Good News from Zambia

Today marks the 50th year since Zambia gained it’s independence. It’s a proud time for the country and we would like to join the celebrations by offering some 2015 travel inspiration below.

2015 Promotions
With wild dog crossing the almost dry Luangwa River in front of Kakuli, and the elephants gathering daily at the Kapani and Luwi waterholes, the low water reminds us that we are coming to the end of the year…so now we’re starting to look towards 2015. Please have a look at our Norman Carr and Chongwe Safaris’ promotions for 2015.

Chongwe Safaris

Lower Zambezi National Park, ZAMBIA
A love affair with nature

STAY 3 PAY 2
- Must be 3 nights in the same camp
- Valid for Secret Season stays Nov 2014 – June 2015
- All camps included in the deal (availability dependent):
Chongwe Tent & Suites, House, Kasaka River Lodge
- 3rd night just pay Park Fees/Conservation Levy
- New bookings only

Norman Carr Safaris
South Luangwa National Park, ZAMBIA
The Original Zambian Safari Company est. 1950

STAY 3 PAY 2
- Must be 3 nights in the same camp
- Valid for Secret Season stays Nov 2014 – May 2015
- All camps included in the deal (availability dependent):
Kapani, Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli Mchenja, Chinzombo
- 3rd night just pay Park Fees/Conservation Levy
- New bookings only

Cancellation Fees and Ebola
Zambia is far removed from the Ebola epicenters of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia (our camps are further away than London in fact). We believe there is a lot of misunderstanding in the general public about the sheer size of Africa which is creating the impression in many that the whole continent is unsafe.
The likelihood of an outbreak in Zambia is very remote and we want to support our trade partners around the world in reassuring their clients that it is safe to book a 2015 safari now.

We are pleased to advise that in the event of travel being cancelled as a result of the World Health Organization declaring an outbreak of Ebola in Zambia and either the WHO or the client’s own Government issuing a directive against non-essential travel to Zambia, we guarantee that all cancellation fees in respect of accommodation at Chongwe Safaris or Norman Carr Safaris will be waived.

This offer is for all new bookings and is conditional upon the guest having comprehensive travel and trip cancellation insurance. We will reimburse any shortfall between the compensation paid by the insurance company and monies we have received for accommodation in our camps.
Time + Tide Properties – Combination Packages

For guests looking to combine the different areas of Zambia we have created some fabulous set packages to promote.
Click the link for RACK rates and fliers as below:

1. Mixed itinerary fliers and maps for various combinations between South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, Livingstone and Malawi:
o Two Rivers
o Essential Zambia
o Bush and Beach Combos
o Week on the Wildside (between Chongwe and Norman Carr)
o Great Parks of Zambia
2. Norman Carr Safaris Value Itineraries
3. 2015 NCS and CS Rates
2015 Time + Tide Rates/Packages RACK

Please do get in touch if you need more information or for your STO rates.

Mindy and the Teams of Time + Tide

Chongwe Safaris – Chris, Caroline, Flossie and team

Norman Carr Safaris – Dave, Mario, Vicky, Vanessa, Delene and team

Madagascar + Liuwa Plain – we will let you know more soon…..exciting times to come.

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Nigel Crofton joins the team!

We have exciting news this morning; the fabulous Nigel Crofton has joined the team as our UK Marketing Rep; he started 1st September.

Nigel will be working with us on all of the Time + Tide properties both existing brands and those in development:

ZAMBIA

- Norman Carr Safaris, South Luangwa

- Chongwe Safaris, Lower Zambezi

- Kokomo, Liuwa Plain (proposed opening late 2015/early 2016)

MADAGASCAR

- Nosy Ankao (opening late 2016) 

Nigel is well known in the industry, he established his company Outposts in 1999 after extensive experience in both advertising, safari guiding, camp management and tour operating around the world.

We are really fortunate to have Nigel on board and we all look forward to working with you more closely over the coming months and years.

