Safari Snobbery

Reply

Sep 15th, 2004, 07:10 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Safari Snobbery

In dealing with different lodges and tour operators, I have noticed a definite bias against the newer game reserves, especially against Phinda and Madikwe. The claim is usually that these areas are not true safari areas, and that only Kruger NP/Sabi Sand and/or Botswana will do.

I already find a lack of merit in this, because I received negative feedback from agents for the last two years regarding Zambia, yet there is no place that I would rather be (too bad my wife does not share my regards for Zambia).

So, should others be critical of Phinda and Madikwe because they were once (in the last decade?) farming/cattle areas? Or, should we be celebrating that these areas have been massively transformed back into game reserves where animals roam freely?

Unfortunately, I am not immune to the commentary. On the one hand, I want to reward the Madikwe and Phinda lodges for their ecological contributions. But, on the other hand, I do have an issue that I am actually watching game on what was very recently farmland. Plus, I definitely have a problem if I am paying Sabi Sand rates for gameviewing that does not approach that of the Sabi Sand.

How do others feel about the subject of game reserves that were nothing more than farm/cattle land up until recently?
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 16th, 2004, 02:18 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
Strange that you received negative feedback from agents about Zambia because ALL the specialist Africa operators and agencies in the UK have been singing the praises of Zambia for several years now.

Perhaps the ones you dealt with didn't have as good a commission deal set up with Zambian destinations as Botswana and South Africa destinations?
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 16th, 2004, 07:45 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Roccco: In a time when habitat loss and destruction are the biggest factor endangering wildlife it is outstanding that land is being reclaimed and reverted back to wildlands. To me a big factor would be where/how is the game stocked. Wildlife from captive breeding programs is not usually quite as wild in the first generatioins but if animals are relocated from Krugrer for example they will be no less wild where you are seeing them. If I am not mistaken Sabi Sands was also ranches that were converted back to reserve lands -- they are just further along in the process.

I am certainly more excited by the idea of historic wildlands like Botswana and Zambia but even these have needed to restock some wildlife. Reclaiming old areas is vital to the conservation of some rarer species like the wild dogs. To protect them against epidemic disease outbreaks and maintain genetic diversity it is important to have more populations over wider areas, so adding new areas like Madikwe is critical for long-term conservation.

Based on all that I would recommend mixing experiences by supporting the growth of a new reserve area in combination with a stay in an established region.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 16th, 2004, 10:17 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
I agree w/ PB that with the amount of habitat destruction and loss for wildlife, any land that can be reclaimed and used for species survival is critical.
From my perspective, a lion is a lion whether in Zambia or Kruger or a Phinda type reserve. I can guarantee if you get out of your jeep in the presence of a lion in any reserve, you're still viewed as a nice snack.

Also, the types of reserves such as Phinda and Madikwe are crucial for the preservation of endangered species such as the cheetah and/or wild dog.
I am glad to know that there are areas set aside to help these animals survive. Otherwise, we'd probably be looking at these animals only in zoos or in pictures.

A recent article on Phinda:
"Pulling down fences at Phinda Private Game Reserve: After years of negotiation, the fences between Phinda, Bumbeni, Mziki Phumalanga Nature Reserve and Zuka have been pulled down. This conservation victory for CC Africa increases Phinda?s traversing area by 3 500 hectares. Now comprising 17 500 hectares of pristine wilderness, Phinda's seven unique habitats offer exceptional Big Five game-viewing."

No matter how you slice it, the more chances these animals have to live and breed in the wilderness, whether natural or man-made increases their chance to survive.

I'm open to visit them in any kind of wilderness. As long as they're wild and free to roam about I'm all for that!
divewop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 17th, 2004, 03:07 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
It is worth noting that hunting is probably going on at this very moment in Zuka, one of the areas that will soon be opened up with Zambia. Whether or not this means that the game will be more skittish, I do not know.

Once Phinda is ready to operate the two new lodges being built, the hunting will be a memory.

Here is an e-mail I received from CCAfrica:

Zuka will be open in December and the Phinda Getty villa sometime next year in June - do not have a final date yet. There will be no hunting on any of our properties. Its just that Zuka used to be a hunting lodge before it got incorporated into Phinda.

Pulling down fences at Phinda Private Game Reserve: After years of negotiation, the fences between Phinda, Bumbeni, Mziki Phumalanga Nature Reserve and Zuka have been pulled down. This conservation victory for CC Africa increases Phinda's traversing area by 3 500 hectares. Now comprising 17 500 hectares of pristine wilderness, Phinda's seven unique habitats offer exceptional Big Five game-viewing. The intimate new Phinda Zuka Lodge will open for guests on 15 December 2004, comprising four bush cottages with private verandas overlooking a waterhole. This sole-use camp is perfect for families or private parties of up to eight people and will have its own ranger, tracker and butler, as well as a private game-viewing vehicle. Opening next year in June is the remarkable Phinda Getty Lodge, featuring four magnificent suites.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 17th, 2004, 04:30 AM
  #6
JamesEOA
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Rococco,

Thanks for the great info! I see they're naming one of the new ones after their "benefactor".

Just curious, can you give more info about Zuka for those of us interested in Zambia? Thanks!
 
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:37 PM.