The vidéo !

Here is the film of a wonderful experience: When artists meet Zimbabwe!
Thank you to all those who helped this extraordinary adventure.

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A great success!

We are pleased to share our video of “When Artists Meet Zimbabwe” that was included in the LCI TV Channel’s programme “In the Heart of our Differences”.

The success of the meeting between European artists and schoolchildren in Zimbabwe is the result of a beautiful collaboration between SaSafari, Imvelo Safari Lodges in Zimbabwe and the charity Rire 78 based in France.

Since its inception, saSafari has been working to develop authentic ecotourism trips, both for individuals and corporates.

What makes an ecotourism trip is the imitation of the ecological footprint, the conservation of biodiversities and the support of the local populations. Ecotourism is also responsible tourism that takes into account the principles of sustainable development and provides a source of employment and income for local communities. By enhancing and embracing natural areas, it contributes to their conservation and wildlife.

Relating to its values, SaSafari has come closer to the owners of the IMVELO portfolio of lodges in Zimbabwe.

In some parts of Zimbabwe, villagers live close to national parks that have many wild animals. This cohabitation is not always easy, with the villagers having tobe careful how they travel and keep safe from the animals. IMVELO, in collaboration with the local communities, then built lodges around and inside the Hwange National Park with the aim of bringing together rural communities and nature to create a symbiotic relationship between the preservation of nature, responsible tourism and supporting local communities.

From this meeting with IMVELO our great project was born!

We were able to bring French artists to meet schoolchildren and villagers who live near the Hwange National Park.
The Rire 78 association, a charity which operates in hospitals in the Paris region, joined the project to find the best artists with a wide range of talents. In November 2016, 4 artists accompanied by 10 other travelers visited the communities of Zimbabwe.

“When artists meet Zimbabwe” was a real success!

On the programme was shows, workshops juggling, drawings, dances, and songs. The schoolchildren had never seen such tricks, dancing, storytelling and acts.

Together, artists and students used their creativity to choreograph energetic and uplifting shows, mixing the different cultures and abilities. Each time, there was a beautiful unity of artistic sharing and strong emotions.

For children, teachers, artists and accompanying travelers, these unique encounters will remain unforgettable!

On the strength of this success, we are working to ensure that this project makes magic happen again in 2017.

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How rich or poor are we?

Last summer I took my son with me to a far-away village in Zimbabwe. We walked around poor villages and visited schools. It was hot and the country was suffering its 3rd consecutive year of drought. I showed him how tough the life can be and how poor some places in the world are. We spent 7 days discovering 5 schools and interacting with 1200 children. After the visit and returning back home, I asked my son 2 questions.
”Did you see how tough life can be?’’, ”What did you learn son?”

My son replied ”We have 1 gold fish; they have dogs, goats, cows and chickens. We have an apartment and live one on top of the other; they have farms and space to play. We have a community swimming pool down the road, they have rivers. We have lanterns at night, they have stars! We buy food, they grow theirs. We have walls to protect us, they have friends!
After thinking for a while, my son added, ”Thanks dad, for showing me all this, when can we go back?”.

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Marc Bouvron
Co Founder saSafari, Creator of meaningful travel

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The project takes shape!

Thank you to all our sponsors for their confidence in this project. In November, the children and village people in Zimbabwe will have the unique experience of joy, sharing, theater, art and dance.

Ngamo school 2
Ngamo school

We look forward to sharing the success of this trip with you.

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When Artists Meet Zimbabwe

We are very pleased to share with you the first event of a major project which saSafari are proudly and passionately associated with!

saSafari is involved committed to ecotourism.
For over two years, we have offered our clients the opportunity to see how our lodges work within the local communities to make tourism sustainable, responsible and beneficial for all.

In this context, we have partnered with ’78 Laughing’ – an organization that is active in hospitals in Paris.
The project allows French artists to meet with African villagers and schoolchildren in their own environment and share each other’s cultures of music, dance and theatre.
For this project’s first launch, Zimbabwe was chosen as the destination. In November 2016, three French artists will go to meet schoolchildren and villagers living near the Hwange National Park.
Please click on the YouTube link below to see more about our vision for this project, and who the artists are:

In order to raise the funds needed to fun this project, we are launching a crowdfunding effort.
The more people contribute to the project, the more likely we are to reach the amount needed for its implementation.
We would be most grateful for your support with funding project which is close to our heart.
Here is the link that will take you to the fundraising platform:

Thanks to you, this will allow this project to grow and spearhead the continuation a major project: “When artists meet …”

Thank you for your support!

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The Great Zimbabwe Ruins

The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are sub-Saharan Africa’s most important and largest stone ruins. It is the largest ancient structure south of the Sahara and second only to the Pyramids of Egypt in terms of size.
Designated a World Heritage Site in 1986, the large towers and structures were built out of millions of stones balanced perfectly on top of one another without the aid of mortar.
Great Zimbabwe gave modern Zimbabwe its name as well as its national emblem – an eagle carved out of soapstone which was found at the ruins.