For any immediate queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of our team including Nigel, who’s available as below:

E: nigel@theoutposts.com

T: 01872 241249

M: 07050 256 056

Mindy and the Teams of Time + Tide

Norman Carr Safaris – Dave, Mario, Vicky, Vanessa, Delene and team

Chongwe Safaris – Chris, Caroline, Flossie and team

Madagascar + Liuwa Plain – we will let you know more soon…..exciting times to come.

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A Legacy of Conservation

Little did Norman Carr know at the time this photograph was taken, what an effect he would have on a 9 year old boy and how he would inspire this same boy to build his own dream in Zambia and carry on a legacy of conservation.

It’s safe to say that the relationship between Norman Carr Safaris and Chongwe Safaris goes way back. This photo is taken of Chris Liebenberg, aged 9, in the early 1980’s, showing Norman his school project on the South Luangwa which proudly scored him an A++.

Chris, the founder and owner of Chongwe Safaris, knew Norman from childhood and his dad and granddad knew Norman well. The Liebenberg family chose to stay at whichever camp Norman was guiding from at the time in the South Luangwa. He had a huge influence on a young Chris’ decision to himself go into guiding, tourism and most importantly conservation.

In the 1990’s Chris and his father Boet, went camping in the Lower Zambezi. Marveled by the beauty and wilderness of the area, they set up camp. Over time, this camp grew from an overnight campsite nestled under a canopy of Winterthorns to an award winning luxury bushcamp. The site, on the confluence of the Zambezi and Chongwe rivers, is what drew Chris and his dad in the first place; it’s the perfect spot for canoeing, a spot of fishing, game viewing and of course relaxing. With exquisite landscapes and skyscapes, it is no wonder that they grew this into one of the continents top safari lodges and a place to continue their “Love Affair with Nature”.

The company was never just a commercial venture though; there is a true human element throughout. Chris is heavily involved with Conservation Lower Zambezi as a Board Member and like Norman and his role in setting up the South Luangwa National Park; Chris is also instrumental in the development of the Chiawa Partnership Park which is still a work in progress. The aim of setting up the protected area is to conserve the diverse ecosystems bordering the Lower Zambezi National Park and eradicate hunting in the area. Another area which holds a special place in Chris’ heart is in the northeast of Zambia; he also helped found Conservation Lake Tanganyika to protect Nsumbu National Park.

This old relationship has newer links, with the two companies becoming ‘sisters’ in 2012 through shared ownership. The next step in the relationship is the birth of Time + Tide which is the affiliation of these two owner-operated safari brands along with new projects; running ‘blue safaris’ on an island off the coast of Madagascar and watching the second biggest wildebeest migration in Liuwa Plain, Zambia.

All of us involved in the Time + Tide private and intimate group of properties have an inherent care for wildlife, empowering the local people and preserving these ecological gems for future generations. Importantly, we also love sharing these unique areas with friends both old and new.

Mindy and the Teams of Time + Tide

Norman Carr Safaris – Dave, Mario, Vicky, Vanessa, Delene and team
Chongwe Safaris – Chris, Caroline, Flossie and team
Madagascar + Liuwa Plain – we will let you know more soon…..exciting times to come.
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Chongwe Safaris Guiding Newsletter – October 2013

This month started off with some very welcome overcast and cool weather, which was a dramatic change from the soaring temperatures experienced last month. The cooler weather was short lived and later in the month we experienced a few days that saw the mercury rising well over the 45 degree Celsius mark! We are all waiting with baited breath for the first real rains of the season; we have had the first signs with thunder and lightning but no real rain as yet.


The game viewing has been phenomenal again this month, the lion sightings have been great with lions being seen on the majority of the drives. Leopard viewing has not disappointed and we have been treated to a few good daytime sightings of these beautiful cats. Our birding list has swelled with the return of more of the migrant species and one of the more eye catching species is the Broad-billed Roller, which is now being seen regularly. On the fishing front the water is producing some very memorable catches.


The lion viewing this month has been dominated by the Central Pride, the four adult lionesses are providing for the cubs very well and the young lions are growing exceptionally fast. The two Jeki males have been roaming far and wide, marking and ensuring that their new territory is well defended. Their territory now extends from the Chongwe River to Jeki Plains, which is a huge area to patrol. These two males however have been known to walk in excess of 25 kilometres in a single evening!

