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John's Recollections
Moving in on the Migration

As comfortable and luxurious as many of our favourite camps and lodges are, the real reason to go on a safari is for the wildlife. But as safari travel has become more abundant, so has access to game, and many guides find themselves amongst mobs of vehicles and visitors all after the same experience.

We’d rather be in amongst a mob of migrating wildebeest – which is exactly where John and his guests found themselves in the Masai Mara in September.



“I mentioned to my guests that there was a chance that the wildebeest were coming, they were crossing the Sand River in the southern part of the Masai Mara near the Tanzanian border… I know how much guests look forward to seeing the incredible migration, truly a wonderful sight, so I promised them that the next day we’d just go for it, we’d go out all day and see if we could find the wildebeest.”

After seeing many great sights, including cheetah, leopard and lion, John and his guests finally spotted the first early arrivals of wildebeest on the horizon. Despite the temptation to stay with the lion – and their subsequent kill – they got what they came for, lunch on the plains amongst the grunting wildebeest. A busy, bustling mob - but just the way we all like it!

For more information on the migration: www.kenyatravelideas.com/wildebeest-migration.html

Sighting of a lifetime

The southern hemisphere in summer is a time of rich new colour, an explosion of new life and many birds are to be seen. Dramatic skies and seasonal abundance provides ideal photo opportunities for many of our guests. But no-one was prepared for this amazing sighting.



John tells the story of the Sigg family, a Swiss couple and their two young sons who joined him in the Okavango Delta in late July this year. At this time, the Delta’s water levels are high and the birdlife spectacular. “Our road had become a small river – the vehicle took us along our watery road and we were enjoying all the birds... kingfishers plopping into the water next to us, pelicans flying overhead, yellow-billed storks... I could sense that the two young lads, though, had had enough of birds and wanted to see something else. So I told them to keep their eyes open for leopard…”

Not even a minute later, and we all know John is a great conjurer of wildlife sightings – there was a leopard just ahead of them, sprawled across a branch hanging over the road right in front of them. A beautiful golden creature, languid and fluid, powerful and a completely awesome sight, which they all enjoyed for 21/2 hours.



The next day, John and the Sigg party spotted what must have been this leopard’s sister, who had her eye on a herd of impala. “She was behind a termite mound and was snarling, getting a bit irritated with the impala, rolling on her back, looking right at us, incredible. I don’t know what heaven is like – I can imagine some pretty beautiful places… but, to me, this was heaven. The best of the best.”




Zimbabwe’s in the Game

Zimbabwe’s return to test cricket heralds a new faith in the country and its sporting prowess, with support from sponsors and players showing their full-hearted involvement. It’s a small but promising sign of positive change and one that highlights Zimbabwe’s inherent passion and commitment to getting the country back into the international arena – in more ways than one.

Tourism is also enjoying a revival in Zimbabwe. 2.3 million foreigners came to Zimbabwe in 2010, which represents an increase of 15% on the previous year. A recent visit to Victoria Falls, a thriving and world-famous attraction, made us proud to be Zimbabweans and happy to encourage more people to visit our amazing country.



Living on the Edge

In August, Nicci and Laura, her erstwhile marketing consultant and assistant, set off to the Victoria Falls for an educational tour of this buzzing international tourist destination. And, in true intrepid style, this dynamic duo set about experiencing everything our clients get to do, from staying in the hotels and lodges (all the while checking up on quality, comfort, service, facilities, etc), to perching precariously on the lip of the roaring curtain of water that is the Victoria Falls from the Zambian side! We drew the line at leaping across the gorge, tied to nothing but a rope, but we know that many of our clients, braver than us, will be dying to experience everything they can in the Adventure Capital of Africa!



Zimbabwean wins prestigious David Shepherd Wildlife Artist Award



We feel immensely privileged to introduce David Filer to you, a young Zimbabwean who has the world buzzing about his breathtaking art.

David was born in Zimbabwe in 1986 and has a degree in Information Design, though it is his love for animals and drawing that have combined to create a career in fine art. David works solely in graphite pencil and each detail is painstakingly captured in startling black and white, laying bare the essence of each of his subjects in basic shades.

From the furious glint in a hyena’s gaze to the tiny flecks of dirt on his whiskers, David Filer’s unique and often dramatic work is now being collected around the world.

David, whose work has been short-listed for the last two years, was presented with the prestigious 2011 Wildlife Artist of the Year award at London’s Mall Galleries on 6th June. Along with the title, Filer was presented with prize money for his work ‘Forever and Every Amen’ a drawing that the judges found universally emotive.

Filer, who lives and works in Zimbabwe, was in London to collect his prize from wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd CBE and zoologist.

"Winning this award is a real validation of my work. It means so much to me to be recognised and to win this title, especially against such fantastic competition. It is very special," said David.


View more image of David's work in our Community section.
Or visit David's website at www.davidfilerart.com

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