Conservation in Mozambique

Benguerra Island In mid-October, we made a 10-day visit to Mozambique where we had the opportunity to take a first-hand look at the impressive conservation work of both African Parks (in Bazaruto National Park; and the Carr Foundation (in Gorongosa National Park; – including, in the case of the latter in particular, associated social development programmes. We also had an initial informal exchange about possible Rainforest Trust engagement in Zambia, which relates back to our September visit to Mwinilunga ( and the possibility of launching community conservation projects there. Several strands of follow up are in hand.

Where the Kalahari meets the Congo Basin

Where the Kalahari meets the Congo Landscape
In early September, Clare and Alastair made their first visit to Mwinilunga, guided by top ecologist Frank Willems. The principal reason for their visit was birding in this unique corner of Zambia which offers a rare combination of habitats, ie miombo woodland, dambo and tropical rainforest – and even Afro-montane vegetation. But the trip also enabled an initial exploration by Alavan of our advising possible community conservation projects in the region, as part of our ongoing drive to boost tourism numbers by increasing awareness globally of Zambia’s fantastic but under-appreciated birding proposition.
Alastair Newton and Frank Willems

Showcasing Livingstone’s Birding Proposition

Waterbird Exhibition Livingstone Museum

“This under-birded country on the interface of Southern and Central Africa still holds vast swathes of miombo woodland, and is the best country in which to see the specialities of this habitat…. Politically stable and safe to visit, as well as boasting good travel infrastructure, it is strange that the country has not become more popular with birders, especially with the added attraction of Victoria Falls and big game in the Luangwa Valley.”

Michael Mills, The Birder’s Guide to Africa (2017)

On 17 August, a new exhibition based on over 20 years of research into Livingstone’s local waterbirds opened to the public at the Livingstone Museum. As such, it showcases a small part — there are over 500 species of birds to be found in the Livingstone area alone — of Zambia’s under-appreciated birding proposition which will hopefully help to get the word out more widely to the global birding community.

The exhibition, which runs until mid-November before going on the road to museums around the country, is being held in association with Birdwatch Zambia, underlining the fact that we sit at the birding crossroads of Africa hosting species not only from our continent’s southern region but, as Michael Mills states, also from the east and the west. 

We at Alavan partnered the Museum by helping pro bono to raise the sponsorship money which made the holding of the exhibition possible (as well as contributing sponsorship money ourselves). We’d like to join the Museum in recording our thanks to the other sponsors, ie: Atlas Mara Zambia (Platinum Sponsor); XproGraphix (like Alavan, Diamond); JollyBoys, Kayube Lodge, Pauch Consultant, PureSkills, Southern Savannah Safaris and Toyota Zambia (all Gold).

African Entrepreneurship Awards

On 15 August, Alastair was appointed as a Global Mentor under BMCE Bank of Africa’s African Entrepreneurship Award scheme, as the final round of this year’s competition formally kicked off.
African Entrepreneurship Award

Company News – June ’17

Short Courses in Hospitality and Tourism

On Thursday 14th June Clare and Alastair attended the launch of Short Courses in Hospitality and Tourism at LIBES,  With tourism being central to the Livingstone economy it is good to see initiatives like this.

LIBESEDBI Conference – Livingstone

May 15-19th, Clare attended the “Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) Conference” at the Avani Hotel, Livingstone; She was supporting Victor Njakwa and his Chitenge Shoes business who were exhibiting throughout the conference.

EDBI Livingstone

Better business opportunities in Macron’s France?

On 14/15 May, Alastair was in Paris for a QALIS meeting ( and for a series of discussions with policy experts on prospects for the Macron presidency. He also took time out to support his daughter Carolyn and her fiancé, Carlos, who are about the launch themselves into a series of 12 Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding (SUP) marathons on their home-made (from plastic water bottles) boards to raise awareness of the huge problem of plastic in the ocean. The photo is from the SUP regatta on the Marne in which they were participating.

Carolyn in Paris

Working with Yaleo

Clare has been working with Yalelo, Zambia’s largest Tilapia fish farm. The relaunched website includes creative recipes for Zambians. For information on where to buy tilapia;


Legal Indaba

In April 2017, Alavan provided pro bono advice on attracting advertising revenue for the relaunch of the Zambian legal journal Legal Indaba.


Chitenge Shoes – local manufacture

Victor Njakwe is a skilled leather worker based in Livingstone. Clare has been assisting him as he develops his business. This has included some training in pricing and general finance, helping in the design of his product for the tourist market and identifying sales opportunities.Chitenge sandals


Bajaj Bikes in Zambia

Alavan assisted in the successful raising of a short-term loan for Bajaj Zambia



EDBI Conference – Livingstone

May 15-19th, Clare attended the “Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) Conference” at the Avani Hotel, Livingstone; She was supporting Victor Njakwa and his Chitenge Shoes business who were exhibiting throughout the conference.

EDBI Livingstone

Company News – March ’17

BMCE Bank of Africa

Alastair was formally invited to join the mentors’ panel of BMCE Bank of Africa’s African Entrepreneurship Award —


In March 2017, Qalis Partners rebranded itself as Qalis. Alastair remains president of its Strategic Committee.

Birdwatch Zambia

In January 2017, Alavan renewed its corporate membership of Birdwatch Zambia (

Livingstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry

In January 2017, Alavan renewed its corporate membership of the LVCCI (

Corporate Social Responsibility

In December 2016/January 2017, Alavan carried out preliminary work aimed at rebooting the CSR programme of a major Livingstone employer.