Kanga Camp What an amazing safari this turned out to be! Designed to really appreciate and enjoy nature through all the senses and a learning adventure like no other - this safari was certainly aptly named.

Late April saw journalists and travel writers from the UK and South Africa from several prominent publications head to African Bush Camps Kanga Camp in the heart of Mana Pools National Park to experience their first Super Sensory Safari.

The camp is situated in a remote part of the World Heritage Site of Mana Pools overlooking Kanga Pan, the only permanent water source for a 10km radius around the camp. This was the ideal setting for this unique safari experience, followed by a few nights at their Zambezi Expeditions camp on the banks of the Zambezi River, an hour’s drive from Kanga. The excellent late rains had turned the area into a beautiful green oasis with stunning flowers and butterflies everywhere.

The safari had a three-way focus – sound experiences with Derek Solomon, learning from nature with Rob Janisch and signs of the bush with Lewis Mangaba. Audio-visual presentations by Derek and Rob were a focal point of the safari; and animal communication, particularly sound, was the focus of Derek’s presentations that led into many discussions and observations in the field.

Rob is a professional guide and biomimicry expert and his presentations and field outings focused on what he terms 'the genius of nature', showing how animals interact with, and adapt to their surroundings and how we can create products that mimic their behaviour, e.g. a spider web or mimicking the natural form of something such as a termite mound to create an energy-efficient method of ventilating a building.

Lewis is African Bush Camps' roving specialist guide and an ethno-botany expert; he introduced everyone to the traditional and cultural uses of the amazing plant life around Kanga as well as teaching everyone about the varied tracks and signs during each walk (and we are delighted that Lewis will be one of the team on our Great Elephant Experience at ABC's Hwange Somalisa Expeditions camp in September).
Rob Janisch
Rob Janisch - smelling wild basil
Lewis Mangaba
Lewis Mangaba - making a bird trap

Late rains throughout Zimbabwe meant a very last-minute change to the flight schedule from Harare with a diversion to the airstrip at Chirundu on the Zimbabwe/Zambia border followed by a boat ride down the Zambezi to meet the team from Kanga Camp and then a drive into camp (the camp airstrip was saturated).
wild dog
This turned out to be a bonus as just minutes after leaving the river we found a pack of wild dogs. Rob immediately encouraged everyone to leave the vehicles and approach the dogs on foot – an unforgettable experience. See the video here

Mana elephant The days were quickly filled with talks, walks and drives. Elephants were very obvious leading to discussions on infrasound communication with Derek. Time at a massive Baobab tree led to an entertaining hour while Rob and Lewis treated everyone to tales about this amazing giant of the Mana woodland. Listening to the dawn chorus while sipping early morning coffee next to a temporary pan, Cape buffalo with a head-dress, wonderful birdlife, discussions on spider webs and other amazing creatures all combined to make this a very special experience.

The camp staff were exceptional - pulling out all the stops. From bush breakfasts and sumptuous lunches and teas through to the surprise starlight dinner on the final evening, set up around the campfire where we enjoyed superb food while listening to the sounds of the bush all around us.

In addition to his guiding expertise, Lewis is a wonderful musician and after dinner kept everyone enthralled while he sang and played his traditional mbira, a hand-crafted instrument made out of metal keys mounted on a hardwood soundboard, a wonderful ending to a very special safari.

The next Super Sensory Safari is set for November 2017 and we, for one, can't wait!

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Kuyimba Trading

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