Conservation Lower Zambezi Newsletter March 2014

LZ Safari Guide Training and Exams

Above: Candidates put through their paces by thick bush and tough examining team

CLZ Base Camp has been flooded this month with trainee guides and candidates for the Lower Zambezi Safari Guide Exams. As part of this process, 30 guides attended training led by instructors Rory McDougall, Roddy Smith, Scott Brown and Sven Vrodolkak. 59 exam candidates in total sat for their game drive, walking safari, boating and fishing and canoeing exams at CLZ this month and were quizzed by the Lower Zambezi Safari Guide Examining Committee on their knowledge of the wildlife, resources and history of the Lower Zambezi as well as their practical and safety skills. The exams are run by the Lower Zambezi Safari Guides Committee – CLZ have been facilitating the exams since 2001 and are proud of the high standards set by the examiners and reached by the candidates. Congratulations to all who took part and those who were successful in passing. We were lucky to have ZAWA independent observer Charity Machakube join us to oversee the process and give ZAWA approval, as well as scouts for walking assessments. Every year, CLZ sponsor independent candidates from the Lower Zambezi area to take their exams by contributing 50% of exam fees. This year, we sponsored Gift Katiyo and Fobbs Zwenga to take their general exam and boating and fishing exam – congratulations to both for their successful passes!

A huge thank you to all the members of the LZSG Examining Committee and for their employers for allowing them to participate – Anabezi Camp, Baines River Camp, Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro, Mwambashi River Lodge, Royal Zambezi Lodge, Chongwe River Camp, Wildtracks Lodge and a special thank you to Rory McDougall for spending a whole month with us at CLZ to train guides and help with exams. Thank you to Ciara Lyons, our amazing volunteer who without which we could not have run the exams.

3Environmental Education in Luangwa and Rufunsa

Environmental Educator Besa Kaoma has been Luangwa and Rufunsa this month teaching our Environmental education and health curriculum to “Chongololo’ clubs across these areas, visiting over 20 schools. The outreach programme enables CLZ to learn the most pressing environmental issues to schoolchildren in these areas and adapt our lessons to address these topics. Thank you to our donors including Sidecole and Elephant Charge and Expert Africa.

4In other news..

Five ‘demonstration’ chilli fences were built by farmers and HWC co-ordinator Stephen Kalio in the Chiawa GMA – these farmers will give first hand accounts of their experiences in our July chilli-fence workshops;

There have been more spottings of African Wild Dog in the National Park and GMA this month, a positive sign for the park’s population. Sightings of Roan and Sable antelope have been frequent in the escarpment and 20 Sable were also spotted on the valley floor, a rare sight!

Article by: Conservation Lower Zambezi