African Safari News & Accolades 2010
White Lions of The Timbavati, South Africa
In October 1975, two white lion cubs were born into a pride of lions in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. The lions were discovered by Chris McBride who went on to write a book in 1977 about the famous lions, “White Lions of The Timbavati” The prides territory then covered over most of what is today Kings Camp traversing area. Since then there were a few other white lions born in the Timbavati and immediate vicinity. The last white lion in the Timbavati disappeared in 1992, probably killed by another lion or lions.
White lions are not albino animals but a recessive gene carried by the normal tawny parent lions that produce this rare occurrence. This genetic mutation is the same as the “King Cheetah” which has been recorded in the wild. Why it is only prevalent in the Timbavati area and no where else is a mystery.
These two cubs sighted over the last few day are roughly about 9 months old at present. They look very healthy and their chances of survival increase daily as they get older.
BOTSWANA NEW VAT TAX
The Botswana Government has recently announced an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from the current 10% to 12% effective 1st April 2010.
The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre
The Centre, established in 1971, was known originally as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, but it has recently been renamed The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre as a tribute to the woman who has devoted her life to the survival of the cheetah species.
While the cheetah project was the base from which Ann launched her conservation ethic, it soon widened to include other endangered animal species, such as the African wild dog, brown hyaena, serval, suni antelope, and riverine rabbits. A 3-hour guided tour of the centre is offered daily, and recently a Cheetah Run has also been introduced (Tues, Thurs, Sat am only), where "Ambassador Cheetahs" race to achieve top speeds.
Camp Jabulani, Kapama Private Game Reserve South Africa
Located on the Kapama Private Game Reserve South Africa, Camp Jabulani is home to the Big Five and a myriad other animals and plants. The reserve incorporates the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Conceptualized to support a herd of 13 orphaned and abandoned elephants, this is an operation which promises a unique and completely interactive elephant safari. 6 ultra-luxurious suites flank a dry riverbed, and are utterly private retreats, including plunge pools, wooden deck, glass enclosed shower, massive stone bathtubs and a fireplace for chilly winter evenings.
Chimps of Eden
The world renowned Jane Goodall Institute has made this tranquil venue (15km from Nelspruit / Mpumalanga) its South African sanctuary and has committed itself to the rescue and care of chimpanzees in need of refuge. The goal of the Sanctuary is to rescue chimpanzees that have survived hunting ordeals but are still misplaced through the lucrative illegal pet trade to zoos, circus performers and medical research facilities. Visitors have a unique opportunity to see chimpanzees in semi-wild surroundings with normal social interaction and behavioral patterns under group members. Guided tours leave every 2nd hour from 10h00 until 14h00.
WILDERNESS SAFARIS AMONGST TOURISM FOR TOMORROW AWARD FINALISTS
Wilderness Safaris are thrilled and humbled to announce that Wilderness Safaris are finalists for a 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Award. Since 2003, the prestigious Awards recognize best practice in sustainable tourism in four different categories - Destination Stewardship, Conservation, Community Benefit and Global Tourism Business. Over 160 entries were received this year from over 45 countries.
Wilderness Safaris would also like to congratulate two of our partners who are also amongst the 12 finalists, namely the Botswana Tourism Board and Namibia's Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector (NASCO) that, apart from being strategic partners, collectively accounts for a strong southern African presence amongst the 12 finalists.
WILDERNESS SAFARIS TO GO PUBLIC
Conservation tourism pioneer Wilderness Safaris has launched a
public offer in Botswana and South Africa, to be followed by a primary listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange
and a simultaneous secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Africa Board.
The company said the exercise was a strategically significant step in its evolution, designed to enable it to take
full advantage of growth opportunities and to give the public an opportunity to participate in its future
Chief executive Andy Payne said the company aims to double both the number of guests hosted in the
business by 2015 and the present areas under influence, while continuously improving the operational
efficiencies of the business model.
“We recognise that achieving this aim will require greater access to capital markets, a broader
shareholder base and a simplified corporate structure. We also believe that our unique positioning, iconic
international brand and management’s long track record of financial and operational delivery present
investors with an attractive growth and performance platform,” he said.
Wilderness Safaris’ core philosophy is one of building sustainable conservation economies through responsible
tourism, which shares the benefits of tourism with local communities and ensures that pristine wilderness
areas are protected profitably.
The 26-year-old business is invested in 53 destinations and manages and markets a further 17 in seven
Southern African countries. It also operates specialist travel businesses in six countries as well as a fleet of 49
aircraft. It employs more than 2 700 people, most of whom come from remote rural communities. The
company achieved a revenue of BWP995.05 million (ZAR1 220.45 million) for the year to February 2009.
The public offer for 3 million ordinary shares is at a price of P4.00 in Botswana and R4.56 in South Africa and is
fully underwritten. Prior to the public offer the company placed 56 343 256 ordinary shares by way of a
private placement, also at a price of P4.00 per share.
KALAHARI PLAINS CAMP - 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY, Wilderness Safaris
The repositioned, cutting-edge Kalahari Plains Camp, within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, is now open, and is an outstanding complement to our Botswana circuit - very different to the Linyanti and Okavango Delta. Apart from a fresh new look (including sleep-out, star-gazing platforms above the rooms), Kalahari Plains is groundbreaking from an environmental standpoint, setting new standards in green camp design. Our most eco-friendly camp yet is 100% solar powered (back and front of house) and has capacity to harvest 180 000 liters of rainwater! The burning question of course is: what's the game viewing like? In short, outstanding!
Something to remember though is that no off-road driving is allowed in this state protected area. The uniqueness of the area and the concentrations of game that occur in some locations more than balance this however and it has proved a great combination with Wilderness Safaris camps in the Okavango and Linyanti. From camp it is a leisurely 1hr30min drive to the magnificent Deception Valley.