Zambia bans lion, leopard hunting

Updated 10 January 2013
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Zambia bans lion, leopard hunting

LUSAKA: Zambia on Thursday banned lion and leopard hunting to protect rapidly decreasing feline numbers for a burgeoning safari industry, despite criticism that it will drive tourists away.
“We do not have enough cats for hunting purposes, especially if we have to save our national resources,” tourism minister Sylvia Masebo told AFP.
“No amount of convincing from any sector or group will convince me otherwise,” Masebo said. “The cats are gone.”
The southern African country, which draws tourists to the world famous Victoria Falls, hopes to develop a wildlife tourism trade, which has long been a mainstay of the economies in neighboring countries.
“Although there is evidence that safari hunting and wildlife record income for the country, there was a need to weigh the benefits against the fast-depleting species of some animals,” said Masebo.
But the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) said the ban would be bad for the tourist industry.
“The population of cats in Zambia is around 3,400 to 3,500 and with the ban on safari hunting for cats we are likely to lose on revenue. It is these cats that make Zambia’s safari hunting competitive in the region,” said ZAWA head of research Chuma Simukonda.
Only 55 felines were hunted a year, he said, though the income from the sport was unknown.
ZAWA and the government are in a spat after authorities temporarily closed the agency’s offices pending investigations into graft.
Its director and senior officials were fired last month for alleged corruption in the awarding of safari hunting concessions.
The country’s hunting community however sees the move as political meddling.
“This is painting a bad picture about Zambia to the outside world. Blood sport is more beneficial to this country than game viewing,” said Gavin Robinson of the Professional Hunters Association.
“People from Europe and America wish to hunt here but they will now move elsewhere, meaning all the clients will leave Zambia,” he added.
On the other hand conservationist James Chungu welcomed the minister’s announcement.
“If you feel there are areas where animals are overpopulated and you need to crop them why don’t you get those animals to other parks which have been depleted so that they produce?” he suggested.
Chungu who runs the Lusenga Trust conservation organization said ZAWA’s figures were inaccurate.
“We need to have the correct numbers, and if anything the people benefiting from hunting are not indigenous Zambians. Zambians benefit from game viewing,” he said.


Bulgari hotel: An Italian escape in Dubai

Luxury doesn’t shout its presence with bling or ostentatious features, instead it quietly whispers. (bulgarihotels.com)
Updated 19 April 2018
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Bulgari hotel: An Italian escape in Dubai

  • The “urban oasis” is currently the only hotel situated on the offshore Jumeira Bay island
  • Home to just 110 rooms, suites and villas, the sprawling low-rise property oozes Italian elegance with its minimalist aesthetic

DUBAI: Bulgari, the venerated Italian design house, has just five hotels around the world. And even in Dubai — a city crammed with luxury hotels — the Bulgari Resort manages to seem exclusive. The “urban oasis” is currently the only hotel situated on the offshore Jumeira Bay island, offering guests some respite from the city’s often-hectic atmosphere, even though it is literally minutes away from the pulsing heart of Dubai.

Home to just 110 rooms, suites and villas, the sprawling low-rise property oozes Italian elegance with its minimalist aesthetic. Master architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel — who are responsible for all the Bulgari hotels worldwide — have used a neutral color palette and custom motifs, such as coral-inspired lacquered steel parapets and mashrabiya-patterned accents, to give the hotel a sense of place.

Here, luxury doesn’t shout its presence with bling or ostentatious features, instead it quietly whispers, with fine materials — from Italian marble to sumptuous silks, impeccable attention to detail, and touches including the signature fragrance that wafts around you from the second you enter.

The hotel is responsible for a couple of firsts for the brand, including its ‘Little Gems’ kids club — where children are entertained with bespoke activities such as cooking classes and treasure hunts while their parents enjoy some downtime — and the global debut of the Bulgari Marina & Yacht Club, which has its own pool and recreation facilities, signature seafood restaurant, and 50-berth harbor.

All rooms and suites feature a walk-in closet, spacious balconies, smooth one-touch button controls, and bathrooms with standalone tubs boasting enviable views — making for some excellent Insta-fodder. The signature trunk-style mini-bar is as funky as it is functional, and the trendy basket beach bags are perfect for stashing your souvenirs — including designer knick-knacks from on-site concept store La Galleria.

The one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas offer private pools and butler service, but you don’t want to miss the resort’s circular central pool, where luxury cabanas with oversized daybeds and on-call service invite you to lounge the day away. Just adjacent is the crescent-shaped private beach, with the gentle waters of the Arabian Gulf offering perfect swimming conditions, even if the tip of the seahorse-shaped island mars the view slightly.

Whether you opt for a beach-and-pool day or a Dubai-sightseeing trip, your evening should definitely be devoted to the quintessentially Italian aperitivo experience at Il Bar, where an oval-shaped chrome counter provides a social centerpiece, and an outdoor terrace offers marina views. The seriously chic Il Ristorante (by lauded Italian chef Niko Romito) is just next door, and shares the terrace. Its tiramisu is one of the best in town, as is the freshly baked rustic bread.

Offering a more pared-back dining experience are La Spiaggia, a beachside restaurant and bar, and Il Café, the Bulgari take on a casual all-day dining destination which still features jaw-dropping design, and, in line with the whole ‘nothing is too much trouble’ service ethos, serves breakfast all day.

That ethos extends to the spa too, where therapists provide the ultimate in pampering using top-shelf products, including La Mer, in a soothing nature-inspired space. The use of rare precious materials, including grey Vicenza stone and green onyx, infuse the environment with a subtle opulence.

A 25-meter indoor swimming pool with its own cabanas, extensive facilities (including a shower offering a “Caribbean thunderstorm” experience), and private hammam, plus an exclusive Lee Mullins training program at the state-of-the-art gym complete the impressive recreation facilities at the resort.

If you’re looking for a classy, authentic ‘slice-of-Italy’ experience in the Middle East, then the Bulgari Resort Dubai is where you should check in.