Later in the month one of the males was found in what can only be described as an “all you can eat buffet”!!! The male came across not one but three buffalo cows that had got stuck and died in the thick mud of one the drying dambo areas. The male spent the following three days either feeding or chasing the vultures from the carcasses before moving on.

The other member of the coalition was found escorting a lioness who it would appear seems to have come into season and the two were seen mating on a number of occasions. This could hopefully mean that we will have some new additions to the pride in a few months.
The GMA lioness appears to have given birth and we are trying to locate her den site. We have seen her in all along the Chongwe River this month and we all suspect that she is hiding the new cubs in the thickets along the river. We found her and another young lioness on a waterbuck kill earlier in the month. The highlight of the sighting was finding the one of the lionesses resting in the high branches of a nearby Albida tree.

The buffalo viewing has also been great with herds of anything between 50 or 300 being seen regularly and the groups of resident buffalo bulls being seen in their favourite hang outs. The majority all utilising the closest muddy wallow to cool off in the hot weather.

Elephant viewing has been great and the highlight of many of our guests is the viewing that is possible from the comfort of the camps. The elephant have been utilising the rivers in their quest to cool off and we are lucky enough to be given a front row seat to these sightings, daily!

Well we are fast approaching the end of another main season here in the Zambezi valley and we will be bringing you the final instalment of our newsletter next month. Remember that Kasaka is open ALL YEAR now – so you still have the chance to come and stay in the Valley after Chongwe closes mid Novermber.

Regards
Matt and the Chongwe Guiding Team

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Chongwe Guiding Newsletter – August 2013

We have been kept very busy this month not only with camps full of fantastic visitors but some outstanding wildlife viewing too. The temperatures have started to climb as we head into the beginning of summer and the bush is starting to show signs that our winter season is coming to an end.

Blossoms and fresh green shoots on many of the trees are a welcome sign of the change of season. The bright red flowers of the Flame Creeper are visible all over the park and add a dramatic hint of colour to the landscape. The sweet scent of Jasmine and Woolly Caper flowers permeate the air and blushing pink pods of the Shaving Brush tree are a joy to see.
We are seeing vast numbers of elephant feeding on the ripe Albida pods and we were entertained by some of the bigger elephant bulls of the area as they moved from tree to tree and shook them so that a rain of pods fell all around them luring in any other elephants in the area to the free bounty of food.

The river has become a huge focal point for wildlife and we are seeing more and more animals utilising the river as the temperatures start to climb, elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus and large numbers of crocodile have been seen on our many boat trips on the Zambezi. We are moving into nesting period for crocodiles and it should not be long until we see many of these large reptiles actively defending their nesting sites.

Birdlife is unbelievable at the moment and there have even been some early migratory arrivals with Carmine Bee-eaters and Yellow-billed Kites both being seen this month. The White Fronted Bee-eater colony along the Chongwe is once again a huge drawcard with the brightly coloured birds providing endless photographic opportunities. It still amazes us the spped at which these birds can enter their nests at.
The wading birds have made their way into the valley and are utilising their fishing skills as they wade the ever drying pools and shallow bank o9f the river in search of a meal.
Predator viewing has been phenomenal with lion sightings being very good, leopard sightings have been fairly regular and we have even managed to locate some of the spotted hyenas that we hear more often than see.
The elephant carcass that we spoke about last month, took the pride a further few days to finish and we were fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time with this fantastic pride of lions. The six new cubs were all in good health and the lionesses are providing nicely for these growing cats.

The split in the main pride has also become more noticeable with the splinter group of 4 sub-adult males and a sub-adult lioness spending alot of time away from the rest of the pride. These sub-adults are approximately 18 months old and are seen in the company of an adult lioness. This split would seem to be caused by the presence of the new cubs in the pride.
The highlight of the month however was a sighting that occurred not too far from Chongwe House, the two GMA Male lions brought down an adult bull buffalo early one morning, proving that these two ageing lions are still a force to be reckoned with. The pair spent the following five days feeding on the carcass and providing us with some great sightings. The carcass also attracted the attention of other predators and we were lucky enough to find a leopard, which had to spend an uncomfortable hour or so high in the branches of a thorn tree after he was chased by the two lions. The carcass was eventually finished off by hyena and the ever present vultures.

