Norman Carr's legacy
Nsefu camp, started in 1950, was the Valley's first camp for photographic visitors. From the moment that it started, one of Nsefu's founding principles was that the local indigenous people, the traditional owners of the wildlife, should benefit from the visitors. This mirrors the approach that most thinking on conservation and development has only taken in the last few years (in the jargon, this is now called 'community based natural resource management'!). Norman Carr was a conservationist far ahead of his time.
Not only did Norman start a number of these camps, he also started education projects in the Valley, and worked alongside and helped to train many of those who are now the Valley's most experienced guides. These include:Phil Berry
, who came to the Luangwa in 1963, and in 1973 joined the Zambian National Tourist Bureau to manage walking safaris, in competition with Norman's safari operations. Three years later they joined forces to start Chibembe. Phil's now the valley's most senior guide, and still leads some walks from his small bushcamp, Kuyenda. He's widely respected not only for his guiding, but also for his meticulous keeping of flora and fauna records, and work with Thornicroft's Giraffe.Robin Pope
came into the Valley in 1976, working with Phil and Norman at Chibembe and then Nsefu Camp. Tena Tena started around 1983 as one of Nsefu's walking bushcamps, then Robin took it over in 1986 – and branched off to start perhaps the Valley's most successful safari operation, Robin Pope Safaris.John Coppinger
started as a guide at Nsefu in 1984, whilst Robin was manager. He managed Nsefu for a few years, and then became general manager of Wilderness Trails – which then ran Chibembe, Nsefu, Big Lagoon and a travel agency in Lusaka. Eventually he left there is 1994, to start his own operation, Remote Africa Safaris, based out of Tafika.Isaac Zulu
originally studied as an agriculturalist, but was trained by Norman from 1974. He guided in the Valley for many years, including at Chibembe in the late 1980s. Eventually he left the Valley in 1989 and worked in Livingstone, with Tongabezi, for many years until returning to the Valley in 2001 with Chilongozi Safaris (now defunct). Currently he's again guiding with John at Remote Africa Safaris.Abraham Banda
was trained by Norman in 1989, having come straight from the Kapani School. (This was set up by Norman to offer local children the chance of a good education.) Fifteen years later, Abraham now manages the safari operation at Norman Carr Safaris; he is one of the leaders of the new generation of Luangwa guides. In addition, he runs a very successful charity to support the Kapani School, and a number of other community projects.
The way that the Luangwa Valley's safari business here has created opportunities for an increasing number of locally-born people like Abraham, both in education and tourism, is part and parcel of why Norman started safaris in the Luangwa over fifty years ago. Perhaps Norman's greatest legacy is not the plethora of high-quality walking safaris here, but the impressively strong conservation and development ethics which underpin virtually all of the better, long-standing safari operations in the valley.