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New camp, Kuthengo opening in Liwonde National Park

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Robin Pope Safaris excitedly announces the opening of their new camp, Kuthengo, in April 2018.

New camp, Kuthnego

Choosing your accommodation for your magical Malawi experience just got a little bit harder as now you have even more options available. Robin Pope Safaris recently announced the opening date for their new camp, Kuthengo. The camp is set to open 27 April 2018 in the renowned Liwonde National Park in Malawi.

Location

Kuthengo Camp is nestled among Fever trees and Baobabs on a large open plain stretching towards the Shire River in Liwonde National Park. With resident fish eagles nesting in the Baobabs, you will be woken to ‘Africa’s voice’ calling as you rise in this wild and natural paradise.

Kuthengo, meaning ‘wilderness’ in the local language truly depicts the setting of this camp.

New camp, Kuthnego

Intimate tented safari camp accommodation

Kuthengo is a small intimate camp with four spacious and modern safari tents which are all en-suite, each with double basins, a bathtub and an outdoor shower. And to top it off your very own private deck from where you can watch the herds of waterbuck that frequent the camp area. The eco-friendly evening breeze air conditioning (state of the art and environment friendly cooling system for the bed within the mosquito net), adds to the comforts of this intimate camp.

The small intimate setting ensures complete privacy for all the guests. The excellent guiding team can tailor your safari to you providing a highly personalised experience.

Wildlife and activities

Day and night game drives will be available for the guests and they can look out for elephant, buffalo, endangered black rhinos and various antelope species. Cheetah have also been recently reintroduced thanks to recent conservation efforts in the area.  The area is also a paradise for avid birders- with nearly 300 species, including the Böhm’s Bee-eater, Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Pel’s fishing owl and Lillian’s love bird.

New camp, Kuthnego 5

Guided bush walks will also be available where you will be escorted by an armed National Park scout. The Robin Pope Safaris team is very passionate about the bush and wildlife and they look forward to sharing some amazing bush insights.

New camp, Kuthnego 3

Guests are in for an unforgettable experience if this new camp is anything like their current properties in Malawi, Mkulumadzi and Pumulani.

Contact Robin Pope Safaris
Web: www.robinpopesafaris.net
Email: info@robinpopesafaris.net
Phone: +265 993 504 600

Full Moon Wildlife spotting

Full Moon Wildlife Spotting With CAWS

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A wondrous thing to do at Mvuu – Visit the hides in the moonlight.

Full Moon Wildlife spotting 2

© Bentley Palmer

On 4th November this year, there will be a full moon, which will yield extremely good nighttime visibility from the 3rd to 5th of the month. On these days, at no extra charge, full board guests of Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Camp and Mvuu Lodge will be able to enjoy a late night visit to two of the camps’ viewing hides in the old rhino sanctuary in Liwonde National Park.

Of the two hides, the “platform” hide is found 15 feet above a small waterhole and the “eye level” hide is situated at ground level at a location which has recently been dug out to provide cleaner water and better fields of vision. Both viewing hides are strategically located and geared to provide guests with a unique and enhanced wildlife viewing experience in the moonlight.

What you will see:

Moonlight viewing is unpredictable, guests might not see much or they might see a considerable amount of activity. There are good chances of seeing black rhino, and some of the many nocturnal animals that inhabit the park such as serval, civet, genet, hyena and mongoose.  Elephants might also come down to the waterhole.  Apart from the viewing, the bush on a moonlit night is a remarkably atmospheric place to be.

Full Moon Wildlife spotting 3

© Bentley Palmer

Taking photos:

This is not really a photo opportunity activity, we do not want to disturb the animals with a flash. This experience is more about soaking up the atmosphere of the bush at night.

The time to be there:

Generally, the later (or earlier) the better. Between midnight and 0400 is often the most productive time but you need to be patient and prepared for some hours of waiting with not much happening.

Maximum number of guests per viewing: 6 guests at a time.

