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Setting aside large swaths of land for wildlife and eco-tourism is well-intentioned on the part of African governments. National parks bring in much-needed funds from tourists and help to protect precious ecosystems. But the new money often fails to benefit local indigenous people who have been living off that land for generations – ironically, forcing them to degrade the areas set aside for protection.

Tanzania and Canada have worked to fund communities living in conservation areas. The two countries have become models for Ghana which has been experiencing friction between local groups that inhabit protected regions and the authorities that mostly control their resources.

A new project teams Canadian, Ghanaian and Tanzanian researchers to find ways for Ghana to make sure its nature reserves protect all fauna and flora – including the livelihoods of the human population.

The five-year project will allow for best practices to be gathered and used to help convince the Ghanaian government it needs to better support communities that are being left out of the tourism and development emanating from nature reserves.

The Canadian government recently awarded C$2 million (US$1.8 million) to the project, which aims to develop new insights on how protected areas can deliver benefits in a more equitable way.

Protected Areas and Poverty Reduction: A Canada-Africa Research and Learning Alliance will eventually employ 17 senior researchers, 11 graduate students and a post-doc, and is in the process of recruiting some of those researchers from the three countries so that it can ramp up by January 2010.

Poverty has become the unintended consequence of many protected areas around the world. The study of that confluence is now the subject of much research, according to Grant Murray, the project’s Canadian co-director and a professor in the department of recreation and tourism management at Vancouver Island University on Canada’s west coast.

“Protective areas are the place where these intersect,” Murray said.

The other co-director, Kwasi Nsiah-Gyabaah, Rector of the Sunyani Polytechnic in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana, has seen much of that intersecting poverty and natural resource management in two of Ghana’s protected lands. Mole National Park, in the north, and Bui National Park, in his institution’s region and stretching into the north, have been on his radar for what he sees as government having dropped the ball.

Nsiah-Gyabaah said that because of the poverty and population pressures of those living on the lands, there had been over-farming as well as indiscriminate wildfires usually set by either farmers or hunters wanting to clear land for their activities.

“The government response has been very minimal,” he told University World News. Road systems to these communities was inadequate to spur development or attract tourists. And the money that did come to the region went into government coffers. Nsiah-Gyabaah said the government had offered “a weak and inefficient management of resources”.

For the Bui National Park, there is another element that makes things particularly difficult for those living on the land. Two years ago, work officially began on the $622 million Bui Dam, a project planned to harness hydroelectric energy from the Black Volta River.

The project is expected to resettle more than 2,500 people because of flooded lands and has already started moving people out. While the government has tried to assure landowners it will compensate them and has promised to build schools and other facilities, traditional groups have said they have been neglected in the process.

Nsiah-Gyabaah said the people affected were mostly illiterate and needed outside intervention. He hopes the project will help create awareness among local people of their rights and help to better lobby the Ghanaian government.

The African academic recently travelled to Canada to learn about some of the successes there. In the Pacific Rim National Park in Tofino on Vancouver Island, a magical meeting of land and sea, he spoke with an indigenous man, Eli Enns, of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations band.

“When I was in Tofino, I had quite a lengthy discussion and learned a lot about how they manage their systems. I saw how they protect their biodiversity,” said Nsiah-Gyabaah.

Some of the research team plans to visit Tanzania in mid-August to also collect information as Tanzania has had some success in sharing resource revenue from conservation lands.

The Amani Nature Reserve in the country’s Tanga region has been recognised for its grassroots initiatives to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The government considers the communities inside the territory as stakeholders in the reserve’s productive capacity. They earn a fifth of the revenue from eco-tourism ventures.

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Killing animals underlies Zimbabwe’s hope for saving species and helping people; it seems to be working

Three years ago, John Tendengdende, headman of Dete village in Zimbabwe, watched helplessly as his maize seedlings, cotton plants and chili bushes shriveled and died during the country’s worst drought in living memory. Tens of thousands of other subsistence farmers in the Zambezi River valley lost their crops. At the bleakest moment, Tendengdende and his people stood on the threshold of starvation, all maize stocks gone, and the future hinging on whether enough rain would fall to nurture the next crop.

Then an innovative wildlife conservation program gave the villagers a lifesaving windfall. “For the first time we got money for our wild animals,” explains Tendengdende. “I used my money to buy 50 kilograms (110 lbs.) of corn meal. That’s how we survived.”

