will help substantially with the inevitable financial hurdles to conservation.

    Partners

    Bongo Surveillance Project
    The objective of the Bongo Surveillance Project is to protect and conserve the Critically Endangered eastern or mountain bongo and its habitat, by working with local communities and stakeholders worldwide. The project was founded in 2004 by Mike Prettejohn, with an initial focus on the Aberdares National Park, the last known stronghold of the mountain bongo.

    For the past 15 years, Mike has led a team of experienced trackers in gathering scientific data on the presence and distribution of the remaining mountain bongo, first in the Aberdares and then later on Mount Kenya, before moving further afield to confirm the species’ continued perilous existence in Eburu and the Mau Forests. He and his team have discovered previously-unknown populations and have championed the continued survival of this species in the wild in Kenya.

    It is no exaggeration to say that this small group of committed Kenyans (and their supporters such as the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forestry Service) can consider themselves responsible for bringing the plight of the mountain bongo into the public consciousness.

    http://www.mountainbongo.org/

    Rhino Ark

    Founded in 1988 with the explicit aim of staunching the rampant poaching of black rhino in the Aberdares ecosystem, Rhino Ark immediately identified that ‘good fences make good neighbours’ and that separating rural people from the inhabitants of the national park was an urgent priority. Its initial fundraising therefore focused on building an electrified fence around the Aberdares, thus preventing human-wildlife conflict like crop raiding by elephants, while simultaneously making illegal incursions into the park more challenging.

    This success and the strong partnerships that resulted with the neighbouring communities helped form the Rhino Ark philosophy of “humans in harmony with habitat and wildlife.” This is an approach that has subsequently been extended to Kenya’s other montane forest ecosystems and ‘water towers’ like Mount Kenya and Eburu. Eburu – vulnerable to deforestation through illegal charcoal production – was encircled with fencing in November 2014 and this has allowed Rhino Ark to fully engage with the rural communities here, beginning the formation of effective partnerships around education and awareness as well as livelihood diversification

    http://rhinoark.org/home/

    Beneficiary

    Rhino Ark – Eburu programmes
    Aside from the obvious commercial and awareness benefits of visiting a largely unknown destination (Eburu is hardly known, even in Kenya, and receives only a handful of visitors a year) and paying for access and services rendered, the beneficiary of proceeds generated by this trip is Rhino Ark and its local Eburu programmes – all targeted at the protection of the ecosystem and species like its flagship, the mountain bongo.

    None of the organisations involved – Governors’ Camp Collection or Wilderness Safaris – will receive payment or mark-up on this journey. Instead, any and all proceeds will be channelled to Rhino Ark for use in the urgent priorities of fence patrolling and maintenance, community engagement and education (e.g. Eburu Rafiki) and livelihood diversification (e.g. the Hifadhi Farmers’ Cooperative).

    Please click here to contact one of our consultants to assist you with a comprehensive itinerary

  • ART AT ELLERMAN HOUSE, CAPE TOWN
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    ART AT ELLERMAN HOUSE, CAPE TOWN

    Fine art is the soul of Ellerman House and the collections that line the walls is what sets them apart from other boutique hotels in South Africa. The works span over two centuries, from the works of the famous Thomas Bowler showcasing Cape Town in the 1800s to contemporary works from artists such as Lionel Smith and William Kentridge. Ellerman House invites guests to join their art guide, Talita, for a private tour through the Ellerman House art collection starting with the oldest works and ending in the Contemporary Art Gallery, created in 2009.

    If guests are interested in viewing galleries in Cape Town, our Art Guide will accompany them for an insider’s tour of Cape Town’s top art galleries. Talita is an artist and curator herself, so guests will gain behind-the-scenes access and knowledge of some of Cape Town’s most important art and art galleries.  Whilst staying at Ellerman House, they offer a few tours – each tailor made to the guests’ interest in art, design and antiques.

