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Villages to Visit while at Londolozi and Madike Safari Lodge

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Dec 7th, 2005, 02:40 PM
  #21
 
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brandywine,

I never said that going to the Sabi Sand makes one a racist or else I would be a racist three times over.

The point that I failed to get across was that there are better places, be it Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya or elsewhere to have cultural experiences rather than at the Sabi Sand.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 03:56 PM
  #22
 
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I am not sure I agree:
South Africa has a diversified and multi cultuural society, which has it's roots in various geographies reaching from Asia across to Europe and beyond it's borders within Africa.
Experiencing culture IMO does not have to mean visiting a mud hut in Africa, or does it? Afterall the Afrikaans culture, the English and French of So Africa, although living a more affluent lifestyle offer a cultural experience that is significantly different to that found in the US or even their countries of origin.

Now I agree that rural Africa is home to many uniquely "black" African cultures and if that is what you wish to enjoy, then Rocco, YOU need to get off the beaten track and explore South Africa in greater detail. Many of the villages that surround the Kruger are still traditional. Many are just as unique if not similar to those that you have experienced in Zambia. What South Africa has between it's borders is one of the oldest African cultures: The Bushmen and the Nama of namaqualand, races that stretch back 10 000 years or more.

Please refrain from making observations that you are not qualified to make: Your reputation on this board reflects that when you do comment on what you know you do it well. Stick with it.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 04:34 PM
  #23
 
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(This is getting totally off topic-apologies to the original poster)

mkhonzo-
Your post brings to a question I have been thinking about for some time, but have been wary of posting. Is Africa just about animals for most of the people on this board? I am as interested in exploring the history, politics and "culture" of a country as I am about seeing leopards....but I know many on this board would dismiss this view. For example, in planning a future trip to Namibia, I am as interested in visiting the remote himba tribe as I am in visiting Etosha park to see wildlife....
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Dec 7th, 2005, 05:17 PM
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mkhonzo,

I just find the cultural aspect to be more integrated into the safari experience outside of the Sabi Sand, that's all. Perhaps I have stayed at the wrong Sabi Sand lodges? This thread did start, after all, with the question of whether or not excursions would be available from Londolozi between game activities.

Between game activities in South Luangwa, for example, I was able to visit South Luangwa Conservation Society, a privately funded anti-poaching/wildlife conservation organization, headed by a very dedicated white Zambian woman.

Also, I was able to visit Chipembele, another wildlife conservation program that also teaches conservation to Zambian children as well as setting up scholarships for these children. Although this is run by two retired British police officers, it is still an excellent organization that benefits the Zambian people and wildlife.

Furthermore, I paid a visit to Conservation Lower Zambezi, another excellent wildlife conservation program that also has anti-poaching units and is supported by many of the area's camps/lodges, including Chiawa Camp, Chongwe River Camp and many others.

If that is not enough, you want culture...ride a bike through Africa as I did and then donate it to a worthy cause. Perhaps try to pull a drowning buffalo out of a waterhole, as I did, with South Luangwa Conservation Society, so it does not poison the other animals drinking from the waterhole.

Perhaps I am not looking hard enough while I am in the Sabi Sand, but I just don't see these same type of opportunities available. I enjoy the Sabi Sand for the wildlife and the luxury, but it is not a place that I go for the cultural experience. Next time I will have to see what cultural activities are available other than visiting a "traditional witch doctor" who will throw the bones and read your fortune. Sounds too much like going to a gypsy fortune teller in anytown, USA, and having her look into her crystal ball.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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And I am sure that if you were to challenge the local Shangaans of the Sabi Sand on their Sangoma beliefs stating as you have here they would have little or no respect for you at all. This is a deep seated belief, which you shun as being little more than gyspy tales. If you were a true student of culture you would not be so dismissive.

judging by your appreciation of culture, which you have typified by voluntary conservation body activities then it is my opinion that you are missing the point and endorses my opinion that you should continue to offer your sound advice on camp choices in Zambia.

I would have thought that your "epic" cycle journey would have ilicited a more educated comment on the cultures of Zambia than you have offered at this point.

My understanding of the intial post was a question that sought to understand whether it is popssible to escape the confines of the reserve to appreciate the culture of the area; That I understand to be the people and their lifestyles. The answer is yes it is. It is NOT canned as there are no tourist amenities, there are no curio vendors and soda fountains. It is just rural Africa with it's brutal and cruel honesty.

