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  • 14
    Emerald season advice for Zambia

    I have the wing, now I need the prayer.... I seem to have the opportunity to be in Zambia from mid December through to the beginning of January, but seeing as the only faith I have is in the MyWanderlust faithful, I'm hoping one of you can answer my prayers!
    Does anybody have any advice on safari'ing in Zambia at the beginning of the wet. I've read a few articles about emerald / green season birding, but was hoping for personal experiences.
    I would probably want to do at least a part of it self drive probably the closest parts such as Kafue Flats and Lower Zambezi but would be willing to splash out a little in Kafue or S Luangwa.... I know it's a favourite haunt of yours Lyn.... any tips or insider info for this time of year? Maybe Kavey? JanieB? EmmaW? 
    Any thoughts gratefully received. Cheers, DrG

    Report as inappropriate
    DrG

    40 posts | 624 responses

    Posted 3 August 11

Responses

  • 1

    dammit, i need some of your prayers jon!  what a glorious opportunity!  i know absolutely nothing about zambia other than they do, indeed, produce some beautiful emeralds!  not as good as the colombian ones but lovely colours and clarity! 
    incidentally, did you get my "explore costa rica" text last night?
    p

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    ttbko

    84 post | 862 responses

    Posted 3 August 11
  • 2

    Hi Dr G.
    Sadly, I haven't yet been to Zambia myself in dry season, but I know people who have (in South Luangwa) so will make some enquiries. In the interim, here's a page from the Bushcamp Company's site - a company I know and can heartily recommend.
    Lyn

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    Lyn Hughes

    101 post | 592 responses

    Posted 3 August 11
  • 3

    Wow - quick off the mark!
    Pamy - thanks yes.... I will email you in the morning - MrG finally got back to me about an hour ago.
    Lyn - fabulous link and mouthwatering start to a bit of research but sorry, to clarify, I understood mid Dec to Jan would be the wet albeit near the start, so was a tad confused as to what time of year you had been. Anything else you can dig out would be great. Many thanks. J

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    DrG

    40 post | 624 responses

    Posted 3 August 11
  • 4

    Whoops, I did, of course, mean that I'd only been in the dry season. Sorry to confuse you. Would love to go in the emerald; several people who live and work there have told me how special it can be.

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    Lyn Hughes

    101 post | 592 responses

    Posted 4 August 11
  • 5

    Lucky DrG! Very few camps are open in South Luangwa in the Emerald Season (for obvious reasons) but a couple of companies I know of who do operate and would highly recommend are Norman Carr Safaris and Robin Pope Safaris. Both do Emerald Season safaris that are not just birding and are sometimes referred to as "Rivers and Rainbows". I have been with both but only with Norman Carr in the green season. Check their websites - they give lots of information. They are mainly walking safaris as vehicular access is severely restricted. Hope this helps.

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    Fluffy

    0 post | 9 responses

    Posted 4 August 11
  • 6

    Hey DrG
    I've not been to Zambia but if Wanderlust don't mind, can I recommend you ask your same question at safaritalk.net where there are a lot of VERY well travelled members, many of whom have been to Zambia and a number of whom advocate low season travel.
    I'm sure someone could help!
    :)

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    Kavey

    59 post | 843 responses

    Posted 4 August 11
  • 7

    Thanks for clarifying Lyn.... I look forward to anything else you can muster from your contacts.
    Fluffy, they do call me Lucky DrG in some circles! Thanks for the pointers..... did you go in December or later in the Jan-to-Mar window. I was getting the impression from what I managed to find on Robin Pope that they only do the green scene later when the water level is presumably higher and relatively more stable?
    Kavey.... I knew I could count on you for some solid advice... even without having been there. You're a star!
    Any others care to chip in with experience or knowledge, especially of the mid Dec to mid Jan window? All info gratefully received.
    Cheers all, DrG

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    DrG

    40 post | 624 responses

    Posted 5 August 11
  • 8

    Hi Jon
    I've done a short safari with Robin Pope in Zambia - late January a few years ago.  South Luangwa is definitely worth it but I'm not sure what's open in December, although friends tell me that Robin Pope is operating all year round now.  Self drive might be a bit of a challenge given that some bush roads will be washed out.  Don't think Norman Carr starts operations until mid to late January.  Kafue may be closed in December. The green season is great for photography and game spotting.  You could check out expertafrica for advice.  Have fun. Jean

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    JayR

    31 post | 282 responses

    Posted 5 August 11
  • 9

    chris.mcintyre@expertafrica.com.  Chris wrote the Bradt guide for Zambia and is an old Africa hand.  He'll be able to give you ideas of what's possible.  Cheers, Jean

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    JayR

    31 post | 282 responses

    Posted 5 August 11
  • 10

    Hey Jean, you've been quiet of late. Thanks for piping up with that sound advice. I was going to write to Chris, probably indirectly in the first instance. I know his wife from university days! Cheers, J

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    DrG

    40 post | 624 responses

    Posted 6 August 11
  • 11

    Hi Jon
    Quiet due to summer bugs, pollen allergies and brain-deadness from marking BEd essays and projects.  Glad you've got an 'in' there with Chris.  You'll enjoy Zambia's green season.  It's simply stunning.  Be sure to take your wellies.  Cheers, Jean

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    JayR

    31 post | 282 responses

    Posted 6 August 11
  • 12

    ...and, should you fall over any emeralds, i'd be happy to relieve you of one or two of them - after MrsG, obviously x

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    ttbko

    84 post | 862 responses

    Posted 7 August 11

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