The Great Zimbabwe


The people of Great Zimbabwe are believed to have become increasingly influential during the 11th Century.
The Swahili, the Portuguese and Arabs who were sailing down the Mozambique coast began trading porcelain, cloth and glass with the Great Zimbabwe people in return for gold and ivory.
The ruins form three distinct architectural groups. They are known as the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex and the Great Enclosure.
The Hill Complex is the oldest, and was occupied from the ninth to thirteenth centuries. The Great Enclosure was occupied from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries and the Valley Complex from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.
The most important artifacts recovered from the Monument are the eight Zimbabwe Birds that were carved from soapstone on the tops of six foot high columns.


The Great Zimbabwe


The architecture of Great Zimbabwe reflected a complex socio-economic system.
The monumental stonewalls were constructed to express wealth, power and pomp of those living within them, an elite population either closely related to or serving a powerful monarchy.

Great Zimbabwe is a clear testimony to the cultural richness of southern Africa’s past and is celebrated as an African contribution to world civilization.
This ancient Zimbabwe site is of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific significance.
However by the 15th Century, Great Zimbabwe was in decline due to over population, famine, water shortage, disease and political disputes.
By the time the Portuguese arrived in search of rumoured cities built of gold, Great Zimbabwe had already fallen into ruins.
To most Zimbabweans Great Zimbabwe is a reminder of the tremendous achievements of their fore-bearers – and as such a rich source of inspiration.


The Great Zimbabwe

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Two sites in South Africa have just been added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO.



The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) met in Paris from 8 to 12 June 2015, where they added 20 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Created in the early 1970s, this scientific program aims to improve relations between the inhabitants of Earth and their natural environment globally.

Biosphere reserves are learning sites for sustainable development aimed at reconciling biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. These reserves are the subject of scientific research on the conservation of landscapes and ecosystems, natural resources management and the impact of human activities. They try to be a model of sustainable development projects and environmental education. This is to support sustainable development and to improve relations between economic players and their regions.
The two new South African Biosphere reserves are:

Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve.

It covers an area of 357,870 hectares located between the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg. The site is located at the interface of two major biomes: the area of the great plateaus at the centre and the sub-Saharan savanna. It has a rich biodiversity including 443 bird species that represent 46.6% of all bird species in the Southern Africa sub-region.


In addition, it is a region of spectacular beauty, and has unique natural features, rich cultural heritage and an archaeological interest, with the “Cradle of Mankind”, which is part of a World Heritage Site that is four million years old. More than 260 000 people live in this region, and the economy is dominated by agriculture, mining, urban development and tourism. The biosphere reserve management plan aims to promote the conservation of the region to tourism, agriculture and sustainable practices (solar, water savings).
The most common activity is visiting nature reserves on foot, mountain bike, horse, car or quad biking. These areas can also be explored in a hot air balloon or microlight. Hiking or mountain biking in the mountains and fishing are two other leisure-related activities.


The Biosphere Reserve in Gouritz

It is located in the southern part of South Africa.
The site covers 3,187,892 hectares. The reserve is divided into four adjoining areas whose altitude ranges from sea level to 2,240 m. This is the only place in the world where three recognized biodiversity hotspots converge (fynbos, succulent Karoo and Maputaland-Tongoland-Albany).


The endemic plant species are numerous. The site is on the migratory route of large mammals such as leopards and serves as a nursery area for marine species. The region is essential to its water resources.
More than 260 000 people live in this region who facesdeep socio-economic problems.
One solution is to fight against youth unemployment by creating in the biosphere reserve sustainable local business models and keep developing the biodiversity to create work.

11 is a travel organisation that shares the values and ambitions of such initiatives. Giving the opportunity to families, couples, honeymooners around the world the chance to discover Southern Africa and the unique beauty it  has to offer.
saSafari is currently building unique tailor-made travel packages for those wishing to travel to these unique Biodiverse destinations.
Speak with us to explore and realise your trip to Southern Africa

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In the middle of the bush: a unique experience!

When I entered a Hide for the first time at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, it was an amazing to experience being so close up to the animals.
You feel excited, vulnerable, tense, part of nature.
Then come the elephants…
From such a discreet position the elephants do not even know you are there, and they move close by undistrubed.
You can feel them, hear them, smell them, really see them.
To witness these great animals so closely is touching, leaving you in awe of these majestic creatures.

To continue the experience ?
saSafari invite you to immerse yourself in nature !