The program that helped to save the Dete villagers is the Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). Not only does it add a new dimension to wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe by helping to make wildlife valuable to local people, but it also offers a management model that other nations are examining closely.

Under CAMPFIRE, the government has transferred ownership of wildlife on communal lands to the communities, which sell hunting or photographic concessions to safari companies. The money goes directly to the communities, whose members decide how it will be spent. Zimbabwe’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management sets the hunting quotas and trophy fees in each communal area, while local authorities, with support from the department, bear responsibility for wildlife protection and management.

Wildlife is perhaps the greatest treasure of the Zambezi River valley, a 900-kilometer (560-mi.) swath of acacia thornbush that stretches across Zimbabwe from Victoria Falls in the northwestern corner of the nation to the border with Mozambique in the east. The valley covers some of south-central Africa’s most remote and rugged landscape and produces large herds of elephants, buffalo and antelope as well as populations of lions, leopards and other wildlife. Consequently, about half of the valley’s 56,230 square kilometers (21,710 sq.mi.) have been set aside in national parks, reserves and forests to protect wildlife.

The other half is divided into tribal communal lands, where some 325,000 people subsist on crops of maize, cotton and a few vegetables. The thin, gray topsoil, rocky terrain and inadequate rainfall make for uncertain crops, but about 20 percent of the communal lands also produce significant amounts of wildlife.

Ironically, the people of Dete and other villages in northern Zimbabwe’s Hurungwe District did not value the animals until the drought ravaged their crops and threatened them with destitution. Then, the influx of funds from CAMPFIRE, which they had recently joined, showed the villagers that their wildlife could be vitally important to them.

The program also is important to wildlife conservation. Many communal holdings border national parks, state forests and reserves, which cover 14.5 percent of the country. For years, people have settled illegally on protected lands. Poaching has been a persistent problem as people killed wildlife to supplement income or to provide food for the pot.

But thanks to CAMPFIRE, a new era is dawning in the Zambezi valley. The $13 that each of the 574 heads of household in his village received in the year of the drought has changed local attitudes toward wildlife, says Arius Chipere, a member of a village wildlife committee. “Ten years ago, we liked the animals, of course,” he explains. “But now we like them more because we are getting money for them.”

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WILDLIFE AFRICA

Of the ten places in the world that lets pamper you, Bahamas stands as one prominent in the list. Holidays at Bahamas make up the best moments and experiences of your life. The leisure at Bahamas is surplus. You only have to make an occasion.

Bahamas is an independent nation that lies to the south of Florida, North America. It lies stretched out as archipelago and has over 700 islands. This tropical retreat has all it takes to win the travelers heart. There are sandy beaches

, coral reef, clear water and provision for different water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, and much more.

The low-lying beaches of Bahamas and tropical vegetation with surfeit of palm trees, is an open invitation in itself to tropics. You can start with the urban center called New Providence and Paradise Islands. This place gives you the best holiday resorts. A number of hotels and resorts

stay put at the shoreline of Paradise Islands. Your hotspot on this island would be Nassau.

A little heaped up with the tourists is the Grand Bahamas. The best spot here is the Freeport Lucaya. You will get to see the cheerful local populace as well as travelers that reach this place.

If you have been moved by Ernest Hemingway and his master piece Old Man and the Sea, Bimini Island is the place for you. You can have an underwater peek and find fishing sport quite popular at Bimini. Your Bahamas Holidays will take you back to the memoirs of the Old Man.

There are more destinations to be explored like Exuma Islands, Berry Islands, Andros, Pink Sands on the Harbour Island, Kamalame Cay, and the southern Bahamas.

As has already been made clear, Bahamas has some of the best accommodation facilities in the world. You can chose from the luxury beach resort to affordable hotels

.

We do not want you to spoil your last minute travel deals

by mere reluctance as unavailability of transport or food or anything like that. In Bahamas holidays are stuffed with amusement. You only need to contact for the booking.

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Valley of Ancients ? the complete experience

Take everything you have previously experienced at the Cango Wildlife Ranch; add more excitement, entertainment, fantasy and exotic animals and you will still only have a vague idea of what the completed Valley of Ancients has to offer you!

Despite a devastating flood in October 2006, the Cango Wildlife Ranch relentlessly pushed ahead with the construction of the second phase of this major development.  All of this took place whilst the Ranch still continued its day-to-day activities, thrilling visitors with tours through Phase One of the Valley of Ancients.  With the completion of Phase Two in December 2006, this ancient wonder world was revealed and left visitors breathless with awe and excitement. 

