Green Safaris Zambia & Malawi Agent Fam! May 21-29 2022 Trip Report

Reported by Cindi LaRaia

Zambia & Malawi Agent Fam! May 21-29 2022 Trip Report
Rhino tracking on foot in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

Green Safaris Zambia & Malawi agent Fam! May 21-29 2022 8 nts

Host Vincent Kouwenhoven – owner, pilot Ignasias & 8 of us agents from around the world.

2nts Vic Falls on Zambia Side Tongabezi & Sindabezi;
2nts Ila lodge in Kafue with a flight to Chisa Nest Lodge in Busanga Plains;
2nts Shawa Lodge South Luangwa;
2nts Kawa Mawa Malawi.

2nts Vic Falls - Tongabezi & Sindabezi

4 of us stayed at Sindabezi the first night. Then we swapped and 4 stayed at Tongabezi.

Myself and Kristine, Brian, Bryan and Gary stayed 1st night Sindabezi! What a magical whimsical Robinson and Caruso experience!

We got to the camps on the mighty Zambezi quite late. We boated over to our island after we all had sundowners at the Sand Bar! A wonderful first adventure getting to know our team of agents from all over the world!

We were taken to our chalets in the dark. 5 chalets all a bit different with open fronts on the river, hippos serenading us close by. Welcome wild wonderful Africa!

Our chef and beach team set up our dining table, wine and delicious bream fish cooked to perfection! As well as a lovely desert!

We all a bit tired from a huge busy trade show, events and late nights. Needless to say I was over the moon to be sleeping with hippos in this beach setting!

None of us were prepared for the freezing chill of the night as winter has started in earnest 3 rd week of May.

Coffee welcomed us to our rooms before 6am. Thank goodness for our hot water bottles in our beds! It took me 45 minutes to convince myself to get out of bed with my blanket to see if indeed the solar hot shower was actually hot! After a few minutes the wonderful super-hot water arrived and I was in heaven!!

Boated back to Tongabezi to meet the rest of our agents for breakfast!

A busy excellent day ahead; visiting victoria falls in full splendour!

Victoria Falls - Zambia

Visiting the organic farm they have now for sustainable organic farming. Teaching the local people how to farm successfully without depleting the land as they always have done! They use the dung from cattle in the corrals for fertilizer and the chickens they raise organically as well!

An amazing success story only 2 years old. They have cultivated more in 2 years than they ever believed possible!

Challenges with climate change and another drought year…. They need to find a way to dig more bore holes for water with pumps to keep the garden production going even with drought.

Rhino tracking on foot in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.

We followed a mamma and new 1 month old baby as they eluded us in the forest! The rangers took us around to try and cut them off at the pass! I was at the front as they emerged from the forest onto the road walking toward us. I was videotaping them from my phone as the rangers were making us walk backwards faster and faster!

Holy cow we were so close! They kept saying faster, walk faster keep taking pictures this is so rare!

One ranger said move faster NOW! If the baby charges the mom will by like a jet! Wow!

It was exhilarating and fabulous! A rare chance for us on foot so close to wild White Rhino!!

Back to our lodge to do sight inspections of the different beautiful rooms at Tongabezi! They are all unique quirky and magical! We also boated to the home that they rent out with private chef and staff, great for families of 5 or 6!

I was assigned a fantastic room called the Nut House:)!!

Such imagination Ben and Vanessa Parker had as they created this spellbinding lodge on the banks of the Mighty Zambezi!

My butler ran the tub for me as I luxuriated in the Moroccan ’feel’ atmosphere!

Sadly we say farewell to the outstanding long time staff. We walk to the incredible school that Vanessa started 26 years ago with 15 pre- schoolers. This is a private school for the local community fully funded by doners from Tongabezi!

They have produced doctors, lawyers and have gone on to build a life they could never have achieved in the government schools! A huge success story with approx 260 students strong!

Off we go, day 3 in our private charter plane heading to the Kafue in Zambia to Green Safaris Ila lodge!

Nut House - TongabeziNut House - Tongabezi
Nut House at Tongabezi

2nts Ila Lodge:

A beautiful camp with gorgeous gardens, cabins four and seven have outdoor bathtub on the deck next to the river, stunning!
2 family units - beds in same room ! No age limit ! Kids can join in vehicle for game drives!

Ila Safari Lodge: 167 solar panels - solar farm & battery bank
The lodges are built of sand - layered sand bags - then covered with spackling and painted. Very green, not made of cement blocks.

