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About PersonalPangea

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  1. Why don't you book a Safaritalk special trip for 2016? Any Safaritalkers up for hindered-spirit adventure?
  2. Superb description and photos of your stay at Duba, Bush Dog, thank you and glad to hear you are in much better health. I hope you enjoyed your stay at Duba and Selinda, as well as the complimentary helicopter transfer between the reserves (we include this on all stays of 6 nights or more between Duba and Selinda or Zarafa camps). There were a couple of observations that you and others have made in the report and I hope I can answer some of them. The new Duba Expedition Camp (1 km away from the old camp) of six tents will open on 5th April (2 days time!) and will be the same rate as the old Duba Plains Camp, which has now closed at the end of March. I will post new images of Duba Expedition Camp as soon as the photographer has completed the shoot. The new Duba Plains Camp will then be built on the site of the old camp with six tents on a level comparable to Great Plains' Zarafa Camp and will be pitched at a price just below that of Zarafa, of which these two camps will be an ultimate two-centre Botswana experience. The new Duba Plains Camp is scheduled to open 10 January 2017, or sooner. In reference to species present or not present, I can assure you that giraffe and impala are found in the concession. The giraffe are often seen on the island where the two camps and airstrip is located, although impala are nowhere near as plentiful as other antelope species. Whenever I've stayed I'm staggered at the number of kudu, red lechwe, tssesbe and warthogs I see as well as the variety of bird life. Leopard have moved into the area and have established territories, side-striped jackal and hyena are commonly seen, as are bat-eared fox. Duba has so much more variety to offer than just the famed buffalo and lion that often take the lime-light, as your elephant photos attest. We look forward to welcoming you and other Safaritalk members back to a new-look Duba soon.
  3. Have you thought about joining an exciting Rhinos Without Borders rhino release? It is a wild and exciting experience but a little difficult to attend. Now is your chance to join in on this amazing experience. In association with GoPro and the Great Plains Foundation, there is an opportunity that allows you to be in the midst of a rhino relocation from your sitting room. Rhinos Without Borders is a project moving 100 rhino from areas of high poaching and now drought conditions to the safety of remote regions deep within Botswana’s wilderness. With a poaching rate of one rhino every 7 hours these moves are critical to the survival of the species and using the latest GoPro technology they have produced a Virtual Reality experience that enables you to join in as if you were with us, standing alongside our experts and being talked through the process by Dereck Joubert, who is the CEO of Great Plains Conservation. We hope that you enjoy it. This is a joint initiative between Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond. If you would like to support the Rhinos Without Borders initiative please go to /
  4. Great Plains Conservation launches the new Selinda Adventure Trail with 'heli-walking' and/or 'heli-canoeing'. Adventure is defined by a certain amount of unpredictability and unknown. It should also enhance senses and stimulate adrenaline. The new 5 days/4 nights Selinda Adventure Trail embodies this definition entirely: The itinerary primarily dictated by water levels in the Selinda Spillway, a seasonally flooded channel that connects the Okavango River to the west and the Linyanti Swamps to the east. When the Spillway has low water, or dry, we will operate a professionally guided walking safari; and when there is enough water we will offer a combination walking and canoeing expedition (formerly the Selinda Canoe Trail). Secondary effects to the itinerary route often depends on wildlife movements. The adventure for both experiences start with a thrilling 20 minute helicopter journey to the remote starting points in the vast 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve, giving an aerial perspective of the Selinda Spillway and the myriad of channels and lagoons that branch off it creating clearings in the pristine woodland. Call it ‘heli-walking’, ‘heli-stalking’ or ‘heli-canoeing’ if you like. The unpredictable nature of the floods means that your guests won’t know before they board the helicopter from the Selinda Reserve airstrip whether they will be doing the pure-walking safari or the combination walking and canoeing expedition. Be prepared to walk, regardless of whether the Spillway is dry or in flood. The 2016 season will operate 20 May to 11 October and in 2017 season from 02 April to 23 September. Download 2016 rates and departure dates here. 2017 rates, with Selinda Adventure Trail dates, will be sent shortly. Download full itineraries and factsheet here.