And if your assumption of culture is correct and centers on conservation organisations saving elephants from snares, then take some time out and visit Skukuza and you'll find that there is a far more sophisticated, well funded machine that deals with wildlife management for starters. Then travel further afield to the Manyaleti and look into the wildlife training college and so on.

Rocco I am not pulling you down, just requesting that if you are going tom offer pearls of wisdom, do so in the right context and do so when you know the facts. Lolazahra should be applauded for wanting to daventure beyond the comfort of her lodge, so should she be enncouraged to do so, particularly in light of the fact that she is doing so with young and impresionable children. meeting cultures ultimately allows understanding respect and tolerance. Ask me I am African and I have lived through the divided years in South Africa. I know.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 05:40 PM
  #26
 
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mkhonzo,

Well, I am sorry that you needed to be motivated by me before offering such great possibilities as you just have with Skukuza, etc. I am glad that I have provided the required inspiration to share your vast experience.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 05:48 PM
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(Never thought I would be anybody's Muse)
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Dec 7th, 2005, 07:41 PM
  #28
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Thanks to lolazahra for asking the question. Thanks to the many informative comments about the cultural activities that are possible. And I agree wholeheartedly with cruseinred.

mkhonzo:
You obviously have a wealth of knowledge about this. I am genuinely interested--you indicated that Londolozi "started a village in the reserve," other have referred to it as an employees' camp. My knee jerk liberal reaction is that it did so to keep its service workers nearby. But it sounds as if it should get credit for wanting them closer because it also made life easier for them--as opposed to the other lodges who did not want them close by--but relied on their labor nonetheless?--did they have to travel long distances to work at the camps prior to the creation of the village?

And is there agreement that Mala Mala is behind the times and only slowly catching up?

You also say : "the Afrikaans culture, the English and French of So Africa, although living a more affluent lifestyle offer a cultural experience that is significantly different to that found in the US or even their countries of origin." No question about it--but there is also no question that these cultures are a function of a repressive colonial history.

Not a perfect analogy by any means but I can this: "a more affluent lifestyle offer[ing] a cultural experience that is significantly different to that found in the [northern]US"---about the antebellum U.S. South in the days of slavery.


An inept analogy agreed--but it reminds of people who are enamored of the interesting cultural differrences of the U. S. antebellum South.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 07:42 PM
  #29
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OK, last couple of lines were supposed to be cut--I hate editing on Fodor's.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 08:55 PM
  #30
 
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Time to chime in a couple of points.

Mala Mala is owned and run by older people, for the most part is does not matter what culture you are in, older people will be less open to change and more conservative. Furthermore their business model (which has served them very well) relies on the ranger being a part of the group socially while you are visiting. I can tell you from experience that this is the hardest part of the job for Bens, a shangaan ranger. What I do notice in Botswana is that in many camps I have visited the guides do not join the guests for dinner. I have no comment good or bad on that.

On Cruisinred's point, I'm really sorry and I am sure I will bear the aprobation of many on the board. I go to Africa to see wild animals, I see plenty of people all the time. The world has no shortage of people, however interesting they may be, it does have a shortage of wildlife, particularly mammals that you can see living their lives close up. Where I live in the Napa valley, I am lucky to see the occasional deer and very rarely Coyote. On one trip to Point Reyes I saw a Mountain Lion cross the road right in front of us. I go to Africa to see animals, because I choose that destination, employment is provided for local people, but my primary reason for being there is the wildlife.

Sorry if anyone is offended by that. I really wonder how much you can learn about a culture with an afternoons visit, I'm sure my wife and I have learned far more about the Tswana spending dinner eating with the staff at Kings Pool.
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Dec 8th, 2005, 04:02 AM
  #31
 
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cruisinred:
Apologies for ignoring your earlier post. I guess for most it is the attraction of the wildlife that lures them to Africa, but you are on the money: Thers is so much more to the continent and many savvy traveles realise this and venture beyond the parks for a more "wholesome" holiday.

Rocco: Amen.

Bat: Yes Londo could be applauded for their initiative, however they were effectively repopulating the game reserve, which had implications for the other lodge set ups. Distances from most lodges to their communities is 30 minutes to over two hours drive, some live further afield, but those are the exceptions.

MM, yes they are behind the times. I could rant and rave, but it's noy my place, but they certainly have not embraced the new dispensation.

