Air Botswana

This from Zambia Watchdog

Air Botswana is set to introduce Lusaka, Zambia as its third destination in August, as the airline moves to make its mark in the region’s airspace. Though officials at the country’s airline were not forthcoming with information save to confirm the latest developments, according to its in-flight magazine, the deal has been sealed and if all goes accordingly come August, Air Botswana will be landing at the Lusaka international airport.

An agent has reportedly been appointed to take care of Air Botswana’s business in the Zambian capital. Flights will run four days a week with two of them being direct while others will have a stop over in Kasane. Kasane is a strategic location. Six kilometres east of Kasane is Kazungula, which serves as the border post between Botswana and Zimbabwe and the landing for the Kazungula Ferry between Botswana and Zambia.

(Kazungula is, of course, less than 1 hour’s drive from Livingstone – ed)

Seems like good news!


Alex Shipillo

Alex Shipillo, pictured above before his recent bungee jump from the bridge linking Zambia and Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls, and if you can spot him, doing the bridge swing! Alex stayed with us at Chanters Lodge recently.

Alex Shipillo is a young entrepreneur from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is the President of the Impact Entrepreneurship Group, Canada’s largest youth-run entrepreneurship organization. He’s also the Co-Founder of Youth Canada, the most comprehensive online resource for Canadian high school students. In 2009, Alex was named as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 by Youth in Motion. He’s also a recipient of a City of Vancouver Youth Award, Millennium Excellence Award, and the Gold Standard of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Alex has worked for 2010 Legacies Now, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and web start-ups TeamPages and Penzu. In addition, Alex spends a lot of his time refereeing high-level soccer. Alex’s interests include youth engagement, current affairs, and mentoring younger students through their own exciting experience Alex is on Twitter @alexshipillo He has a great blog too and was kind enough to write this about us on it:

“When I arrived in Livingstone, I was picked up at the airport by Richard Chanter, the owner and manager of Chanters Lodge. This was another place that I had researched online. Richard was a General Manager of a hotel in Lusaka before moving down to Livingstone in the late 1990s and buying property for a small lodge. At that time, all of the Victoria Falls tourism was on the Zimbabwe side and tourism on the Zambian side was slow. However, in the early 2000s, thanks to Mugabe’s “welcoming” policies, the tourism quickly migrated over to Zambia. Now, at least one new hotel is built on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls every single year! Since that time, Richard has expanded his property to accommodate more guests. Online, he is active on Twitter, and has a 95% excellent rating on TripAdvisor. My expectations were high, but they were certainly exceeded when I got here – I got an excellent room at a great price with spectacular service in Livingstone. Be sure to stay with Richard if you plan on heading down to Livingstone.”

There’s a really good description of his other activities while he was here with us too!

Thanks Alex and thanks for being so brave to do the things you did, and for being kind to Chris!


Melissa Shales

We were lucky to have Melissa Shales as a Guest at Chanters Lodge recently, and there’s the picture of us together in the garden at the lodge.

Melissa’s an award-winning travel writer, editor and photographer, and has worked with many of the world’s best-known guidebook publishers, including Michelin, Fodors, the AA, Frommers, Dorling Kindersley, Berlitz and Insight Guides, winning three best guidebook awards! In addition to her freelance work, Melissa’s a director of l & L Media, a contract publishing company producing high quality books, magazines and newsletters for consumers and the trade. She’s currently Chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

Melissa’s on a Steel Safari through Africa researching the history of the Cape to Cairo rail routes, though her quest to travel from Lusaka to Livingstone by rail failed – that service has deteriorated ever since, and perhaps because, my shoes were stolen in the night in about May 1998, when Chanters Lodge was a start-up and we frequently used the service!

Ms Shales writes “with the British firmly ensconced at either end of the African continent, Cecil Rhodes, great visionary or megalomaniac, depending on your point of view, dreamed of colouring the map of Africa red and of running a railway line the length of the continent, through British territory the whole way – from Cairo to Cape Town. He didn’t quite succeed, although he annexed half of Africa in the attempt, but with the creation of the Tazara railway in the 1970s, the route was almost completed. The story however is not that simple…”

“The main route south from Cairo to Cape Town leads through Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Each of the main lines along the route was built by different people, at a different time and for a different purpose. Together, these lines were an extraordinary achievement for the builders, but also represent a staggering feat of social engineering that opened up a continent to the modern world.”

We wish Melissa all the best with her project and thank her for choosing Chanters Lodge.


Ladies Night!

I liked this one from Roger Jones:

A group of 40 year old girlfriends discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant (above) because the waiters there had tight pants and nice bums!

10 years later at 50 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food there was very good and the wine selection was good also.

10 years later at 60 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they could eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean.

10 years later, at 70 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the restaurant was wheel chair accessible and they even had an elevator.

10 years later, at 80 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before!


Success For Tiverton Catering Students

I liked this story by Lewis Clarke on Tiverton People Why? Well…

Petroc is the combined North and East Devon Technical Colleges. My late father taught at the East Devon Technical College in Tiverton, Devon, my home town, after he retired from the staff of Blundells School. Then of course I’ve been in the catering business throughout my career and have always taken a close interest in staff training. To top it all, I happen to have been a friend of Rick Stein’s when we were in the same house at Uppingham School in the 60’s.

Well done to the students concerned! (From left to right above): Basking in glory – Joe Martin, Jim Smith and Lloyd Gribble outside the Exe Restaurant at Petroc in Tiverton. Here’s the piece:

“Two young catering & hospitality students from Petroc in Tiverton have just been offered the kind of jobs that could sky-rocket their careers to success. Following two weeks of work experience over Easter at the famous Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, seventeen year old Joe Martin from Uffculme has been offered a job to join Rick Stein’s team when he completes his course in July. Lloyd Gribble, 18, from Tiverton, has also landed himself a top job following his week of work experience over Easter at Somerset’s Award Winning ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ – Woods in Dulverton.

