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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Rhino poached in Serengeti

We regret to bring you this news. But perhaps the life and death of this one unfortunate rhino will be the tipping point in the decision to stop the Serengeti highway.

Last May, there was celebration as five black rhinos were translocated from South Africa to the Serengeti National Park. President Kikwete himself went to hail the occasion.

The rhinos were introduced into the very area where the new highway is to be carved out.

Now one of those rhinos is dead, the victim of poachers, it's horns likely on the way to a shop in China. The introduced rhinos were supposed to be carefully protected with satellite tracking and special guards. Donors are questioning whether to bring up the 32 other rhinos that are scheduled for relocation in the Serengeti.

The Frankfurt Zoological Society reported:

"Though the rhinos are all under 24-hour surveillance by the special Serengeti Rhino Protection Unit and were equipped with radio transmitters prior to their release, George has none-the-less fallen claim to the brutal actions of poachers - he was shot dead and found with his horns sawed off."

Read more on how to stop the Serengeti Highway

Lawsuit filed against highway

A Kenya organization, African Network for Animal Welfare, has filed an injunction to stop the Government of Tanzania from constructing the Serengeti highway. Lawyer Saitabao ole Kanchory of Kanchory & Co Advocates, representing ANAW, last Friday filed the case at the East African Community chambers in Arusha.

Besides an interim injunction, ANAW asks that the court declare the road unlawful under provisions of the East African Community Treaty.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


The vast migratory herds of zebra and wildebeest have now settled in the Southern Serengeti in the Ndutu region. The Serengeti Under Canvas camps are perfectly situated at Ndutu, within close range of the impressive herds. The enormous herds are overwhelming and the sightings have been unbelievable. Watch this space for more updates in the New Year! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season and an exciting new year ahead.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Namibia Elephant Population Dynamics Project

Update from the Wilderness Trust

During the past year, aerial photogrammetry of elephant herds was conducted at several localities in Namibia including Etosha, Kaudum, and the Kunene. These areas are characterised by differences in local rainfall, incidence of disease and human impact and can thus be used to adequately describe and compare the response of the elephants' regulating mechanisms to variation in rainfall and disease.

Where possible, post-mortem examinations were also carried out on elephant and cause of death noted. Results from these post-mortems together with photogrammetry-determined demographic data are under analysis. Preliminary data analyses show significant differences in recruitment in the respective areas.

The assessment of the age structure of elephants in Etosha was done by means of fixed-wing and helicopter surveys across the entire Park from west to east. This provided a sample size in excess of 600 elephants, which is representative of approximately 25% of the estimated number of elephants in Etosha. A helicopter survey of Kaudum and the Nyae Nyae Conservancy provided a sample size in excess of 1 500 elephants, which represents approximately 50% of the estimated elephant population in this area. A dedicated helicopter survey of elephant numbers and demography of the ephemeral river systems and adjacent areas of the Kunene Region provided a sample size in excess of 200 elephants.

If you would like to visit Namibia or donate to the Namibia Elephant Population Dynamics Project please contact one of our safari holiday experts on 01227 753181

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The FIFA World Cup tourism boom in South Africa

The successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup brought a tourism boom to South Africa between June and July of this year and gave SA new look on the international stage.

It is from this triumph that South Africa aspires to restore a reputation for being a tourist destination of choice to visitors across the globe.

According to results from a research study conducted by South African tourism there has been a radical change of mindset from tourists who visited the country during the tournament - most of whom were sceptical about the country before the World Cup because of what they had read in the media about the country before they arrived.

It is this swaying of minds, probably more than any of the other achievements, that will be the legacy of hosting the event. Just over 300,000 tourists visited South Africa to watch the FIFA World Cup, an impressive figure for the country especially during a time when South Africa's local authorities were worried that the global financial crisis might put off people from travelling to the country.

Amongst other things, the tourism report noted that most people who visited the tip of the Southern African continent are keen to come back and explore the country further as tourists.

Nine cities hosted the finals in South Africa, but out of those, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban were the most popular spots for tourists. Johannesburg is the business hub of South Africa, while Cape Town and Durban remain prime tourist destinations.

Approximately 90 per cent of tourists who attended the 2010 FIFA World Cup mentioned that they would consider visiting South Africa again in the future and nearly all were willing to recommend the country to their friends and relatives.

According to the report, a total of 309,554 foreign tourists arrived in South Africa for the primary purpose of attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup between June and July and those tourists spent about R3,64 billion during their stay.

The study also revealed that:

1. The average person who visited the country during the event spent just over ten nights in South Africa. There were a number of issues contributing to time spent in the country. Some fans returned home after their teams were eliminated and some arrived in South Africa during the event following the success of their teams.

2.Out of the places fans visited, Gauteng (Johannesburg, Pretoria), Western Cape (Cape Town) and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) were the most visited provinces.

3.Shopping and enjoying nightlife were the two most common activities which tourists engaged in, apart from watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

3. The total awareness of South Africa as a leisure destination increased by nine per cent after the FIFA World Cup.

4.Tourists also found their experience in the country much better than they expected before arriving.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup did help improve the negative perceptions South Africa has on safety and security issues and as a value-for-money destination.

