In September, 2002, Ed Clark, the President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, was a speaker at a wildlife conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. While there, a Virginia Game Warden introduced Ed to Joe Viljoen, a South African who has created a large nature reserve there. Ed spent three incredible days at 'Chazen', Joe's nature reserve and lodge. As a result of that visit, Joe donated a 10-day photo safari to the WCV's Fall 2002 Benefit Auction, where I was the lucky person who 'won' it. My wife and I went in March 2003. It was an extraordinary experience, and it was obvious such a unique opportunity should be made available to as many others as possible.
The WCV created these safaris and is sponsoring them, in cooperation with Joe, in order to make them available to those of us interested in viewing African wildlife in its natural surroundings, while we enjoy viewing in comfort and safety. Result :-) 14-day safaris — 12 days with Joe in SA, plus 1 over, 1 back. We at WCV have now produced 30+ very successful safaris with plans for more.
Joe Viljoen, his wife Antoinette and two sons, Micha and Zen, are native South Africans and absolutely delightful. His Nature Reserve, "Chazen", is named after his two sons. Joe is one of the top trackers in South Africa, having an incredible knowledge of wildlife and their behavior, and he can interact with them in such a way that we are allowed exceptionally close viewing, even though they are all living naturally and in the wild.
More than 20 years ago Joe invested his winnings in 20,000 acres (32 sq. miles!) of land that is now Chazen. It was a sheep and cattle farm that had been stripped completely of grass with attendant erosion. Joe began a major renewal program to get the grasses back, and has admirably used environmentally-sensitive techniques to recover the land. He added grass seed to the feed for his various antelope species so they spread the seeds along with the fertilizer. He controls any wildlife tick infestations by moving his small herd of cattle around various sections of the reserve (cattle attract ticks like magnets) then the cattle are dipped in environmentally-safe tick dip. As a result of these and other clever techniques, the land is now supporting magnificent herds of wildlife.
JOE TO VISIT WAYNESBORO!!!
Joe Viljoen, our South African Guide and Host Family, will be visiting us here in Waynesboro on Sunday afternoon, January 19. There will be a reception for him at 3:00 pm at The Purple Foot, 1035 W. Broad St. If you, are any of your Friends and/of Family, are interested in learning about our incredible African Wildlife Photo and Viewing safaris, please free to attend. This is also a great opportunity for any of you who have been with us on safaris in the past to visit with Joe again.
Don’t miss this opportunity!!
South African Safaris
If interested in another date, call Erwin
JOE TO VISIT WAYNESBORO!!Joe to visit Waynesboro!! Joe Viljoen, our South African Guide and Host Family, will be visiting us here in Waynesboro on Sunday afternoon, January 19. There will be a reception for him at 3:00 pm at The Purple Foot, 1035 W. Broad St. If you, are any of your Friends and/of Family, are interested in learning about our incredible African Wildlife Photo and Viewing safaris, please free to attend. This is also a great opportunity for any of you who have been with us on safaris in the past to visit with Joe again. Don’t miss this opportunity!!
PO Box 1401
Waynesboro VA 22980
News: Safari added to Botswana and Zimbabwe
We are now producing safaris into Botswana and Zimbabwe, and in particular to the Chobe National Park, located in north-eastern Botswana, and to Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe on the border of Botswana. Hwange is Zimbabwe's largest national park, covering an area of over 14,500 sq. kms. The park holds over 400 species of birds, and the largest variety of animals including elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hyena, lion, leopard, cheetah, and a variety of antelope such as Sable, Kudu, and Impala. In both of these parks there are elephants by the tens of thousands - literally!! Further, we are including a visit to Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, 3-times the size of Niagara Falls, and located on the Zambezi River at the border between Botswana and Zimbabwe.
News: Wheelchair Accessibility
The Wildlife Center of Virginia has proudly announced its African Safari program provides Wheelchair Accessibility to those requiring such facilities and assistance. This new capability is a very exciting addition to our already incredible safari program. I know of no other safari organization who is providing such a well-needed and deserving opportunity.