    ART IN THE WINELANDS TOUR

    • Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
    • Grande Provence
    • La Motte
    • Delaire Graff
    • Tokara

    The gallery at GRANDE PROVENCE has established itself as a leading location for contemporary art. The gallery features all the visual art forms. The exhibition usually changes every 6 weeks. At The Shop a diverse variety of high quality South African art and craft can be seen in the context of an interior environment. The Shop offers opportunity to purchase works by artists and craft people. Grande Provence specialises in sculpture, making the sculpture garden and indoor sculptures a special attraction.

    Still in the Franschhoek Valley and only a short distance away, we visit LA MOTTE. The museum there offers a stimulating cultural- historical experience with displays depicting aspects of the Rupert family and Cape Dutch architecture. The large gallery is dedicated to the life of one of South Arica’s greatest masters, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (as seen in the Ellerman House lounge). The work of several leading contemporary artists can also be seen at La Motte.

    *Guests can choose to add a winelands tea to their La Motte visit.

    The next stop is DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE nestled between the majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch. The striking Cape Dutch architecture meets African artefacts and styling representing some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists such as William Kentridge, Lionel Smit, Dylan Lewis and Deborah Bell.

    The last vineyard, TOKARA, is the embodiment of GT Ferreira’s philosophy that good wine, good food and good art go together to make a good life. Some of the finest artworks by contemporary artists such as the wood carving by Egon Tanya and Marco Cianfanelli’s laser cut sculpture ‘Mine Vine’ which stands at the winery entrance area is a must-see experience. Works by diverse artists such as: Conrad Botes, Brett Murray and William Kentridge form part of the visual experience at Tokara.

    Guests will also be taken to the magnificent DYLAN LEWIS SCULPTURE GARDEN where they will be taken on a tour through his studio and workshop. The gardens are a beautifully landscaped area, surrounded by the Stellenbosch Mountains and include larger-than-life sculptures of the artist

    Price:     ZAR9, 300.00 for 2 guests, full day and includes a driver and private art guide

  • THE ELEPHANT ART SAFARI & THE VILLAGE ART SAFARI IN ZIMBABWE
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    THE ELEPHANT ART SAFARI & THE VILLAGE ART SAFARI IN ZIMBABWE

    Art safaris are still considered a novelty and niche experience and the experience of igniting and fulfilling cultural curiosity off of the beaten track allows for a real immersion in a culture.

    Whether choosing oils, watercolours, sketches, beading or finger painting, the art safari allows participants to take a piece of Africa home in the form of their art. Creativity is found in everyone, and the immersive experience encourages freedom of expression.

    Elephant Art Safari

    The Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Orphanage was founded on the principle of conservation, and one of the most effective ways to evoke a sense of environmental responsibility is to show what stands to be lost.

    Guests will have an opportunity to talk to guides that have journeyed - physically and metaphorically, incredible distances with these elephant, and learn more about the complexities of the individuals and the herd structures. Guests will learn about the elephant as well as their history and how they came to be in our care as well as the threats facing elephant populations today, in an interesting and informative talk.  

    ​Guests then venture down to a waterhole and mud wallow where, under the shade of an enormous Mopane tree, they will find a chair and easel - each set up with a fresh sheet of paper. Brightly coloured aprons and palettes with bright splotches of paint will also be handed out.

    A private tutor is provided to guide guests through a painting workshop, using their sketch pads and brush to capture the moment. Soon guests’ white sheets of paper will be transformed into a canvas with a glorious blue sky, sunshine, yellow, brown or green grass and of course elephants. Once finished, guests will go back to “The Wallow” for a delicious two course buffet lunch accompanied by a cold beverage rounding off a perfect morning’s experience. After lunch guests will be transferred back to their lodgings in Victoria Falls Town. 

    Village Art Safari and Workshop

    On the outskirts of Victoria Falls, lies an African homestead which goes by the name of Mpisi’s Village. This Zimbabwean village is steeped in local Ndebele culture, and home to the Mpisi family. Their traditional huts and communal living area truly depict the culturally rich lifestyle of Africa.

    Our interactive workshops ignite and fulfil cultural curiosity. A private tutor, one of the chief’s sons, will be on site to guide the workshop – a truly hidden talent on the Zimbabwean art scene. Spend time immersed in local culture, along with a traditional meal to conclude the workshop. Catching memories through oils, watercolours, beading or finger painting, a piece of Africa will be taken home – in one’s own shade of expression.