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Thandi’s Calf: The Rhino That Should Never Have Been Born

Rhinos were once found throughout Euroasia and Africa but their numbers have dropped dramatically due to human activities. Today very few rhinos survive outside protected areas.  In recent years rhino numbers have dropped dramatically due to poaching for their horn which is prized in Asian countries. They also face threats from habitat loss and political conflict.

In Africa, Southern white rhinos, once thought to be extinct, live in protected sanctuaries and are classified as Near Threatened. But the Northern white rhino subspecies is believed to be extinct in the wild and only a few captive individuals remain in a sanctuary in Kenya. They are critically endangered. Black rhinos have doubled in number over the past two decades from their low point of 2,480 individuals, but total numbers are still a fraction of the estimated 100,000 that existed in the early part of the 20th century.

An uplifting story involves a rhino called Thandi, who three years after surviving a brutal poaching attack that left two male rhinos dead,  gave birth to a calf on 13 January 2015 at Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. With footage of Thandi and her calf captured moments after the birth, this film by photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn documents Thandi’s journey from attack to recovery. This the moving story of the rhino that should never have been born.


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Meerkats are totally into togetherness. Read on to discover their secrets for getting along with each other.

Meerkats are groupies, bigtime. As many as 40 individuals may live together. Among them may be Mom and Dad with their young pups, the pups’ older sisters and brothers, and many cousins!

Meerkats make getting along in a group seem easy. How do they do it? For starters, members of a group hang out together a lot. They sit back, relax, and often groom each other. Sometimes they tussle and play, too. This helps keep everyone happy and friendly! But meerkats have many more tricks for togetherness, as you’ll soon find out.

What’s a Meerkat?
  • A meerkat is a squirrel sized mammal. It’s a kind of mongoose. Mongooses live mostly in Africa and southern Asia.
  • Meerkats make their homes in burrows in the plains and deserts of southern Africa.
  • A meerkat’s long, thin body is great for scooting through a burrow!
Sharing Jobs

As you know, a group gets along best when everyone pitches in and shares the chores. Meerkats are pros at this. For example, they take turns standing guard: keeping an eye out for danger so the others don’t have to worry about it. At the first sight of an eagle, hawk, or other predator, the guard barks or whistles loudly. That usually sends everyone racing for cover. When the guard gives an alarm call, the meerkats may dash into a wide tunnel called a “bolt hole.”

From a high mound, a guard keeps a sharp eye out for danger. Thanks to the guard, the other members of the group can safely go about their business. When looking for lunch, for instance, almost the whole gang sets off together, taking a slightly different route each day. That increases their chances of finding food. As they go, the meerkats sniff the ground for underground prey. Their favorites? Juicy, wormlike beetle grubs and scorpions.

Once a meerkat picks up the scent of a buried meal, it starts digging. Its sharp front claws get at the food in no time. During a morning of hunting — and digging — a single meerkat may leave behind hundreds of holes, empty of their former residents!


Sharing and Caring

By far the most incredible example of meerkat teamwork is childcare! Nearly everyone in the group, both male and female, takes turns babysitting the group’s young pups. And Mom? She nurses her pups, but otherwise she’s not around much. She heads off with the rest of the adults to find food. She needs to keep eating so she can produce enough milk for her babies.

Training the Pups

The babysitter has to be especially cautious when the eager pups are ready to explore the world outside of the familiar burrow. After all, danger could strike at any time — and the pups would hardly notice. They’re too busy playing and wrestling with each other. Meerkat pups spend much of their day playing.

Finally, when they’re about a month old, these mischievous little meerkats will be big enough to tag along with the rest of the group. But they still won’t have learned all the tricks to catching their own food. So the ever-patient adults in the crowd will share their meals—and some will take time to teach the little ones how to hunt and grab prey. It won’t be long before the pups catch on to this—and to all the other secrets of living in one big, happy group, too.

Meerkats really are remarkable animals. Below are some facts to prove it.

• Calling out warnings. Meerkats have as many as 50 different alarm calls to identify different kinds of attackers or dangers!

• Taking good care. Meerkats in a group look out for each other. For instance, young pups often tag along with some grown meerkats who are busy searching for a meal. When the pups get hungry, they let out high-pitched squeals. Someone in the group always goes over and gives the pups food—even when the youngsters aren’t theirs.

• Catching some rays. Early in the morning, meerkats come out of their burrow and warm up in the sun. A meerkat has a nearly hairless patch of dark skin on its belly that absorbs the sun’s rays easily. You might call it a built-in solar panel!

• What a home! A meerkat’s burrow can be humongous, stretching  over an area equal to three school buses parked end to end. A burrow like this often has up to 90 entrances.

• Keeping the dirt out. A meerkat’s eyes have special coverings that act like protective glasses, keeping out dirt when the animal is digging. And a meerkat’s ears can close down to prevent soil from clogging them, too!

Source: Ranger Rick Magazine, written by E. Schleichert.


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