It’s Monday 8th May 2017 and news from John’s Camp

Happy Monday to you! I do hope that you are sitting comfortably and all strapped in because this week we are dashing across the border – Off to Zimbabwe! Let’s hear from Sarah from John’s Camp to find out how things have been going there since they have opened for the season. Sarah – over to you:

“John’s Camp opened on the 14th of April, and we were ready just in time due to the unusually high rainfall Zimbabwe has received this season – to give you an idea, to get the teams and cars into camp took us 13 hours with multiple trips thereafter as there was no way that the 10 tonne lorry was going to make it down the road. Not to worry, we made it! The roads slowly dried out and improved dramatically and our first guests joined us for a slightly wet but very happy Easter in camp.

Mana is looking absolutely glorious, green and lush with very thick ground cover. This makes walking a little more difficult but also definitely more exciting! You never know what you may find around the next bush!

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Our camp has been erected at the Croton site, situated at the east of the Park, bordering the Nyamatusi wilderness area. It is an undisturbed and wild area, without noise or light disturbance from across the Zambian side of the Zambezi river (as this is the Lower Zambezi National Park which has very limited safari camps within it). We can easily say this is Mana’s true wilderness camp and how lucky we and our guests are!

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Being in the wilderness, we have frequent visits from lions passing through at night and in the very early morning. Sometimes if we’re lucky a little later in the morning once it’s just light. Over the past couple of days, a pair of mating lions have been hanging around the kitchen tent much to the delight of Tawanda, the camp chef. He tells us it is a young male trying his best to court a beautiful lioness.

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Our stories are already many but here are a few of our sightings this week:
Guests spent a good forty minutes on Easter Monday watching fourteen lions on a kill just off the road close to camp. The whole family were covered in mud, cubs playing in the mud and drinking out of puddles completely undisturbed as the guests watched on at such a wonderful sighting.

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While Milo was driving down a track near the camp, he was blocked by a croton tree which had been pushed over by an elephant. When he jumped out of the car to move the tree he found, upon close inspection, a nest with four tiny White browed Coucal chicks that had come down with it nest and all. Completely helpless on the ground Milo took the nest and chicks and tied them in a tree nearby. The anxious mother who was fussing near-by was back at the relocated nest in no time! Four lucky Coucals I must say!

This morning we had a phone call from Tawanda in camp, he told us two young elephant bulls had come across our solar panels and decided to take a closer look. Luckily, after a sniff and gentle feel, they wandered on. A lucky let off as this would have been an expensive mistake had they decided to investigate further.

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Every day is a new day and the animals are slowly getting used to John’s Camp and the humans in their neighbourhood. On the open marshy flood plain immediately below, and in full view of the camp, the waterbuck and impala are grazing ever closer.

We are starting to recognise the elephants who visit us, not to mention the lions, and when we were building the camp, a leopard.

We’re also enjoying identifying the birds who have always lived in the thick croton forest under which the camp is built, as well as a wide variety of aquatic birds that inhabit the channels near us.

We just LOVE our new spot and can’t wait to share it with you!”

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Thanks so much Sarah, it sounds like another slice of heaven and we can’t wait to hear more.

Here in the Luangwa we have also been super busy but I will leave you with a little story from a champagne sundowner that Shannon set up for some of our guests… they had a few visitors! Whilst the guests were enjoying the view and sipping on some bubbles, suddenly a couple of wild dogs burst out of the bush and ran straight past them; as if that wasn’t enough, a few moments later everyone heard the dogs whooping and chatting not far from where they were. Needless to say, the bubbles were finished rather promptly, everyone hopped back into the game viewer and a few moments later were watching the pack of 21 dogs feasting on a fresh kill. That’s a pretty good end to the day if you ask me.

It’s also a pretty good end to this week’s Its Monday so I am going to leave you all to it and hope that you all have the most fabulous week with lots of smiles and laughter and we look forward to updating you all next week.

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