    Workshops are set up and prepared for guest arrival. All materials are included, and each finished piece taken home by the client.

  • ART ON SAFARI AT SEGERA RETREAT, KENYA
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    ART ON SAFARI AT SEGERA RETREAT, KENYA

    Set in the heart of Laikipia, one of Kenya’s most exciting safari locations, conservationist Jochen Zeitz has created an exclusive destination for fun, adventure, spiritual reflection and peace, where absolute luxury, bespoke service and generous all-inclusive offerings combine to give you exceptional privacy in your wild Kenyan home away from home.

    Segera is a treasured haven for Kenya’s most celebrated wildlife species, where a holistic approach to wellness ensures a revitalizing and authentic safari experience from the moment you arrive.
    Nestled between glorious Mount Kenya to the east and the Great Rift Valley to the west, a stunningly diverse and seemingly magical environment, Segera’s golden savannah plains, rocky waterfalls and tropical botanical gardens offer a peerless and exquisite venue for the perfect romantic escape or family holiday.

    As a Satellite of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, Segera Retreat liberally displays the striking, relevant and at times culturally and socially challenging artworks of the Zeitz Collection, an extraordinary representation of contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora.

    With its evocative Sculpture Garden, Segera Retreat offers a cultural safari, bringing together monumental bronze, stone and steel works, land and earth art, outdoor projections, site-specific interventions and strives to represent a broad spectrum of indoor and outdoor projects.

    Artists in Residence

    Visiting Segera when an artist is in residence offers guests an extraordinary opportunity to directly engage with the leading artistic talent of our time. Through experiencing this inspiring environment together, including the option of dining together, studio visits, attending artist’s talks and other social activities, guests are able to learn first-hand about an artist’s work, their research at Segera, their studio practice and the current issues they are engaging with. It is a rare opportunity to be in the presence of individuals who are creating the history of art of our time.

    Segera Retreat in Laikipia, Kenya, recently hosted acclaimed conceptual artist, Hank Willis Thomas, as part of its ongoing Artist in Residence programme.

    Thomas was at the camp from June 20 to July 5. He works with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He has exhibited at various international galleries, such as the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Guggenheim and the Whitney, to name a few.

  • BRENT DODD ART SAFARI
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    BRENT DODD ART SAFARI

    Brent Dodd was born and raised in Zimbabwe; growing up on a farm in the Eastern Highlands and attending one of Zimbabwe’s premier boarding schools, Peterhouse Boys. His subject matter is uniquely reflective of his own experience and his affection for this world of adventure and fascination. Committing his thoughts and findings to canvas, he portrays humans, landscapes, and wildlife with equal precision and empathy.

    It was this upbringing that provided him with the foundation from which he launched his venture into the international art world. Having exhibited in New York, Las Vegas, Dallas, London and across the African subcontinent, he enjoys a strict schedule of international travel, building a footprint to satisfy his love of art.

    Zebra Hills Safari Lodge is a Big 5 destination set in the heart of South Africa’s East Coast. The Zululand Rhino Reserve is a 23 000 hectare sanctuary to a plethora of wildlife and bird species, covering landscapes of rocky outcrop to riverine forest – the perfect destination for your art safari!

    The early morning game drives afford one the ideal opportunity to stop and sketch under the expert guidance of internationally represented artist, Brent Dodd.  Back at the lodge, the studio environment allows each individual the chance to develop their sketches into paintings. Over the course of the five-day safari, guests can build up their portfolio while being introduced to new creative techniques suited to the outdoor environment.

    Whether you’ve never picked up a brush or are a seasoned exhibitor – this is the art experience you’re looking for.

    Itinerary:

    Date:     16 - 19 December 2018

    Day 1

    • Transfer from Durban International Airport to Zebra Hills Safari lodge. Comfortable two and half hour drive.
    • Unpack and relax.
    • Short introductory demonstration by Brent Dodd in the techniques of both sketching and en plein aire painting for the outdoor setting.
    • Ranger guided evening drive that will expose you to the area and offer an opportunity to take world class reference photos.
    • Dinner and discussion of artwork styles and individual goals.

