As you all know the year started with an unexpected twist with the Coronavirus pandemic taking the world by storm. Although we’re in uncharted waters dealing with the Covid-19, and of course need to take all necessary precautions against this threat, we urge you not to snuff out your Zambian travel dreams just yet. Those trips are months away and the situation is extremely dynamic. We’re prepared to be as flexible as possible to ensure that we can welcome you back and you can still sip that G n’ T on the banks of the Luangwa this year.
We’re happy to share that Zambia is virus free (WHO – 16Mar2020 situation report). On the 14th of March, Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr Chitalu Chilufya released a press statement on control measures to ensure the country takes adequate precautions against the virus. Currently, a 14 day self-quarantine for travellers from HIGH risk areas is required. We will keep you posted as this changes.
To take your mind off things, we’d like to share some news from the Luangwa…
The Emerald Season
The rain has been falling hard and heavy over the Luangwa Valley this Emerald season. A few people even asked if we’re concerned about more drought in Zambia this year – down in the Luangwa, that’s the last thing on our minds with the river overflowing its banks.
The massive rains are great for the wildlife but it has also meant that many crops have been drowned out. Despite some devastation, many of the people in the Mwanya area still had a decent harvest and are just battling to dry out the maize in the wet conditions.
With the excessive rain, there has been some erosion at Takwela Camp so we will be doing a bit of rebuilding there, along with adding two new chalets. Takwela will accommodate up to 8 people this year with two guides and vehicles available for a mix of activities. Alex will continue to hold the fort at Takwela this season.
Our Mircrolight May special is on offer again this year! For those wanting to soar with the bateleurs and skim over huge herds of buffalo making their way down to the Luangwa river for a drink – visit us at Tafika in May for 4 nights or more.
Yellow-billed stork colony
Another big May and June highlight is the Yellow-billed stork colony in the Nsefu sector near Tafika Camp. Due to high water levels, less roads are open in May leaving this spectacle pretty much exclusively available to Tafika guests. Experiencing this kind of breeding colony and all the wildlife activity that surrounds it, is just amazing!
Sole use of Chikoko Trails
Truly exclusive experiences are getting harder to find so this year we’d like to offer the opportunity for families and groups to enjoy a small bush camp all to themselves. For both Chikoko Tree and Crocodile River Camps (which normally sleep 6) we will offer exclusive use of the camp for a single booking of 4 or more people, if requested.
For existing bookings, we will ensure the same where available.
Shoebill Island Camp
We’re excited to promote an itinerary which combines Remote Africa camps and Shoebill Island Camp in Bangweulu Swamps this year. Visit three of Zambia’s great wilderness areas in one trip: South Luangwa, North Luangwa and Bangweulu Swamps.
African Parks are doing great work in the swamps and it’s one of the few reserves where you can encounter wildlife and community co-existing amicably. With the iconic Shoebill and endemic black lechwe, the Bangweulu Swamps is a must-see spectacle.
To make it even easier and more affordable to visit Shoebill Island Camp and access North Luangwa, we are offering some great deals on RASair:
- Seat rates on flights to Bangweulu Swamps for stays of 3 nights or more at any RAS camp
- One FREE FLIGHT to/from the North Luangwa for itineraries with Takwela or Mwaleshi Camp
RAS Family news
Nick and Jen got engaged over December and will be getting married at the end of the 2020 season at Tafika. As Jen was born in the Luangwa, it will be very special for them to tie the knot at their home, in the heart of the Valley.