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Victoria Falls - Bird watching and nature activities

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We have just returned from 10 days in Victoria Falls (early December). I was amazed how tourism there is directed to the adrenaline junkies to quite such an extent - jumping off bridges, swinging over gorges, falling out of rafts. Second in the propaganda list in 'riding on'/'walking with' what should be wind animals. This is a very suspect practice (see this topic on Fodor's Zimbabwe forum). Why do you come to Africa and more pertinently, to a place with REAL wildlife and a lot of pristine nature, to focus on these artificial things? [Quiet old man; it is a matter of taste; everyone is entitled to their own preferences].

We wanted to focus on bird-watching and nature in general, birding being a small passion. Victoria Falls should have been a Mecca. But could we find birding trips? It took us 5 days. Then we found Charles Brightman (http://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/guided-photographic-safaris.html) - his contact details are on that link. Charles is a professional wildlife guide which means that he is licensed to take you on walks (with rifle!) in the Zambesi National Park - a true 'African' experience that makes a jeep trip seem as real as a visit to Disney World. He will show you bugs and tracks and leaves and poops and make nature come alive. Not only is he a way above-average birder, but he also runs photographic safaris.

We could not afford the cost of a birding trip. Charles providing huge value for our pension dollar. Not only that, but he is prompt and reliable. He is also the driving force behind the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit, and has volunteered his services to the protection of wildlife around Victoria Falls for many years, threats notwithstanding.

The whole experience is laid-back. Charles is no greenie evangelist nor an intense birder excluding all else. So those birders who cannot shell out for a multi-thousand $ trip, or that family that wants more of Africa than just flinging themselves off a bridge, this could well be the answer. Charles' Cell No: +263 11209144; email cat@yoafrica.com.

For more on birding in Vic Falls, see http://wiki.sabirding.co.za/Portal.aspx?Page=Victoria&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

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