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Latest News from A&K Zambia
Abercrombie & Kent Southern Africa is part of the A&K Group of Companies, the World’s largest network of DMCs with some 55 offices in more than 30 countries and over 50 Years’ experience of looking after the needs of luxury travellers. Travelling with A&K means you benefit from the A&K cocoon every step of the way; the safety of our guests, as well as our staff, is paramount to us.
This means that we have a robust support team to handle rapidly evolving situations such as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, whether supporting our guests or our staff around the globe.
In all our destinations, our local teams are closely monitoring the development of Coronavirus and we will contact you should there be any immediate need to review your travel plans.
In addition to our usual high standards of care, our DMC offices are also ensuring similar levels of protection when it comes to Coronavirus. We are prepared in case of any suspicion of coronavirus risk to guests or staff to ensure that anyone who does become unwell is quickly cared for in the right way. Wherever possible in the event of illness, our staff will be on hand to assist and to minimise the impact on others.
For those due to travel soon, if you have concerns about the trip and the impact of Coronavirus on travel plans, please do contact us to discuss your options. Whilst, in most cases, there is no reason to change these plans, we do understand the many concerns that our guests and Travel Advisors may have in the current climate.
If you need to delay existing travel plans because of Coronavirus, we will do our very best to accommodate such requests, subject to partners (hotels, airlines etc.), the vast majority of whom are being equally flexible. In most cases, we will be able to move the booking to a new date without penalty, although the cost of your trip may be adjusted to reflect the new dates, particularly if those coincide with festivals or peak season. *
If you make a new booking with us from 6th March to 31st May 2020 to travel on any date in 2020, we are also relaxing our cancellation policy in the same way until 60 days prior to travel. Again, there will be a few exclusions and these will be advised at the time of booking. *
In conclusion, please remember that we are here to help. So please do not hesitate to contact us.
* All monies will be kept as in-house credit and alternate travel must begin within 12 months of original departure date. Standard terms and conditions apply to the new booking; however, in all circumstances, in-house credit is non-transferable, non-refundable and any unused portion is forfeited. Applicable price of the new journey applies. Guest is responsible for all other related costs, including any air travel change fees and additional insurance premiums. Special terms are not applicable to booking cancellations and changes made prior to March 6, 2020, are subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time.
Beads & Business: Sishemo Studio Opens in Nakatindi Village
In 2017, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) Zambia began initial investigations into the potential for a new women-led enterprise in Nakatindi Village. It was clear from the huge success of the Chipego Bike Shop, launched in 2015 that Nakatindi held significant potential for extraordinary economic empowerment initiatives, and we set out to find just that. And now, after two years of research, development, fundraising, training and construction we are thrilled to announce the official opening of the Sishemo Bead Studio in Nakatindi! Sishemo (meaning “mercy” in Lozi) are a group of 8 local community members, all identified for the project by the community leadership with support from the Ministry of Community Development, based on their vulnerability and potential.
The eight artisans range from 21 to 65 years old, and collectively support over 40 family members and dependents, of which 14 are children. Their households bring in an average of around $50 per month through informal piece work. Employment opportunities in Nakatindi are extremely limited, particularly for women and for those who did not complete their education. 50% of the Sishemo members report regularly being unable to pay school fees for their children, and just two of the members completed their own secondary education due to lack of funding for school fees.
Through the Sishemo Bead enterprise, these women have chance to dramatically improve their livelihoods, and the health, education and prospects of their families. In 2018, the group underwent intensive training in how to make glass beads using traditional African techniques. The glass is recycled from discarded bottles from Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma and the kiln is made from locally-sourced bricks and termite-mound clay. The artisans painstakingly fire and shape each bead by hand, creating unique shapes, colours and designs. These beads are then used to make one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other bead products.
By Victoria Foord, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, Zambia Coordinator
A&K Philanthropy (AKP) Update: Chipego Bike Shop
In 2015, A&K and Sanctuary Retreats donated hundreds of bicycles which along with their shipping containers, were used to establish a village bike shop and a bike tour enterprise, called the Chipego Bike Shop, run by five local women. Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy assisted with the delivery of the bikes and the construction of the shop, as well as the training of its new employees. In addition to providing the community with access to mobility, the bike shop provides an income opportunity for these woman who have previously never had a form of employment. The woman also set aside a portion of their profits to fund projects in the local community including the sponsorship of school fees for selected students and a contribution to the new maternity ward.
Rather than touring the community on foot – we recommend guests take a leisurely guided bike ride through the streets. By doing a bike tour of the community, guests are contributing towards the bike initiative. A portion of the funds will be put towards maintenance of the bikes as well as a service fee to the community guide. Bike rides available at USD10 per person.
