|The 2018 safari season has kicked off in Zambia’s wildlife-rich Busanga Plains with Wilderness Safaris’ Shumba and Busanga Bush Camp now open until the end of October 2018. In addition to offering the most exclusive wilderness experience in this remote region, every guest visiting the Busanga Plains is a conservationist, helping Wilderness Safaris contribute more than USD500 000 to Kafue National Park every year.
“The Busanga Plains is a remarkable wilderness area to visit – you can stand in an open floodplain and not see or hear another single human around. Your eyes will dart from elephant herd, to buffalo, to kudu, puku, lechwe, zebra, sable, eland, and the list goes on. Birdlife is abundant with over 500 species recorded throughout the Park, ranging from raptors to the smaller almost invisible ground species”, said Ron Goatley, Wilderness Safaris Zambezi MD.
Situated within 28 000 hectares of exclusive wilderness, Shumba and Busanga Bush Camp offer an incredibly diverse experience in Kafue. Busanga Bush Camp is an intimate safari camp with four well-appointed tents, while Shumba offers six spacious and luxurious safari tents on raised platforms.
When the camps open in June, there is an abundance of water, and activities range from boating to interpretive game drives led by highly-skilled Wilderness Safaris guides. Plenty of water means an abundance of game and birdlife. August and early September offer less water but a good mix of activities, while from the end of September and into October, the weather is warmer and there is little to no water left on the Plains and only permanent waterholes remain. The diversity of animals that congregate around these is extraordinary, with plenty of predators heading to the last remaining pools of water to hunt.
Busanga’s hot air ballooning season begins on 1 August and as Ron said, “This is arguably the most exclusive hot air ballooning experience in Africa. The serenity experienced whilst flying over one of Africa’s most remote wilderness areas is unparalleled, and guests may witness some incredible wildlife sightings from the air, including large concentrations of antelope species such as lechwe and puku”. On offer until the Kafue season ends on 31 October, this one-hour balloon ride is followed by a delicious champagne breakfast served in the Park’s vast grasslands. Furthermore, the rate charged for the excursion serves as a conservation fee contributing directly to anti-poaching efforts in the area.
Despite the financial losses Wilderness Safaris has made since operating in Kafue, the company has seen first-hand what a difference its simple presence (and funding of anti-poaching operations) has made. Prior to Wilderness Safaris’ involvement by operating these two high-end camps in the Busanga Plains in 2006, poaching was rife and wildlife numbers were particularly low.
“Even though our camps in Kafue are only open for the five dry months of the year, we are passionately committed to maintaining our ecotourism presence in this diverse wilderness area. When there were no operators in the Park, it was hard to measure the impact of poaching. Now that we are present year round, we have seen wildlife populations rebound and a positive economic difference made to local communities. This means that each guest visiting the Plains contributes to biodiversity conservation and is assured a remarkable, life-changing journey – with Purpose”, Ron concluded.
Click here to read more about Wilderness Safaris’ Frontier Ecotourism Presence in the Busanga Plains, or here to view a video on the Busanga Plains – Kafue’s ‘place of plenty’.
About Wilderness Safaris: www.wilderness-safaris.com
- Wilderness Safaris is Africa’s leading authentic and sustainable ecotourism operator, specialising in memorable wildlife experiences in some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa. In this way it offers its guests private access to almost three million hectares of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves, while remaining fiercely committed to protecting our planet’s precious natural and cultural resources.
- Wilderness Safaris operates camps and safaris in some of Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness reserves across eight countries: Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Wilderness Safaris is deeply committed to its 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. It firmly believes that its single most important achievement to date is to have built a sustainable business model that does not compromise environmental principles and which provides jobs, training, skills, careers, adjusted horizons, hope and a realistic alternative to less sustainable development.
- Recognising that conservation is as much about people as about the environment, the company has pursued important goals through itsChildren in the Wilderness programme, as well as through the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which have helped change the face of nature-based tourism in Africa.
