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Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

...I think this recent New Your Times Article is well worth a read:

…wsj.com/article/…

Hwange, Pamushana, Vic Falls and Mana Pools (in the company of Stretch Ferreire) are all covered. As is the thorny old question of whether or not it is ethically correct to visit Zimbabwe. The view expressed in this article is that only ~2% of the money you spend on a safari goes to the government, the rest to Zimbabwean people and people / companies providing jobs for Zimbabweans.

Anyway, have a read and see what you think....

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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1. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

I think I'd better go (again) before it gets too popular!

Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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2. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

You know it makes sense!

I am booked into Mucheni 2 exclusive camp for 8 days from Sunday 14th Oct...I can't wait, though I have heard it has been hot and dry for a long time now and the animals are showing signs of stress.

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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3. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

I've heard from Zambia that they've been having some rain in the past few days, so it could be cooling a bit.

california
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4. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

Wait, I thought October was suicide month? Everone says I should go earlier. I am planing for October 2013. What are your thoughts weather vs great wildlife viewing.

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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5. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

It is suicide month, but the signs this year are that the rains may be arriving early in Southern Africa (this is what I'm hearing from people in Zambia and Botswana), which might make it a bit cooler than usual this year. It depends whether the rains continue, and October 2013 could be completely different. Normally, the rains don't start until late Oct/ early Nov.

Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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864 posts
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6. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

No doubt about it, October is a brutal time to visit Mana - shockingly hot to be out walking, bewilderingly difficult to sleep under canvas. Every few days, you'll get 12 hours of howling wind which drives sand and dust everywhere.

But......it is the time to visit Mana to view wildlife in its greatest concentrations on the floodplain, hence I will always choose to visit in October if I possible can - damn the discomfort!

Having done a little weather research for the next few days, I see no signs of things cooling down - Kariba is over 40 most days, and Mana is generally a few degrees warmer!

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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7. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

If it wasn't for the walking I'd brave the heat too.

I won't make it next year (other plans), but it's a priority for 2014. Going late Aug/early Sept usually works for me- to use that UK Bank Holiday.

Whyone- do you ever go anywhere else in Zim? I'd probably want to combine Mana with either something else in Zim, or something in Zambia (maybe Kafue).

Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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864 posts
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8. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

I am very fortunate to have friends in Zimbabwe, which means Mana is too easy (and too cheap!) for me! However, I have over the years visited most of the Zim parks.

The October trip is a 'boys only' holiday. I do try to visit interesting places with my family at other times - for example this summer we spent 3 wonderful weeks in Costa Rica - 1 week of which was a beautiful remote cabin in the rainforest. Very different to Mana, and a new set of photographic challenges (low/no light, pouring rain, dense undergrowth!)

However, I really want to visit South Luangwa, and we have discussed on a number of occasions giving Mana a miss one year, and venturing a little further north.

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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9. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

I've only been to Mana twice- once was 3 nights at Ruckomechi which I felt wasn't quite the "real" Mana, being on a private concession. The other time was various brief shore stops on a canoe safari. However, I think Mana and SLNP have a similar feel about them, and as I love SLNP I want to go and experience Mana in a bit more depth. So I think you'd like South Luangwa. One day!

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Anyone thinking of visiting Zimbabwe to view wildlife...

Thanks for that article link, whyone.

My wife and I spent four fantastic days at Goliath in late August., it sure brought back memories. Saw pictures of some of our friends in the slideshow too (like JD... and to say nothing of Stretch!).

Hope to have a trip report and journal posted before too long, but have been busy.

John

PS: I think it was your recommendations of Goliath that first caught my attention, and have been meaning to thank you. It more than lived up to our expectations