It’s Monday 12th July 2010 and Liuwa Plain from the other side

The first 2010 Liuwa season is over now, all staff are back and will return for the peak migration season, in November and December. It’s always curious to look to the same place from different perspectives. This week Emmanuel, our waiter at Liuwa, will tell his highlights from the first half of the year. Over to him:

This is me and my team leaving Mfuwe airport in Eastern Province, ready to work for 2 months in Liuwa plain which is in Western province. It was my second time in an aeroplane, so I wasn’t scared but two of my friends were really nervous, it was their first time flying. They asked me everything once we were on top of the sky.

Mfuwe AirportHollywood Hotel

We arrived in Mongu and stayed in the usual place – Hollywood Hotel. Hollywood is great because we watch some nice movies like Westerns – the best of Hollywood!

After we leave Mongu, we travel far to get to Kalabo, usually across water – the Zambezi floodplain. Sometimes we cross on the pontoon and drive across the floodplain with all of our luggage. In dry season we cross by car and in wet season by boat. We meet the Lozi ladies but we don’t understand the language so we fail to speak. Better to speak English, usually this way we both understand.

Crossing the plainA Lozi  lady

Liuwa is a big open plain and once it rains, we suffer to get to camp because the camp, ‘Matamanene’, is right in the middle of the plain. Matamanene is a word in Lozi which means, “A big thing” – I don’t know why, because it’s a small camp, only 8 beds. Liuwa means a plain.

Once we got there we had five days to clean camp, wash our cutlery, cushions, polish glasses and lamps. During those days, Bwana Robin and Chef supplied the stores container with the seasons’ supplies. There is always plenty to count.

Stock checkingIn the kitchen

Sometimes we like to join our guests in the bush and watch wildebeest and lechwe. We regularly prepare bush breakfast, which delights our guests. They always find new species of birds as they are eating out on the plain. The guests ask Bwana Robin lots of questions and he answers them all by heart. He never needs the book; actually he never carries one, just his bino (binoculars) and a leatherman!

Bush breakfastEggs and beans

We have a fantastic chef, Alfred. He cooks for all guests and staff and he is always busy making delightful cooking. The other day, one of our guests asked to try the local fish which we call Barbel Fish (cat fish). It has a nice steak and it’s very tasty. So, I went to the fishing trap and found some fishermen who caught a nice fish. The guests were delighted.

The fishermenWith a Barbel

When we have a break in camp, we usually walk for an hour to get a mobile signal to be able to talk with our families. Liuwa is a free park where you feel safe to walk, even with lions, cheetah and wild dog. They are more scared of us then we are of them. Once we find a signal we leave a stick so we can find it the next time and when scouts are on patrol they always like to know where signal is.

Phoning homeMarking the signal

By this time I’ve learnt to be a photographer. Michelle lent me her G10, the best camera in the world, and she gave me the photography lessons. She blamed me for this picture because I cut off one lion in the middle, instead to get all three…..

Two and a half lions

These are a few snaps that I took so far in Liuwa. It’s no wonder I got this picture because I like the colour and the view and the ‘whattled cranes’ in the front and the wildebeest on the other side of the lagoon. I like the birds moving! There’s 1000 of different birds here.

Lagoon and wattled cranesBirds at sunset

Cartwheels and cloudsEmmanuel and Michelle

One time I was learning and went by myself to the plain to practice. I put the self timing on and started to jump upside down and snap myself. I went back to show my teacher and she said I did very well not using too much ground. As you can see, I used the nice clouds on purpose.

Anyway, you are all welcome to visit Liuwa anytime and I will be here to make you happy and like I said, sometimes I can move my table to set up in the middle of the plain to surprise you! But I’m sorry to say my teacher and a good friend, Michelle, is leaving us. We are so used to her, working together for four seasons. I’m wishing I’ll meet her again, maybe in Cape Town. Let’s hope – God knows!

Zikomo (thank you),
Emmanuel

This entry was posted in 2010, It's Monday. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.