It’s Monday 12th December and some news from Liuwa

It’s Monday 12th December and some news from Liuwa

First a message from the RPS team:

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we write to you. After being ill for a couple of months Zebron passed away on Thursday and was buried on Saturday.

ZebronZebron

Zebron started working for us more than ten years ago and has been our friend and part of our family ever since. He was a great guide and manager. Many of you will have seen him at Nkwali which was the camp he ran supervised by Keyala. You could always hear when they were together, the laughs were to be heard throughout camp. We wish his family and friends strength, courage and faith in these trying times. We will miss him very, very much.

Ton, Margaux, Robin, Jo, Rob and all of Robin Pope Safaris

This week we are going to hear some news from Liuwa Plains. We recently opened for our short end of year safari stint up there and this year we sent a few of our guides along as well to experience the magic of this very special place.

So as we were sat in the office having a bit of a chat after his trip I asked Daudi tell me all about a recent trip that some of the guides made to Liuwa, but he decided that instead of just telling me he would rather share the experience with everyone. So for this week over to Daudi.

“We left Mfuwe for Liuwa on 15th November; very excited since this was a trip I have been dreaming about for long time. This very long drive done in a convoy of 3 vehicles had to be divided up, so the first part of the journey was to get to Lusaka, Bernard our mechanic, Fred one of our guides, and myself all driving with Claire, Alfred (chef) James (rooms) and Geoff (waiter) as passengers. Packed lunch and lots of water in hand we set off – 10 hours later we arrived slightly wiped out by the road but safe and sound. In Lusaka we met up with the rest of the caterers from the season, Georgie, Alice, Harriet and Lucy who all flew to Lusaka a day early. Jason Alfonsi our mobile guide whom most of you know well came to meet us where we spent a night in Lusaka to tell us the plan for the next part of our trip – the drive to Mongu.

Lunch before hitting the roadPontoon crossing

The following morning Claire joined the other 4 girls together with Alfred, James and Geoffrey on the bus to Mongu as we had plenty of supplies to pick up ready for the safari. We left one vehicle with Robin who was joining us at Liuwa on the 21st while I drove with Bernard in one vehicle Jason and Fred in another vehicle the journey took us 7 hours the road is tarred all the way to Mongu and straight with very few corners which can make you fall asleep very easily! We arrived in Mongu at 16.00hrs at almost the same time as the bus team. All tired from the journeys it was an early night before the last leg. After a good cooked breakfast we set off to Liuwa via Kalabo (a district in the Western Zambian Provence) driving through the flood plain and getting to Kalabo 5 hours later, a short 45minute wait for the Zambezi pontoon before crossing where we had a chance to change a luckily timed flat tyre, then another pontoon at Lwanginga river and another flat now leaving us with no spare wheel from that pontoon to the camp where we were going was 60 km, continuing with certain amounts of concern we were justified when 15 km before the camp we had yet another puncture this time we were in the middle of the Park and it was after 17.15 hrs so no spare wheel – what to do? Luckily Jason and the rest of the team was behind us but unfortunately they were unable to help so leaving us in the middle of the bush Fred got started on fixing the tyre and 20minutes later we were back on the road. We all left Fred to fix the puncture whilst the rest of us enjoyed a great sighting of a hyena very close by – possibly sniffing out the food in the back of our car!

Getting thereThe Plains!

Luckily when we finally got to camp hot and tired, Jason and his team had got the rooms ready and dinner cooked. It was not long before we were all in bed – although the night was very short as during the night Lady Liuwa had killed a Wildebeest just outside camp. What a start so all the girls, Fred and myself we jumped into the vehicle Jason took us there to see her, when we arrived we found her just starting to tuck into the kill – what a fantastic sighting just for us. Despite the rain showers we stuck around and watched her have her breakfast before heading out into the plains a bit further and getting to see the magic of Liuwa but it was not long before we had to head back to camp for some lunch and also camp building as we had a deadline as Robin was coming.

SunsetFauna

After 3 days Robin arrived with Jacob and Chilumba and more supplies, unfortunately the girls had to leave as they had other exploring to do – all except Claire though. Robin took us on an afternoon drive how nice to be guided by your boss and what a fantastic opportunity on this drive we saw 2 cheetahs which was fantastic as we don’t have them in the South Luangwa, we saw lots of wildebeest, hyenas and so many birds for birders this is a brilliant area we saw 2 Secretary Birds on one nest – again something that we do not get at home, and not forgetting the 2 male lions which were brought in to Liuwa just over a year ago, they are really big maned lions. Other unusual plains game that we got to see were Oribi, Klipspringer which were everywhere. Thanks to you all for this week!”

HyenaMale Lion

OribiWildebeest

Thanks ever so much Daudi.

I hope that you all have a great week – I am off to the UK for Christmas so will be handing the next couple of Its Monday’s over to Claire. So have a fab Christmas and all the best for 2012.

Cheers

Emily

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