A Good Year
Newsletter - December 2011
Were wrapping up 2011 in a bright, warm and wonderful way with our very best wishes for a happy holiday and new year, filled to the brim with joy and happiness and possibly an African safari!
For those of you we know personally and with whom we havent been in touch this year, were including some family news.
For those whom we havent had the pleasure of having on safari yet, please skip to our 2011 safari news we hope it will whet your appetite for a safari in the not too distant future.
John is tweeting! Dont fall off your seat
check out his regular tweets as he keeps us up-to-date with all the latest and greatest in our world with a little help from his friends. Become a #guidedafrica follower if you havent tried Twitter, yet, just remember - if John can do it, you can! Twitter is fun, quick and informative. We hope to keep you in the loop!
In 2012, were helping John set up a facebook page, especially so that his young safari friends can keep in touch, load up photos and news, and send messages.
Mid year, we welcomed Laura Davies to the Guided Safaris Africa team and built an office in the garden of our home. Laura comes from the advertising/marketing, world but has taken to putting safaris together like a duck to water and will be a terrific help to Nicci.
Enjoy our gift to you!
We are pleased to announce a small but exciting new addition to our website Wallpapers for your computer desktop. These are an ever-growing collection of stunning pictures taken by John and are available for you to download for free, so that you can have a reminder of Africa with you always. Enjoy!
We look forward to keeping in touch in 2012 and even more to the possibility of seeing you again soon even if youve been to Africa, weve got lots more exciting suggestions for you. Please contact Nicci firstname.lastname@example.org or Laura email@example.com if youd like to explore the options.
Briars announcement early in the year that she was expecting twins in November was always going to dominate 2011. Little did we know how much - nor what a bitter-sweet journey it would turn out to be. Joshua and Oscar were born 3 months prematurely on 7th August. Both healthy little boys who made a good start, so it was a devastating blow when Joshy died suddenly at 2 weeks old, after a brief struggle with a vicious gastric infection. Nicci flew to Melbourne where Briar and Dom live, just in time to meet this little angel and to help Briar and Dom in the weeks ahead. Oscar continued to do well and, as Christmas approaches, has been at home for 11 weeks; hes smiling, chatting, gurgling and doing all he should considering he really should only have been in the world for 8 weeks.
Nicci returned to Africa just before Christmas, tearing herself away, but also longing to return to the Zim family after 4 months away.
John finished his last safari of a busy season in late October. He has been at home since then, well looked after by his daughters in Niccis absence, although Sarah did comment that it was like having two husbands! Read more about Johns 2011 safaris.
Having completed her studies in Melbourne at the end of 2010, Jessica is now happily living and working in Harare. While working for an aeroplane charter company, she is looking out for interior design clients.
Sarah and Milo have completed their 2nd full safari season as mobile-tented safari operators in beautiful Mana Pools; theyre now back in Harare, repairing equipment and focusing on marketing do look at their new web site www.manapoolssafaricompany.com.
The Stevens family will celebrate Christmas and New Year at home this year. In early February, Nicci and John will be off to New Zealand again, via Melbourne, so that John can meet his new grandson. In New Zealand, theyll spend time with Niccis mother. Also during this time, theyll be visiting various people and properties, actively growing the Guided New Zealand portfolio and in preparation of our guests visiting this beautiful country.
2011 Safari News, by John Stevens
Nicci and I have both organised, and Ive accompanied, some wonderful safari groups this year, mostly families. Every safari had more than its share of highlights, too many to go into here, but I must share a few memorable moments with you
A huge branch split off a fig tree just behind camp, quickly attracting a group of elephant bulls that tucked into the fruity feast, chasing away any cheeky youngsters who dared to come near. We were sitting safely atop an anthill for a couple of hours, watching the drama unfold
We had great wildlife sightings and took some terrific wildlife shots, particularly of a leopard, in the Okavango Delta with the Siggs and their sons. (See Wallpapers)
Ellis extended family
We were treated to exciting sightings of leopard, hunting dog and lion in Mana Pools all before breakfast!
Heilbron extended family
We watched the migration, long extended lines of stampeding wildebeest, pouring into the southern Masai Mara from the Serengeti
then leopard, eight cheetah and 22 lion all before lunch in one day!
Mike Ross Group
Extreme temperatures of 90 degrees F plus - and wild dogs being chased by lions, with Mike Ross group in Mana Pools.
Memorable 70th birthday celebrations for Philip Stucken on the banks of the Zambezi River, shared by his lovely family.
Levy/Goldring/Friedman/ Wolansky Group
The beautiful sighting of a journey of giraffe, emerging from a thicket bathed in early morning light, legs splayed as they licked at the salt in the bleached soils.
And, finally, although I did not accompany Adrienne Waterfield and Caroline Beaumont, the Park, Crabtree and McNulty families in Kenya or Zambia, and the Meekers in Botswana, I enjoyed helping Nicci and Laura put these safari itineraries together.
Best wishes from John and Nicci