Guest review:

During the recent full moon in October, wildlife photographer Bentley Palmer visited one of the CAWS Mvuu viewing hides. Here’s what he had to say:

“I entered the hide at around 5.30 pm, at which time there was a large herd of buffalos gathering around a waterhole near the hide. After about an hour of drinking, at around 6.30, the buffalos began leaving the site one by one, when a single rhino which appeared to be a young male approached the waterhole, displacing the remaining few buffalo. Following a very brief drink of water, the young rhino left the site, after which ten elephants and two bush pigs arrived at the waterhole to quench their thirst. I also observed a herd of 14 zebras loitering about in the vicinity, awaiting their turn at the waterhole. The highlight and most memorable sighting of the night took place at 9.45 pm, when Julia the rhino arrived at the site with her calf. She first took a few minutes to feed the calf and nestle him in a safe spot nearby, before spending a good half-an-hour drinking and relaxing at the water’s edge.”

To book this experience and a stay at Mvuu Camp and Lodge, kindly contact or email  Mvuu Camp or Lodge

Central African Wilderness Safaris

Website: www.cawsmw.com

E-mail: info@cawsmw.com

Tel: +265 1771 393/153

Nina Fitzmaurice

Spotting a Rare Cheetah Kill in Malawi

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Picture Credit Nina Fitzmaurice

Picture Credit Nina Fitzmaurice

Mvuu Camp and Lodge guests enjoy regular cheetah sightings and spot a rare cheetah kill in Malawi.

Following the recent translocation of four cheetahs to Liwonde National Park in May, Mvuu Camp and Lodge guests are now being treated to regular sightings of cheetahs in close proximity to both properties.

The very first sighting was reported in June, by several of the guests, guides and staff members. A cheetah was spotted lying on its side, resting in a tranquil, shady spot, near the Ntangai River. The guests also had the rare opportunity of enjoying several back-to-back cheetah sightings in a single day. One of the 4 Cheetahs was spotted less than 800 metres from Mvuu Camp around early evening, and nearly half an hour later, he was seen slowly moving north, towards the camp.

Picture Credit Nina Fitzmaurice

Picture Credit Nina Fitzmaurice

In early September spectacular cheetah sightings concluded on a high note, when one of the Central African Wilderness Safaris guides and a group of guests returning to the camp from their evening game drive, were treated to an extremely rare sighting of the same cheetah making a kill. The large male cheetah was seen killing a bush buck, just 40 metres away from the main car park. As cheetahs are very nervous on a kill and this one was not used to spotlights, all guests were allowed a fleeting glimpse of the action before leaving the cheetah in peace to enjoy his meal.

We look forward to more exciting Cheetah sightings in Malawi.

Contact Central African Wilderness Safaris
Website: www.cawsmw.com
E-mail: info@cawsmw.com
Tel: +265 1771 393/153

 

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Magical Malawi- Why it should be on every travellers’ list

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Magical Malawi

Magical Malawi is a dreamy destination that should be on every traveller’s list.

Malawi, the “Warm Heart of Africa” is an incredibly friendly landlocked country in Africa. It is the perfect destination for those who wish to experience endless water scenes, incredible landscapes, wildlife and culture.

Here are 5 reasons why Malawi should be on your travel list:

1. The locals are always smiling
Malawi locals exude friendliness. It will feel like you are greeted by long-lost friends as they welcome you with their contagious smiles and friendly waves.

Magical Malawi- Friendly People

Service with a Smile ©Kaya Mawa

2. Lake Malawi is incredible
Probably one of the top reasons travellers visit Malawi is to see the mesmerizing Lake Malawi, famously named by Livingstone as “the Lake of Stars”.
Lake Malawi is the ninth largest lake in the world and boasts crystal clear fresh water that is home to the highest biodiversity of fresh water fish in the world.

Magical Malawi- The lake

The mesmerizing Lake Malawi ©Robin Pope Safaris

3. A coffee and tea lover’s paradise
Malawi is one of the world’s best-kept secrets when it comes to the production of specialty coffees and teas. The country produces some amazingly high-quality coffee and tea. Satemwa Tea and Coffee Estate is a 3rd generation family owned tea and coffee estate in the Shire Highlands of Malawi which are exporting their tasty products around the world.

