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Rhino calf, 'Top Tours' and Updates: CAWS' March Newsletter Posted on: Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Central African wilderness safaris (CAWS) had a lot to celebrate in March. In their March Newsletter they revealed a new rhino calf born in Liwonde National Park and that the CAWS safari was listed in 'top 50 tours' by National Geographic Traveler magazine. They also included a round up of all the latest happenings in Liwonde and Nyika. For more details you can read more from CAWS below or click the link at the bottom of the page to read their full March newsletter. 

New rhino calf born in Liwonde National Park!

CAWS announced that during March one of Liwonde’s rhinos, Namatunu, gave birth to a new little baby calf. The rhino tracking team recently confirmed the following news,
"We were able to stay and watch Namatunu for about 20 minutes, and confirmed that she was with a new-born calf.  The trackers estimated the calf was 1-2 days old. We watched them for a few minutes before leaving them in peace."

The tracking team were unable to confirm the sex of the new arrival but will hopefully do so in the coming weeks after the new born has had time to find its feet in its new world.

The Liwonde National Park Rhino Monitoring and Research Programme have worked tirelessly in recent years to track and monitor Liwonde’s rhino population with the aim of increasing population growth rates within the park. In a country where Black Rhino numbers are estimated to total just 14 rhinos, this birth represents a huge step in the right direction.

Managing Director of CAWS, Chris Badger commented “We (CAWS) have tried to provide the logistical and financial support necessary for the research programme to achieve its goals, so I am delighted that all the hard work undertaken by the research team has paid off ‘’.

CAWS safari listed in 'top 50 tours' by National Geographic Traveler magazine.

A safari tour run by Central African Wilderness safaris has been selected as one of National Geographic Traveler magazines ’50 Tours of a Lifetime’. Elevate Destinations ‘Malawi Service and Safari Tour’ offers guests the opportunity to gain real insight into Malawian life by volunteering at a remote local village while also experiencing Malawi’s incredible wildlife through a stay with Central African Wilderness Safaris at Mvuu Camp or Lodge.

The trip is split into two sections, the first of which involves guests living and working in Njobvu Cultural Village (a CAWS funded community project), where they can by live as villagers do today. Guests stay in traditional housing with simple bucket showers and eat local food. Aside from immersing themselves in Malawian culture guests also have the chance to volunteer in the local nursery school that serves 150 children, as well as assisting with building, farming, or, for those with medical backgrounds, helping at the village clinic. During the second part of the tour guests are taken to Mvuu Camp or Lodge where they spend three days enjoying game drives, walking safaris and river cruises in one of Malawi’s premier national parks. The tour brings much needed human and financial resources to the region, with money from the tour helping to finance, among other things, the building of houses, repair of boreholes and the purchase of school materials.

CITW project partners visit Mvuu

Since 2006, in conjunction with project partners Children in the Wilderness (CITW), the Rosemary Pencil Foundation has sponsored over 100 Malawian children through secondary and tertiary education. Many of these children come from the communities surrounding Liwonde National Park, so it was an exciting day for both those who had been supported by the foundation and for Gillian Rose, founder of RPF, when she visited Mvuu Camp in March.

One former student that received support from RPF was Chifundo Nyambalo, who, thanks to the support of CITW and RPF, was able to complete his college education and secure a job with Central African Wilderness Safaris, where he now works as a Safari Guide at Mvuu Camp.

“When I was in primary school I had very good grades but my family were poor and my parents could not afford to send me to one of the higher schools to continue my education. Because of this I was taken on by CITW who sent me to one of the higher schools” said Chifundo.

Gillians arrival in Malawi formed part of RPF’s annual project visit, although this year Gillian also brought with her 50 e-readers that, in conjunction with CITW, were donated to Bandawe Girls School.

Update from Mvuu Camp and Lodge in Liwonde

Although Mvuu received some heavy storms at the very beginning of March no rain has been experienced since, so it would appear CAWS may have said goodbye to the rains here in Liwonde. Everything is still lush and green with temperatures maintaining an average level around the mid to high twenties. Possibly because of the changing weather patterns and lack of water sources, the elephants have made a very noticeable resurgence in their presence round camp. They have mainly been turning up in breeding herds or small bachelor herds. What was surely a highlight of the rainy season so far was the mass congregations of up to and, in some cases, over 100 elephants in one place in the last few days of the month!

Birding continues to be effortlessly spectacular in Liwonde with the usual sightings of several species of bee eaters, rollers, storks, shrikes, cuckoos and parrots. An interesting pattern has begun to emerge in that we’re seemingly seeing more raptors than usual. Palmnut vultures have been spotted a lot more frequently during the last two weeks of the month, possibly as much as every other day. Buffalo, eland, sable and even Leitchenstein’s hartebeest have also been seen frequently.

Update From Chelinda Camp And Lodge In Nyika

March has brought the usual unpredictable weather with scattered clouds and rainy spells interspersed with blue skies and bright sunshine, which creates some beautiful scenes with rainbows often seen arching over the hillsides. As always at this time of year the lush green vegetation makes it a feeding paradise for antelope species and consequently the abundance of wildlife here during March has been fantastic with herds of zebra regularly seen close to the camp and scattered all across the ridgelines. The long grass also makes ideal feeding grounds for snakes and this month one set of guests spotted a large boom slang snake crossing the road during an afternoon game drive. There have also been plenty of leopards around, which have been spotted close to the lodge and youth hostel on several occasions.

To read the full march newsletter from CAWS please click here




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