Even though the tournament was held in winter, the Fan Parks were a popular choice for many supporters. The most visited Fan Parks were also in Gauteng , KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape.

About five per cent of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tourists indicated that they visited other African countries during their trip to South Africa

In general, more than two-thirds of the tourists who attended the event perceived South Africa as a great host, and more than half who had attended previous FIFA World Cups felt that South Africa was a better host than the countries that hosted the event in the past.

Writen by ATTA

If you would like to visit South Africa please contact our Safari Holiday experts.

Botswana Feature

Vast conservation areas, abundant wildlife of all shapes and sizes, and luxury camps and lodges are just some of the things that make Botswana the ideal destination for a safari holiday, says Brian Jackman.

Early morning in Deception Valley, the brief desert rains are at an end but the sweet valley grasses are still green enough to attract large herds of antelope. Most noticeable are the gemsbok, handsome beasts with faces like African tribal masks, and I watch entranced as a herd canters past – until something catches my eye.

A lion is standing at the edge of the plain, his shaggy head raised above the grasses, and at once it’s clear he isn’t just any lion. This is a full-on Kalahari male in all his glory, and probably the finest lion I’ve ever seen. (read full article)

Recommended by the BBC

Please see the link below for our recent feature in BBC Wildlife Magazine within their eco-friendly wildlife travel section.

BBC Wildlife Magazine

If you would like further information on wildlife safaris please follow the link or call 01227 753181 to speak to one of our safari holiday experts.

Special Offer

Save an extra 15% at Sand Rivers in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania.

Book before 31st Jan 2011.

Call: 01227 753181 or follow the link: http://www.puresafari.co.uk/Safari/Hotels/Sand-Rivers

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Governors Camp Game Report

Govenors Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.

The early part of the month was very dry as the rains came a little later than expected and the only grass of any substance in the immediate vicinity was around the Marsh. This was where the elephant families were spending most of their time. As the grass in many places has been eaten down to stubble length the elephants have taken to getting most of their nutrition from trees. This is obvious in their dung (which is very dark due to the high tannin level in trees - their dung is usually light in colour when they eat lots of grass) and the state of some of the trees in the area. Elephants are not tidy eaters! Our Masai walking guide is very upset about this as the giraffes' food source is being disturbed. Giraffes are highly revered by the Masai!

Despite the lack of rain early in the month, there are still many zebra and wildebeest around. River crossings were still being seen at the end of the month. We think that their extended stay is due to good rains earlier in the year.

Towards the middle of the month we had good, consistent rain bringing a profusion of green growth. Suddenly everything seemed pregnant, with zebra fit to burst and lots of animal mothers walking with difficulty due to the extra weight they were carrying. First the topi calves arrived, skittering around and eventually taking off at full speed in all four directions of the compass at once. Then came the impala. It was a sad part of reality for guests to watch two black-backed jackals taking a three day old impala kid one morning. In the walking area two giraffe calves were born in quick succession, both of their feathery sets of horns proclaiming their innocence. At the moment the Mara seems like a nursery!

The five males of the Marsh Pride of lions are still finding easy pickings between Lake Nakuru and Rhino Ridge while the three sisters were seen mating with two males near Ol Duruki. The Paradise Pride has been spending most of their time near the Serena Crossing taking advantage of the late traffic of wildebeest and zebra in the area. Notch, five other males, six females and ten cubs of eleven months old were all seen together in this area on a wildebeest kill near the end of the month. Interestingly, there has been a major take-over of the Acacia Pride (in the walking area). Two big males (possibly who followed the migration) fought off the three original males and sadly killed eleven of the prides' cubs. These are two of the biggest lions we have ever seen!

Rhino sightings have been really good over the last two months, with one rhino being seen almost once a week. A big male was visible for about an hour around the Little Governors Marsh in the middle of the month and there was another sighted between Il Moran and Governors Camp towards the end of the month.

The resident female leopard of our area was seen regularly this month. In the walking area there is a particular favourite tree that a big male leopard likes to use. It is exciting to think that when guests are having breakfast in the walking area, they are very possibly no more than 300m from a slumbering leopard!

The female cheetah and her cub, in very close proximity to the three brothers, were seen around our airstrip recently. Maybe we'll have some more small cubs soon!

All in all the Mara is "greening up" beautifully. There is a profusion of youngsters, fresh grass for them to eat and, on the harsher side of life, a huge amount of food for the predators to eat. Many of the Eurasian migrants have returned, making birding a pleasure. The ever cycling seasons are revolving as they should and we are continuing to show our guests the wonders of the wild.

We hope to share the magic of our corner of the Mara with you sometime soon.

To make a booking at Governors Camp please contact our safari holiday experts on 01227 753181

Client Feedback

hi susie.

just wanted to drop you a mail to thankyou for aranging such an amazing holiday for us to the selous and zanzibar. everything ran like clockwork and it didn't rain on us at all!

thanks again, hope you have a great christmas.

james and kym.