Valley of Ancients has turned the Cango Wildlife Ranch into a world-class institution.  With more than 500 specimens on display and nearly a kilometer of interactive exhibits, the Ranch has succeeded in not only transforming itself into the most family friendly attraction along the entire Garden Route, but also added tremendous value for money to its visitor?s experience.

As with Phase One, all stops were pulled out and the Cango Wildlife Ranch spared no expenses in acquiring the animals needed to complete the Valley of Ancients experience.  Giant flying foxes from Malaysia, Egyptian Fruit Bats, Nile monitors, Cape Griffon Vultures and Red River Hogs from the Congo took up residency.  Australasian lorikeets and wallabies arrived at the Ranch and were housed in the new interactive lorikeet aviary and Wallaby Walkabout exhibits.

During this time, the Cango Wildlife Ranch also had its hands full with the birth of no less than 11 cheetah cubs in September of which the first litter of 6 made an appearance on the SABC news.  A second pygmy hippo calve, a female, was born in October and one of the ring-tailed lemur females gave birth to three beautiful babies, confirming that not only was the new Valley of Ancient a hit with our visitors, but with its inhabitants as well.  The Ranch is on cloud nine with all the recent births ? a true ?heads up? for endangered species worldwide.

Guided tours at the Ranch now commence at the entrance of the impressive Zimbakwe Temple Ruins guarded by the Nyami Nyami from where visitors journey into an ancient temple.  Your first view being that of an under water viewing tank depicting an ancient sacrificial pool filled with rainbow colored cichlids, baby crocodiles and peculiar terrapins.  The tropical house allows you to walk freely amongst animals such as shy duiker, giant flying foxes and exotic birds whilst the remains of human sacrifices to the river god and enormous masks of gods long forgotten look upon your every step in this revered place.

A raised wooden walkway tempts visitors to move onto the Malawian forest exhibit with its beautifully colored Red river hogs and giant Nile monitors and there after our Cape griffon vultures nesting against an African cliff face in their brand new home accompanied by Malcolm and Lyons, our resident Marabou storks will greet you.  The ring-tailed lemurs now totaling five adults and three youngsters in their Madagascar themed enclosure, Snapper Gorge and the Croc Cage Diving pool reminding you of the Cabora Bassa in Mozambique, a Pygmy Hippo village straight out of the Congo, the otter waterfall, our new arrivals, the two Southern Ground Hornbills, and the Jumping Jaws pool complete the Valley of Ancients tour.  Experienced tour guides entertain and thrill visitors each step of way and carry over a strong conservation message both young and old take to heart whilst having the time of their lives witnessing creatures rarely seen.

Due to a huge demand for a family friendly facility, the Cango Wildlife Ranch took the giant step in ensuring our facility is the most child-friendly attraction along the entire Garden Route with the designing and construction of a children?s water and play park.

A splash park with water jets and jumping jewels was created and supplied for the first time in Africa by a manufacturer in the United States, making this the only one of its kind in South Africa.  Along with the splash park the kidszone has two giant 6m high fun fortresses, with rope ladders, a climbing wall and a 6 meter slide, a jumping castle, roundabouts and water canons, completing the experience for the older kids. Additionally a specially designed and imported Tiny Tots area was developed for the little ones with your toddler?s safety in mind.  Combine all of this with phenomenal family fun as well as a petting zoo where both young and old can meet their favorite farmyard animal and you have a play park as unique as the Ranch itself.

To ensure visitors have a truly memorable visit with as many experiences as possible, the Cango Wildlife Ranch also added an interactive lorikeet aviary, Kuranda Forest, as well as a Wallaby Walkabout to the experience bringing a piece of Australia to South Africa. 

Adding to the complete visitor experience, the existing Turtles restaurant menu has been upgraded for a more sophisticated palate and for families wanting a quick bite a fantastically rainforest themed Grunts fast food restaurant has been created.  Grunts restaurant with its gigantic snake counter consists of a large roofed deck area providing seating for up to 120 people.  The deck allows parents to sit in the misted shade and enjoy their meal whilst keeping an eye on the children enjoying the play and splash park.

A hint of civilization was also brought into this wild place with Nyami Nyami Café where you are able to get everything from snacks to the daily newspaper.