    Day 2, 3 and 4

    • Early Morning
    • Game drive to first painting destination – set up and workshop for two hours in situ.
    • Return to lodge for a scrumptious breakfast.  Continue developing painting using reference and guidance of techniques by Brent Dodd.

    Afternoon

    • Drive for sketching and watercolour,
    • Ranger guided tour of daily hot spots to refine wildlife sketching and watercolour painting of a magnificent landscape – learning and honing the skills required to catch the moment in time whilst having evening drinks.

    Evening – in order to record quick moments in time

    • Evening game drive with drinks and reference photography,
    • Dinner and reflection including Artwork Analysis,
    • Documentary Discussions of other artists in Africa and their own methodology.

    Day 5

    • Early morning
    • Game drive.
    • Breakfast at the lodge and summary of the week’s activities.
    • Transfer back to Durban International Airport.

    Tour info:           

    • Six people per trip
    • All materials and accommodation/meals included
    • ZAR7000.00 per person
    • Air travel excluded but can be arranged
  • ART ON SAFARI WITH MARY-ANNE BARTLETT
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    ART ON SAFARI WITH MARY-ANNE BARTLETT

    Art Safari is for all those inspired to paint by travel.  Your travel sketchbooks become visual diaries, full of the wonders of the world.

    Mary-Anne’s Art Safari’s holidays are for creative explorers: artists, writers, photographers and non-painters.  Whether travelling on your own or not, you are welcomed into a like-minded group.  Be assured of inspiration, good food, comfort and style.  Photographers and non-painting partners will experience new ways of seeing as well as enjoying all the benefits of relaxed wildlife viewing and personal safari guiding – brilliant for photography, bird watching and learning more about nature.

    In September this year there’s a 2-week tour in Malawi & Zambia and a one week residential trip to a lodge in South Luangwa in Zambia

    ZAMBIA AND MALAWI – BIG GAME IN LARGE OPEN SPACES
    Tour: 14 nights in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, Lake Malawi & Liwonde National Park in Malawi - with Mary-Anne Bartlett
    Dates: 06 – 20 September 2018 

    A stunning two country Art Safari led by Mary-Anne Bartlett.  You will see a great diversity of landscape, wildlife and local living as we visit two of Africa’s most beautiful national parks.

    Be ready for wonder, peacefulness and charm. Liwonde National Park, Lake Malawi and South Luangwa National Park provide a thoroughly outstanding wildlife experience.

    It’s the end of the dry season (winter), so early September is still cool, (not too hot!) and its ideal painting weather. South Luangwa National Park is often quoted as one of the very best wildlife destinations in the world, not just Africa. The great Luangwa River meanders slowly to create great sand bars laced with crocodiles, pools filled with hippo, oxbow lakes full of storks and elephants, and dry lagoons for herds of zebra, impala, puku – always watching out predators…

    In particular, South Luangwa is a first-class park for leopard and because it is one of Africa’s few national parks to allow spotlit night drives, when leopards are most active, the chances of spotting one of these stunning cats are very good!

    Lake Malawi, brilliantly dubbed the ‘Lake of Stars’ by Dr David Livingstone when he first saw it with Mary-Anne’s 3x great grandfather in the 1860s, is an inland sea, with fresh water to dive into, snorkel or kayak on. Golden beaches, idyllic rocky islands and secluded coves offer a lovely contrast in scenery and a relaxing few days before our next safari.

    Liwonde National Park in Malawi is a little gem. The scenery along the wide, slow flowing Shire River is lush and almost tropical. The river banks are lined with emerald reed beds, yellow fever trees and towering borassus palm trees, and in the dry season the water is a magnet for elephant and antelope who visit it for a daily drink.

