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On Safari with John Stevens

Newsletter - June 2012

This exciting edition of On Safari with John Stevens tracks John’s forthcoming safaris, the wonderful countries and experiences his guests have to look forward to, and introduces you to a great friend and colleague, David Foot, just one of the special people who makes these safaris so unique and remarkable.

Forthcoming Adventures

On 10th June John left Harare for Victoria Falls to begin his first safari of the 2012 season. The season began on home turf with two family safaris in Zimbabwe; both itineraries included Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks and Victoria Falls, with one family extending their safari time to include a few days in the famous Abu Elephant Camp in Botswana’s Delta.

An excerpt from the Abu Camp website feature reads – “Impressive panoramic views, the likes of which only the Okavango Delta can boast, can be appreciated from all perspectives of the camp. As a guest of Abu Camp, you are invited to immerse yourself in the elephant herd and to get to know each one personally. Explore the fascinating environment of these great beasts and even sleep out under the stars overlooking the elephant boma. By the time you leave you will feel a special, emotional connection to the herd that is both humbling and rewarding.”

In early July, John meets the Waterman Family in Zambia and accompanies them into the Luangwa National Park and then down to the Lower Zambezi before he returns to Harare. The family will continue into the Okavango and spend time with our great friend and colleague, David Foot, on a canoe and mobile safari from the Selinda Spillway into the Okavango Delta.

Birthday Celebrations

For the first time in many years John will be at home for his birthday in mid-July. This year he shares it with a good friend and guest whose birthday is just a few days before John’s. We’re planning lunch under the trees with a jazz band to add to the cheery atmosphere. The “other John” joins us here in Harare for a few days before he and our John set off for a wonderfully long and varied safari through Zimbabwe, Botswana and finally Kenya.

The anticipated highlights of this trip include tracking rhino on the Malilangwe Conservancy in Zimbabwe’s south eastern lowveld, whilst based at the beautiful Pamushana Lodge; 5 days in Sarah and Milo’s camp – check it out here - with a magical night spent out under the stars; a mobile safari with Ralph Bousfield in the Okavango Delta; Zarafa Camp, which many of you will remember as Zibilianja, still in the same wonderful location; some time with Richard Bonham and Calvin Cottar - in the Chyulu Hills and Masai Mara, respectively, before time in one of our most favourite African camps, Sarara.

Safari Perfection

This fantastic safari with “the other John” takes John Stevens’ schedule to late August, a time in southern Africa when the bush has dried out quite a bit (no rain since April and not expected until November) and the daily temperatures are steadily rising. Many consider this the perfect safari month in this part of the world.

In September and October, John will be back on safari in Zimbabwe. It’s during this time that David Foot, mentioned earlier, will be conducting one of John Stevens’ Signature Safaris in Botswana – please have a look at this wonderfully different journey…

This 11-night safari with David Foot is about as adventurous as it gets in Botswana. Minimal time is spent in a safari vehicle but instead you’ll be exploring some of the wilder areas of Botswana by canoe, boat, on foot and on horseback.

Please contact Nicci or Laura today if this safari interests you, as there are still a few places left.

David Foot Feature

David was born and raised in Malawi. After being educated in the UK, he bought an old Bedford truck and headed back to Africa, spending eight months reacquainting himself with Africa’s wonders.

During this trip he was fortunate enough to meet some of Africa’s great safari guides and started his own safari career first in the Kafue National Park in western Zambia before moving to train under the legendary Rob Fynn and Jeff Stutchbury in the Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks in Zimbabwe. From there he continued his passion for being out on foot with the wildlife by moving to the Luangwa Valley in Zambia to join Robin Pope as Robin started up his own safari company.
Finally, an opportunity arose to return home to Malawi and in 1989 David set up his own safari company, leading safaris through Malawi and Zambia until he found his spiritual home in the Nyika National Park in the remote north of Malawi. With his wife, Robyn, he followed another of his passions and set up a highly successful horse safari business, as well as opening the renowned Chelinda Lodge. For 15 years they developed the business, whilst raising their two small children on this wild montane plateau.
In 2008, the Foot family (affectionately known as The Feet!) moved to Botswana where they now live overlooking the beautiful Thamalakane River just outside the safari town of Maun. From here they continue their passion with horses, running safaris on horseback into the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Okavango Delta, as well as leading private safaris through the wild areas of this country. For David, the wilder and more adventurous the safari the better, whether it is on horseback, by canoe or on foot. His family joins him when they can and his children make great company for those guests who want to bring their own children on safari.

Thomas continues to thrive! You can help him keep it up.

The Thomas Ngoshi Magwenzi Education Fund has been running successfully since 2008, when Thomas began his secondary education at Lomagundi College not far from Harare.

Thomas has thrived under the promise of a secure future and we have many people to thank for supporting him over the years. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Thomas is the son of our beloved Tabby Ngoshi, who passed away in 2007. Tabby was a part of our family and business for many years in different capacities – many of you will remember her well - and when she died, a group of kind sponsors undertook to ensure that her son completed his education and we are so grateful to them.

Sadly, the momentum has slowed down significantly and we need to ensure that the funds keep coming until the end of 2014. If you are interested in helping out or would like to continue honouring a pledge previously made, please contact Nicci and we can discuss it further.

With grateful thanks!

Pack for a Purpose

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