With guided tours departing every 5 minutes to accommodate the flow of visitors and the Turtles and Grunts restaurants packed this December season, there were no time for ?opening jitters? and the Ranch staff proved their steel once again.  Despite this being an all-new development and a huge test for all at the Cango Wildlife Ranch, everything was handled in a most professional manner and visitors left the Ranch enlightened and happy.

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Wild Life Africa

Within the boundaries of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, and for the greater part lying wedged between the White and Black Imfolozi rivers in KwaZulu-Natal, lies a wilderness untouched by man. It was in this region, covering some 30 000 of Imfolozi total area of 66 000 hectares that the first wilderness trails were introduced in the late 1950’s.

It has been said that the wilderness is an area where the earth and its inhabitants are not disturbed by man, and where man himself is but a visitor who does not remain. This is also true of the Imfolozi wilderness area, where there are no roads and access is only permitted on foot or horseback.

The area forms part of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, which is the oldest game park in Africa and is the only park under formal conservation in KwaZulu-Natal where the Big Five occur. Although this park has had a century of formal protection, conservation in this area has been practiced for far longer than this as it was the exclusive hunting preserve of the Zulu kings and was well managed.

The wilderness area, today, remains a piece of ancient Zululand frozen in time, a living monument to the Zulu nation. Ancient battlefields and relics bear testimony to its turbulent history.

Wilderness Trails
The wilderness trails in the Imfolozi area were the first to be introduced in South Africa in the late 1950’s. Since then many people have found that these trails offer them the opportunity to appreciate the silence and solitude of the wilderness and to become physically, mentally and spiritually refreshed. Most popular of the trails is the Short Wilderness Trail of 2 nights / 3 days.

The trails are run from mid-February to mid-November, aimed to include people from all walks of life and enable them to enjoy the Wilderness experience, as well as the broad diversity of fauna and flora, ecological habitat and landforms that characterise KwaZulu Natal. Due to the heat during December and January shorter trails are run using one base camp from where the trails are conducted.

The Imfolozi Wilderness is a so-called ‘Big Five’ area, and there is always a chance of walking into a black rhino, buffalo or elephant, along with many other species. Trailists have seen wild dog on foot, leopard, cheetah and lions.

Also there is a rich diversity of plants and trees which man can live on, and which are still used extensively in Zulu cultural practices for food and natural medicines. There are a host of insects and birds, amphibious creatures and reptiles which will fascinate you.

The trails are led by two wilderness guides whose experience and knowledge of the bush serve to inform the trailists, as well as ensure their safety.

As walking occupies the majority of time spent on this trail, a fair degree of fitness is required. The rugged nature of the terrain ensures that the best game viewing opportunities are afforded from higher ground. The average distance covered per day can be up to 15 km, although can be far less depending on the average fitness of the participants.

The trail takes place within the malaria belt and thus participants are advised to take precautions as a matter of routine.

Equipment provided by the KZN nature conservation service include all food, tea, coffee and fruit juice, all backpacks and daypacks, all bedding, al cutlery and crockery and water bottles. Catering is provided in the form of three meals per day, starting with supper on the day of arrival and concluding with breakfast on the day of departure.

Meals are simple but nutritious and quantities provided should satisfy most appetites. The menus have been developed with input from previous trailists and satisfy the palate of the average person

People with any special requirements may of course bring their own food and every assistance will be given to prepare it. Fruit and nuts are provided as snacks between meals, however trailists may also bring their own between meal snacks and refreshments.

A little alcohol may be brought into the wilderness area, however no excessive drinking will be allowed for reasons of safety, and to avoid detracting from the wilderness ethic, which involves quietly blending in with the environment. A good guideline is to keep within the legal alcohol limit for driving a vehicle.

In order to maintain the wilderness ethic and character, the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service facilities are restricted to the minimum of sophistication.

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Day 1:

Arrive at Kruger-Mpumalanga International Airport, a short hour flight from Johannesburg. You will be welcomed there and driven to Marloth Bush Retreat, set in a wild-life reserve which has the Crocodile River as common border with the Kruger National Park. Watch wild animals while enjoying a relaxing barbecue under the African sky.

Day 2:

Leave early for a day in the Kruger National Park where we search for the Big Five and numerous bird species. We return and end the day with sun-downers by the Crocodile River.

