It’s Monday 11th April 2011 and where to start?

I guess, let’s kick off with the palaver that we had in front of Luangwa House this morning when a young elephant took exception to a pride of lions relaxing in the shade so decided to chase them making all sorts of noise before the lions turned round and chased the young elephant back. Well the youngster took off at quite a pace and we could hear him constantly trumpeting for at least 20 minutes getting further and further away….. Shame – not a great start to the day for that guy!
So, then on to the last couple of weeks in the Valley – well, having decided that the rains were finished, I proceeded to announce it to everyone, only to be proven wrong by five days of constant rain – I do however now feel sure that it is nearing an end, but I shall keep you posted. We have also had Carnivore Week (used to be called Wild Dog Week but the research team have branched out into all carnivores now) Matt and Egil were out everyday with the guests, tracking gear in hand, and had a hugely successful week with heaps of leopard sightings, some great lions and even the first Wild Dog sightings that we have had in months so all in all a massive hit.

wild doglioness

Nsefu has now closed for a couple of months before we can get there by road and open for the dry season and we were exceptionally lucky with the river staying high right up until the last day. It would appear that mother nature knew that we were finishing up on the river safaris as 2 days after the last guests left Nsefu the river dropped by a couple of meters, great sighs of relief all round I can assure you.

I also managed to get out on the river and took a trip up to Tena with the first team of guys for camp opening. I am not kidding you when I tell you that a group of women would have got themselves ready faster than that. It would appear that the excitement of it all and the fact that they are going to be rather isolated for a few weeks resulted in vast quantities of gossip and preparation and we finally managed to get everyone in the boat and ready for off a mere two hours later than hoped. And that wasn’t the end of it as the guys nattered for the entire journey up. Gosh the journey down with just myself and Ruben was spent in blissful silence as we floated down stream finding elephants swimming and playing in the river, several scarily large crocodiles and plenty of other game scattered along the river banks.

RubenRiver boat

Not to mention the birdlife with Pied Kingfishers hovering off the bank looking for the slightest movement in the water before diving down to catch some lunch and then the Fish Eagles plummeting out of the sky like a missile towards the water attempting to catch an unsuspecting fish. The river has now dropped so much that I think we will be lucky to get up there by boat so we are entering once again the time of limbo when we just cant get there and the nail biting time of are we going to be able to get to the camps with enough time to open them for the beginning of the season.

pied kingfisherfish eagle

The game viewing down at Nkwali has been fantastic and since the Carnivore Week the wild dogs have been sighted a few more times, which is always a highlight. Braston was out this morning and had a beautiful view of a leopard high up in a tree which was a real thrill for everyone on the car.

As for Luangwa House, well, we have been busy getting it open in the last week and despite the noise coming from the teams getting everything ready we have had a constant flow of elephants and giraffes out in front of and around the house. In fact one of the watchmen informed me that he had in fact seen over 100 elephants there but I worry that it may be a slight exaggeration (in the same vein of the size of the fish that was caught on an all boys fishing trip!) however I shall choose to imagine it as it certainly is a great sight.


Lots of little snippets for this week. As for forthcoming attractions – well Ozzy Simon is back today, so he will be causing chaos around camp, I am sure .

So that is it for now, have a great week.



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