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Ntengu Safaris, Kasonso Busanga GMA

Kafue National Park

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#1 Ntengu

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 12:24 PM

Hi All

 

​This being my first post on the forum, I am not sure if this is necessarily the correct area to post this. If not please let me know.

 

Having lived in Zambia my entire, relatively short life, I have seen the decline in wildlife populations in the Northern Kafue, sadly this is down not to a lack of effort, but purely an increase in demand for Bushmeat and other wildlife products, due to the burgeoning population of the North-Western Province and the Copperbelt, due to the Mines.

 

Anyway, we have recently taken over management of the Kasonso Busanga GMA, which borders onto the Busanga Plains, on the North-Western Boundary of the Park. We have been in the area since the beginning of the year and have experienced first-hand the threat facing the North-Western Kafue as a whole, in particular the Busanga Plains.

 

While the Kasonso Busanga is classed as a hunting area, we have made conserving the area our priority. We have committed to assisting with Anti-Poaching in not only our GMA, but the Busanga as a whole. We have established our own APU, the Kasonso Anti-Poaching Unit (https://www.facebook.com/KasonsoAPU/), the aim of this unit will first and foremost be to protect the Kasonso Busanga, but this will obviously spill over into the park, as we will do our best to prevent Poachers from getting into the park itself.

 

Our unit is solely funded by Ntengu Safaris, it is very well trained and equipped. The unit is made up of 18 well trained scouts (all armed), 1 x Bathawk Surveillance Aircraft, 1 x R44,

3 x Landcruisers and then a fast response Scout team on Motorcycles. We hope to see a major increase in wildlife populations in not on the Kasonso Busanga, but also the North-Western part of the park as well.

 

Our main camp is located on the Lushimba River, near the Lushimba Scout Post, for those who know the area. We hope to prove that collaboration between the operators in the GMA’s and people in the park can work. It is our belief that we are all here for one thing, our love of the wildlife and eco-systems of the Kafue. While we may come at it from different approaches, we all need to work towards one common goal, conserving the true Gem of the Kafue.

 

I look forward to any questions you may have.

 

Thanks for your time…..

 

​A few pictures of our work and wildlife

 

This morning's flight.....

 

https://www.facebook.com/KasonsoAPU/videos/1251758008179162/ 

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#2 egilio

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:50 PM

I've been following you on facebook for a while and commend you for your work!

I wish more operators would show that kind of dedication, it would be a game changer!

Obviously you invest a lot in the area (cruisers, plane, scout training, scout salaries, scout deployments). How long is your lease for the concession, and do you have (or would wish to have) any insurance that you would keep your concession once a new tender period comes up? 

Do you have any say in the hunting quotas allocated to you? Do you have to pay the full quota you receive? Would you wish this to be different? IE, either only pay for what you shoot, or receive lower/higher quotas?


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#3 KaingU Lodge

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 04:35 AM

Like egilio, I have also been following your work.  I know that your R44 was recently used in de-snaring a lion in the plains (within the park)?  Your are to be commended.  I drove past your place the other day en-route to the plains and was pleasantly surprised by a couple of small things:

- the politeness of your crane truck driver who instantly pulled over (in thick sand) to let me pass. 

- unlike some operators there were no signs plastered around about how it is a private hunting area etc etc etc Just a small sign at the camp entrance. 

 

A microlight, a helicopter, 3 cruisers and 18 scouts.... Plus the camp construction. This is serious expenditure.  Is all this investment expected to be recouped from the concession? 


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#4 optig

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 05:29 AM

@Ntengu  I not only admire your dedication, but your ability to think ahead. Kafue is improving as a national park,and will undoubtedly receive more visitors in the future and your efforts will be amply rewarded in the future. I'll be spending a full ten days in the Kafue in 2018,and am looking forward to it. Hopefully,I'll be meeting you. I decided to visit the Kafue because I keep hearing  increasingly positive reviews. It's without a doubt an up and coming destination,that will gradually attract more mainstream safari goers.



#5 Ntengu

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 10:01 AM

I've been following you on facebook for a while and commend you for your work!

I wish more operators would show that kind of dedication, it would be a game changer!

Obviously you invest a lot in the area (cruisers, plane, scout training, scout salaries, scout deployments). How long is your lease for the concession, and do you have (or would wish to have) any insurance that you would keep your concession once a new tender period comes up? 

Do you have any say in the hunting quotas allocated to you? Do you have to pay the full quota you receive? Would you wish this to be different? IE, either only pay for what you shoot, or receive lower/higher quotas?

Hi Egilio

 

Our current lease for the concession is 7 years, starting from 2016.

 

We currently don't have any insurance that we will keep the concession after the period. That being said, it is our belief that if we prove to be competent in our management of the area, then there should be no reason for us to not regain the rights for an extended period.

 

We are presented with an initial quota by DNPW, we then propose where we think the quota needs changes, such as if there is to many animals of a certain species on quota, however DNPW makes the final decision. We have to pay for 60% of the value of our quota at the beginning of the year, regardless of whether it is shot or not. So there is quite a big outlay, before anything even comes through the door.

 

We are not the type who are trying the run this as a pure profit making business. My family has been visiting the Kafue since 1962, and there has been a marked decline in the health of the eco-system overall. We are hoping to try and make a change, and prove that their is in-fact hope for the Kafue. The big challenge is getting the local people living on the periphery of these wildlife to really acknowledge the value of wildlife, and the need to conserve the wildlife and wild places.

 

Thanks for your kind words.

 

Regards


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#6 Ntengu

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 10:08 AM

Like egilio, I have also been following your work.  I know that your R44 was recently used in de-snaring a lion in the plains (within the park)?  Your are to be commended.  I drove past your place the other day en-route to the plains and was pleasantly surprised by a couple of small things:

- the politeness of your crane truck driver who instantly pulled over (in thick sand) to let me pass. 