- Wilderness Safaris is part of Wilderness Holdings, a group of responsible ecotourism companies that together endeavour to use responsible tourism to build sustainable conservation economies in Africa.
About Our Purpose: The Why of Wilderness
Why we do what we do and our 14 reasons to believe
- After nearly 35 years in business it is sometimes hard to remember why you started out and what you originally hoped to achieve. However, at Wilderness Safaris, our raison d’être is today even more firmly defined, entrenched and embraced than ever before. We know why we exist and we know what we are trying to achieve. Simply put, Wilderness Safaris is dedicated to conserving and restoring Africa’s wilderness and wildlife by creating life-changing journeys and inspiring positive action. Our model is responsible and sustainable, change’s people’s perspectives on the planet, and inspires those exposed to it to effect positive change in their own lives and own spheres of influence.
- The following stories celebrate just 14 reasons to believe in a business model like Wilderness Safaris, and highlights some of the achievements over the last 35 years of which we are most proud:
No. 1. Environment is at the Heart – Ecotourism presence and biodiversity conservation
- We help protect more than 2.5 million hectares across 8 biomes harbouring 36 IUCN Red List species.
No. 2. Our Journeys Change Lives – “To travel is to really discover and experience…”
- We believe that our 2 500 staff and the more than 32 000 guests who travel with us each year are exposed to new ways of viewing the world and our place in it.
No. 3. A Light Camp Footprint – Pioneering environmentally-sensitive camp architecture
- As our camps are situated in pristine wilderness areas, we strive to build and manage camps in the most eco-friendly way possible, for the lowest carbon footprint possible.
No. 4. Pioneering Community Partnerships – The story of the Torra Conservancy, Namibia
- We were the first safari operator to create an equity joint venture with a rural Namibian community. The result: increased employment, and increased wildlife.
No. 5. The Noah’s Ark Project – Rehabilitation and restoration of North Island, Seychelles
- We took an ecologically-bankrupt tropical island and transformed it into a haven for endemic species, helping save an endangered bird and reptile at the same time.
No. 6. Mega-Moves of Mega-Fauna – The Botswana Rhino Conservation Project
- We helped restore locally-extinct black and white rhino to the wild in Botswana in the largest cross-border translocation ever completed.
No. 7. Hwange Against All Odds – Ecotourism as a social stabiliser and biodiversity conserver
- Despite all challenges, we have never compromised on our commitment to our conservation operations in Hwange, Zimbabwe, and employ more than 100 local community members in our camps who, in turn, support another 700 dependents.
No. 8. Children in the Wilderness – Sustainable conservation through leadership development
- We’ve impacted the lives of more than 10 000 children in seven African countries.
No. 9. The Wilderness Wildlife Trust – Making a difference to Africa, its wildlife and its people
- Over the last 10 years the Trust has funded more than 100 different projects in eight African countries.
No. 10. Conservation Coalitions – Private sector, NGO and community united for black rhino
- This coalition between Desert Rhino Camp, Save the Rhino Trust Namibia and local community partners has enabled the growth of north-west Namibia’s black rhino population and range across a swathe of community conservancies.
No. 11. Frontier Ecotourism Presence – If poaching occurs in a forest and no-one sees it, does it happen?
- We took a leap of faith into remote Zambia, far off the beaten track for most travellers and with a shortened tourism season. We did it in order to help expand ecotourism presence across Africa.
No. 12. Addressing Human-Wildlife Conflict – Proactive conflict prevention and desert lion conservation
- All causes need champions, and all champions need support. One man, provided he has sustained backing, can make a huge difference. Wilderness Safaris continues to support Dr Flip Stander and the Desert Lion Conservation Project.
No. 13. Seeing the (Sun) Light – Solar power and carbon emission reductions
- We invest in new technologies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to eventually achieve carbon neutrality of our operational business, and 13 of our camps are now 100% solar powered.
No. 14. Great Apes and Rainforests – Reforesting Rwanda’s endemic-rich Albertine Rift
- We believe our brand of responsible ecotourism will make a difference to both rural Rwandan people and endangered species.