Magical Malawi- Coffee and Tea

©Satemwa Tea and Coffee Estate

4. The wildlife in Malawi’s Majete Wildlife Reserve
Majete Wildlife Reserve provides intensive and exclusive wildlife viewing in unspoilt areas of genuine wilderness. Travellers can look forward to many exciting encounters, with the chance to view species including black rhino, leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, eland, kudu and sable. For the best guided game drives and walking safaris we suggest a stay at Robin Pope Safaris Mkulumadzi lodge.

Magical Malawi- Wildlife

Intensive and exclusive wildlife viewing © Robin Pope Safaris

5. The stars are indescribable
We end of our magical list with the magical night sky. It twinkles to life as you watch millions of stars blinking above you. It is no wonder why some Malawian lodges, such as Central African Wilderness safaris Mvuu lodge, offer star beds as a unique sleeping option to their guests.

Magical Malawi- The stars

The Magical night Sky. ©Kaya Mawa

Malawi is a magical place that will turn every traveller into a story teller.

Cheetah

Malawi Cheetah Conservation Update

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cheetah

A happy ending for the cheetahs that were recently translocated from South Africa to Malawi. 

A few months have passed since the successful release of 4 specially chosen cheetahs into Liwonde National Park in Malawi. This commendable act was pulled off in an attempt to reintroduce the charming cheetahs back into Malawi as it has been about 20 years since cheetahs were last seen thee.. Happily, due to the success of the project, cheetahs now roam Malawi once more.

Various sightings of the four cheetahs have been recorded since their successful release. The most recent by guests visiting African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Camp & Mvuu Lodge

More exciting news has been shared  that at least one mating event has been confirmed by Liwonde National Park.

The first step to cheetah conservation in Malawi was a success, and hopefully soon we will have news of little Malawian cheetah cubs to celebrate.

Majete Wildlife 2

Majete’s Wildlife -Through a Guide’s Eyes

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Majete Wildlife Reserve is one of African conservation’s outstanding success stories. Robin Pope Safaris Mkulumadzi lodge‘s guide, Erik shares his wildlife sightings in this historic reserve.

Majete_2014-07-96e
The Owls
“I have had the pleasure to run into quite a few old acquaintances from last year. It was a treat to come across a resident couple of Barred Owlets that live along the Mkulumadzi river. They are a huge hit with everyone who’s lucky enough to see them. They are the cutest little owls you will ever see.
Majete Wildlife 4

The Buffaloes
I came to know a very exclusive gentleman’s club of 3 buffalo bulls last year. They made the Mkulumadzi river their local pub and we (myself and the guests) often used to share our sundowners with them as they weren’t too bothered by our presence. I was pleased to run into them again the other day, grumpy as ever, looking at me like I owed them money from last year.

Massive herds of buffalo are also forming throughout the reserve as it’s drying up and they are concentrating around the remaining water sources.

Majete Wildlife 3

The Lions
The queen lioness Shire hasn’t been spotted in a long time and I’m fairly sure she has given birth to a new litter of cubs recently. It’s a very sensitive time in a lion cub’s life and we hope that as many of them as possible grow up to be big lions one day. Sadly, only 1 male survived out of last year’s litter but he has grown into such a strapping young lad! His mane is starting to show and he is almost the same size as his big sisters.

Majete Wildlife 2

The big males, Chimwala and Sapitwa have gone off on their own for a major patrol around the reserve, marching tirelessly and making sure that no intruders are invading their space. They just might be in for a surprise by the end of the year when we hopefully have new lions arriving here at Majete.

That means that Elizabeth and her two daughters along with the young boy formed their own little gang, and by the looks of it they are doing just fine by themselves. They’ve obviously been raised right by Shire.

We were lucky enough to spent an entire morning with them on a nyala kill by the Shire River.”
Majete Wildlife 1

Majete is a true wilderness where every trip into the bush with experienced guides will feel like an adventure.

Contact Robin Pope Safaris

Web: www.robinpopesafaris.net
Email: info@robinpopesafaris.net
Phone: +265 (0) 179 4491 / 5483

Elephant Translocation

Elephant Translocation in Nyika National Park

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34 Elephants recently embarked on a 700km journey from Liwonde National Park to the plateau of Nyika National Park in an attempt to restore the elephant population.

