I’m excited. REALLY excited. There’s not that much that can get me this excited this early in the new year but this has. It’s Africa, of course!
In 2012, Animal Works, the charity I run with artist Nafisa Naomi and our fabulous little team of volunteers, is working with Barefoot in Africa Safaris in a unique partnership that is giving you the chance to not only go on an amazing safari to one of my favourite parts of Africa – Zimbabwe – but also to give back a little by contributing to our conservation projects while you’re there. Barefoot in Africa is donating several thousand dollars per safari to Animal Works’ Zimbabwean fund, so these safaris directly benefit local people and wildlife.
Imagine this…. You make your way to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, and from there you are transported to Humani in the Save Valley Conservancy. Over the next few days, while based at the superb Turgwe Camp on the river of the same name, you’ll experience “the real deal” Africa – not just the wildlife (this is Big Five country), but you’ll also get to know the locals who call the place home.
This safari is unlike any other in that you have the opportunity to “give back” while you’re there. You can go on anti-poaching patrols to remove snares from the bush and physically help with building/painting projects at the Humani Primary School. You’ll also spend some time with Karen Paolillo at Hippo Haven, one of the few places in Africa that you can sit comfortably beside wild hippos and watch their natural behaviour. Turgwe Camp isn’t the poshest camp you’re ever likely to stay in, but it’s extremely comfortable and the chalets overlook the river, which at sunset often hosts an elephant or two, or some of the local waterbuck and bushbuck. The night sounds there are incredible – owls, frogs, hyaenas, you name it.
From there, you fly to Hwange National Park, which in my view has some of the best game viewing you’re ever likely to see. It’s renowned for it’s large herds of elephants. In the words of Peter Allison recently (of “Whatever You Do, Don’t Run” fame), “I stopped counting at a thousand”. You’ll be looked after in Hwange at Davisons Camp, a classic tented safari camp in one of the best game viewing areas in the park. Bear in mind that when I say tent I mean something the size of a two bedroom flat in Sydney…. This aint camping. You’ll go on daily game drives or walks and just absorb being in nature at its finest.
And to top off this safari, you’ll drive up through the park to the incredible Victoria Falls, which, if you haven’t seen it, really is a once in a lifetime, not to be missed opportunity. Here sunset boat rides with a nice vino while watching the hippos and the crocs are the order of the day.
Your guide on this safari is Michael Jeh of Barefoot in Africa Safaris. He’s a Brisbanite with a serious passion for Africa who has been leading safaris in Africa for several years. He’s also a certified game ranger, which helps if you’re in the bush and a rhino’s charging at you! Barefoot in Africa Safaris, in partnership with Animal Works, will be running a few safaris this year, including one starting 1st June and the other on 27th June, both for 10 days. I’ll be joining the Humani leg of the first one on 1st June. Places are limited to just 10 people per trip. So get your place while you can by dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website.