Hope to see you here soon, fishing season starts soon and we will hopefully be able to bring you some news on some great catches in the coming months.

Matt and the Chongwe Guiding Team.

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Guiding Newsletter July 2013

Welcome to another glimpse into the goings on here in the Zambezi Valley over the last month. The cooler temperatures have meant that game drives having been leaving a little later than normal but with blankets and hot water bottles at the ready none of our guests really felt the chill as we headed out in search of wildlife.
The month started off very positively with a record number of leopard sightings being enjoyed almost nightly by our guests and guides. The lion had moved out of the area and this gave the smaller predators a chance to move around more freely. The guides were fortunate to watch leopard hunting impala, on a few occasions although unsuccessful it is always astounding how this cat can literally disappear while you are watching them, using all the cunning and camouflage available to outwit their prey.
Later in the month we spotted a leopard female and her approximately three month old cub as they rested in the warming morning sun. The little cub although still shy provided us with a great lbeit distant view as he rested in the open on a high ridge.


There have also been some great sightings of some of the larger herds of buffalo that have started to use the areas on the valley floor with regularity. It is always fun sitting amongst these large bovids as they move to or from water. The noises, smells and sights are a truly African experience.


Lion sightings have been simply outstanding this month, with roaring filling the evenings in camp and the pursuit of tracks and lions following on game drive in the morning.
The two GMA Males have been very active in their territorial patrolling and we have been treated to some great sights as they spent alot of their time in the company of a lone lioness along the Nkalange Channel. They were joined by two sub-adult members of the GMA Pride, These two or three year old lions are in great condition and completely at ease with the game vehicles.
These were not the only lions that were seen, the large Central Pride that has their core territory alot further east from us, was also seen with regularity and it was always a special sighting as the pride is made up of 4 sub-adult lions, 1 sub-adult lioness and 4 adult lionesses. There are also 2 pride males and as reported last month there are also new additions in the form of 6 cubs. That is a total of 17 lions!!!!

If that was not enough the best was yet to come, we received reports that a large elephant bull had died close to one of the dambos in the east of the park. We decided to investigate and were pleasantly surprised to find the entire Central Pride at the carcass. The elephant appeared to have been killed in a fight with another bull and the lions were taking full advantage of this huge meal. The pride is still feeding on the carcass and the photo opportunities are amazing.
We will be seeing alot more of this sighting in the coming days and should hopefully be treated to some truly special photographic opportunities.

General game sightings and birding have been really good of late with Zebra, Waterbuck, Kudu, Impala and Baboon being seen regularly. The morning light has provided some unforgettable images of our feathered friends.

Hopefully that has left you wanting to come and explore this wonderfully wild and completely untamed piece of Africa with us.

Regards
The Chongwe Guiding Team.

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Award Nominations!

Both Norman Carr Safaris and Chongwe Safaris have been nominated in the annual Good Safari Guide Awards this year! You can read about the Awards and, if you have a couple of minutes, lend your support to us by following the links below and voting for us – we’d so like to fly the flag for Zambia, NCS and Chongwe at the Awards.

Chongwe Safaris has once again been nominated for Chongwe Safari House in the Best Safari House Category and Chongwe River Camp in the Best Camp category. Click here to vote http://www.safariawards.com/zambia/chongweriverhouse/

Norman Carr Safaris has been nominated in the ‘Best Camps’ categories for both Mchenja and Kapani and for ‘Best Walking Safaris’.
Of course all awards are thrilling – but we’re really keen that our brilliant Safari Guides get the recognition they deserve in the Best Walking Safaris category – you can click on http://www.safariawards.com/zambia/normancarrmobilesafaris/ if you’d like to vote.