Elephant Translocation

Courtesy of Peace Parks Foundation

A total of 34 elephants were recently translocated  from Liwonde National Park to the highlands of Nyika National Park, 700km away During the translocation, Central African Wilderness Safaris had the pleasure of hosting several dignitaries and donors who were part of the initiative at Chelinda Camp and Lodge.

The project was spearheaded by South African-based NGO – Peace Parks Foundation, Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife along with African Parks.

The remarkable skill and dedication of the game capture and veterinarian teams involved enabled a seamless translocation, ensuring that the elephants remained safe throughout their 700km journey from Liwonde to Nyika.

Having recognized that Liwonde had long exceeded its carrying capacity for elephant, the Government of Malawi, supported by Peace Parks Foundation and all project partners, initiated the translocation of these elephants from Liwonde to Nyika, which offers ample space for them to thrive. Nyika National Park, which was once home to over 300 elephants suffered an estimated decline of 67% in its elephant population, due to extreme poaching pressure. Thus, the translocation stands to benefit both Nyika National Park and its resident elephant population, as it will be instrumental in improving their viability and the fast-track recovery of their numbers.

A large portion of the project’s funding is being utilized to ensure the safe and seamless acclimatisation of the elephants to their new environment and habitat. For the next 12 months, the elephants will remain in a specially constructed sanctuary that provides ample space and vegetation for them to move and feed freely. Aerial support and VHF satellite collar systems have been implemented to monitor the animals on a daily basis, so as to ensure their safety and well-being.

Find out more about Peace Parks Foundation’s incredible elephant project in Nyika National Park.

This follows the completion of the largest Elephant Translocation in History recently concluded by African Parks in Malawi where more than 500 elephants were successfully translocated to protect the species and repopulate a large reserve in Malawi.

Central African Wilderness Safaris
Website: www.cawsmw.com
E-mail: info@cawsmw.com
Tel: +265 1771 393/153

Latitude 13 exciting new additions

Exciting new additions at Latitude 13

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Your stylish home away from home just got better.

Guest are in for a real treat at Latitude 13 as exciting new additions have been added to this stylish hotel. One of the new features is a heated swimming pool – a great addition to their already popular gym. It has proven very popular with both guests and non-resident guests, who are now able to continue swimming throughout the winter months.

Latitude 13 exciting new additions pool

Food has not been overlooked during the exciting developments at Latitude 13. Guests can also expect a tasty new menu to enjoy on the refurbished tiled outdoor dining area.

Latitude 13 exciting new additions

The team is also moving full steam ahead on the latest product addition, The Spa, which is due to open towards the end of August and will offer a wide range of treatments using natural and organic products. Some of these products are produced in Malawi’s neighbouring country, Zambia, and are already used at The Spa at their sister hotel, Latitude 15.

Latitude 13 exciting new additions 2

Now you can enjoy even more stylish luxuries at your home away from home.

Contact Latitude 13
Telephone: +265 9999 75959
E-mail: 13@thelatitudehotels.com
Website: 13.latitudehotels.com/

Murals

Talent lies in the warm heart of Africa

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Malawi recently had the honor of opening its first ever pediatric institute at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre.

Mercy James pediatric institute was funded by Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi which was founded in 2006. Boasting brand new facilities and equipment, there was a lot of excitement around the opening, and one of the most beautiful things about the hospital is the murals that were painted inside the hospital by the kids from Jacaranda School of Orphans.

Jacaranda School of Orphans 1

A team of twelve children (five girls, and seven boys) is responsible for the beautiful murals. The kids were led by their friend, artist John Platt, from New York who has been visiting Malawi for the past three years to help the kids learn how to draw with art materials he brought out for them.

The young artists painted a vibrant tree of birds which can be found in the main hall, as well as another small tree, a playroom full of cichlids, some majestic cranes and lastly the map of Africa. The Raising Malawi organization chose the Jacaranda School of Orphans out of several other entries to paint the murals after seeing their artwork at an exhibition in New York.

Jacaranda School of Orphans 2

Three of the children who were involved with painting the murals were also chosen by Madonna to dance with her son, David, for the opening ceremony. Jacaranda School of Orphans is amongst a few places in the country constantly working on ensuring kids are taught all forms of arts – from singing and dancing to drawing/painting, and even theatre, so that they can go on to represent Malawi in the future.

