It’s Monday 18th July 2005 and Bean on Safari

Well I seriously landed with my bum in the butter this week!  Jo had organised a photographer to join a “agents” mobile for three days and take photos for our new brochure and yours truly was asked to be a “modelle”.    I have to say it far exceeded any of my expectations and the whole experience completely blew me away.

All three camps visited in the five days are truly magical, especially when you arrive back in the evenings for sundowners to see the tents next to the river, all beautifully lit up by both the falling sun and hurricane lamps.  Each tent is spacious, having its own verandah to relax in and safari style wash basins which are filled with warm water each morning.  I must also mention, that the long drop “bush” loos actually have ‘thrones’ on them and are the smartest loos I have come across here.  At camp three, we even sat in the river with glasses of champagne, watching the sun go down.  It’s a very hard life in the bush!

Each tent is spaciousJohn, our eagle eyed tea bearer

The gameviewing was superb.  The scenery is magnificent and varies each day. We had some great sighting of birds, including the elusive red billed teal and a black breasted snake eagle, not commonly seen in that area.  John, our eagle eyed tea bearer also spotted an amazingly camouflaged baby double banded sand grouse quietly sitting on the ground.

After a fun, yet rather noisy photo shoot walking across the river on the second day, Simon did try to gently explain that our chances of seeing game had been dramatically reduced by our beautiful singing. But, surprisingly we had not woken the two male lions a few hundred yards from the river which Simon led us to just five minutes later.  This was shortly followed by a male roan antelope who seemed very relaxed by our presence.  We were also lucky enough to see a beautiful white impala.  Unfortunately Simon reckons its days may be numbered because it stands out so much for all the predators. You can see the extraordinary contrast between the white impala and a usual impala in the pictures.

a beautiful white impala

On our second afternoon we had a great sighting of my first serval, which was hiding at the edge of some long grass.  That evening we then heard lions just in front of our camp during dinner, so we all jumped into The Tank (the new and splendid mobile vehicle!) for a quick recce and saw a female lion only a few hundred yards away. We then spotted her and others further from the camp the next day on our walk.

bushbuckbushbuck - panic attack

Unfortunately I had to say goodbye to everyone after three days…I was very tempted to protest against leaving! However, it was great to hear the last two days were also filled with huge excitement.  Gilbert the scout, spied a bushbuck only a few metres from the group, who had not noticed the team at all. Everyone was told to freeze and when the bush buck finally realized he was not quite alone, he had a minor panic attack and made very quick dash for freedom. The group also saw hartebeest close up. An amazing sight was a slender mongoose wrestling with a huge scorpion. The mongoose was so engrossed that he did not notice the walkers at all and they got a really close look at him.

hartebeest close upslender mongoose wrestling with a huge scorpion

I must thank the whole team who make each trip for guests one to remember.  Movement from camp to camp is so smooth; it’s extraordinary how quick and sleek the operation is.  It’s bizarre to think that when you arrive at the second camp, there is nothing left at the previous camp site and you would never even know we had been there.  A huge thank you also to Nixon and the kitchen team who provide mouth watering food three times a day from just a hole in the ground.  I definitely recommend the chocolate mousse…hopefully I will be back soon to eat some more!

Cheers
Bean
(Robin’s House Manager)

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