Elephant News from Konkamoya Lodge, Kafue, Zambia
After pangolins, elephants are the most poached animals in Africa. Poachers kill one African elephant, on average, every 15 minutes. According to the Great Elephant Census 2017 (GEC) (www.greatelephantcensus.com), there are now 352,271 African savanna elephants in 18 countries.
The population decreased 30% in 7 years. In Zambia the GEC recorded 21,758 elephants, with a population declines in many regions, a stable population in the Luangwa ecosystem and, bucking the general trend, an increase of 3% in the Kafue ecosystem over the past 10 years, now with more than 8 thousand individuals.
This is encouraging for Kafue, but we cannot afford to be complacent and need to continue fighting poaching, conserving elephant habitats, and mitigating human-elephant conflict. Sustainable tourism can play a key role in this scenario, too.
“After pangolins, elephants are the most poached animals in Africa. ”
In 2007 the southern Kafue National Park (KNP) established the Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP) with critical funding from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, with a mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned elephants back into the wild. Today the EOP is part of a conservation initiative developed and operated by Game Rangers International, a Zambian NGO.
Elephant calves can become orphaned due to illegal poaching activities, human-elephant conflict and natural abandonment. With a growing number of orphaned elephants needing to be rescued, the EOP now has two facilities: the Elephant Nursery near Lilayi Lodge, 12km south of Lusaka, where the youngest elephants are cared for, and the Kafue Release Facility, located in the Southern Kafue National Park less than 30 minutes’ drive from Konkamoya Lodge. There are currently 12 young elephants at the release facility, from 3 to 11 years old, being cared for as they are prepared for release into the wild.
Each day, at both facilities, visitors can get close to the elephants behind a discrete viewing wall during feed time. The wall is necessary as it’s important to limit human contact for a safer future for these young elephants. Visiting the facilities is not only a treat but a way to help the EOP, which is 100% donor funded. Donations enable them to continue their work and there is no stronger symbol of hope against poaching activities and illegal ivory trading than a little elephant orphan rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
In addition to this, guests at Lilayi Lodge can take part in a behind-the-scenes tour at the nursery, with walks into the bush to view the elephants in their natural environment. Those at Konkamoya can also watch elephants from the lodge, as they graze the bush in front of the lapa and enjoy their mud baths along the lake shore by the tents.
A big ‘thank you’ to our colleagues at Konkamoya Lodge for this heartening story. You can play your part by staying at Konkamoya and visiting the EPO Release Facility. Use this link for more information about Konkamoya lodge and contact to start arranging your holiday
Food, for most people, is an important aspect of any holiday, whether it’s savouring the finest gourmet fare, enjoying an al fresco picnic, stocking up on carbs for the next part of your trek or sharing time with fellow diners. And as reading about food can be almost as satisfying as eating, here’s a little appetiser made up of some of the culinary gems from the Tribes firmament. Enjoy!
Sitting at an elegant dining table set with gleaming cutlery, fine bone china plates and top quality crystal glassware is the scene for a very special meal indeed. You will want to savour each mouthful and make the moment last. Yes, this is the elite world of fine dining.
Here’s a pick of some select dining venues we know to tempt you:
The alluring aroma of the barbecue wafts towards you on the breeze and sets your taste buds a-tingling. The simplicity of grilling food over flames is one of its charms. There’s nothing fancy or frilly about a BBQ, just good, old fashioned, full-flavoured food.
By the beach
Sitting by the sea, enjoying the cooling breeze has to be one of the most picturesque settings for a meal. Whether it’s a casual lunch by the beach bar, dinner by lamplight, or romantic meal a deux perched on a terrace above the ocean, the blend of stunning location and delicious food is intoxicating.
There are times when we simply need food as fuel. If you’re trekking in the Andes, hiking through Bhutan’s valleys and rhododendron fields, or climbing Kilimanjaro, you need energy. Loading up on carbohydrates needn’t be a chore. Experienced cooks know just how to inject flavour into nutritious food, supplying all the energy you need.
Perfect picnics and sensational snacks
The place may be an oasis in the Sahara, a deserted island, a sheltered spot in a canyon or on a boat in the ocean, but the experience is the same: tasty morsels eaten in the open air as you look out over superb vistas. Simple delights and pleasures are often the best.
