Hagenbeek Family on 107.7 fm!

It was a great pleasure to host Nadia, Dinanda, Detlev and Edwin Hagenbeek from Utrecht, Holland on The Chanters Lodge Experience, our Sunday night radio show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm last Sunday, and with Milimo (Milli Jam), George (Soulchild) and myself on hand too, the studio was very full – great fun nevertheless! The family photo was taken outside our new offices just before we left for the studio, Nadia left to right!

The Hagenbeek’s had stayed at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone for a few days last week before setting off for the Kafue National Park in the hope of seeing cheetah. They weren’t lucky with that, but had a great time anyway. One of their special moments was an audience with His Excellency the Litunga in Mongu, King or the Paramount Chief of the Lozi people! They also enjoyed a visit to Sioma Falls. The rest of us admitted shamefacedly we’d never been there, but agreed we’d love to!

It was the second of the Hagenbeeks’ trips to Zambia in a short time. They’d been here last year but were suddenly recalled to Holland when Dinanda’s father became very ill and subsequently passed away. We were sorry to hear this sad news. This year the family decided to come back and see what they’d missed in Zambia. I don’t think, though, they’d thought about guesting on the Chanters Lodge Experience! As mentioned The Hagenbeeks are from Utrecht, and Edwin has been responsible for training Zambians nurses in Katete, though this trip they didn’t visit the East. Dinanda also has a health related project on the Copperbelt.

It was nice to talk to Nadia, 14 going on 19, who rocked to the music we played and told listeners she wasn’t yet sure what she wanted to do when she was through College (though Robin van Persie got a mention.) Detlev 10 was nervous because of speaking in English but told listeners that he was very interested in photography and was waiting to see the photos of leopards he’d taken in Kafue! Wish I spoke another language as well as Detlev.

Music? George, I hope, will write up the Zambian content, Milli Jam was into BoB ‘Nothing On You’ again, and I chose ‘Just To Be Good To Be Green’ by Prof Green ft Lilly Allen and ‘Bang Bang Bang’ Mark Ross and The Business. Oh! And we played ‘Love The Way you Lie’. Great track from Rihanna and Eminem which we all loved!

On Monday we put the family on to the Mazhandu Family Bus Service 09.00 hrs service to Lusaka to start the next stage of their adventure, which is a trip from Kapiri Mposhi north of Lusaka, all the way to Dar Es Salaam by train. They have family in Dar and hope to have a rest on those beautiful Tanzanian beaches. It’s unusual for European or American families to take all the surprises that Africa can offer, both good and not so good, with such patience and good grace as Edwin, Dinanda and their great kids do!

On the show we tried, but failed, not to mention Holland not winning the World Cup! We gave away a dinner for two at Chanters to the first listener to text us the Hagenbeeks’ country of origin and we greeted Guests, Staff and Family! The prize was quickly snapped up!


Whale Sharks, Ras Mbisi & Barefoot Luxury!

I love the blog from RasMbisi and @RasMbisi on Twitter too for that matter. Michelle, her husband and young family emigrated from UK a few years’ ago to set up their fabulous lodge on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania. Just how exciting and adventurous is that?

To prove my point, check Michelle’s latest blog about her Guests swimming with whale sharks:

“Kaskasi (northern trade monsoon) finally dropped slightly today, the sea looks like a mill pond this morning. Wageni (guests) off first thing to swim with whale sharks, armed with Bacon rolls, homemade pastries and strong coffee. Ibra our Dhow skipper spent 3 years working with a marine research programme and therefore has an extremely strong code of conduct regarding the Whale sharks, all guests get a lecture before he will allow them in the water. He and Johnson then swim with the guests watching out for the weaker swimmers whilst Bakari looks after the boat and gets the coffee and snacks ready for everyone when they get out. Hot coffee is always welcome after snorkeling even in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.”

If, like me, you’re ignorant about whale sharks (whales or sharks? I asked myself) here’s about them:

“The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow moving filter feeding shark, the largest living fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) and a weight of more than 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lb), but unconfirmed claims report considerably larger whale sharks. This distinctively-marked fish is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhinodontes before 1984), which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The shark is found in tropical and warm oceans, lives in the open sea with a lifespan of about 70 years. The species originated about 60 million years ago. Although whale sharks have very large mouths, they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants and animals, although the BBC program Planet Earth filmed a whale shark feeding on a school of small fish.”

Michelle blogs her menus too, and sometimes Tweets them – don’t blame me if they have you drooling and already checking flights to Mafia Island. “Barefoot luxury” they call it “omg, smh” as they say on Twitter!




I came across @zazo on Twitter and am pleased to be able to point you to his blog, there’s his picture up there! He was kind enough to mention me on the blog the other day!