  5. Do look at ol Donyo Lodge too, an area that perhaps you've not considered in the Chyulu Hills overlooking Kilimanjaro. The only lodge with access to 275,000 areas of Maasailand - you won't see anyone else, other than other guests at the lodge and occasional Maasai villagers. This I would consider to have the most on offer for families of all Great Plains Conservation properties; horse riding, mountain biking, walking, Maasai culture, exploring lava tubes, evading anti-poaching dogs (I did it last October and it's super-fun!), day and night game drives, painting, log-pile hide for viewing the huge tusker elephants found in this Tsavo-Amboseli ecosystem, sleep-outs, scenic flight up close to Kilimanjaro, day and night game drives, walking into volcanic craters.... So much to do, but do allow for time to relax and chill by the pool and sleep on the roof-top star beds. We have two bedroom family suite or the pool suites can also accommodate two adults and 1 child sharing.
  6. Hi Gaylie99, I'm the marketing manager of Great Plains Conservation, so slightly biased, but hopefully can give you some good advice. First of all I've been to Ol Malo and it's terrific for families and being able to do different activities which your daughter will love (camels, horses, rafting on tubes down the river, the Samburu culture, helicopter flips). I've also been to Lewa Wilderness and can definitely recommend that lodge and conservancy too. As far as Mara Plains vs Mara Toto's concerned, nature has made your choice easier: Mara Toto was washed away, literally, in November floods and will be out of action in 2016 (possibly looking at a new site for this camp). Whilst Mara Toto Camp is fantastic, and will be even more so when and where it reopens, you safe bet at this stage is to book Mara Plains Camp! We have a two bedroom family tent, or your daughter can share with you in one of our regular tents with an extra bed - there's plenty of space! We also have a Young Explorers programme at all of our camps (see link here At present Mara Plains Camp has the benefit of access to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy plus we include one day pass into the Masai Mara National Reserve (if you'd like to go into the reserve on subsequent days you just pay the park fee locally to the camp). I hope this helps? Alex
  7. As President Obama visits Kenya today, closes airspace and lands in his private jet, Air Force One, we at Great Plains Conservation are taking this opportunity to announce our once-in-a-lifetime, 13-day Great African Private Flying Adventure, which is same, same, but different... Yes, you'll get a private plane; a next generation Pilatus PC12, accommodating 6 guests (just a tad smaller than Air Force One) in supreme comfort. You'll get your own private airspace too! From Nairobi to Johannesburg in fact, taking in Africa’s premier wildlife viewing destinations in Kenya and Botswana. Like President Obama, you will avoid the immigration queues and receive VIP treatment throughout. And you'll stay in accommodation fit for presidents! Taking in three Relais & Châteaux and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World; Mara Plains Camp and ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya, and Zarafa Camp in Botswana, in addition to a brand new camp on the Duba Plains concession in the Okavango Delta. You'll get more time than the President! Three nights at each camp, 12 nights, with no agenda other than where the whims of the Africa bush may take you. You'll get a far, far better guide to Kenya and Botswana than CNN's misguided report yesterday! Chris Renshaw is an award-winning photographer and professional guide and he will be with your guests through the 13 day expedition. The interest in these expeditions we anticipate to be exceptional. Act quickly to secure your space on this unique series of adventures in Africa's finest places. It runs in a northerly direction and then a southerly direction, starting in Johannesburg and ending in Nairobi, and vice versa. Details of each of the set departures, corresponding rates for each journey, accommodation used and professional guide profile can be found in the following link. Download the pdf of the journey and itinerary here. We look forward to welcoming your excellencies to Africa! 2016GreatPlainsFlyingSafari_09July2015.pdf
  8. ~ @@PersonalPangea Your post is a welcome breath of fresh air in the wildlife conservation section. Hope has a way of filling all sails with renewed energy. Will you please pardon my ignorance if I ask about one aspect. I'm unable to access your Web site due to ongoing Internet restrictions where I live. Therefore I'm unclear as to why Botswana was selected as the recipient for the airlifted rhinos. Is Botswana a pilot project, or is it possible that at a future time other nations with appropriate habitats might also receive airlifted rhinos. If my question is inappropriate, please do ignore it. Much respect to your team for its commitment to rhino conservation. Tom K.
