Answer by Rory Young:
Well, no, that's not me, but I do have a really big gun!
First of all, what is a safari?
The word "safari" never used to mean "race to the coordinates radio'ed to you by the other drivers so you can have a quick look at the poor bloody lion surrounded by a dozen little buses, and then race off again to the confused cheetahs hemmed in by a dozen more of the same".
Game drives are a must of course but definitely not like this..
(Unhappy spotty cat up a tree and surrounded by dozens of buses.)
This is how a game drive should look..
(Very happy spotty cat being observed quietly and unobtrusively by one open vehicle)
In swahili "safari" used to mean "long journey" and a journey it should be. It should be a journey of discovery and wonder. Such a journey it will be. We need variety, so not just vehicles. We need to get close to nature; touch it, smell it. We need to walk..
An elephant and me and my really big gun.
The difference between walking and driving?
Below is what lions looks like from 20 metres away when you see them from a vehicle..
Below is what lions look like from 200 metres away when you are on foot and there is nothing between you..
Everything is bigger and more real when you are on foot. You can hear everything, smell everything, touch.. er, well not touch everything..
Where would the safari take place?
The middle Zambezi area. We have to see the rhinos, so on the shores of Lake Kariba is the number one priority. We will track them on foot and watch them at home.
Lake Kariba from Matusadona
Then of course Mana!is a World Heritage Site in the Middle Zambezi, and they are both perfect for tracking big game on foot, so we would combine those two parks..
So what else would be worth discovering and wondering at?
This is where we all came from! Man evolved in Africa and only ventured out of here relatively recently. Matusadona National Park is strewn with evidence of our ancient ancestors in the form of early, middle and late stone-age tools, the oldest half a million years old. Looking for these whilst surrounded by the same animals our ancestors would have lived amongst is quite an experience.
We have to meet the people of the community around Matusadona. The people are BaTonga. The area is called the Omay and the chief of these BaTonga people is called Chief Mola.
Chief Mola with an arbitrary ad hoc retainer during a surprise visit to the Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit.
The people of Chief Mola were relocated to the Omay from the Gwembe valley which was flooded when lake Kariba was built in the 1950s. They are a unique and fascinating culture with unusual customs. They also live together with wildlife in their area. People live alongside lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hippos and many more. There is conflict at times and Chief Mola does his best to protect animals and people from each other.
We would visit Chief Mola, meet some of his people and discuss their life in the wild with them.
The Wildlife Protection Teams
This goes without saying. Meet the most important people there.
(I've got the biggest gun)
Between ten and fourteen days excluding flights.
Where would we stay?
Alternating sleeping in tents under the stars and cozy lodges is best; rough it a bit with excitement and then relax. Here are some links to some of the places I would like us to stay, depending on availability and other factors.
I'm now going to try 's gratuitous use of kittens..
Cute little African kittens.