How your dream holiday helps fulfil the dreams of Zambian children and their familes

For over 20 years the charity Project Luangwa has been raising funds through the generosity of the local lodges, and tourists that visit the area to build a brighter future for the children and the communities of the remote Nsefu area of South Luangwa, Zambia.

When you visit Luangwa you get to see the wealth of wildlife and the beauty of the landscape.  Your journey from Mfuwe airport out to the lodges gives you a first-hand picture of the colourful daily life of the people of Luangwa Valley, as they walk or ride bikes along the side of the road, chat and greet friends and neighbours, and the small children as they run by and play games.  The exotic smells and buzz of the open air fruit and vegetable markets, and small shops, selling everything from cotton shirts to car tires gives you a real flavour of life in the area.

Project Luangwa started out as a way to coordinate the community work that was already being done by safari lodges in the Luangwa Valley. The 5 local safari operators teamed up to manage all the projects they’d set up to support the community – using the charity to plough the funds raised through tourism back to the people in the most efficient way possible.  Today Kafunta Safaris, Lion Camp, Flatdogs Camp, Robin Pope Safaris, Croc Valley Camp and Shenton Safaris all work together raising the vital funds to enable Project Luangwa to go into the local communities and help some of its most vulnerable people through the projects and initiatives set up by the lodges.

The charity now helps over 150 secondary students with school fees and provides funding to help train local teachers. The women’s workshop teaches sewing skills and employs local women enabling them to become self-sufficient and care for their families.  In addition, the girls’ and boys’ clubs give local kids a place to develop self-esteem and life skills. None of this would be possible without generous funding from the lodges, and the kindness of the guests who stay there – giving local people a chance to fulfil their potential and thrive.

If you are planning a visit to the Luangwa Valley, please ask your lodge about Project Luangwa or visit www.projectluangwa.org.  Through your support, many Zambians have had their lives transformed.  You can also follow the charity on Facebook www.facebook.com/projectluangwa/ for up to the minute news and stories about what’s happening at Project Luangwa.

The South African Springboks

The Springbok is a type of antelope that inhabits open plains, grasslands, scrublands, deserts and semi-arid areas of South Africa.  They’re very fast – reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour!

As herbivores, they live on grass, leaves, flowers, roots and tubers.  Their natural enemies in the wild are cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and lions but uncontrolled hunting (because of their meat and skin) and the construction of the fences (which prevent seasonal migrations) have led to a drastic reduction in the number of springboks in the wild. Fortunately the number of springboks is now stable and they are not listed as endangered.

Springbok facts:

  1. South Africa played its first rugby international in 1891, but it was not until they toured Britain in 1906 that they became known as the Springboks. Nelson Mandela intervened to save the Springbok emblem after the ANC came to power in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
  2. The male is noted for its “pronking” – leaping 6.5 to 9 feet from the ground into the air so that all four feet are off the ground.
  3. Springbok has pocket-like, flap of skin on the rump which conceals white crest. The white crest can be seen whenever springbok detects predators and sends message to other members of the group.
  4. Springboks form different types of herds: mixed herds (one dominant male with numerous females and their offspring), nursery herds (females and infants) and bachelor herds (young males).
  5. Springboks can mate all year round. Most babies are born during the rainy season, when food is abundant. Pregnancy in females lasts 5 to 6 months and ends with one baby which remains hidden in the bush or tall grass during the first few days of its life. At the age of 3 to 4 weeks, young springbok joins nursery herd with its mother.

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