Safari – The Ultimate Place to Social Distance
I trust this finds everyone well and bearing up in these interesting times. I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on recent happenings at Epic.
Understandably the world of travel is pretty quiet at the moment. That said, in Africa there are signs of an awakening. Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa have opened their doors. We have had the pleasure of hosting a number of travellers recently and I wanted to share some of their experiences. All the safaris have gone off successfully with no Covid incidents. The lodges used are well prepared and have comprehensive Covid protocols and plans in place.
We have hosted two honeymoon couples who have ventured well off the beaten track. Both visited one of my favourite destinations in the world – Mahale National Park. Mahale is in the extreme west of Tanzania nestled on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. It is home to a very special group of chimpanzees known as the “M” group. This group consists of 50+ individuals and offers an amazing experience. There is a remarkable guide there, Mwiga Mambo, one of Africa’s leading primatologists. He has trekked to the M group for the past 20 years and he knows their social dynamic and history intimately. He also knows every chimp individually and they know him. Observing chimps is like looking into a mirror. They are remarkably similar to us. Once you have learned something about chimp behaviour, you better understand ours. Here is some footage taken by Mwiga whilst guiding one of the couples, Ben and Blair.
These trips also included a mix of other destinations; the Serengeti, the gorillas in Rwanda and a private island just south of Zanzibar. Thanda Island is a small sand cay and includes a beautiful plantation style villa with a wonderful array of activities and all the “toys” to conduct them. Apart from the exclusivity, one of the attractions of the island is whalesharks. During the southern hemisphere spring and summer months whalesharks congregate in the vicinity to feed. Click here to watch the video. Also here are some safari images taken by Arthur and Dani.
We also had repeat Epic travellers, Jeff and Sara, climb Kilimanjaro and safari thereafter to the icons of Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. They successfully summitted and had the mountain pretty much to themselves. Jeff and Sara are very accomplished photographers and they kindly agreed for us to share with you some of their wonderful images.
Covid Appeal Update
The impact of COVID-19 has been profound – particularly on rural communities dependent on tourism and on wildlife conservation. Generous donations to Epic’s COVID 19 Appeal have made a big difference in Africa and Nepal in the following ways:
- Food hampers and other essentials such as blankets
- Supporting anti-poaching teams – helicopter and vehicle surveillance
- Mobilisation of extra de-snaring teams who also keep a critical presence in unpatrolled areas
- Supporting small sustainable businesses – cooperative farms
- Sanitation and water supplies – water storage tanks and boreholes
- Assisting government and working with the local village leadership to deliver support
- Development and distribution of education material to reduce the spread of Covid
Every single contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a significant difference.