Amazing Busanga Plains option for June/July trip





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  1. #1
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    Default Amazing Busanga Plains option for June/July trip

    This isn't just an option. This is an adventure!

    You have the chance to go to the incredible Busanga Plains, a world famous and exclusive destination, prior to their normal opening to the public. Not only that, you get to choose how much you pay.

    This offer is currently only open to those on the June/ July Forum Trip. It is for 3 nights on Busanga, and it has a very special purpose. All the money raised will go towards building a permanent lookout tower on the plains....the first one. This will be used as a tourist viewing platform, but also for anti-poaching. It is to be situated near a stand of papyrus reeds, home to the elusive sitatunga, which I am guessing 99% of you haven't seen.

    This 3 day trip will be on the 12th, 13th and 14th of July, getting back to Mukambi on the 15th. This means that you will be home a couple of days later than the others on the trip.

    We are hoping to actually help build the platform, which I have designed, and which will bear a plaque saying it was built by the 4x4 Community Forum. This is weather dependant, as the site can be hard to access whilst wet.

    However....and herein lies the adventure..........it isn't going to be easy. Getting there will involve driving ourselves along a very wet and muddy track for maybe 5 or 6 hours. This is through the most game-rich area of the Kafue National Park, so should be great in itself. Then, once we get to the Plain we will have to park up the cars and proceed on foot. This will involve some wading, and everyone will get wet and muddy. This might only be a few hundred yards, or it might be a mile or two, depending on water levels. We will then be met on the other side by a vehicle which will take us to the Mukambi Plains Camp. Even accessing this involves either a board-walk or a m'korro ride.

    Once in the camp, there are luxury Meru style tents with en-suite bathrooms for 4 couples only. Children are not normally permitted on the Plains, but for this event, as we are taking the whole camp, two 11 year-old or older children WILL be allowed. Emergency evacuation for medical reasons is covered by an agreement with an adjacent camp, who have their own aircraft. The entire stay is fully catered, and the quality of the food is amazing. You will be the only visitors up there on the entire, vast plain. Special permission has been obtained from the Wildlife Authorities for this adventure. Naturally, the camp will be fully staffed. All meals and drinks are included.

    Sitting on the deck the plains are spread out before you. There is always something going on, with herds of puku and lechwe being standard, with lions being seen and heard almost every day and night, elephants wandering around. You'll probably never look out over the plains and not see a hippo. The birdlife is truly unbelievable. This is a real wildlife paradise, but don't take my word for it: have a look at the photos my daughter took last year.

    This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    To stay on the Plains can normally cost up to around $1000 (USD) per person per night. However, you are being offered the chance to bid-for-a bed.

    Here are the rules of the bidding process:

    • You have one chance of bidding. This is by PM to an independant third party, and Bertie Brink (Mfuwefarmer of this forum) has kindly agreed to act for us, just so that there is no accusation of bias. Please put "Busanga Bid" as your PM title.
    • You send a PM with your bid on a per-person-per-night basis to Bertie, and the 4 leading bidders will then be offered a place at their bid price. To confirm the place you pay a deposit to Linda ("Thirstie") at Mukambi within 21 days. The minumum bid is $200pppn. (Half price for children).
    • All bids to be in by Sunday 4th of March. In the event of a tie, the earliest bid will win. Winners announced on Monday 5th of March. I am not involved in the bidding process at all.
    • All money raised will go towards funding the lookout tower.


    Please make it very clear if your bid includes children. Children will be at half the adult bid price. There is only room for one set of children up there, although it is possible that two families with one child each could be accommodated. This is a tiny, exclusive camp.

    Feel free to ask any questions, and have a look around this site and WWW in general for further Busanga information and photos. Here is the Mukambi Busanga Plains site with a few photos.

    Happy bidding!

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2012/02/24 at 04:42 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Mike you are always good for a beeeg surprise.

    That's a lifetime opportunity and some lucky ones will tell the tales for many evenings around the camp fire.
    Mike, you should get the "honorary game ranger" for Kafue, well done this surprise.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Walter. We've had it bubbling away for 6 months or more, but lots of things needed to fall into place, which they finally have done.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

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  4. #4
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    Fantastic! Well done Mike!

    Just to those going on the June trip. If you can possibly afford the time and expense, you need your head read not to snap up this offer.

    To reinforce this opinion, 4 of us on the October trip have booked Busanga as an extension to our trip, kindly facilitated by MikeAG and Linda at Mukambi.

    Just a little more info Mike. One presumes the platform will be up and functioning by October? How far will it be from the camp itself? During the drier time in October will it still be wet enough to possibly see Sitatunga etc?

    I presume Andre, 50something and jac from the October group are still interested? Our 50% deposit is apparently due now in March. Must we waite for Linda to contact us?

    Great stuff! Stan.
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  5. #5
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    What a deal!
    A pity we are not part of the forum trips and we will still not be in Zambia at these dates.
    But I'm also in touch with Linda for her "Busanga Forum Special" on end July/begining August. Hopefully we'll have a chance to discover this amazing place. And the new tower…
    Pierre
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  6. #6
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    I presume Andre, 50something and jac from the October group are still interested? Our 50% deposit is apparently due now in March. Must we waite for Linda to contact us?
    Yip, we are still in.
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2012/02/27 at 11:14 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Just a little more info Mike. One presumes the platform will be up and functioning by October? How far will it be from the camp itself? During the drier time in October will it still be wet enough to possibly see Sitatunga etc?
    Stan,

    I only went to the papyrus a couple of times, and each time it was as part of a circuitous game viewing drive, so I couldn't say exactly how far it is from the camp. I would guess it is in the region of 3 to 5 miles........but I could be wrong by a factor of 2 or more!! The sitatunga are there year-round, and the body of water & reeds is permanent. You should have a very good chance of seeing one.......and if you don't see them there, they are amazingly easy to see at Mushingashi.

    All being well, the platform will be in use for most of this season. It should be close to being finished by the time we leave in July...........

    Let me tell you how complex this operation is. We had to complete the design and get it passed by ZAWA back in June or July last year. Mukambi then had to purchase most of the materials, pre any funding, because they all needed transporting to the Plains last year before the annual flood. They also had to organise to leave a vehicle on the plains so that we could have such early access. Neither of these things have been done before. In purchasing all the materials, they were unable to source floorboards (decking) in time, so that is the one thing that won't be done during the July visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    I presume Andre, 50something and jac from the October group are still interested? Our 50% deposit is apparently due now in March. Must we waite for Linda to contact us?
    I can't help with this. Maybe just check with Linda. All I know is that all of those tents have been booked, and that I will be up there with you, hopefully with a very special mystery guest.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

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  8. #8
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    Yes, yes, we still in,no way we miss on this one.
    ja, ja en wat nog.
    Tel brandhout op in die somer dat die winter nie SO koud en lank is nie

  9. #9
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    Back to the June-July offer.......

    This gives an idea of what it was like opening Busanga last year. Early June. You can see why we'll be walking a bit!



    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

  10. #10
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    I presume Andre, 50something and jac from the October group are still interested?
    Still in provided Linda can fit us in - we are waiting for her to let us know.
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2012/03/01 at 12:44 PM.

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