Day 3:

Another action-packed day in the Kruger National Park, sleeping over in one of the famous Kruger Park camps. A night drive to find nocturnal animals is a high-light of a perfect day.

Day 4:

After a full day in the Kruger Park, return to Marloth Bush Retreat and exchange of high-lights of the trip around the camp fire.

Day 5:

Return to the Kruger-Mpumalanga Airport or begin the next stage of your South African holiday. Add on one day and enjoy an excursion of interaction with African elephants and a ride on one of these majestic and beautiful animals.

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Wildlife Africa

Cape buffalo and rhinoceros will be introduced later this year, followed by the rest of the Big Five before opening

Due to open on 1 November 2008, Gondwana Game Reserve has continued with the release of approximately an additional 500 head of game onto the 7 500ha reserve located in the Garden Route, 15km west of Mossel Bay.

41 Black Wildebeest were released onto the reserve on Sunday May 6 and 18 rare and endangered Cape Mountain Zebra were recently introduced as well.

The Black Wildebeest, also commonly known as the White Tailed Gnu, came from the Eastern Cape, as did the Cape Mountain Zebra.

Both species underwent a ‘hard release’ which means they were let go directly from the truck onto the Gondwana Game Reserve and were not kept in a boma or holding enclosure setup on either property.

They were caught, loaded, driven 550km and released all within seven hours reducing stress levels on the animals.

It is estimated that Gondwana Game Reserve will be able to sustain a total of 120 Black Wildebeest, of which 75 will be introduced this year.

Black Wildebeest naturally have a high reproductive rate and they should play a large role as a prey base for the lions anticipated to be released in the beginning of 2008.

Gondwana plans to introduce a total of 25 Cape Mountain Zebra into a protected walking area on the reserve free from predators, along with other endangered species such as the Bontebok.

The Cape Mountain Zebra is a true signature species as they are indigenous to the area and well suited to the terrain.

They can be differentiated from normal plain / Burchells Zebra by a small dewlap on the neck, the lack of a shadow stripe between the white and black stripes, the continuation of stripes all the way down its legs, a distinctly white belly, as well as larger ears.

Gondwana’s diverse habitat is very suited for both these species. The Black Wildebeest are short grass grazers and prefer open grassy plains, whereas the Cape Mountain Zebra will forage in kloofs and thickets together with open plains.

Their hooves are smaller than other zebra, making them quite agile in mountainous terrain.

The Black Wildebeests’ thick, dark coat insulates the animal better than its cousin the Blue Wildebeest making it well suited for the Western Cape/ Karoo climate.

The first young born from the wildlife introduced last winter have just been spotted on the reserve in the last few days. These species include Springbok, Eland, Red Hartebeest and Kudu.

In addition, the naturally occurring
grey Rheebok have flourished in the larger reserve with over 100 currently residing on Gondwana. Cape Buffalo and Rhinoceros will be introduced later this year, followed by the rest of the Big Five before opening

Owners Mark and Wendy Rutherford together with hospitality developers Red Carpet Leisure envisage Gondwana to be the first truly authentic Big Five safari destination in the
Western Cape based on the size and carrying capacity of the reserve allowing for free ranging predators.

Gondwana’s location against the
backdrop of the OuteniquaMountains has a remote feel yet is easily accessible to the Garden Route’s beaches and golf courses and is only 3.5 hours from Cape Town.

The terrain consists of open grasslands, undulating valleys and indigenous Fynbos not found anywhere else in the world.

A variety of flowers bloom throughout the year creating a continuously varying and striking landscape, attracting many endemic species such as the Cape Sugar Bird and Orange Breasted Sunbird.

Opening Date: 1 November 2008

Luxury accommodation will consist of 25 superior rooms and 10 deluxe suites overlooking two waterholes onto the Outeniqua Mountains.

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Visitors to the Garden Route can see animals like lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo, which make up four of the Big Five. Due to the development of the area, wildlife is increasing being confined to reserves where they can survive undisturbed. Visitors can see and interact with elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary at the Craggs in Plettenberg Bay. Elephants have long been thought extinct in the Knysna forest but have recently been spotted again; visitors can explore the forest in the hopes of seeing these illusive giants. Smaller mammals can also be seen on the Garden Route. Monkeyland is full of primates playing and swinging from trees. Along the coast whales can often be seen from the shore and there are many boat trips out into the bay and around Robberg Peninsula. Dolphins and a large seal colony can also be seen in the area. Encroaching development has slowly but surely been wiping out the natural wildlife and environmentalists have been fighting to keep the area at its natural best. Developers have been attempting to take advantage of the tourism potential of the area but the very wildlife that makes the area so special is dwindling in the process. Conservation is being taken very seriously and will hopefully help to preserve the idyllic nature of the Garden Route.