- unlike some operators there were no signs plastered around about how it is a private hunting area etc etc etc Just a small sign at the camp entrance. 

 

A microlight, a helicopter, 3 cruisers and 18 scouts.... Plus the camp construction. This is serious expenditure.  Is all this investment expected to be recouped from the concession? 

 

Thanks very much for your kind words.

 

Having read your report on your expedition to the plains, I noticed you said there was no game on the Western Boundary, hopefully you'll notice a change in the area soon. There is sadly an unbelievable amount of poaching down that way.

 

It certainly is serious expenditure. However we don't expect to recoup it from the concession, we are doing it for our passion regarding wildlife and the Kafue in particular.

 

Please feel free to pop in for a cup of coffee next time you are in the area.

 

Regards


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#7 Ntengu

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 10:10 AM

@Ntengu  I not only admire your dedication, but your ability to think ahead. Kafue is improving as a national park,and will undoubtedly receive more visitors in the future and your efforts will be amply rewarded in the future. I'll be spending a full ten days in the Kafue in 2018,and am looking forward to it. Hopefully,I'll be meeting you. I decided to visit the Kafue because I keep hearing  increasingly positive reviews. It's without a doubt an up and coming destination,that will gradually attract more mainstream safari goers.

 

Thanks for your kind words.

 

While the Kafue may not be as well known and developed as some of Africa's other parks, I certainly believe it is one of her most unique. You will undoubtedly enjoy your stay wherever it is in the Kafue.


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#8 optig

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 12:35 PM

I must say that initially I was somewhat hesitant about visiting the Kafue due to it's reputation for tsetse flies,decades of mismanagement by Zawa., reports of poaching, and most all reports from many people about poor game viewing even in the crown jewel of Kafue National Park the Busanga Plains. I've also heard complaints about burning fires within the park. Another complaint is that one can spend a long time between animal sighting. I now realize that experienced safari goers all love it,and this is why I decided to spend a full ten days here in 2018. I know very well that I won't be disappointed. I'll see plenty of wildlife,and will appreciate truly being in the bush. Kafue is regarded as one of the finest parks in Africa for wilderness vibe.  Furthermore, I know that Tyrone and Phil are well regarded as two of the best guides that there are. I just love birding,and the scenery in Kafue is beautiful and quite varied. I'm looking forward to walking,and taking boat trips as well as going on game drives. I also know that while Kafue isn't as renowned as South Luangwa National Park for the quality of it's night drives that they can be quite productive.  :)  :rolleyes:


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#9 optig

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 12:47 PM

Furthermore, as we all know too well, there's nowhere but in Africa that the sunsets, and the sundowners which accompany them - it doesn't matter if they're alcoholic or not. 

It simply feels awesome to get out of the vehicle, stretch your legs, and watch a breathtaking, gorgeous, and unforgettable sunset. The only thing that we enjoy more is racing to see a pack of wild dogs or something else equally exciting. 



#10 Ntengu

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 12:48 PM

I must say that initially I was somewhat hesitant about visiting the Kafue due to it's reputation for tsetse flies,decades of mismanagement by Zawa., reports of poaching, and most all reports from many people about poor game viewing even in the crown jewel of Kafue National Park the Busanga Plains. I've also heard complaints about burning fires within the park. Another complaint is that one can spend a long time between animal sighting. I now realize that experienced safari goers all love it,and this is why I decided to spend a full ten days here in 2018. I know very well that I won't be disappointed. I'll see plenty of wildlife,and will appreciate truly being in the bush. Kafue is regarded as one of the finest parks in Africa for wilderness vibe.  Furthermore, I know that Tyrone and Phil are well regarded as two of the best guides that there are. I just love birding,and the scenery in Kafue is beautiful and quite varied. I'm looking forward to walking,and taking boat trips as well as going on game drives. I also know that while Kafue isn't as renowned as South Luangwa National Park for the quality of it's night drives that they can be quite productive.  :)

 

I think the small irritation of Tsetse flies does not distract from everything the Kafue has to offer. While there is a fair share of poaching and the game can be scarce in certain areas I don't think it detracts from the experience that the Kafue offers. You truly are in a wilderness area, of which there are few to compare.

 

Musekese certainly seems to be a game hotspot, I'm sure that Tyrone and Phil's operation will exceed your expectations, as would most lodges in the Kafue. If you are interested in birding then you have come to the right place, the Kafue is an ornithologists dream.

 

With regards to game viewing in the park, I think it all depends on where you are, the areas that have good presence, are understandably good game viewing spots.

 

A bit of a digression with regards to Game Viewing. I was on a quick run to the Plains Airstrip last month to pick up authorities who were coming to certify our airstrip at Lushimba. In the 42 kilometres between our camp and the Plains Airstrip I managed to see Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Sable, Roan, Buffalo and a variety of plains game. That in my opinion is what makes the Kafue so special, you never know what you may see.


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#11 ZaminOz

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 06:55 AM

Hi @Ntengu

 

Welcome to Safaritalk.

 

While this section may not be the best place to introduce yourself it was an interesting introduction nonetheless!

I wish you all the best with your operations in the Kasonso Busanga.

 

While "Trip Reports" of hunting trips are understandably unlikely to go down well in this forum, I would be the first to say that any Anti-poaching trip reports (complete with photos of the area and wildlife) would always be a welcome read!


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#12 Game Warden

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 09:14 AM

@Ntengu Welcome to Safaritalk, I've moved this topic to the Introductions Subforum.

 

Matt


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#13 Atravelynn

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 11:37 PM

Welcome.  Beautiful aerial shots.  All that barb wire piled up, not causing destruction in the bush, made me smile.  Thank you.


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