    A boat safari here is a truly wonderful game viewing experience and a must for birders. There are many special bird species to be found In Liwonde including Bohm’s Bee-eater, the Palmnut Vulture, Pel’s Fishing Owl and White-backed Night Heron. The interior of the park is much drier and dominated by mopane forest where it’s possible to spot rarer species such as the magnificent sable antelope. Liwonde is not known for its predator population, however recent conservation efforts have seen spotted hyena and cheetah re-introduced to the park. We find that the spectacular setting, combined with the friendliness of your Malawian hosts and the comfort of your accommodation makes this a hard place to leave.

    The tour ends in Malawi’s capital city of Lilongwe with a chance to unwind in comfortable surroundings and a whole day to continue working on your sketches.

    We explore, paint and enjoy the wonderful settings. Be prepared for huge concentrations of elephant and buffalo in Zambia, as well as regular sightings of lion, leopard, giraffe, zebra and a multitude of other species. 
    Activities include day and night game drives, visits to villages and local projects including paper-making and textiles and lots of fun and freedom.

    There’s a chance to visit one of Art Safari’s projects – set up with one of the guides Danger Chipino – the Mtendere Orphan Feeding Centre in Ulongwe, near to Liwonde National Park.

    ITINERARY AT A GLANCE:

    • 1 night in Lilongwe, the garden capital city of Malawi 
    • 4 nights in South Luangwa National Park, staying on the edge of the Luangwa River
    • 1 night in a pretty and eclectic urban retreat in Lilongwe
    • 3 nights at Lake Malawi, staying on the Lake shore
    • 3 nights in Liwonde National Park, staying in the centre of the park
    • 2 nights at a quiet country lodge set in its own forest reserve on the outskirts of Lilongwe
    • Joining point: Lilongwe International Airport
    • Departure point: Lilongwe International Airport

    Tour cost: From £4125 per person sharing
    Single supplement: £600
    Prices include: All accommodation, all meals (except 2 lunches and 2 dinners in Lilongwe), safari guide and art safari tutor, all game activities as indicated, all park entrance fees in Malawi, and all ground transport from Lilongwe Airport.
    Prices exclude: International flights, visas fees, Zambia Park Entrance Fees, drinks, optional activities, art materials and personal expenses.

  • HELP SAVE THE FORESTS IN ZOMBA, MALAWI
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    HELP SAVE THE FORESTS IN ZOMBA, MALAWI

    Volunteer your time, grab a bicycle and lend a helping hand. We working closely with amazing people like you, dedicating which ever resources we have to come together and make a difference. There is always help needed from planting trees in Malawi’s forest catchment areas, removing protruding dry brush & grass to avoid early forest fires and litter picking along roads, rivers, trails and footpaths. Can you hold a tune or kick a ball even better tag along with a church choirs singing songs of conservation or tackle conservation efforts with a local football team.

    Current Projects

    T.R.E.E.Z  - The Re-forestation of the Environmental Ecosystem of Zomba

    OVERVIEW

    This project concentrates on protecting and creating a natural ecosystem that will be beneficial to both the local communities and the fauna and flora of the Zomba Plateau, the Forest Reserve, and the surrounding area.

    We understand that the Forestry Department regulations do not allow the harvesting of timber within 50m either side of a stream; unfortunately, in practice this has not always been the case. TREEZ therefore would like to assist the Forestry Department in protecting these areas, and in doing so, creating Water Catchment Conservation Corridors (WCCCs)

    A well-managed and maintained commercial forestry plantation is a vital natural economic resource for a growing economy like Malawi’s and we do not want to infringe its’ viability. Rather, the intentions behind the founding of TREEZ are to work hand in hand with the Forestry Department in protecting and conserving the integrity of the Forest Reserve whilst helping to provide water, food, wood and potentially income to the local communities.

    The Plantation Manager for Zomba and our local councillor (who used to work for the Forestry Department) helped us identify 40 hectares of land along several watercourses that will initially be allocated to this project.