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Wildlife Africa

Author: Vikram Kumar

A lot of information about South Africa has already been written. That shouldn’t be surprising with the accommodation South Africa that one gets. And wildlife, the country’s main attraction, has proven throughout the years to be an effective invite for people to travel South Africa. And when we say travel South Africa, nothing comes as close to our minds as game drives South Africa or the famous safaris South Africa.

Like any other peak seasons, safaris South Africa boast in having accommodation establishments fully booked in advance. With accommodation South Africa smaller than the high-class hotels in the Western cities, you may want to be first in line to get reservations if you plan to enjoy some safaris South Africa with your buddies.

As with any travel plans, you have to consider the seasonal trends that will definitely play a vital part in your safaris South Africa itinerary. But with the weather in the region being variable sometimes you will be surprised to have thundershowers during the dry season or some dry days even during the rainy season. Nevertheless it is still important to come prepared.

Game drives South Africa and even game viewing during the rainy or wet season may prove to be a difficult task to enjoy with the grass at their full lengths and the wildlife being dispersed. This is due to the fact that rain will provide ample water supply. On the contrary, the dry season is the ideal time to go and have game drives South Africa. With the vegetation all thinned out and the trees barely with leaves, game viewing is perfect and more enjoyable.

Safaris South Africa, however, are most enjoyable and exciting during the months of May to August where winter gives way to the hot spring months of September to October. Tourists and locals alike will attest to the comfortable climate of the dry winter months from May to August to be perfect for safaris South Africa. Mild daytime temperatures and cool night temperatures will be ideal for all your safaris South Africa activities and even just a touch of relaxation and resting.

The wet season of November to March in most parts of South Africa can be utilized for game drives South Africa but the peak season for safaris South Africa will be during the dry winter months. Although the summer months are productive for your gaming adventure, the dry winter months witness game typically getting around water sources. During the summer months, Okavango Delta, a breeding area for the migratory birds, is paradise for all game lovers.

Website on South Africa such as BuyAmazonProducts attests to the seasonal changes and the various activities that should go with every season of South Africa. Zambia, for example, has some regions or places that become impassable during the rainy seasons due to road problems, while the summer months in the Western Cape area prove to be the best season to travel South Africa or for safaris South Africa.

Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/

WOMAN INJURED BY BUFFALO ON MOUNTAIN ZEBRA NATIONAL PARK HIKING TRAIL

21 October 2008

In an unusual incident, a woman was injured by a buffalo on the unguided Idwala Hiking Trail in Mountain Zebra National Park on Saturday morning, 18 October 2008.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Els and her family during this time of recovery”, said Park Manager, Lesley Ann Meyer.

Mrs. Marna Els from Graaff-Reinet was walking with her husband on the 10-kilometre long hiking trail on Saturday morning at about 09:00 when she was surprised by a buffalo bull which ran towards the couple. The buffalo ran out of the nearby bush and onto the hiking trail, pushing Mrs. Els to the side before running off into the bush. Mrs. Els sustained five broken ribs, a broken collar-bone and grazes from the impact. The incident occurred about four kilometres from the start of the trail.

Mr. Els then summoned help from the staff at the Park who dispatched Park rangers to the scene of the incident and called an ambulance from the nearby town of Cradock.

Injured woman’s condition stable

Park rangers transported the ambulance personnel onto the hiking trail so that they could stabilize Mrs. Els and then transport her back to the ambulance with the rangers’ 4×4 vehicle. Mrs. Els was later taken to a hospital in Port Elizabeth where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Her condition is now stable.

This is the first incident of an injury to a person by an animal that has occurred in the Mountain Zebra National Park, which was proclaimed in 1937.

“We urge visitors on the hiking trails to continue to remain vigilant at all times to ensure that they are aware of any potentially dangerous animals such as buffalo, black rhino and cheetah,” said Meyer.

The Park offers both the 10-kilometre and a three-day 25-km hiking trail for visitors. Both routes traverse sections of the Park where wildlife may be encountered and visitors are informed about the appropriate manner in which to react to any encounters.