  9. In the face of ever more devastating poaching statistics, we would like to share our story of hope. The largest airlift of rhinos ever undertaken has begun, as on the 28th April our first group of rhinos were released into Botswana. They will form part of a seed population which will have a chance to expand in number and gene diversity, whilst protected by the latest technology and a specialized anti-poaching unit. We will be moving at least 100 rhinos to Botswana, as part of the Rhinos Without Borders initiative in partnership with andBeyond, and we are already moving steadily towards being able to get the next group to safety. We are proud, yet humbled by the opportunity; sad that it is necessary, but grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, and hopeful that this small step in conservation is breeding hope for a species on its way back from the brink of an unacceptable extinction. Thank you to a dedicated team. Thank you to industry partners and individuals who are all turning dreams into a reality. This is only just the beginning and we hope that you will continue to stand by us as we turn the tide on the rhino crisis together. Now is a time for action, now is a time for hope. Dereck Joubert CEO Great Plains Conservation
  10. It was announced at the International Congress of Relais & Châteaux in Paris, celebrating the association's 60th year, that Mara Plains Camp, Kenya, has been accepted on all standards as a member camp based on its experience, fine cuisine, hosting and accommodation. "This is our third camp to become a Relais & Châteaux member, an honour and responsibility we don't take lightly. The association stands for excellence at all levels and in general celebrates the art of living which in our case is all about the life changing experience of a safari," says Dereck Joubert CEO Great Plains Conservation from Paris, last night. Mara Plains reopened in August 2013, after being completely rebuilt to become one of Africa's finest ecological camps. Located in the exclusive Olare Mororogi Conservancy, bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve to the north, Mara Plains Camp has the largest traversing area of any camp in the Mara ecosystem with additional access to the Mara North Conservancy. Mara Plains Camp has seven, expansive tents, each with views over the classic savannah grasslands of the Maasai Mara ecosystem, yet the camp is inconspicuously shaded by the riverine vegetation of the Ntiakitiak River. Of the seven tents two of these form a two-tent family suite on a shared deck, and for honeymooners one tent is perched above the river with its own rope-bridge access. Each spacious tent has a copper, free-standing bath, indoor shower includes the complimentary use of professional Canon EOS 7D camera equipment and Swarovski high-definition binoculars. Mara Plains Camp joins its sister property ol Donyo Lodge, in Kenya's southern Chyulu Hills, as East Africa's only other Relais & Châteaux member property. Great Plains Conservation's third member property, Zarafa Camp, in the Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana, was the recipient of last year's Relais & Châteaux Environment Trophy 2013. Life changing experience at Mara Plains, shot by a guest using camp's photographic equipment
  11. Great report and pictures Matt and you are part of the Tribe. As Marisa Tomei says to Joe Pesci in the film My Cousin Vinny "Oh yeah, you blend". Brought back some memories, even though I was only there for a short time.
  12. Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond have partnered up with Trevolta, a crowd-funding site that helps raise funds for travellers, and now rhinos. Explaining the partnership Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation, says "An important and exciting day for rhinos today. As you know we are moving 100 rhinos to secure locations in Botswana as a collective effort with our friends in conservation and in tourism operations.Rhinos Without Borders is a joint venture with wildlife officials in Botswana, a sanctioned and valid project. Each rhino is going to cost us about $45,000 to move and this is beyond the reach of most of us, so Jolene one of the young editors who works for us came up with a new concept and spoke to “Trevolta” a crowd funding group that raise sponsorship money for people who want to travel for a cause but can’t afford it. Well we have some rhinos who want to travel for a cause too (their safety) but have a different ‘currency’ to what we need, so the Trevolta team embraced it. The great thing about Trevolta is that you can donate as little as $1 or as much as you like. There’s rewards for donations, but the real reward is an emotional one: saving rhinos. These rhinos need your help and this is one way to do that without breaking your bank account. Conservation is now in the hands of many, not just governments and wealthy donors, because the future of wildlife is on all our hands. This is a ground-breaking way to fund a major initiative and get involved. I’d love you to take a look and send it to as many friends as you can. Collectively we can do this." Watch Dereck and Beverly Joubert's short video introduction to this project above or at We urge you to visit the Trevolta site to donate and share to your friends, colleagues or clients: This is crowd-funding after all!