    OUR GOALS:

    • Planting trees in conservation corridors along water catchments which will help to stabilise the water table levels, thus protecting the water which the villagers depend on
    • Planting fruit trees in these catchment corridors will provide food for the local communities. This will be along the lines of the permaculture-agroforestry technique of “Food Forests”
    • Planting nitrogen-rich trees amongst maize fields and gardens which will help to fertilise the soil, thus enabling the regeneration long-term sustainability of the natural habitat. This will also help protect against soil erosion.
    • Planting indigenous and non-indigenous fast-growing trees in woodlots that can be coppiced for firewood, thus the aforementioned trees can be harvested for domestic use by the villagers and for micro-commercial use by the woodcutters. The money for the wood harvested by woodcutters will be retained by the Forestry Department as it is done at present. Providing woodcutters with legal, and sustainable, source of trees will therefore cut down on the illegal loss of commercial pine.

    HOW THE PROJECT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED:

    • The official designation of WCCCs.
    • The demarcation of an extra 20m either side of the WCCC’s for indigenous and non-indigenous tree planting for firewood.
    • The creation of firebreaks separating the zones from the commercial pine plantation thus helping to protect both areas.

    HOW WILL IT BENEFIT THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES

    • Safekeeping of the water catchments.
    • Creation of bee-keeping schemes along each WCCCs
    • Provision of simple, easy to construct, solar-dryers so that fruit/vegetables can be dried for later consumption/sale. This will greatly help with year-round availability of nutrition and potential income generation.
    • Harvest of the fruit/vegetables growing within the WCCCs and the increased availability of irrigation for gardens along the catchments outside the Forest Reserve boundaries.
    • Provision of firewood from a managed and sustainable source.
    • Employment through piecework for clearing, pitting, planting and weeding of the designated areas. Plus the cutting and maintenance of firebreaks.
    • The situating of bee hives within the WCCCs. This will provide another avenue of potential income generation within the surrounding communities.
    • Sponsorship of local football teams. This sponsorship is offered in return for the teams aiding in the cutting and maintenance of firebreaks, provision of volunteer fire fighters and patrolmen, and helping sensitize local villages to the benefits of conservation.

    Through active participation of the local communities we hope to engender a sense of empowerment and pride in the protection and maintenance of the environment and its ecosystem. TREEZ aims to develop an attitude of “enlightened self-interest” amongst the local communities around the Forest Reserve; whereby the communities see, understand, and realise both the direct and long-term benefits from helping to conserve the eco-system and environment of Zomba Plateau.

    CURRENT STATUS

    So far, we have completed the re-planting of two areas of WCCCs one 4 hectare site, and one 10.5 hectare site, a total of 17,980 trees; Zomba Forest Lodge financed this, together with donations we have received from guests, and we hope to raise the funds to complete the 40 hectares in this area over the course of the subsequent planting seasons.

    Finally, we hope that the conservation areas, and TREEZ as a whole, could be considered pilot schemes and working models that can be potentially rolled out to the whole of the Zomba Forest Reserve and perhaps to other national Forest Reserves as well.

  • QUAD BIKING IN THE MAKGADIKGADI SALT PANS
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    QUAD BIKING IN THE MAKGADIKGADI SALT PANS

    A Quad Bike Safari in Botswana is fast becoming an experience at the top of most travellers’ bucket lists. Loved for being an exhilarating, unconventional way in which to explore Botswana, a quad bike safari entails all the luxuries of a classic Safari, but with a twist of adventure. Travel at your own pace by day and sleep under the stars of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans at night – a truly authentic African travel experience.

    The experience

    7 Day Quad Bike Safari covers ground in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and Kubu Island. On your safari you will encounter the magnificent wildlife that roams the vast plains of Botswana but you will also have the privilege of meeting the Kalahari Bushmen and learning about their way of life.

    Although some travellers might be sceptical of the level of comfort that a quad bike safari might offer, we can assure you that world class accommodation, cuisine and amenities await. While you get the chance to be active and outdoors, your luxury camp also gives you the opportunity to spend your time at leisure: practicing yoga, enjoying an afternoon high tea or simply spending time in the library with your book and the silence of magical Botswana.

    From San Camp you will venture into the expansive salt pan on your quad bike expedition to Kubu Island. On your journey you will stop for sundowners and have the chance to watch a Botswana sunset that you will never forget.