Media Release issued by: South African National Parks

Source: http://www.wildlifesouthafrica.com

http://www.wildlifeafrica.co.za

Parched Kalahari, 3 nights serviced camping safari, exclusive camp site in Nxai National Park in Botswana

The Wilderness Safaris Collection

THE PARCHED KALAHARI
An Adventurer Exploration – 3 nights / 4 days
Tour Direction – Maun to Nxai Pan to Maun
S
erviced camping an exclusive campsite in Nxai Pan National Park

  • Safari bathrooms: At Nxai Pan there are 2 bucket shower “bathrooms” and 2 short-drop toilet enclosures per 8 guests.

  • Exclusive experience: To ensure as much privacy and exclusivity as possible, the Explorations camp at Nxai Pan is private and for the use of Adventurer Exploration guests only.

  • Routes: The route is specifically designed to provide guests with a unique Kalahari Desert experience combined with the famous Baine’s Baobabs on the edge of one of the Makgadikgadi Pans as an additional highlight.

  • Transfers: As no airstrips are in the remote Nxai Pan region, transfers are by road on comfortable tar and 4 x 4 tracks. The duration of our road transfer to Nxai Pan and back to Maun is between 4 – 5 hours and travels through small villages and through Nxai Pan National Park.


ITINERARY

Days 1, 2 & 3:  Nxai Pan, Nxai Pan National Park

Upon arrival in Maun and once all guests are assembled, we depart overland to our pre-erected private Adventurer campsite in the Nxai Pan National Park.

The Kalahari Desert pans around Nxai Pan are fossilised and covered with short nutritious grasses and stunted acacia trees, creating wildlife-rich areas surrounded by vegetated dune savannahs. Extensive game drives explore the surrounding pans, with an excellent chance of seeing spectacular dry-season predator-and-prey interaction at the waterholes. Possible game sightings include gemsbok (oryx), springbok, even the elusive black-maned lion and a range of other different uniquely adapted wildlife not often seen in the savannah regions found in northern Botswana.

Close by is the famous Baine’s Baobabs tree island, a series of enormous old baobab trees on the edge of the shimmering white Kudiakam saltpan. These trees were painted by Thomas Baines on his exploratory expedition in the late 19th century.

Day 4: Road transfer to Maun

After an early breakfast, we travel by road back to Maun, arriving in time to bid farewell and board your departing flight.
PRICE
ON REQUEST

DEPARTURE DATES 2009 BOKING FORM



These are only sample itineraries.
Please
CONTACT US for a more personalized itinerary
Back to Wilderness Safaris fly in Packages

  • PACKAGE PRICES INCLUDE
    Included is accommodation on a per person sharing basis, all meals from lunch on Day 1 to the end of the scheduled safari, a reasonable amount of soft drinks, wine and beer at meal times, national park fees, activities, guided tour of the Victoria Falls and all internal charters on a seat rate basis.

  • PACKAGE PRICE EXCLUDES
    Excluded are flights (other than specified in the detailed safari itinerary), visas, compulsory insurance, all relevant entry and departure government taxes, all personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.), gratuities, optional extra activities and all travel arrangements before or after the safari

  • We will gladly arrange tailor-made departures, subject to the availability of space.

  • Each departure is guaranteed for a minimum of 2 confirmed guests and operates with a maximum of 8 guests per safari.

  • Please note that all scheduled Exploration safaris operate with a minimum of two guests. Should all other bookings on an Exploration cancel or that there is only a single guest booked, we will convert the booking to an FIT package, which is in all likelihood subject to a higher price.

Read Further:

South Africa on Safari with Wildlife Africa Safaris


BEST OF SOUTH AFRICA TOUR
Booking Code W/A SA16
Start Johannesburg OR Cape Town International Airports
13 Days / 12 Nights Tour of South Africa
DAY ONE:
You are met at Johannesburg International Airport by a Wildlife Africa representative who will transfer you by road to Sun City Complex for 2 nights, bed & breakfast basis

DAY THREE:
Around 08H00 AM you are picked up at Sun City and transferred to the Federal Air Lounge (Johannesburg International Airport). Depart at 11H30 on a direct charter flight to Ngala private Game Reserve
Upon arrival you are met and transferred to the camp of your choice at Ngala Game Reserve.
Spend two nights including Three meals a day, teas and coffees, two game drives in open land rovers, refreshments on game drives, Nature Walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers, Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance, Laundry, Soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers.

