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Paolo

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  1. @jeremie The first proper survey of Garamba was conducted in 1976. The results were 22,000 elephants, 500 Northern White Rhino, 350 giraffes and, if memory serves me well, 40 -50,000 buffalos. I think that in the early 1960s, before the Simba rebellion, the number of Northern White Rhino amounted to 2,000 individuals. Scary, eh?
  2. Not sure if any of their projects may be more difficult than Garamba...
  3. @@optig This is incorrect. Hunting plays quite an important role in Bangweulu as far as I know. I also believe hunting will be re-instated in Chinko if and when conditions will allow.
  4. @@inyathi Of course it all adds up in the end and the more money the better. No one is disputing this. I was just indicating some figures closer to the reality. As to the fundraising strategy of AP (or others) I am no expert in that field, though I know AP has some dedicated professionals who surely know better than me.
  5. @@inyathi Unfortunately, African Parks has been forced by certain circumstances to discontinue its involvement in Gambella towards the end of last year. As to the Emmanuel de Merode fundraising in connection with the London Marathon, in total as you say 3400 people donated but half the $1 million as Paul Leander-Engström, though his organisation, The World We Want Foundation,doubled the donated amount (with a match dollar for dollar scheme ) to bring it to the USD1,080,000 number. Of the 3400, 1255 donated on the Virgin Giving site a total of USD121K at an average of USD 100 and since there were a number of of USD 25-40 donations, some people must have donated much more than the average. Balance people donated offline and would have definitely had some bigger donations to bring it. Its usually a 90/10 ppprtion in crowd donations like this.
  6. Haha, yes. A few days back I received out of the blue a message on FB by the lady of this nice British couple - she apologized for not having had the chance to tell me face to face, but she attributed to my writings (so she said) their decision to take the jump and visiting Zakouma, a place she had longed to see for a long time. Now I understand why she seemed so star-struck when she recognized Michael at the airport....
  7. @@ld1 Two things: 1) You mentioned "not being able to access a place". This is incorrect, since you will still be able to visit Zakouma by staying at Tinga. It would be a bit like saying that one is not able to visit London because they cannot afford the Savoy or the Dorchester 2) I doubt that only people in certain "invite list" will be able to access the new Camp Nomade. It will be just fewer operators selling it, at an higher price. So it would be the same as now - if you can pay for it, you will be able to go. Only the distribution channel will be different and more focussed.
  8. @@Tony Busanga In the past three years, I have spent roughly one week at Tinga and three weeks at Camp Nomade, so I guess I might have an opinion on this. I think the statement quoted above may be accurate only in certain circumstances - for sure if you are an expat driving from N'Djamena (there are a lot more of them these days, since the US and French Embassies have removed the prohibition to travel to Zakouma by road) you are at mercy of what is available, but I believe this would not be the case in an organized trip. My experience at Tinga in 2014 did not incur any such limitation, but again it might not be representative, since we were for the most part guests of AP at a time when there was virtually no tourism in the park. It is plainly obvious that Tinga and Camp Nomade are totally different products, in terms of experience, location, level of service (as it has been acutely observed by a friend, Zakouma has the unique feature of being the park where you can have both the best - at Camp Nomade - and the worst - at Tinga - safari camp food in Africa), flexibility etc... But, for the sake of argument, one may argue that the guides now shortlisted to conduct "Camp Nomade trips" from 2019 onwards (if they are those I think) are amongst the very top names in the guiding fraternity, and offer a different "product" and experience from the other - albeit very good in all respects - guides accredited at the moment. Based on the current situation, personally I would not stay inTinga, but I am also unsure of the extent Camp Nomade has worked for AP and Zakouma as it stands now. In 2017, Tinga has received 458 visitors as of April 30, and generated roughly 150k USD of revenues for the park. Camp Nomade, during the same period, has received 87 visitors and generated roughly 390k USD of revenues for the park. Whilst the contribution by Tinga visitors is indeed minimal, also the one by guests at Camp Nomade, as @@Anita points out, is less than it appears, once taken into account all expenditures etc... I have known for quite a while that AP was not entirely happy with Camp Nomade, since - when it was conceived - it was hoped it would have had a greater conversion of guests becoming donors. This has not happened for a number of reasons, including the "scheduled" weekly departures, that have de facto prevented existing or potential donors to visit. It is just logical that, in order to address this, the system needed to be overhauled, and equally logic the restriction to those guides who, being at the very top of their profession, have access to larger pools of donors or potential donors. The reality is that - with the revenue figures mentioned above - tourism is quite secondary, and a few serious donors will go a long way further to support Zakouma than 30 or 50 more guests at Camp Nomade. Contrary to most people's conviction, I think that in many cases tourism and conservation are at odds with each other, and only in certain, virtuous instances, they overlap. Having said that, tourism in Zakouma is necessary for many reasons - for giving visibility to the Park, for creating more employment in the surrounding communities, because Zakouma has become such a source of pride for Chad and the local people. Much more for these factors than for its financial contribution. What will happen in the future tourism-wise? I do not really know, but I would guess that Tinga might be further upgraded to become a decent 3- star lodge, comfortably accommodating regular visitors, and that Camp Nomade (or whatever it will be) will be used to leverage donors, hopefully making a difference not only for Zakouma, but also for other parks in the AP portfolio that are much more difficult to "sell". ( All this hoping that Chad remains the stable and safe country it is now)
  9. Really on the brink of departure, but the extremely nice and generous (even flattering, I might say!) words coming from @@johnweir give me the chance to again thank everybody who took the time to follow and comment on our "sketches". Very much appreciated!
  10. @@Tomeslice Serval are very commonly seen in Zakouma during night drives (and at times during the day). I think we saw four or five of them in a single night drive, and we had at least a serval sighting in almost all the night drives we did. Caracal are there, but you have no better nor worse chances to see them than in a lot of dry areas in Africa. I would not consider Zakouma as a particular special place for Caracal. You would need to be tremendously lucky to see wild dogs in Zakouma. The most recent sighting I am aware of was in late October 2015, and in the west of the park that it is never visited since game viewing is very sparse (contrary to the eastern side). So you would better go somewhere else (Botswana, Zimbabwe etc...) if you want to see wild dogs.
  11. The noise and the smell are certainly unforgettable, but what really strikes me is the increase of air temperature in the colony area, caused by the energy released by all those millions of wings flipping....Unbelievable.
  12. @@Botswanadreams I sent you a PM (and I also saw yours).
  13. Out of Anita's photos on that website, the aerials were taken along the southern reaches of the Salamat, too far away from Tinga (or anywhere else, unless you fly-camp in the proximity. The other photos (lions, cranes) are from the Reguiek (or Rigueik - names are sometimes spelled in different ways in Chad....) system of pans, the start of which is roughly one hour drive from Tinga, but where Camp Nomade (most od the times placed exactly there) has certain "priority rights". You are posing all very legitimate questions to that agent @@Botswanadreams. When would they run that trip?
  14. @@Botswanadreams Thank you very much for pointing this out. Indeed, in the gallery I can recognise 8 of @@Anita's photos from Zakouma. It is not the first time such a thing happens with her Zakouma photos...
  15. @@Botswanadreams @@egilio @@Zubbie15 Thank you for your vrty nice comments!

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