And yes there are analagies between SA's history and the USA, plus many other colonials. I don't argue that. What I was simply stating is that the culture of SA is RICH, it is not just "black" there are significant other cultures that belong and hat have shaped the country.

It is what it is.
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Dec 8th, 2005, 05:40 AM
  #32
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mkhonzo:
SA culture does indeed seem rich--your comments, Eben's and Selwyn's make me want to travel there as soon as I can.
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Dec 8th, 2005, 06:26 AM
  #33
 
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Napamatt-

Do you have one of the last nomadic tribes in the world, whose women do not wear shirts/tops, in Napa valley? If so, I definitely missed that on my last wine tasting trip!

Just joking of course.....there is so much in Africa to see, whether animals or people....that is why we all like the continent and this forum, right?
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Dec 8th, 2005, 08:48 AM
  #34
 
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They only after midnight at Anna's Cantina.

I have this information for anthropological reasons.
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Dec 10th, 2005, 07:01 AM
  #35
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Wow! Been offline for a day due to the kids and cannot believe the responses to my initial question. I have found that reading most of these threads have been helpful in planning this trip, however in reading the 30 or so reply’s to my question, they are anything but helpful. Obviously, when you are spending the amount of money I am spending staying at these lodges, The Saxon in Jo'burg and Cape Grace in Capetown, you are not living anything like the typical black South African. And since I chose these establishments, that was not my point. Of course, while at Londolozi and Madikwe Safari Lodge, we are going for great game period. However, if we can add on an important cultural experience for our children, why not. While we are in Jo'burg, we are visiting 3 AIDS related facilities for children run by UNICEF. And in Capetown, while also enjoying Table Mountain, the Wine Route, and other sites, we will make sure we give back to the people living in the Townships. Rocco, does living without running water/electricity and meeting child soldiers in Monrovia, Liberia or feeding starving babies in the Ivory Coast (which I did 4 years ago) sound authentic enough a "native" experience? Thank you to the posts that told me about the children's school within Londolozi. I have already emailed to ask what I can bring for the children. And to the person who told me about the village near Madikwe thank you as well. I agree with the person who deemed Rocco "racist" because your comment about Sabi Sand was ridiculous. You sound like a man who told my mother while on vacation in Mexico, “Mexico would be great if the Mexicans would leave.” The native’s are staying Rocco, maybe you should go away if this does not please you. And by the way, Rocco, I am African-American. Funny how email is color-blind.
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Dec 10th, 2005, 07:09 AM
  #36
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Thank you also to the response fron mkhonzo regarding Rocco. It was eloquent, responsible, insightful and said what I meant better than I did. Thank you for understanding my initial questions and what it means for me as a mother to share with my children on this important trip. I really appreciate your response.
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Dec 10th, 2005, 08:32 AM
  #37
 
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lolazahra,

I am sorry that you have misnterpreted my response as being racist. Unfortunately the race card is probably thrown around a bit too much here in the USA as it is being now. My post never suggested that Africa would be better if there were no blacks as you have represented my comments.

If you would lower your guard for just one moment, what I was saying is that you have chosen a country that is having a hard time at integrating its travel industry, at least at the management level and for its top positions such as safari guides. No different than how the National Football League, NCAA (College) Football and Major League Baseball has been slow to hiring minorities, especially blacks, to manager and especially the more senior "General Manager" positions.

Truth be told, HAD I had been suggesting that you do your best to avoid blacks, I would have told you that you picked the perfect itinerary to do so. Enjoy.
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Dec 10th, 2005, 02:52 PM
  #38
 
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Lolazahra, I am pleased to have been able to give you the insights you were looking for.

I will be waiting for your post on your return. Since you have given in the past and are looking to make additional contributions, I would now more so than before encourage you to visit the school at Lilydale B. 50% of the students are AIDS orphans. They are fed and educated at the school. When you see the community you will immidiatelty appreciate the pride in the schools structure etc. The teachers there are truly inspirational, likewise the operator who built it from scratch.

If I were to advice on what to take: I would say notes. Then the address of the fundraiser and send them a money order on your return, I know that they have a list longer tyhan broadway that needs fulfilling.

Enjoy the ride.
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Dec 10th, 2005, 03:07 PM
  #39
 
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Lolazahra.
If you are flying from Sun City to Londolozi, tthen from Londoz to Madikwe, you are backtracking.
I would suggest (although it might be late and impossible) that you go Sun City, Madikwe, 2 hour drive, then fly to Londolozi..
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