    Your accommodation

    On your 7 day quad bike safari you will stay in style at San Camp – a minimalistic cluster of white tents scattered across the mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, with an air of romance and safari elegance. Each luxury tent is sheltered by desert palm trees, giving you the utmost privacy when you settle in for the day.

    The property also features a small natural history museum, a library, a tea tent and a tented yoga pavilion, perfect for a sunrise or sunset meditation session. If you want to explore further, you can visit the site of Chapman’s Baobab, spend time with the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, track the brown hyena or visit a group of habituated meerkats.

  • CRUISE ON A CARGO SHIP
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    CRUISE ON A CARGO SHIP

    Cruising on a cargo ship might seem unusual if not absurd. But travellers do tag along for the ride on working vessels that frequently are transporting cargo and stopping at sometimes mundane ports.

    Mundane might not sell cruises, but that word also could suggest an absence of gaudy tourism. Exotic, unspoiled attractions sometimes exist a short distance from an ordinary port city, and freighter cruise passengers generally have more time at a port for exploration.

    So for the more adventuresome travellers among us, freighter cruises provide opportunities the vast majority of cruise passengers never experience.

    ‘One of the most remote inhabited islands in the world’

    St Helena is one of the world’s last “undiscovered” destinations. The island is 2 000 kilometres from Africa, the nearest landmass, and boasts a spectacular variety of landscapes and vistas.

    With between 400 and 502 endemic species, and impressive marine biodiversity, it is on the United Kingdom’s list for possible future UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

    The clear and unpolluted waters around St Helena provide ample opportunities for divers of all abilities, and the island’s seafaring history ensures there’s plenty to explore…

    Once there you will find hiking trails that cut through multi-hued volcanic hills; historic stone fortifications perched high over churning seas; Napoleon’s estate and tomb; huge whale sharks in gin-clear water; and, of course, that spectacular diving where ancient wrecks and reefs abound.

    THE RMS ST HELENA CRUISE FROM THE CAPE TO ST HELENA ISLAND

    • Cape Town to St Helena
    • A British outpost in the South Atlantic
    • Steeped in history
    • Dramatic coastal scenery and enchanted landscapes
    • A unique way of life

    Day 1-5:

    Board the RMS in Cape Town and sail to St Helena. Enjoy the on board activities, learn about the early explorers who came to the island in much the same fashion as you are doing today.

    Day 6-13:

    Explore this stunning island, so full of natural beauty, wonderfully friendly people and an abundance of activities to enjoy. Visit the Napoleonic sites of Briars Pavilion, Longwood House and Napoleon’s Tomb and walk on pastures once occupied by prisoners of war during the Boer Wars. Meet Jonathan the tortoise, possibly the oldest tortoise in the world, enjoying life amongst the magnificent gardens of Plantation House, the Governor’s official residence. Of course, no visit to St Helena would be complete without taking in some of the magnificent coastal and inland walks, which can be guided if you prefer. Botanical and Endemic Plant and Fauna Tours are available locally and the St Helena Conservation Group and National Trust arrange guided walks throughout the year.

    Take a leisurely tour in the island’s only Charabanc, a highlight of which is a stop at the top of Jacob’s ladder with tremendous views across Jamestown.  Whilst in Jamestown, a visit to the museum is highly recommended. Here you can see the history of Britain’s second oldest colony laid out before you, including issues of the current day that are helping to shape the future of the island. For those wishing to be more independent, cars can be rented and we suggest that reservations should be made prior to arrival on the island.

    Day 14-18:

    Leave the island for the return journey to Cape Town.

    Day 19:

    Arrive in Cape Town. Tour ends.

    Did you know?

    Until now, the remote tropical British territory of St Helena has only been accessible by ship. The advent of commercial flights has reduced journey times from days to mere hours.  Today you can experience an extraordinary tale of history, nature and culture, in a place of unique character and unspoilt beauty.

  • SOUTHERN MALAWI BIKE TOUR
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    SOUTHERN MALAWI BIKE TOUR

    Cycle Malawi is working to promote cycling tourism as positive force for responsible travel in Malawi. They provide different cycle tours from race events, charity challenges to custom-designed interactive cycling tours to support community development projects in partnership with local communities, NGOs and tour operators in Malawi.