Boating lunch on Kafue river - viewing Elephant on the shore!

Evening Game drive - female leopard - then she walked in thick bushes. Elephants.

Boating lunch on Kafue river

Chisa Nest - Busanga Plains Camp!

Stunning!!! 4 rooms - spacious main area!

Can do game drives - walking -loads of game ! Mating black maned lion and female! Lechwe, Puku antelope. Many crowned crane in groups (my fav African bird)! Storks- birds - old male buffalo hanging together, many of them!

They get wild dog & leopard ! Freezing cold June thru August for nights and Morning. Then warms up to 80s early on! Must be prepared. Maybe September a good time to visit all around!

Chisa Nest - Busanga Plains Camp
Tent interior - Chisa Nest - Busanga Plains CampTent interior - Chisa Nest - Busanga Plains Camp
Game Drive - Chisa Nest - Busanga Plains Camp
Chisa Busanga Camp

Vincent paid for 3 yrs of anti poaching for lions! Went from 8 to 43 lions!! Outstanding success! 12,000 lechwe!!

Greg from Africa Parks - gave a lecture, they are a most amazing organization. African Parks is a non-profit conservation organization that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities. THEY SAVE WILDLIFE!!! They are now in Kafue - oldest largest in Zambia.

10 different areas, countries - conservation - governments ask them to help for 20 yrs. They take care of all management, reliant on donations - want to change to tourism $. Good wild dog now!

Left Ila Lodge, morning game drive to airstrip - saw male lion 3 yrs old softly calling for his Family. They made a kill in the night - he was last to eat, big tummy full of food.

Further up the road found more of his family - young male lions, walking briskly to avoid the big male lion as they would be killed! Not from his loins! It was pretty cool to be following behind them as they escorted us to the airstrip!

Leaving the Kafue, Flying to Lusaka 1 hr flight, fuel then 1.5 hr flight to South Luangwa!

2nts Shawa Camp - South Luangwa.

I Love this A frame tented camp built up on stilts on the shores of the Luangwa river. The tent is beautiful set in the trees. There are only 5. Shower and a full sunken tub in front for your bathing pleasure! As well as a sitting area on the veranda!

They leave the front open at evening turndown with only the screen covering so you can awaken to the stunning sunrise and listen to the loud snorting Hippo as they start to return back to the river from dining on grass all night! You know you are in Africa!!

The main area is beautiful, with full bar and Wi-Fi!

Shawa Camp - South LuangwaShawa Camp - South Luangwa
Shawa Camp

A few Steps down to the large, elevated pool. Early morning at the shore with full coffee/tea and plentiful morning treats. A wonderful vantage point to see the herds of Elephant coming from the forest to drink at the river!

The camp is Named after Jacob Shawa, a legend in South Luangwa. Started with Robin Pope in the mid 80’s. Now in partnership with Green Safaris! He is a special treat! Fun, extremely knowledgeable, has a sixth sense about all things nature! He thinks like an animal! He knows what will happen before it does!

We went on a 4.5 hr morning game walk while we did not see any large game, it was a beautiful walk in a stunning area. We did see plains game, animal tracks, and gorgeous riverine scenery. Feels good to walk for hours after sitting so much on planes and game vehicles!

The game here is plentiful with amazing cat populations of Lion and Leopard! As well as wild dog which we were thrilled to see!

This camp is located further away from the other camps in the park which feels private!

Jacob ShawaBreakfast - Shawa Camp - South Luangwa

2nts Kaya Mawa - Likoma Island, Malawi

Stunning beach resort built into the granite!

It pours rain starting from January February March, they are closed. April - May very nice weather. Another good time to plan a safari with the other safari campus would be start safari mid August to end of August and be at Kaya Mawa in September.

Love my room # 6 - up lots of steps down to my sun deck and dock! Easy access to the sea to snorkel.

Kaya Mawa - Likoma Island, MalawiVeranda - Bungalow - Kaya Mawa
Bedroom - Bungalow - Kaya Mawa

This was a magical tour of Green Safaris camps and lodges. They do a remarkable job with keeping ‘green’ with electric Toyota land cruisers, no other safari company can boast this. They work with the local community to educate in gardening practices, schools and all things ‘green’ for the environment! I feel privileged to have been a part of this trip and can happily say they have done it right!

Well done Vincent and team! Green Safaris will be a big part of my selling plan for guests for Zambia and Malawi!

Cheers and many thanks,
Cindi LaRaia