New baggage restrictions at OR Tambo International Airport
Please be advised there are new baggage restrictions that have been implemented as of 25 March 2019.
This is to prevent blockages and breakdowns in the baggage-handling system caused by bags that do not have any flat surfaces or that have long straps or grips – as per IATA guidelines. These are the largest source of jams and can shut down sections of the baggage-handling system, delaying baggage delivery to aircraft, and inconveniencing passengers and airlines.
The new rules are:
- Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed to be checked in. This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted
- Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed
- Bags with longs straps will not be allowed
Passengers who try to check in bags that don’t conform to these rules will have the option of having their baggage wrapped with one flat side at airport-approved baggage wrapping stations.
Safari Secret: Lower Zambezi National Park
The Lower Zambezi National Park features magnificent scenery from the combination of 120km of Zambezi River front, the concentration of game in the valley floor and the backdrop of the Zambezi Escarpment, the Southern limit of the Great East African Rift Valley. The park is opposite Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site across the Zambezi River. Relatively new, the National Park was officially gazetted in 1983 and consists of over 4092 square kilometres. The park has a large variety of species including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects, distributed in varying densities and in complex and diverse eco-systems. Wildlife sightings in the park include elephant, hippo, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, impala, bushbuck and kudu. Of the carnivores, there are solid numbers of leopard, lion and hyena. Other commonly seen animals are wild dog, serval and the African wild cat. Smaller animals include the side striped jackal; dwarf, slender and banded mongoose, large spotted genet, civet, tree squirrel, honey badger, porcupine and aardvark.
Activities: Morning and afternoon leading into night game drives, guided walking safaris, fishing on a catch and release basis, canoeing excursions on the Zambezi River, boat cruises and birding safaris.
How to get there: Fly from Lusaka (35 minutes) or Livingstone via Lusaka (90 minutes), in a shared light aircraft, to either Jeki or Royal Airstrip. From the airstrip it is a short game drive or boat excursion to the various camps in the area.
Where to stay: Royal Zambezi Lodge, Anabezi Camp, Sausage Tree Camp, Chiawa Camp
South Luangwa National Park has to be one of the best places in the world for visitors who want an authentic African photo safari. If you love wildlife and adventure and you truly want to experience and photograph raw nature then a Shenton Safari is for you. They pay special attention to your photographic experience by providing bean bags, dust covers for camera gear and of course world renown photographic hides. Guests will witness beautiful sunrises and the most glorious sunsets, watching their first leopard or lion kill is an experience they will never forget. Seeing elephants cross the river and walk right past them while sitting up in a unique elephant hide offers an unmatched appreciation for these intelligent creatures. The wonderfully unpredictable nature of wildlife means that every day is completely unique with surprises around every corner.
Livingstone bush walking experience
Experience breath taking encounters with the endangered White Rhino whilst walking in the untamed Zambian bush of Livingstone's Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.Your walking safari experience starts with a morning collection from hotels in Livingstone followed by a 15 to 20 minute road transfer to the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Each guest is also supplied with a small bottle of cold water. This is a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of walking in the bush and seeing these rare species in their natural habitat. Approximately half way through the walk the guide will stop for refreshments.
Return to the wild
Sleep out under the stars –the wildest experience the South Luangwa has to offer. Sleep out under the stars in the spectacular and extremely remote Luwi dry river bed with just a bed roll and a mossie net, not even a tent! Experience the thrill of the first safari pioneers, including Norman Carr himself, as they discovered the wonders of the South Luangwa. Guests venture out from the remotest bush camp on foot in the mid-afternoon, find a spot to camp and make the camp fire for a game ranger's dinner which they help to cook themselves. Then, having shared adventure stories around the fire, sleep out under the magnificent African sky whilst the guide and scout keep a watch until morning.
Contact us for more information.
Proflight baggage policy update
Please take note of the following baggage allowances
- Flexible fares (B class) - baggage allowance of 30 kg
- Classic fares (Y class) - baggage allowance of 23 kg
- The piece concept has been removed allowing you to carry as many pieces as you would like as long as your total checked weight is within the weight allowance.
- No change to hand baggage and infant baggage.
- Excess weight above the allowed checked weight will be charged at a set Kwacha rate of K20 per kg excess.
- This is also payable in USD but will be converted at the current Rate of Exchange.
- Extra bag purchase at airport are no longer an option: any weight above the allowance will be charged on a per kg basis only.
Contact us for more information.
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