Company can make a meal. Chatting to fellow diners is a great way to make friends and an opportunity to swap stories. Some company though is extra-special.
I’ve picked out two that especially appeal to me.
I wonder if you agree.
Tea and cake
Afternoon tea, that most English of eating institutions has successfully been exported to many countries, so you may find yourself gazing at the spray of Victoria Falls, watching a grazing zebra or in a courtyard garden, as you reach for a cucumber sandwich (crust-free of course) and sip a cup of tea. Here’s my pick: Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe, Rovos Rail and Palacio Nazarenas in Peru.
If that hasn’t given you an appetite I don’t know what will! And any of these can be included in your next Tribes holiday, depending on where you choose to go. Let us know and we’ll see what feasts we can arrange!
Time for a little fun! We’ve come up a picture quiz all about EYES: big ones, small ones, yellow ones, black ones, staring ones and scary ones…
All you need to do is to look at them and see how many of these peepers you can eye-dentify. Name the animal and, if you’re feeling really clever, the country, too.
Clue – they can all be seen somewhere on the Tribes website.
There are no prizes up for grabs, just the kudos of knowing you got it right!
Here you go:
That’s your lot.
The best of luck and, most of all, have FUN!
Answers are shown below, but strictly no cheating!
Second row left to right:
Lilac breasted roller – Tanzania – Selous and Ruaha: Manze and Mdonya holiday
Frog – Costa Rica – Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday
Giant tortoise – Galapagos Islands – Quito and Galapagos holiday
Third row left to right:
Jaguar – Brazil – The Jaguar Safari
Mountain gorilla – Rwanda or Uganda – Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda experience
Leopard – Tanzania – Selous and Ruaha: Manze and Mdonya holiday
Kathmandu Monkey Temple – Nepal – Nepal holidays
If you haven’t yet you surely soon will fall under the spell of this charming tale with the new Disney film recently released. With an all-star cast and clever CGI effects, it promises to be a treat, and is sure to increase interest in its Indian setting.
Penned by Rudyard Kipling, the original books – there were two written in 1894 and 1895 respectively, were in fact collections of short stories or fables, of which Mowgli’s is the best known. Charting the adventures of the ‘man cub’ these tales introduce various jungle animals he encounters, friend and foe, who have now become so familiar. Baloo, Bagheera and Ka, and of course villainous Shere Khan, have long been favourites with children and adults alike and are due a new boost of popularity with the film’s release.
The setting is central India. This region is blessed with some of the country’s finest national parks where you can have your very own jungle book experience. Here’s a brief guide:
Kanha is widely considered to the inspiration for The Jungle Book, so you’ll be in Kipling country here! Tigers* are the main draw, so you should get to see Shere Khan, as you explore the dense sal forests by jeep. There are many other mammals and a great number of birds, so you’re assured of an excellent all-round wildlife experience.
Bandhavgarh was once a Maharajah’s private hunting reserve, but now the wildlife is protected and the only shooting permitted is photography. The landscape here is quite rugged, with steep valleys and forested hills overlooked by the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort. You probably won’t see King Louie amongst the ruins, but there are plenty of monkeys in the forest and a great chance of spotting tigers here as well.
Pench is a smaller park named after the river that flows through it which attracts large herds of spotted deer. The landscape here is more open than in Kanha and Bandhavgarh. This won’t stop you seeing plenty of tigers, for which Pench is famous, but in the grasslands around the park you can also encounter the Indian wolves who raised Mowgli in Kipling’s tale.
Satpura is a large and rugged park which sees fewer visitors than Kanha and Bandhavharh, but offers a great mixture of different wildlife activities. You can explore the park by jeep, canoe, on foot or even on the back of an elephant. Tigers are not as common here, but it is a great place to observe the sloth bears who served as an inspiration for The Jungle Book’s Baloo, plus blackbuck with their amazing spiralled horns, and birds.
Tadoba is less developed than the parks further north, but is home to one of the highest concentration of tigers in India. The terrain is dominated by steep hills and narrow gorges blanketed with thick forest. Tadoba Lake provides a permanent source of water and is a great place to see both crocodiles and water birds, and this is another park where you may catch sight of Baloo.
So next time you want to relive the thrills of The Jungle Book you just need to ask and we’ll make it happen for real.