  13. Thank you all for your comments on this #ZerosforRhinos project that Great Plains Conservation, in partnership with andBeyond, is embarking on. Your comments deserve a reply and I have asked Dereck Joubert to comment. Here you go.... “Thank you for the great interactions and feedback. Some issues came up that I certainly agree with. The fact that moving rhinos from SA to Botswana won’t stop the killing because the demand in China is overwhelming. We are attempting to buy a little time by moving rhinos from the highest poaching zones in Africa to the lowest, but we also need to acknowledge that South Africa has done a pretty admirable job of providing and protecting rhinos to this point, or we wouldn’t have any rhinos to move. Its sometimes difficult to see the rays of hope in an otherwise overwhelming onslaught like this. But the comment about the EAST is vital. I am on the board of one organization that has had some success in tackling this; WildAid produces very slick, commercials using movie stars or sports stars, driving home a single message that when the buying stops the killing stops too. The first major campaign tackled shark fin, (that was causing the death of 26 million sharks a year.) The short 60 sec films were allowed to go out to the Chinese national broadcaster for free, and onto massive billboards in China, Vietnam and other key Far Eastern countries. The reach is a billion people a day. The result has been a massive reduction in the use of shark fin in ceremonial soups. The rhino and elephant campaigns are not quite as developed but Jackie Chan the actor and basketball star Yao Ming have appeared in these spots and its hitting the consumer hard. I expect to see some impact as a result. But the sheer weight of the 1.3 Billion emerging middle market in China alone is staggering when surveys done by IFAW and National Geographic indicate that 80% of people in China either own or would own ivory if they had the money. Equally shocking is that 84% surveyed had no idea that ivory came from dead elephants and considered them teeth that fall out. This is terrifying but also comforting to people lie Wild Aid because we now know what we can target by way of messaging. Watch the latest Jackie Chan add on Beverly and I are establishing a Chinese film company this year, to specifically develop films on conservation issues in local languages. National Geographic is setting up an expanded media outreach into China as well. What we cannot do is demonize China for consuming wildlife. If we convince a reasonable number of Chinese people leadership in that country will make a decision in favor of banning ivory and rhino horn. Last week the Chinese government wrote into law that people would see an mandatory jail sentence for anyone caught eating or buying products from over 420 threatened species (including Pangolin by the way, of which I saw my 4th one in 30 years yesterday (at Selinda)). What I do know is that trade in rhino horn has to be prevented. South Africa is toying with the notion of opening trade on the mistaken assumption that we can produce enough horn by farming rhinos to flood the market. A market of over a billion consumers tapping into a production line of fewer than 18,000 rhinos that yield less than 5kg every 36 months is mathematical insanity. Every legal market has a shadow laundering market attached and poaching and trading will continue if not increase. The concept assumes that farmers in South Africa will increase volumes to flood the market, but any farm is a commercial entity and farmers will want the best prices and so try to drive up the market value not collapse it. They will market rhino horn to reach people who don’t use it now or who abstain because they know it is illegal. Legalized trade opens the market it has never closed it down. But most of all, farming rhino horn is ethically bankrupt. It sells, quite legally, a product that is known to do nothing. Rhino horn is a fraudulent commodity, and legalized trade takes advantage of poor people in China who will spend good money on rubbish. In many countries an individual doing that would go to jail for fraud. The rhino project we are attempting is acknowledged to be part of a universally agreed strategy for troubled species; to spread the vulnerability of the pool of animals as well as spread the gene pool in case a population gets hammered. We have an enormous amount of work to to do protect rhinos but we have to do every thing we can. Zeros for Rhinos is not going to save the species, but it is one of the things we can get behind now, and it does buy us time, makes Botswana better, puts money back into anti poaching both in South Africa and in Botswana while we continue tackling education, protection, media and outreach. Rhinos have just reached a tipping point where they are breeding less than they are being poached. They are in deficit as of this year. It’s substantially cheaper today to secure 100 rhinos than it will be to bring then back from near extinction. Thank you Safari Talk for opening this forum. I think its the safari industry’s turn to play a more proactive role in conservation and we have the opportunities today that we did not have 20 years ago when most governments saw tourism as a pain in the rear end. Today the economics dictate that the industry is a leading one in contributing to the GDP and as such one that has an opinion. But it also has access to funding and ideas, both of which are vitally important to conservation as we go forward.”
  14. Great Plains Conservation will be giving calving season bednights away in the Selinda Reserve to raise money to translocate 100 rhino from South Africa to Botswana. Book a stay at either Zarafa Camp, Selinda Camp or Selinda Explorers Camp between now and 31 May 2014 or from 1 November 2014 to 31 May 2015 and guests will be directly contributing to the total USD8 million target needed to move these rhino in July/August 2015. You can book through your usual safari specialist, quoting #ZerosForRhinos. For more information visit
  15. Thank you madaboutcheetah for an excellent trip report and photos of the animals of the OMC and around Mara Plains. This is exactly the sort of thing we need to show-off Kenya and the Mara outside of 'migration season', full of wildlife. There's a sad perception that there's no point in going to the Mara when the great migration isn't there. As your pictures show, there's every reason to go, from the greenery, the abundance of wildlife and the lesser known Loita Hills migration of wildebeest and zebra. Can we use some of these photos and text in our next Dispatches for Mara Plains on the Great Plains website with credit to you and SafariTalk? So glad you enjoyed your stay at Mara Plains!

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