Now for some ‘trade news’ –  at the end of the month NCS and Chongwe will be closing a chapter with our UK and European marketing representative Honourway. We thank Honour and Ruth for all their amazing work and support over the years and have enjoyed strengthening the links with Tongabezi and Kaya Mawa through the Honourway link and will continue to work together to promote our unique Zambia and Lake Malawi itineraries.

We will be taking the UK and European marketing back ‘in house’, so please contact Christina (Gid) on Kapani@normancarrsafaris.com Mindy on  mindy@normancarrsafaris.com or Caroline (CJ) on reservations@chongweriver.net for any information you might need on NCS or Chongwe moving forward.

Lastly – the official Chinzombo images are just a day or so away from being ready  – so please watch this space in the next few days if you are interested in seeing Stevie Mann’s amazing images of our new camp – maybe we’ll even get nominated for ‘Best New Camp’ in the next Good Safari Guide awards??

I also need to update you on some breath-taking wildlife events  – maybe there will have to be three newsletters this month…..!

Have a great week,

From us all at Chongwe & NCS

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Chongwe Safaris – Guiding News June 2013

Well, we are half way through the year!! We cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, the cool evening and morning temperatures however keep reminding us that it is winter in the southern hemisphere. The cooler temperatures have led to us leaving a little later in the morning as the sun is only rising well after 06h00 in the morning. However it has been a little easier getting out of a lovely warm bed when you know that there is a special sighting out in the bush waiting for you!


The ongoing territorial dispute between two different male lion coalitions raged on this month with neither pairs taking a back step. On a night drive we were lucky enough to view a confrontation between the two pairs that has seemed to have settled the dispute for the time being. The older, GMA Males, chased the younger challengers for over a kilometre roaring and ensuring that the challenge to their territory would not be taken lightly. Since then we have not seen the two younger males in the area and the guides all feel that the older males have succeeded in defending their patch.

The sighting that we all enjoyed was seeing the new cubs of the pride that occupies the central part of the reserve, this pride is made up of nine lions and the new cubs were seen at their den site with their mother in attendance. We only managed to get a glimpse of two little lion cubs which are estimated to be about a month old. It is believed however that there are two lionesses with a total of six cubs. The pride has their core territory quite a distance from us but when there is the chance we will be making every effort to go a look for these brand new additions.

There were two sub-adult lions spotted just upstream along the Chongwe River, these two cats spent the day resting on the shady banks of the river before heading west again. We believe them to be members of the GMA Pride.

As mentioned earlier, we have been very fortunate when it comes to leopard viewing this month and have had phenomenal luck in finding these spotted beauties. On one occasion we spotted a young female who had recently killed an impala and was resting in the boughs of a large Nyala Berry Tree. This leopard was seen on three consecutive nights as she finished off her meal.
The Lower Zambezi National Park must rate as one of the premier elephant viewing destinations in Africa and this was once again proven this month with elephant viewing being the highlight of many excursions out on safari or even relaxing in camp.
On the 23rd of the month we had full moon here in the valley, however this was no ordinary full moon which in itself is something quite breathtaking but this was a yearly occurrence that is called the supermoon. The moon’s elliptical orbit around the earth meant that this full moon was the closest to earth this year and this meant that the full moon would appear 16% larger than a normal full moon. Sitting on the river as the large red planet rose over the dark waters of the Zambezi was breathtaking.

We will see you again next month with more exciting tales from the bush!
Regards
The Chongwe Guiding Team

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May News from the Camps

A quick news update from the bush – safaris at Chongwe have been incredibly productive with mating lion, families of leopard, elephants around every bend in the road or river and our resident elephant ‘Majestic’ socialising with the guests out front and trying (unsuccessfully!) to hide in the laundry out back!

Canoeing has been spectacular with the tributaries nice and full and loads of game posing to drink as we drift past.

Our friend Will Burrard-Lucas has been at Chongwe this week updating the photography and as usual has produced some stunning shots-here’s just a small selection, they will be on the Chongwe website very soon….a couple here to get you excited.

It’s also been madly busy at Norman Carr Safaris with the opening of bush camps and we’re counting down to the launch of Chinzombo.

