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A Good Life is a Wild Life

Newsletter - March 2012

It’s the beginning of a new year and with it comes resolve and determination to do all those things we’ve been meaning to do forever. Amongst the oft-broken, more predictable resolutions of getting fitter, quitting smoking, eating more healthily and changing careers, comes the dreamier aspirations; the lifelong ambitions we all put on our bucket list and yearn to do… one day.

It’s time to shake off the reasons not to follow our dreams and do something brave and adventurous, non-conformist, something that will widen our horizons and strengthen our spirits! Whatever it is, it could be life-changing, something that connects us to the world in a deep and sacred way.

Of course, you’ll find all of this and more – on an African Safari. Why not make it your resolution to live the dream, change your life, and go wild?

We have plenty of exciting ideas for you to ensure that a dream safari goes to the top of your list! Check out our Wish List Must-See in this issue, plus a great itinerary that goes with it!

New Zealand News

Not the first thing you’d expect to read in an African safari newsletter! But John and Nicci are currently in New Zealand, visiting Nicci’s place of birth and her dear Mum. They are also looking at growing their newly-formed Guided New Zealand business in terms of expanding the accommodation and activities portfolio. Daughter, Briar, who manages the business from down under, will be joining them in April on an intensive tour of the best that New Zealand has to offer and making notes of all the exceptional places to see and stay and things to do. They’ll be meeting up with new and old friends throughout and can’t wait to pass on their ideas!

If a trip to New Zealand, a land that is breathtaking in its natural beauty and wonderfully welcoming, appeals to you, please contact Briar or visit the Guided New Zealand website for more information.

When John and Nicci looked at creating a Signature Safaris collection, they were cognisant of retaining the classic essence of a Stevens’ safari. And so they got hold of a few friends and the Stevens Signature Safaris, lead by people John knows and respects in some of Africa’s most exciting locations - and in wonderful world-class camps and lodges – were born.

These safaris are more affordable than a bespoke safari and we urge you to take a look! Some offer active adventure, others unusual ways of taking a safari – see what you think and get hold of Nicci or Laura - if you’re interested in finding out more! Click here to see the Signature Safaris selection.

On our Wish List this month… Kasanka National Park

Zambia’s Bat Blizzard

Africa’s greatest mammal migration is also one of the natural world’s best-kept secrets. If anyone mentions “migration” in Africa, most people hit on the incredible wildebeest migration. From the vast Serengeti plains to the hills of Kenya’s Masai Mara over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass.

It’s a spectacle well-worth seeing and many of the Stevens’ guests have been fortunate enough to witness a part of this endless pilgrimage. But not many have been privy to another migratory phenomenon which takes place in Kasanka National Park in Zambia every October through to December, when “straw-coloured fruit bats” descend in their millions to take advantage of the seasonal fruiting miombo woodland in Kasanka’s diverse eco-system…

At twilight, bats fill the sky in all directions for twenty solid minutes as they leave their roost site to feed though the night.

“Soon, the spectacle begins. Whirling and tumbling, the bats arrive in bewildering numbers, shrieking and colliding as they return to roost in the trees. The animals migrate here every November and December to gorge on Kasanka’s seasonal abundance of fruit, but no one knows where they’ve come from or where they go afterwards.” Kieran Dodds -

Kasanka is a beautiful wilderness of woodland, plains, lakes, rivers and swamps in the North of Zambia. It is an important conservation area with diverse flora and fauna including many endangered species and exceptional birdlife.

This area is stunningly beautiful, off the beaten track – and on our wish list! Add it to your wish list, too or take a look at the exciting Kapani Kasanka safari you could take that would incorporate Kasanka with Zambia’s wonderful Kapani Lodge.

Contact Nicci or Laura if you’d like to know more about seeing the largest aggregation of mammals in Africa, and probably the most concentrated in the world.

Book your 2012 or 2013 Safari now!

John Stevens Safaris has been getting many enquiries for family safaris, lately.

A fantastic idea for family or group safaris is environmental or community work. The Stevens’ friends at Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation or Bomani Safari Camp in Hwange National Park (ask us for information on this, if you are interested in rolling up your sleeves and helping out) would welcome your involvement and your family will benefit tremendously from the interaction and giving of time, energy and resources to the children and our precious wildlife and environments.

Re-fueling the pumps at Secheche pan at Hwange National Safari Park

Village visit - pounding millet for porridge

School visit - where are you from

Victoria Falls provides the ultimate adventure playground for older children with energy to burn – the many outdoor activities here include white water rafting and bungee jumping, “Flight of the Angels” helicopter rides and elephant rides.

From Victoria Falls, a great central hub, we are able to arrange for you to head off in any direction you choose, whether it’s in Zimbabwe – Mana Pools or Hwange National Park, perhaps – or nearby Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya or Tanzania.

Check out our Signature Safaris, too, for some great ideas, or visit our Destinations page.

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