Chip & Bere Tour to New Zealand and Australia – New Zealand Day 08

Southern Africa Conservation and Communities Tour to New Zealand and Australia – July and August 2011


Tuesday 6th July

Our first rainy day since arriving.  Today we had our first Rotary presentation and we were warmly welcomed by Rotary Hastings at the Armed Services Club. It went very well and it is always amazing how many people will say after a talk, that they’ve heard about Africa and thought about travelling there, but after seeing the presentation and hearing Charlie talk, they now want to go there and see it for themselves.

Charlie with Mike Kelly CEO of Sirtrack with a wooden rhino horn and the transmitter they are making.

Straight after the presentation we met with CEO of a company called Sirtrack.  They have been researching and developing tracking devices for animal and bird applications all over the world.  Interestingly, they have just finished developing a new radio tracker for rhino that is inserted into the horn.  This device will be used soon in South Africa. The interesting thing was that they were using a piece of wood as a rhino horn.

Next stop was Birdwoods Gallery where Charlie was interviewed for one of the local papers.  Birdwoods, is owned and managed by Louise Stobart, a Zimbabwean who has created a quaint small piece of Africa in a church which they relocated to the area in the village of Havelock North.

Louise Stobart

Louise in true Zimbabwe style, pulled out all the stops for the evening presentation where a record 90+ people attended.  The evening was a great event and over 1000 NZ$ was raised for the projects.  Birdwoods has also adopted the Africa Green Fund as it’s charity of  choice and funds will be supporting projects within the Green Zambezi Alliance.

Louise travels back to her home country, Zimbabwe once a year to purchase pieces of artwork and carvings from artists in local communities and ships them to New Zealand to be appreciated by the Kiwis.   She is a true conservationist and passionate about helping conservation and communities back in Zimbabwe.  “Thanks Louise, you have been such a star.”

Presentation at Birdwoods Gallery.

Presentation at Birdwoods Gallery.

Our trip in New Zealand is sadly almost coming to an end as we travel to Wellington.  We hope to miss the gales, tornadoes and earthquakes!








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