Bush camps are all up and running now and already the game-viewing has been spectacular; all the usual lion and leopard drama of course but also some great ‘specials’ – serval and aardvark – both reasonably common here in the valley but very rarely seen. Aardvark are notoriously hard to photograph – so we have cheated and used one of Pam Carr’s magical paintings – ‘Aardvark softly treads….”The big herd of elephant bulls are still around Luwi this year and have regularly joined guests for breakfast just like last year, let’s hope they stay around. And Dixon – Kakuli’s resident troublesome teenager is again giving us the odd ‘rev’ around camp and keeping us on our toes!

 

 

Chinzombo is just days away from opening – have a look at our NCS Facebook page to see progress – the ‘posh’ publicity shots will be ready at the start of July. We ‘tested’ camp last night – had a spectacular sundowners there and Sil and Les – the incredible designers were, appropriatley, the first actually to overnight and test Villa One – they came back to Kapani this morning, eyes shining saying it had been thrilling, the bed like sleeping on a cloud and the sunrise over the Luangwa – magical!

Have a great week,

From us all at Chongwe and NCS

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May Guiding Newsletter

This month has seen a slow drop in temperature, with winter slowly but surely creeping in, blankets and warm clothing on game drives are now standard. The cooler weather has not changed the game viewing and we are still enjoying some very rewarding safari outings.

The bush is definitely drying out and we are seeing more wildlife activity starting to concentrate around the rivers and there has also been a marked increase in elephant numbers as the Albida trees start to drop their nutritious pods. Many of the trees are losing their green summer coats and this has improved the visibility in the bush as the thicket areas that are prevalent in the Lower Zambezi valley start to thin out.

Lion sightings have been good this month with the continued presence of the two new male lions in the areas around Nkalange Plain. These two mature males were seen mating with a lioness from the GMA Pride and we are hoping that we are going to be seeing cubs in the not too distant future. The gestation period for lion, averages on about 110 days, so hopefully by mid August we will be on the lookout for new additions to the valley lion population.

The battle over the territory along the Chongwe River, has raged on again this month and the two older GMA males have been patrolling and we have heard them roaring as they stake their claim to this piece of Africa. We are expecting a territorial fight soon as these two males are starting to look a little weathered and it will be interesting to see who will prevail will it be the youthful two new males or will it be the experience of the two older males? Time will tell.

As previously mentioned the elephant herds are slowly returning to the valley floor as the water resource slowly dwindles in the escarpment hills to the north. The river is the focus of their attention as they move towards it to quench their thirst and then to feed on the lush vegetation along the rivers edge. The Albida trees are also starting to drop pods and this at this time of year as the food resource becomes less abundant these prized morsels are quickly eaten by any passing herbivore.

Afternoon canoe trips down one of the nearby channels have proved to be highlight where one can view these large grey pachyderms from the water as they drink and bathe in the cooling waters.

There has also been an increase in the buffalo activity along the Chongwe River with a herd of approximately 150 moving along the banks. General game viewing has been good with kudu, waterbuck and impala in abundance. The impala rams are in the middle of their annual rut and the loud grunts and barks can be heard throughout the day as they lay claim to their small territorial areas, chasing away any intruding males with their white tails raised and their backs arched . The amount of energy these males expend daily is astonishing and all in the attempt to woo some very attractive ladies!!!

Leopard sightings have been good this month and it is always a treat to see these shy and reclusive cats in their natural habitat. They are mainly found on our night drives when the cover of darkness allows them to venture out into open.

The Chongwe House managers (Matt and Anet) were however lucky enough to witness a wonderful sighting from the comfort of their home early one morning. They were woken by the alarm calls of vervet monkeys, baboons and guinea fowl, after a short but patient wait as they scanned the far river bank they were rewarded when out of the bush came not one but two leopards. The two beautiful cats were trying to scare off a crocodile that had taken up position on the river bank and continued to stay in the area for an hour or two.

Unfortunately the photo is not the clearest as it was taken through the mosquito gauze from inside of their lounge.

On that note we bid you farewell for this month and are looking forward to the clear winter days of June. Blankets and hot water bottles at the ready.

Kind Regards

Matt and the Chongwe Safaris Guiding Team

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