I am so excited to be writing this blog about our latest news at VELT Designs. We have been very busy in the background working closely with our business partner in Zambia, registering our sister company VELT Safaris Pty LTD. Starting a business in a different country during a world pandemic has been interesting to say the least. On the 26th March, my husband Heijn and I will be leaving the comforts of our leafy suburb in Cape Town, in our Land Rover Defender and our 4x4 trailer and travelling from Cape Town, South Africa up through Namibia, through the Caprivi Strip and crossing the border into Zambia. The trip is 3,581 km's and roughly 40 hrs of driving.
The planning of this trip has been a long 2 or more years and last year's lockdown really made us realise that we are determined to make this dream come true. We are finally going up to Kafue National Park again to go finalise our agreement with the Department for National Parks and Wildlife in Zambia to acquire land in the Kafue National Park and start a bush camp to get involved with conservation for wildlife and natural spaces in Africa. When VELT Designs started in 2017, it was my dream to try and spread a message of the importance of our natural world, how fragile and interlinked our lives are with our ecosystems and how we all need to spend time in nature to appreciate how important it is for our wellbeing and for the preservation of our planets animals, flora and fauna.
"The Kafue National Park, located in west-central Zambia three hours west of Lusaka, is one of the world's great natural treasures. One of Africa's oldest and largest parks, Kafue is home to the unspoiled beauty of rolling hills covered with Miombo woodlands, thick savanna grasslands, extensive marshes, and sinuous evergreen forests along the banks of the Kafue River. Together with the connected game management areas, the park is the size of the country of Belgium. However, the park and those that call it home are in danger. The magnificent animals attract poachers while the sheer size makes protecting them particularly difficult.
The Ministry of Tourism and Arts, estimates between 4,000 to 6,000 poachers are operating in Kafue National Park. Poachers armed with military grade firearms and often supported by international smuggling cartels, pose a threat to wildlife, local inhabitants, tourists and the brave game rangers.
Kafue is globally recognised as a precious natural resource and serves a vital role as one of the member parks in the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, a SADC effort to protect 519,000 square kilometres of wildlife and natural treasures across five countries. From its conception, Kafue has been a ground for pioneering conservation activities." - A Trek of a Lifetime Saving Kafue by Meredith Jackson-de Graffenried.
We want to be part of this journey, we want to be in the frontline of helping preserve our wildlife and make people around the world think about it from a different perspective. This is going to be a long term project as we don't have funds to go and erect a massive fully functional fancy lodge and suddenly have a conservation company making a huge difference but our vision will stay true and we will push and move forward to eventually reach our goal of something similar. To start, we are planning on building an eco bush camp where visitors can come with their own camping equipment and setup camp next to the beautiful Kafue River. The Kafue River is the longest river lying wholly within Zambia at about 1,576 kilometres long. It is the largest tributary of the Zambezi, and of Zambia's principal rivers. It is absolutely stunning, you can enjoy a sunset cruise and watch the hippos and crocodiles potter around in the deep waters, the fish eagles swooping down catching fish and the tall palm trees that grow on the side of the river. It is an absolute paradise in my opinion but it needs to be protected. We will show you the beauty of the bush, we want to make it accessible for Africans to enjoy the bush too and not have to spend the thousands of dollars to be able to spend time in the wild and appreciate their land, our land, Africa.
VELT Designs will continue to fly our flag here in South Africa and hopefully grow and develop new and exciting products which encapsulate natural resources and spreading our message. Profits from VELT Designs will help build this dream retreat in the deep heart of Africa and hopefully bring you to our camp in the Kafue National Park.
Spread the word, support us how you can but most importantly appreciate our natural world, we depend on it.