John Stevens Safaris - Guided Safaris Africa
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This is the year that was

This last year has flown by and we are feeling grateful and proud to be celebrating 30 Years of Extraordinary Adventures! Grateful because we get to share the wonders of Africa with wonderful people and every day is a new and remarkable one. And proud because we’ve worked hard to build up a fine reputation – John’s guiding excellence has made him a legend; his enthusiasm, knowledge and warmth knows no bounds - and our exclusive safari journeys have opened up worlds and even changed lives.

So where have we travelled this year?

Our own country, Zimbabwe, has featured well – from the magnificent Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park, the Lowveld to Mana Pools (John’s favourite place in the world), Matopos to Matusadona…

Then Botswana and the amazing Okavango and vast Kgalikgadi… Zambia and the stunning South Luangwa… Mozambique and beautiful Pemba… incredibly diverse Tanzania and exciting Kenya… and, as we write, John is in Ethiopia, exploring the breathtaking landscapes and fascinating cultures of this interesting country. You can read more about his enviable Ethiopian expedition in our next missive… John has been phoning in with such exciting and inspiring stories, we can’t wait to share them with you!

Highlights from the various trips taken this year are many, but include getting around in a helicopter, (which also served to assist in some significant anti-poaching work in the Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks):
Also, one of our family groups enjoyed true ‘mobile’ camping in Tanzania, the tents following their movements, a fresh, new location every night…

We also travelled 1,800km on dusty dirt roads in a jeep to familiarise ourselves with the many different camps and lodges in Northern Tanzania, marvelling at the Manyara, crossing the Crater, meeting the Maasai, sweeping over the Serengeti in a spectacular balloon… and we came back with the knowledge we need, of the areas, camps and lodges and wildlife to give you a better experience in this part of the world. In fact, every year we make a point of getting to know better the places John loves and we recommend to you – it’s no difficult task, of course!

Want to experience the migration in the Mara? How about zip-lining across the Zambezi Gorge at the Victoria Falls? Perhaps an Ethiopian adventure or a beach break in Mozambique is more to your liking? Start planning now! Please contact Nicci or Laura with your bucket list.

Continuing to raise awareness of rhino and elephant poaching

One of our main focuses this year has been on the sadly worsening plight of the rhino and elephant. Poaching is seemingly completely out of control, despite the best efforts of individuals and organisations who have made it their life work to stop the horror. Perpetrators have been caught, but more take their place just as readily.

In South Africa alone, at least 860 rhinos have been lost to poaching although 285 arrests have been made. “WWF applauds the increasing number of arrests of poachers and ongoing efforts to protect South Africa’s rhinos in the face of the poaching onslaught,” said Jo Shaw, Rhino Co-ordinator: Biodiversity Unit, WWF-SA. “However, we need to see international collaboration between global law enforcement agencies, to shift the pressure higher up the illicit supply chain on to those co-ordinating illicit wildlife trafficking activities, if we are to ultimately combat this threat.” (Excerpt from - Bid to slash poaching but high-level convictions needed. SA Tourism Update. 29 Nov 2013)

Elsewhere in Africa, the plight is exactly the same; although the numbers are not so alarmingly high, they remain proportionate.

The Independent newspaper in Britain put out this article and appeal in their December 5th issue -

And Save the Rhino also has some interesting reading for you -

Please also look at this short film – Zimbabwe’s National Ballet put together a great show called When They’re Gone -

March for Elephants feedback

As we highlighted in an earlier newsletter this year, we joined the March for Elephants in body and spirit on October 4th.

“Last year up to 36,000 elephants were killed for their ivory. 1 life lost every 15 minutes.
At the current rate of poaching African Elephants could face extinction in the wild by 2025.”
See for more information and updates on the campaign.

We’ll also continue to feature the people who make a difference and draw attention to the relevant organisations and their work.

People such as Oria Douglas Hamilton - and Richard Bonham, who is guiding with John in Kenya later this month - His partner at Big Life, Nick Brandt, has taken some incredible and now famous photographs of elephants and other wildlife – you simply must take a look -

“Got back a few hours ago from the march, which was very moving. At one point they suggested a minute of silence to honor the elephants that had died and that's when I almost lost it.

“Hard for me to estimate numbers, but I'm guessing several hundred marchers. We gathered at 42nd Street and 12th Avenue … and walked … to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN. There were several speakers, including one young Kenyan woman, … who was the most inspiring. I was very glad to participate (this was my first march...), so thanks for letting me know.”

Excerpt from correspondence - Frederica Gamble, New York

Goodbye, Madiba, one of Africa’s true greats

As we write, the world gathered to mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela. We couldn’t put it better than Roddy Bray in his tribute newsletter to the greatest African statesman the world has ever seen…

Family News

In our 30th year we also took great pride in watching The Mana Pools Safari Company grow even more into an immensely desirable Zambezi tented camp offering – a private camp, set up exclusively on the banks of the river, with true authentic style and great food! Next year, Milo and Sarah will be adding a few smart new tents and some changes in facilities and comfort levels… watch this space…

Best of all, in 2013, we delighted in the birth of Imogen Lily, beautiful daughter to Sarah and Milo, who we are convinced has come into our lives solely to gladden our hearts!

Thank you to each and every one of you for being part of the John Stevens Guided Safaris Africa story. It doesn’t end here, however – we look forward to many more adventures and hope to share them with you!

John, Nicci, Sarah, Milo and Laura wish you Happy Holidays! 
May you and your families have much laughter and love in your lives at Christmas and through the coming year. 

Contact Details
Phone: 263 4 490612 (Office hours 9am - 5pm
Zimbabwe UTC/GMT +2 hours)
PO Box CH 84, Chisipite, Harare, Zimbabwe

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