Started on 23rd March 2008 OrkutHeroes.com writes about exceptionally ultimate user created online communities and groups formed inside various social networking websites, OrkutHeroes.com reviews budding blogs, message boards and open social applications.

They also interview some interesting and passionate personalities who have been credited of making extra ordinary, useful and friendly online communities and blogs, which have changed the perspective of millions of online users, and helped them with useful and informative content, vast and detailed subjects and loads of entertainment. The aim of this blog is to promote affirmative and constructive use of social networking and internet.

Zaheer Abbas known as zazo is an online media entrepreneur a social networker and a writer who also writes on social networking and internet trends is based in beautiful city of Udaipur India. 27 year old zazo is an internet freak, a famished reader and a news junkie. Father of a son, zazo keeps his family above his work. Cooking and eating rich food is his passion. Besides exploring online groups and people zazo also do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and blog consultancy.

Many articles and interviews published on orkutheroes enjoyed media attention and covered by India’s respected print and online news, magazines and many blogs. OrkutHeroes.com is also recognized as a “pulse of orkut.com” by Orkut’s official blog.


Forecast 2010

Here’s a dose of reality this Wednesday morning courtesy of Travel Weekly

“The financial crisis is continuing to damage the travel industry with the number of global arrivals this year to be worse than originally predicted, according to the World Travel Market (WTM) Global Trends Report. The report, produced by Euromonitor International, revealed that global arrivals are expected to decline by 8% by the end of the year, while flight and hotel sales are expected to be down by 14% and 16% respectively.

Worse yet, a full recovery for tourism is not expected until 2013. Presenting the results of the report at the WTM Forecast Forum, BBC journalist Thalia Pellegrini said: “The global financial crisis is taking its toll on the industry – falling expenditure, lack of credit and rising unemployment caused a slump in confidence and demand.” She added that while the swine flu epidemic had been contributed to the global tourism decline, demand would continue to be inhibited by low consumer confidence and rising unemployment.

Euromonitor International global travel and tourism manager Caroline Bremner said the UK’s Air Passenger Duty will affect recovery and be a “major inhibitor for growth” as this is “making the UK appear uncompetitive”. However, the recession had already opened up a new market in the North America market called the ‘funemployed’ – increasing numbers of cash-poor and time-rich people who are deciding to use their redundancy to finance travel. While in Africa the ‘Obama effect’ is driving the growth in “roots tourism” especially from the US, which has a high number of African American citizens.

In the UK, the effect of the recession has been to drive the hotel market to look at building pop-up hotels as demand for good-value accommodation increases. The report also revealed that travel sales online are expected to grow by 4% whereas the total travel market is down 1%. Bremner added: “This also due to the fact consumers are booking later.”

Zambia needs to act to remain competetive too! I guess most of the “roots tourism” mentioned will head for West Africa.

The picture? Mafia Island, Tanzania. An hotelier friend on the Island, recently had a guest complaint that their beach was mud! If so, from that picture, take me to the mud! lol!


Ras Mbisi Lodge, Mafia Island, Tanzania

My first two postings overseas when I was much younger than I am now were Mombasa Beach Hotel in Mombasa and The Reef Hotel, Seychelles – I never did quite get over them!

Now…. Why am I always doing this? Having just got over the beautiful Mustapha’s Place on Zanzibar, from Twitter I now find the gorgeous Ras Mbisi Lodge and I’m immediately back in a ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ situation! Check the beach in the picture outside the Ras Mbisi front door – if indeed they have or need a front door!

This stunning Lodge is on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania and markets itself as ‘barefoot luxury’! Don’t you just love that! Here’s the blurb:

“Welcome to Ras Mbisi Lodge, the first bespoke, sustainably-built lodge on the west coast of the beautiful island of Mafia, Tanzania. We believe in offering our guests ‘barefoot luxury’: a retreat that is effortless, stunning and relaxed. We combine good food, striking accommodation and outstanding natural beauty in this untouched part of Mafia Island, to give you a taste of an informal, but luxurious, piece of paradise.

We also have ready access to some truly astounding wildlife in season, including whalesharks and humpback whales. The area also has a rapidly regenerating reef, and a wealth of marine life. This is reflected in Mafia’s Marine Park in the Chole Bay area; the largest marine protected area in East Africa.”

Ras Mbisi is a small private ‘beach meets bush’ lodge set on 8 kilometres of deserted beach where we offer luxury back to nature accommodation in an informal atmosphere. We are the only true beach lodge on Mafia Island.

Put your feet up and let us look after you. We take the idea of barefoot luxury seriously, and our aim has been to provide a piece of island paradise for you to unwind and relax in. Limited mobile phone and no internet access means you totally get away from the outside world.”

Want to get away from it all! Look no further! Oh! And give me a call, I WANT TO COME WITH YOU!

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