It’s Monday 10th November 2008 and Camp Closing


It’s Monday 10th November 2008 and Camp Closing

It is all action this time of year with a mad drastic rush for camp closing. Tena Tena and Nsefu camps have just closed. While everyone had a fabulous season and worked very hard, it was with mixed feelings that they waved goodbye to their last guests and began destroying their home of the past 6 months. Camp building takes a couple of months but it’s all packed up and taken down in a couple of days!

Adorable young impalaLeopard

Simon had a corker of a last drive ending the season on a splendid note! The lions put in an appearance with two flirting, so hopefully there will be cubs next year. The usual crew was present – elephants trumpeting, giraffe gazing and hippos laughing. Vicky and Rick provided champagne sundowners assisted by a lioness, carmine bee-easters, African skimmers and the background music was provided by love birds and a red chested cuckoo.  After dark Hazel Eyes, the beautiful leopard, strolled past looking for the new impala babies. A Pel’s fishing owl, giant eagle owl, white tailed mongoose, a couple of genets and porcupines all came out to say cheers for another year and see you in January! 

Nessa and Jonathon - rock-n-rollingPacking up the generator

By the end of the season, everyone is tired, hot and bothered, but once destruction mode kicks in it is a great stress reliever. Of course it’s not all serious and some water fights were had (behind the scenes) to cool down and provide comedy relief. There’s also usually a couple of accidents – Kat dropped one of the bathroom shelves on her foot and is now showing off her war wound. Nessa was teaching Jonathon (one of the Nsefu groundsmen) how to rock and roll and managed to remove some of the skin off her big toe and is sporting a rather large bandage.

Going for goalAll packed up and ready to head  home

The entire team was on a mission to finish up, but the camaraderie from season was still in evidence. One of Vicky’s friends from uni (Rick) came to visit expecting to enjoy the delights of the bush and safari but soon found himself neck deep in an oven scrubbing! At the end of the day Rick instigated a game of football on the beach – which became slightly competitive with everyone shouting instructions and encouragement from the sidelines. Tena Tena looked very different after everything was packed up and Kat drove and parked in the bar – just because she could!! 

The Tena Tena team heading back - just before the  heavens openedThe last group shot

Luckily for us the rains hadn’t started so there were no delays in packing up soggy gear. However on the very last day (for the mass exodus of Nsefu sector) the heavens opened and driving in the slick muddy black cotton soil with ‘full to the brim’ cruisers provided a lot of excitement – Vicky had her first proper 4×4 driving experience with Nessa as her teacher.

All the staff from the bushcamps arrived back at Nkwali and we were full to capactiy, but it has been great to catch up with everyone. Our sundowner gatherings became quite large and hectic. Some previous RPS faces have popped in to say hi – Kim, Jeffrey and Rob Stacey … they couldn’t have picked a more festive time with the summer holiday vibe! Each camp had an end of season party to celebrate all the hard work throughout the season. It was also a great chance for the caterers to meet everyone’s family – especially all the gorgeous babies. 

Nessa, Lazarus and 2  gorgeous babiesNkwali team at  Daudi's bar - Cool Runnings

Now most of the seasonal staff are packing up and heading home and there have been a few teary goodbyes, with many promises of returning next year. Some of the caterers are off to relax on Lake Malawi and other bush camp staff have headed home to farm during the rains, and even others are back at base camp (Nkwali) to welcome in the Emerald Season.

Enjoy!

Cheers

Fiona
(Fiona)

PS Our new president – Mr Rupiah Banda has promised to reduce the cost of tourist visa fees! These will be implemented soon.

Journey of giraffe

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