Friday, 19 February 2010
Summer is a glorious time here in the Kalahari. The arrival of the season’s rains is unpredictable but always dramatic, as thunderstorms transform the desert into a lush green spectacle. This year, the summer calving has been excellent and wildebeest calves, impala lambs and warthog piglets are all discovering Tswalu’s vast savannahs.
We have also just seen our first Kalahari lion cubs of the new decade. On New Year’s Day, the tracks of a lone lioness were seen heading into the area known as Deception Valley. Shortly afterwards, we spotted three cubs for the very first time, exciting new members of our Northern pride.
Only a few weeks ago we opened the second phase of our housing project at Tswalu, completing an entire village which is now home to over 400 staff and family members. Every house has been designed on sound environmental principles. Planting of indigenous trees creates shade in summer but still allows the sun’s warmth in winter. All homes are fitted with solar heating, low energy lighting and water saving measures. This month, we plan another tree-planting day to celebrate the opening of our new crèche and adult literacy centre.
Tswalu Kalahari Luxury Private Game Reserve
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Karoo, Eastern Cape, South Africa
The hippo project was started 2 years ago when we located a dam in the area referred to as "Seekoei Gat". After further research, it was evident that hippo did once occur in the area, but had been forced out through hunting or agricultural development. We continually strive to re-introduce species which once occupied our area under strict conservation management principles to ensure a sustained natural eco system.
As an initial habitation and acclimatization process, they have been released into an enclosed area on the property and supplement fed until such time that they are settled and we are certain of their healthy condition; managed at all times in the best interests of conservation. Indications are that they are settling well, leaving the coolness of the dam late afternoon/early evening to feed – and certainly adding a new dimension to our guests game viewing experience.
Blaauwbosch Big Five Private Game Reserve
Monday, 15 February 2010
Serengeti, Northern Tanzania
The Singita Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund was profiled at the recent Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute Conference. Since the fund was established in 2002, wildlife numbers in the Singita Grumeti Reserves increased by 59%. Today it offers what has been rated as the ‘best wildlife, safari and ecotourism experience’ in East Africa. This is attributed to their law enforcement programme as well as securing habitat and resident wildlife populations.
Monday, 8 February 2010
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
The Bushcamp Company consists of 6 remote and beautiful camps in Zambia's South Luangwa Valley. Extensive developments will be undertaken in 2010, including an airstrip between Chindeni and Kapamba camps and 50 km of all weather roads. All camps will also undergo a soft refurbishment and will receive new vehicles as well as solar geysers, fridges and lights. Click here for a breakdown of the refurbishments and camp opening times. View their new and improved website - www.bushcampcompany.com
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Samburu, Northern Frontier, Kenya
Sasaab lodge in Kenya's Samburu region is supporting a project to assist the local Westgate warriors. The recent drought in 2009 put a great deal of pressure on wildlife, livestock and humans alike. The warriors of the area, whose primary role is to herd livestock, have greatly suffered as a result. A community project has been established to assist them in earning income from making and selling rungus (clubs), spears and (fly) whisks. Proceeds go directly to the warrior concerned.