Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro Oct 2011 Newsletter - of elections & a red light district plus 2012 flight info
It's been a busy fewmonths with some incredible sightings, read all about them in our latest newsletters hot off the press from Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro via the links at the end of this note.
But first an update from me.
The much touted elections have come and gone and Zambia has a new President and new ruling party, all done with a relative minimum of fuss and disruption - proving that democracy is alive and well in this shining example to the rest of the region. We are grateful to the MMD party for bringing democracy to Zambia 20 years ago, and equally grateful to it and ex President Rupiah Banda for relinquishing power with good grace to the new ruling party. It is early days but we are confident that President Sata's new government will ensure Zambia'seconomy and resources are managed wisely and sustainably so that the country and its people can flourish as they should. If you are interested in the Patriotic Front's Manifesto and plans for Zambia, please click here.
You may be wondering about my red light heading ... some of you will be thinking other things but of course I am talking of the red filters which we use on the spotlights of our night drive vehicles which very much reduce th ediscomfort felt by the subject whilst much improving the viewing experience whereby the subject matter behaves very much more naturally under the red light than harsh white of old. Some guests have complained that the red filter, and our request to desist from flash photography, makes photography on night drives all but impossible but actually it is possible to get excellent photos despite these conditions (applied purely for the welfare of the wildlife) as outlined in an explanatory document here. We welcome suggestions from any of our expert readers on how to best compensate for red filters and it seems we are on the cusp of making a large breakthrough by resetting the camera's white balance for the redlights using the red light as a point of reference - easily done when one knows how! And be comforted knowing you are helping Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro to lead the way in treading as lightly as possible, always trying to be part of the solution to whatever conservation challenges we face.
Speaking of which I had the opportunity to assist in an inoculation and treatment program of the Lower Zambezi's lion population which was a grea tsuccess, involving much excitement and some danger but that's for the next newsletter. As is the 15 minute pangolin sighting just radio'ed in from Old Mondoro.
The matter of the unusual access fees at Royal Airfield seems to be on hold for now - following a recent meeting with the authorities it was confirmed that no fee structure has yet been approved for Royal Airfield and hence, until further notice, no lodge access fees or passenger service fees can be levied on those who access the Lower Zambezi via Royal Airfield. We will of course keep you abreast of developments as they may arise.
Exciting news - Emirates has announced that it will be flying to Lusaka 5 days per week commencing February. "The five times weekly flights (which are already in the system) will begin on 1 February, and will run Dubai-Lusaka-Harare-Lusaka-Dubai, but won't operate on Thursdays or Saturdays. Flight EK713 is a morning 0925 departure from Dubai, with the long leg to Lusaka arriving at 1450, leaving at 1620 and arriving in Harare at 1720. Return flight EK714 leaves Harare at 1920, arrives in Lusaka after 250-mile short hop at 2020, departs at 2150 and arrives in Dubai at 0710. Emirates will use an Airbus A330-200 plane with first, business and economy class on the route." I hope this will provide more options and more competitive air access to Zambia, which should also benefit from Emirates marketing of the route and destination.
Finally, Proflight have announced that flights to the LZ from Lusaka will fly at $209 per passenger one way in 2012 - a significant increase but one that is still very much worth paying when taking into account the awesome experience of the Lower Zambezi and its two flagship safari camps, Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro whose newsletters follow ...
Old Mondoro News