Recently the Best of Zambia team was privileged to attend a fundraising event dubbed as “Cocktails for Conservation” which was to raise funds for Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ). CLZ is an organisation which aims to protect the environment of the Lower Zambezi, as an asset for the people of Zambia. As well as providing logistical support to the Zambia Wildlife Authority, CLZ runs environmental educational programs for the local community.
The event was held at the fabulous Roma House, in the trendy upstairs bar. Guests spilled out onto the balcony, enjoying the breeze and the view. Roma House was a true supporter of conservation, providing the canapés for the night. All the drinks were on the house thanks to Kazuma and Zambia Solar/Farmnet.
Other supporters of CLZ included Southern Sun Ridgeway, Rapid Alluminium Limited and Juls Africa among others. The night was all about mingling while enjoying the selection of drinks, so we were pleased to meet quite a few new and interesting people.
After everyone got to chat to mix we all watched an excellent power-point presentation which explained the work that CLZ has been doing over the past few years in Lower Zambezi. The presentation was certainly not for the faint-hearted. Rather graphic images of Zambian wildlife which had been killed by poachers were shown. Poaching remains a prominent menace in Lower Zambezi. Already, in 2011 alone 15 elephant carcasses have been found in the park. The main threat is usually from commercial poachers who sell the ivory in Lusaka and onwards to Asia where it is often used for jewellery and ivory carvings. The Zambian Wildlife Authority’s lack of resources, and a community struggling with life below the poverty line are the two main challenges that CLZ strive to address.
The mood was rather sombre after that presentation, but laughs were soon in the air again as Richard Chapple took up the role of auctioneer extraordinaire. He kick started the main attraction of the night, an auction of two original paintings and two luxury trips to the Lower Zambezi. Julie Matthews was Richard’s stylish and entertaining assistant and her charm was definitely profitable. The original Ali Street painting of a family of meerkats sold for $650 while Rory McDougal, from Bedrock Africa, saw his original painting of a sable go for $800. Two nights for two at Royal Zambezi Lodge went to Viktor Vidmar from Rapid Alumiumium for $800, while a luxury five night Lower Zambezi package (which included three nights at Baines River Camp and two nights at Chiawa Camp with flights kindly donated by Proflight, was sold to Chris Liebenberg for $1,600.
CLZ managed to raise a fantastic $5,000 on the night. The night ended with a draw for two nights at the lovely Kanyemba Lodge. Everyone held their breath as one business card was drawn from a jar full of others. We were pleasantly surprised when a member of the Best of Zambia team won the trip! You’ll have to keep up to date with our blog to find out who the lucky team member was because they’ll be posting their pictures when they get back from Kanyemba!