    Embark on leisurely five days mountain biking on a light route passing the scenic landscapes of Malawi’s southern mountain forestry, wildlife wilderness and crystal lakeside waters. From exploring the winding trails of Zomba’s Plateau. Visit the dramatic wildlife contrasts of wet grassy marshlands Liwonde National Park and up pass along the shire rivers tributaries into the clear Cape Maclear’s gateway to Lake Malawi’s pristine and deserted islands.

    DAY 1
    Through the breath-taking abundance of natural waterfalls, idyllic reservoirs and green pines head north from the foothills of Zomba Plateau descend to a peaceful night’s sleep under moonlight skies. Towering pines illuminating and casting shadows across the age old trees and historical old architecture. Enjoy a delicious chef cooked menu, leisurely game of darts and rejuvenate over a drink underneath the starlight Plateau.

    • Transfer from Blantyre to Zomba
    • Bicycle collection and preparations
    • Accommodate for the night at Pakachere Backpackers
    • Cycle Zomba Plateau with a half day or full day guided tour (Afternoon / Morning)

    DAY 2
    After breakfast depart north and cycle north for a medium 65.7km trekking across the valleys leading into the beginning of the shire river. Passing peaceful countryside and backgrounds of distant highlands that dip and create beautiful stretches of ridges and sweeping views across the horizon. Crossing into a vast plain at the tip of Liwonde N.P

    • Cycle 3- 5 hours for 65.7km to Bushman’s Baobab
    • Wildlife game viewing cycling the banks of the shire river
    • Accommodate for the night in a luxury tent surrounded by tranquil river wildlife

    DAY 3
    Cycle further northwards into Liwonde National Park. A beautiful 560km stretch of abundant games plain etched with wildlife sightings of hippos’ and crocodiles co-existing within the bordering river marshlands. Elephants, black rhino , antelope, lions and leopards. Not forgetting the fascinating birdlife and home to Pel’s Fishing owl just one of the many wonderful birds to keep yours peeled out for.

    • Cycle 3- 5 hours for 50.1km to Mvuu Lodge/Camp
    • Boat safari and game drive included/cycle through wildlife trail’
    • En-suite tented decks overlooking the Shire river

    DAY 4
    Disembark after a mesmerising sunset of marsh and silhouettes of the wild. Set your cycle to a new contrasting landscape as you make way following the river to the eastern shores of Lake Malawi, overlooking a distant giant wall of mountains on the northern shore of the lake. A blanket of clear blue unveils its gracefully setting the sky a wondrous purple orange just before dawn.

    • Cycle 4-6 hours for 82km to The Makokola Retreat,
    • Rejuvenate and re-energise with non-motorised sports, spa and lake side pool views
    • Secluded beach rooms just a few steps from the lake

    DAY 5
    Onward to where the parting of the eastern shores converges to Cape Maclear, your gateway to Lake Malawi’s National Park. Here pristine & deserted islands lie between an oasis of water sporting adventure activities, fisherman boats and serene shoreline lodges. Uncover a haven tucked away beneath the extended valleys and tropical heat reaching across the bay and dip into the coastal water of Mumbo island after a short ferry across the freshwater lake.

    • Cycle 3- 5 hours to Cape Maclear Kaya Africa & transfer by boat to Mumbo Island
    • Enjoy water sports such as kayaking , snorkelling & and cycle around the island
    • Overnight on a island remotely located 2 hours ashore

    DAY 6
    Return by boat to Cape Maclear dusting of the sand from your bicycle and shoes. Time permitted enjoy a cycle through the picturesque village and narrow streets of Cape Maclear, grab a gin until your final return transfer to your departing flight or further travel arrangements.

    • Depart by boat from mumbo island 06h00 – 06h30
    • Transfer from Cape Maclear to Blantyre
    • Bicycle drop off and luggage collection (if any)

    Total distance cycled: approx. 248KM
    Level of difficulty: Light – Medium
    Suitable time: May – November

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