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Tough times – Solace in nature
Newsletter / 15 Apr 2020

Tough times – Solace in nature

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“In times of crisis, the natural world is a source of both joy and solace”

Sir David Attenborough (The Big Issue magazine)

Indeed, times are tough for everyone right now. Some have experienced loss, most have been dealt a severe blow in business and all of us have been unsettled by these uncertain times. Our thoughts reach out to you and we hope that you and your families are well despite everything.

As at 7th April, Zambia only has 39 confirmed cases of Coronavirus on record, with 1 death and 7 recovered. To date the effects seem to be very mild compared to other countries and we remain hopeful that there is basis to the theory that the virus does not thrive in warmer, equatorial climates and that our curve will be a flat one.

Despite this, the Zambian Government has been very proactive in putting in place the usual measures to restrict the contagion.

Although we are glad for the seemingly low impact to our country’s health, we are extremely concerned about Zambia’s economy and tourism sector. At Remote Africa Safaris, we are obviously experiencing many postponements and some cancellations due to global lockdowns, travel restrictions and suspension of flights. This has put huge pressure on our cashflow, compounded by the fact that we’re not sure when things will improve. Supporting 100 staff through the year is going to be a challenge. Most of these employees are from the local area and are the breadwinners of their families, meaning at least another 550 people are relying on them to survive.

Another tough aspect of dwindling guest numbers this year is that a portion of each bednight that we receive is contributed towards the conservation projects in both the North and South Luangwa National Parks as well as our own community programme, the Tafika Fund.

The conservation programmes are vital to looking after the beautiful parks and wildlife, and our Tafika Fund supports a number of educational and community upliftment initiatives. These include: 5 teacher salaries in two different schools in the Mwanya area, 1 clinical assistant salary for Mkasanga Health Clinic, fully inclusive scholarships for 12 pupils and 9 students who otherwise could not afford to further their education. Although schools are currently closed, we anticipate their return to studies in the next month or two. Our annual Football for Wildlife league, which includes 16 teams and 8 villages, will be cancelled. All players and participants would ordinarily receive match fees. The survival of these initiatives and projects are consequently under threat.

Although it’s easy to highlight all of the issues with the current situation we will continue to follow David Attenborough’s advice and take solace in the natural world and all its immeasurable gifts and beauty.

We wish the same for you…

Please continue to follow our social media channels and take a look at our website blog page which has been updated with some amazing game viewing highlights from 2019. We will keep you up to date with the wonders of the Luangwa when we get back into the bush this month – please do let us know if there is anything in particular that you would like to see, or any questions that you would like answered by any of the guides or staff.
We are also very encouraged by the fact that many of our trusted agents are supporting us with deposits for postponed bookings and this is key to helping us get through these difficult times. If you are unable to travel this year, please do consider postponing your stay rather than cancelling. This is a huge help and we’d like to thank everyone who has already done so! 
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