The pair had worked hard throughout the year and earned their work experience – while on their work placement, they impressed, and have now been offered their dream jobs. Whilst at The Seafood Restaurant, Joe was working under the expert supervision of Head Chef Stephane Delourne and 2008 Master Chef Winner and former barrister, James Nathan.

Before starting his job in July, Joe will spend a week at the Michelin starred Castle Hotel in Taunton under the expert supervision of Richard Guest. Joe said: “When Head Chef Stephane offered me the job I accepted immediately, I was delighted. I can’t wait to start in July. I couldn’t believe how friendly everyone at Rick Stein’s was.”

Lloyd has been offered a full time job by Paddy Groves, owner of the renowned Woods in Dulverton. He said: “I was so impressed by how organised the kitchen was, it was great. Once I’ve finished my Level 3 qualification in July I’ll be starting at Woods.” Jim Smith – Chef Lecturer at Petroc, who had organised the work experience for Joe and Lloyd through his connections said: “It’s fantastic that both the lads did so well.

“Both Rupert Wilson the general manager at Rick Stein’s and Paddy Groves the owner of Woods had nothing but praise for our students and that makes me very proud. “We hope that this is the start of a good relationship between the college and these businesses.”


A Lion In Africa

A friend of mine Chanda Mfula posted this on Facebook. I loved it.

“A man walking in the great plains of Africa meets a lion and he knows life is over for him. He kneels down to pray, asking God to forgive him his sins.

The Lion draws closer and when it’s right in front of the man, the beast also goes down on its knees in prayer.

The man looks on with intent surprise before asking the lion what he’s doing and why he’s also praying.

The lion replies “I’m saying grace before my meal!”


Adventures With Ben

It’s great to get reservations at Chanters Lodge through social media sites and we were delighted yesterday to get a reservation for June from Ben Reed (above) through Twitter @adventureswben Ben has a really active blog and he says this about himself:

“Greetings to all you adventurers out there! My name is Ben and welcome to – my home on the Internet where each week, I’ll share with you some of my most amazing adventures from around the globe and here in my hometown of Orlando, Florida. You might be wondering, “who are you Ben” and “why should I read your site”?

I’m originally from Massachusetts and currently residing in the Sunshine State. Frustrated by sitting at home and always saying, “there’s nothing to do around here”, I charted a course to find adventure in my life and share it with all of you.

I’m 28 and have traveled to 5 of the 7 continents, with a goal of reaching the 6th this year. Before I had ever sat behind the wheel of a car I was piloting aircraft at the age of 16. I’ve descended over a mile underground into a South African Gold Mine and have backpacked throughout Europe.

An award-winning blogger, in 2009 I was selected by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to use social media to promote the City of Pattaya, Thailand as a vacation destination in their Ultimate Thailand Explorers Competition.

Everyday is an adventure – if you want it to be. I do. Here at you’ll find a collection of stories from my favorite travel experiences and, more importantly, advice and motivation on how to seek out, and bring adventures into your own life. I love to travel and capture the unique story of each destination and share with the world how wonderful a place it all is.”

Great stuff – can’t wait to meet Ben in person!


World Cup 2010 South Africa – Driving Regulations

I liked this one (thanks to Derek Dawson)

Since we are nearing the world cup… we should give tourists tips about travelling on our roads….


1. Never indicate – this will give away your next move. A real south African driver never uses them.

2. Under no circumstance should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, this space will be filled by at least 2 taxis and a BMW, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.

4. Never, ever come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No one expects it and it will only result in you being rear-ended.

5. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving you a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it’s a chance to stretch your legs.

6. Never pass on the right when you can pass on the left. It’s a good way to check if the people entering the highway are awake.

7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as a guideline. They are especially not applicable in South Africa during rush hour. That’s why it’s called ‘rush hour….’

8. Just because you’re in the right lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn’t mean that a South African driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn’t think he can go faster in your spot.

9. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tyre. Never stop to help – you will be mugged.

10. Learn to swerve abruptly. South Africa is the home of the high-speed slalom driving thanks to the government, which puts holes in key locations to test drivers’ reflexes and keeps them on their toes.

11. It is traditional to honk your horn at cars that don’t move the instant the light turns green. This prevents storks from building nests on top of the traffic light and birds from making deposits on your car.

12. Remember that the goal of every South African driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.

13. On average, at least three cars can still go through an intersection after the light has turned red. It’s people not adhering to this basic principle that causes the big traffic jams during rush hour.

Now guys go out there today and make South Africa proud!!!


Design Museum Exhibition

My daughter-in-law Jo Gaffkin is technical manager at the Design Museum in London and at the moment they have a very interesting exhibition at the museum:

“One of the leading architects of his generation, David Adjaye has stepped out of his regular line of work to photograph and document key cities in Africa as part of an ongoing project to study new patterns of urbanism. Often regarded as a continent defined by underdevelopment, poverty, war and tourism, through this exhibition Adjaye presents Africa in a different light, examining the buildings and places which have a special resonance with his preoccupations as an architect.
This detailed survey will reveal a unique snapshot of life in Africa today, documenting the nature of urban life in a developing continent, a unique geo-cultural survey profiling the African city in a global context.”

Is the picture David Adjaye? Nope, it’s Jo and husband Jan Chanter on top of the mighty Victoria Falls! Now there’s a photo!

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