Jacaranda School of Orphans 5

The Ulendo Airlink team can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented children!

Contact Ulendo Airlink
Website: www.flyulendo.com
Email: reservations@flyulendo.com
Tel: +265 (0) 1 794 638

RPS Open Arms Orphanage

Responsible tourism gives back to the community

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The trip to Open Arms Orphanage and Nkope School of the Blind was an uplifting experience.

Robin Pope Safaris recently visited the Open Arms Orphanage and Nkope School of the Blind in Malawi as part of their responsible tourism initiative where they were able to see first-hand the impact that donations from them and their guests have on the less fortunate.

RPS Open Arms Orphanage

Open Arms Orphanage
Open Arms Orphanage provides love, shelter food and medical care to orphaned and abandoned children in Malawi. Children may end up in an orphanage for various reasons, but usually parents are unable to take care of their child and are in need of Government Aid and cannot support another child in their home.

A baby as young as a day may be admitted into the Open Arms Orphanage, where they have a capacity of forty children. These children range from one-day olds up to two years old, after which they are placed in suitable foster homes.

RPS visit Open Arms Orphanage

 “Mothers”
Mothers take care of around six children depending on how many they can handle. Night shifts and day shifts are split up between two mothers per group of orphans to be available for any of their children at any given time. The mothers will wash, feed and play with their children until the child is old enough to be moved to a foster home or is taken in by a suitable family member.

RPS visit Open Arms Orphanage

Donations
Any Donations given to the orphanage are greatly appreciated. Clothes that have been donated are assorted by size and gender, as well as what type of clothes it is. Each child has a shelf in a closet where they all have an allocated amount of clothes which are continuously replaced when needed.

Any toys that are donated are stored close to the class room where the children have their play dates and start learning the basics of the local Chichewa language.

Health
At the orphanage, there are nurses that treat the simple sicknesses that may occur with an infant. If needed, a child is taken to the Maccochi clinic where serious sickness will be attended to, and after the child has recovered fully, they will be taken back to the orphanage.

Diet
Children that are under the age of six months are exclusively on a diet of Lactogen 1. From six months the children are put on the diet of Lactogen 2. These supplies are bought through their head office located in Blantyre and are also sent to the orphanage.

RPS visit Open Arms Orphanage

Starting Village life
At two years old, an orphan becomes ready to start living in the village. If a child has a suitable family member that can adopt them into the family the orphanage will start to educate the family member on the essentials that the child will need to integrate successfully into the community.

Just before the orphaned child leaves the orphanage, one last step is taken so that the child will feel comfortable in the village environment. The child is placed into a model village home with their foster parent and sleeps just as they would in the village to give the child an actual vision of how they may live in the future. This ensures a smooth change from the orphanage into the village.

Outreaches
After a child is ‘discharged’ into a village with their suitable family member, the child may face a new set of challenges, one of which is malnutrition. To keep track of the children and to make sure that the challenges do not become severe, the Open Arms Orphanage will host outreach programs to visit children. By doing this they can once again make contact with the orphans to see how they have adapted to village life, as well as helping with challenges such as malnutrition by supplying food.
Nkope School of the Blind

After visiting the Open Arms Orphanage, another heart-warming experience took place at the Nkope School of the Blind where the Robin Pope Safaris team witnessed selflessness and a large amount of community love, care and protection where many would doubt it existed.

Nkope School of the Blind

Albinism is defined as a disorder characterised by the partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. Lack of pigment in the skin is a difficult situation when you live in Africa as with the sun bearing down, and no natural protection from it, there is a very high risk of sun burn and skin cancer.

At Nkope School of the Blind near Maccochi, there resides two students who suffer from albinism. These students are proudly protected by their community. They are both partially blind and have many helping hands that donate sunscreen and other medical supplies which they are extremely grateful for. Many of the items donated are sunscreen and lip balm as well as creams and ointments to help ease or prevent sun burn.

Nkope School is very happy with one of their students who has excelled at her schooling and has recently written her examinations. They personally would like to thank all the donors for all they have donated and are very grateful with everything they have received.
 
Contact Robin Pope Safaris
Web: www.robinpopesafaris.net
Email: info@robinpopesafaris.net
Phone: +265 (0) 179 4491 / 5483