DAY FIVE
After the morning game drive followed by breakfast, air transfer to Phinda private game reserve arriving there at lunch time.
Spend 2 nights at the lodge of your choice at Phinda  including Three meals a day, teas and coffees, two game drives in open land rovers, refreshments on game drives, Nature Walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers, Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance, Laundry, Soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers.

DAY SEVEN:
After the morning game drive followed by breakfast, you will be transferred by road to Zimbali Lodge
Two nights on a standard room, bed & breakfast basis.
DAY EIGHT
Today you will join a half day guided tour of Durban.
DAY NINE:
Road transfer to Durban Airport in time for your scheduled flight to Cape Town. On arrival you are met by a Wildlife Africa representative and transferred to the hotel of your choice in Cape Town.
Four nights in Cape Town, bed & breakfast basis.
DAY TEN
Today you will be picked up for a Full day tour of the winelands.
DAY ELEVEN
Today you will be picked up for a full day tour of the Peninsula
DAY TWELVE
Day at Leisure
DAY THIRTEEN
Transfer to Cape Town Airport where our services end.
PRICE ON REQUEST

Source: Wild Life Africa

The World’s Strangest Animals

The weird world of narwals, nudibranchs, and aye-ayes—and how to see these creatures in the wild.

From June 2008

By Sarah Gold

While hiking through the flat savannah lands of western Brazil, you emerge from some shade trees and suddenly find yourself just yards away from the most outlandish creature you’ve ever seen. Lumbering forward on its front knuckles, its monstrous bushy tail sweeping the ground, the animal swings its long, bottle-shaped head from side to side. As you watch, it scratches open a termite mound, roots around with its snout, and then propels a two-foot-long tongue to flick up insects.

That’s when you realize: none of your nature TV shows or YouTube searches have adequately prepared you for this moment. Some animals, like this giant anteater, are so strange they have to be seen to be believed.

These days, it’s possible to encounter all kinds of exotic creatures without ever leaving home: Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel run endless repeats of Shark Week and Meerkat Manor; zoos have round-the-clock panda-cams and baby-rhino-cams; and web sites let armchair naturalists download the sounds of rare animals (croaking leopard frogs, bellowing polar bears) as cell-phone ringtones.

With all these virtual animal adventures just a click away, it’s easy to forget the value of actual face-to-face wildlife encounters. After all, tracking down wild animals—especially really unusual ones—can be time-consuming, difficult, expensive…is it really worth the trouble?

Absolutely, says Greg Greer, the staff naturalist for adventure-tour outfitter International Expeditions. As a guide for wildlife expeditions all over the globe—including western Brazil—he’s seen the reactions people have when they first come face-to-snout with creatures like the giant anteater.

“Their jaws just drop,” Greer says of his tour participants. “No matter how much people think they know about these animals, they’re always blown away by seeing them for real. They are just way, way more bizarre in person.”

Like the anteater, some creatures are unique in ways that don’t really come through onscreen. Proboscis monkeys, for instance, look plenty strange in photos—but nothing compares to the all-sensory experience of having them leap among trees right over your head, shaking branches and snorking through their huge Groucho noses. Other animals move so slowly that they’d never make for scintillating video—yet scuba divers who happen upon psychedelically colored nudibranchs (sea slugs) can use up half a tank of air just hovering over them as they flutter across corals and sponges. Safari trekkers lucky enough to spot a three-horned Jackson’s chameleon may not be rewarded with much action, either; the prehistoric-looking lizards’ movements are almost exasperatingly slow. But being able to closely inspect the chameleon’s long spiraling tail and crayon-hued scales, and look it right in its independently rotating eyes, is gift enough.

There’s also something singular about seeing rare animals where they belong—in their native habitats, going about their ordinary business (which can be much different than their behavior on camera or in captivity). Since many of the world’s most unusual creatures are also endangered, encountering them in the wild can inspire a new sense of awe—even reverence.

“People instinctively whisper in the wild,” says Dennis Pinto, managing director of Micato Safaris (which leads group treks to remote locations in Africa). “They don’t want to disturb the moment. It’s more than just seeing the animals—it’s being a part of their world.”

In that world, perhaps, it’s us—humans—who are truly strange.

Source: TravelandLeisure

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