It’s Monday 6 November 2017 and a safari to remember

I do hope that you are all splendidly well and have had yet another fabulous weekend. This week I am going to be very lazy and hand you over to June and Roger Harper who have recently returned home from another RPS visit, so June and Roger over to you:

“This year we began our safari at Majete in Malawi, staying at Mkulumadzi Lodge. The lodge is situated above the Shire River and the setting couldn’t be more spectacular. African Parks has established watering holes for the game to visit, with hides for guests to use. We spent a morning in one of the hides viewing the large numbers of visitors. Everything from shy impala, approaching slowly and cautiously, to fearless warthogs, speeding to the water, with their tails in the air, oblivious to any predator, which might have been lurking! For us, it was lovely to see a new antelope – the nyala – as well as bushbuck, waterbuck and zebra, all sharing the precious water.a8632c56bdb576514b229ac6f16de95f56c36d2453a2f97b02fe52cd7c54b2e4We also admired the lengths to which our guide, Erik, would go to smooth our way – gamely climbing a tree with a machete to cut down a dangerous overhanging branch which an elephant had half-chewed the night before!

a3215cc01fdd22c2fb485373b095dea4A very different experience awaited us on the lakeshore at Pumulani. The evening dhow cruises around the bay were a very special way to see the hippos on the other side of the bay and to watch the local fisherman, as well as an unusual location for sundowners. A morning walk through the trees down to the shore revealed lovely birds, from pied kingfishers to African fish eagles, all intent on fishing their breakfast from the lake. Even just sitting in our room for an hour, we were able to watch elusive fire finches and blue waxbills hopping in and out of the bushes.

e4aa3f0578d6798697c93fc0bb6f7752After a relaxing time on the lake, we returned to Nsefu, for the fifth time. The Valley never fails to deliver and we had some spectacular leopard sightings, not least a leopard with cub on a kill. One evening, as we stood by the river with our sundowner, a curious lion cub emerged from a thicket to take a look at us. We watched for a few moments, then quietly retreated to the vehicle – just in case Mum came back from hunting! A drive to the hot springs always produces beautiful sightings of water birds and this year was no exception. We also met with hyenas and vultures on the remains of the buffalo the lions had killed the day before. The elephants around Nsefu have been particularly active this trip and we woke one night to hear rustlings outside our room, only to look out and find a large elephant right outside, sweeping up the fallen leaves. The next night, his friends came too and we were amused to see our neighbours on either side, standing on the loo, looking over the bathroom wall to watch all five of them browsing.4a6063eff19aaa9c2b486e42c72b8845This year, the wild dog pack had divided and dispersed but, on our last morning, just as we were about to leave to walk to Tena Tena, the cry went up: “the dogs have just run through camp”. The walk was abandoned and we set off to follow the dogs. They had made a kill and managed to eat quite a bit of it before a crocodile stole the rest. With full bellies, they trotted off to find a suitable place to wait out the heat of the day – and we continued the walk that had become a game drive. And just before we left, we returned one last time to the breeding colony of carmine bee-eaters – surely one of the most glorious sights in Africa. A wonderful way to end what had been a truly lovely safari.”f77bf51acc23fcfc81a1e8084e458c23Wow what an incredible trip, thank you so much for sharing with us, not only your stories but photos as well. Let’s hope that the sixth trip will be just as exciting. So for this week, there you have it more fun and games in the bush and a lovely treat to have stories from the camps in Malawi as well. From my side, I shall keep quiet as June and Roger have really stolen the show and I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and have a fabulous week with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after each other.
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