[COVID COMMENT] Congo, Carbon & Car - a Conservation update from Classics
02 July 2020

Celebrate success, take opportunities and be open to learning more.

The above picture is clearly NOT the rainforests of Congo. It was taken by my 11 year old daughter as we were driving across the Karoo earlier this week.
Amidst all the madness of running our businesses and navigating life in our new norm, we don't take enough time to celebrate living and successes all around us. Today, we are taking a look at conservation highlights and victories across our portfolio. Here are 4 updates we would like share with you:

(1) Spotting a mandrill, (2) going carbon-positive, (3) my 'road-schooling' adventure, (4) our Tuesday Talk next week discussing the Congo Basin.


For the first time ever, footage of a rare mandrill has been captured in Odzala-Kokoua National Park. This is phenomenal as mandrills have been rarely spotted before, but never recorded, and this was on a walking trail enjoyed by Mboko Camp guests!

Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) are generally found further west in Gabon. This one was captured on June 3rd on a camera trap gifted to CONGO CONSERVATION COMPANY by Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible.

If this excited you as much as it did us, then tune into our TUESDAY TALK where we will have a destination-based discussion around the rainforested areas of West Africa. 


In 2019, SASAAB became a climate-positive property through indigenous tree planting in the deforested regions of Kenya (restoring wildlife habitats & reducing carbon emissions).

In 2020, THE SAFARI COLLECTION commits to becoming the first climate-positive safari company in Kenya through reducing carbon emissions where/when possible and then planting trees to offset the emissions which cannot be reduced.

In the last 2 years as part of their sustainability programmes, they have planted 18,000 indigenous trees with a commitment to plant another 4,000 in the next few months.

At the same time, we are proud to say that CHIAWA CAMP and OLD MONDORO were Africa’s first carbon-neutral certified safari camps (from 2015), and through their initiative, other camps joined in making the Lower Zambezi National Park Africa’s first carbon-neutral national park. 


Two weeks ago, I started our epic adventure of learning, growing and exploring deeper. My girls and I have embarked on a 3-month road trip through South Africa and we plan to join many hands-on conservation activities to complement 'road-schooling'. While inter-provincial travel in South Africa still excludes leisure, I am blessed with an essential services permit that affords my children and I the opportunity to experience something spectacular.

Last week, at KWANDWE PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, we were extremely fortunate to be involved with uniting 2 male cheetahs (hoping they create a coalition), then moving buffalo and sable. The conservation work continues, even when tourism does not. My girls were totally in awe of the wonderful wildlife vet = girl power!

Guests can book a Rhino Monitoring Drive with a specialist guide (R 4,000 per person, ± US$ 230) or take part in a Rhino Conservation Safari including notching (R 52,000 per group, ± US$ 3,000).

Since then, we have explored the most beautiful parts of the Karoo (with as many dirt roads as possible) and discovered that in the simple pleasures of life, so many new insights will be gained. I urge you all to hit the road and enjoy what is on your doorstep.
Watch this space for an exciting new development taking place at Kwandwe 
5 Pillars of conservation COVID-19 policy


Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 16:30 (South Africa time zone)

The Congo Basin makes up one of the most important wilderness areas left on Earth. At 500 million acres, it is larger than the state of Alaska and stands as the world’s second-largest rainforest.

Featuring a fabulous line-up of passionate companies striving to establish conservation based tourism in spectacular locations under very challenging circumstances. We invite you to learn about the 'future safari' destinations in Africa - Republic of Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic and São Tomé & Príncipe. 


CONGO CONSERVATION COMPANYElza Gillman (Republic of Congo)
SANGHA LODGERod Cassidy (Central African Republic)
HBD PRÍNCIPEPhilippe Moreau (São Tomé & Príncipe)


SPACPaul Telfer (Congo Basin)
Join us. Remember to add your questions on the registration page.
Even if you can't attend, do register to join, as we will send the recording afterwards.
Register to join

To keep up to date on our road trip adventures follow my updates on FACEBOOK or SUZANNE'S BLOG on our Classic Portfolio website.

Warmest regards
Suzanne Bayly-Coupe
Classic Portfolio
Sustainable Africa

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Republic of the Congo & Central African Republic

WHAT WE LOVE: The Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic, both former French colonies, are 2 of the 6 countries across which the Congo Basin expands. Second in size to the mighty Amazon, the forests of the Congo Basin contain the greatest number of mammals, primates, birds, amphibians, fish and swallowtail butterflies in Africa. More than a 1,000 species of bird can be found here. The basin is a total of 3.7 million km2 and is home to some of the largest undisturbed stands of tropical rainforest on the planet, in addition to large wetlands. Connecting two of the most iconic locations - Odzala-Kokoua and Dzanga-Sangha National Parks - within this rainforest wilderness offers the most exciting opportunity to discover a part of Africa in a truly pioneering way, while making a significant contribution to the long-term conservation and community sustainability of this region. This is no longer the 'Heart of Darkness'. This is Africa unmasked, beautiful and powerful. This is the most exciting destination to be opening to tourism. This is CONGO CONSERVATION COMPANY waiting for you to discover the most remarkable and unspoilt natural wonders of the continent.



Walking time from Chindeni is ± 3½ hours and Kapamba ± 3 hours. Drive time from Mfuwe Lodge: ±3 hours.
Overlooking 3 waterholes with many herds of resident elephant, Bilimungwe Bushcamp is a hidden gem under huge mahogany trees. There are four open-fronted thatched chalets on wooden decks (2 twin chalets with queen beds and 2 double chalets each with a king bed). Each chalet has an en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers with cold and solar-heated water.