It’s Monday 19th June 2006 and the hangover cure

It’s Monday 19th June 2006 and the hangover cure

fully laden truck Mobiles are off and running. Hannah and the team headed off last week with a fully laden truck and Chris arrived with the first guests on Thursday. Gameviewing has started well with elephant sightings, lions coming down to drink from the river opposite Camp 2 and even a herd of buffalo were seen crossing the Mupamadzi.  There were crocs waiting in the middle to pick off any young stragglers – unfortunately for the crocs they all got across safely. Jason Alfonsi will be heading up with the next group tomorrow so it really is all systems go.

Simon, our workshop manager, had a few days of well earned time off this week and headed into the park with a couple of friends for an afternoon gamedrive. The drive followed a rather heavy night out at Flatdogs – so much so that they did not even take any mosis with them for sundowners. A beerless sundowner – very poor show Si!

Over to Simon to tell you about his drive.

Kellie tracking Firstly, I did go out with Kellie, our resident wild dog lady, last week and had a great sighting of the dogs near the old airstrip short cut. Twelve dogs were lying around, including one that was collared. The other collared dog from the pack was not there so we are hoping that this means part of the pack has split off to form at new one.  We sat with the dogs for about four hours which was just amazing – watching them greeting each other and generally chilling out. At one point however, an elephant came charging through the bush at the group – they did not really take much notice of her and so she retired quite quickly.

It is also great to see that one of the females is heavily pregnant. Kellie thinks she will whelp in about three weeks so they will be heading off to den soon. We left the dogs and headed for twin baobab where we came across a herd of about 150 plus buffalo moving through the area.

Wild dogs150 plus buffalo

Friday night was the weekly outing to Flatdogs – quite a night as Kim has pointed out and I have to say that she was not looking her best on Saturday morning either! However, as it was my last day off I did rouse myself and head into the park for a drive. We set off towards Chichele Hill and decided to drive on towards the escarpment through an area that none of us had visited before. We saw very little game but the area is beautiful with open grassy plains, ebony and wild mango groves along the way. Apart for a group of six impala the highlight was a slender mongoose. He had obviously not seen a car before and we spent about five minutes with him watching us, watching him, watching us etc.

hyena After this we headed back to Lupunga Spur where we caught a glimpse of a leopard and then came across a hyena. We managed to get to within about ten metres of her and she just stayed put, lying down so we could get a good look at her. Another hyena then lopped past us quietly on his way.  We decided to head for home and about half a kilometer from Nkwali came across our second leopard – this time a lovely sighting.

burning fire breaks I have been busy burning fire breaks around the camp this week – along with the rest of Africa it seems. On Thursday it was amazing that suddenly we could not see the escarpment any longer due to the smoke haze which is settling above us as it does as this time every year. 

Thanks Si, we all should make more of an effort to get out into the park – easy to get stuck in your office and forget that reason we are all really here. To end I have a couple more pictures for Tom who came out in April – a wonderful crowned crane and elephant with a stormy backdrop.

crowned craneelephant with a stormy backdrop

Stay well and have a great week.

PS. Jo is very pleased with a snippet on the Chongwe River House in the Tatler this month.  By Jo Foley…

“It may be the furniture, all made from one fallen winter-thorn tree… it could be the night-time glow from 2500 tiny bulbs set amid river pebbles in the ceilings… Chongwe River House is the most extraordinary thing in Africa since the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge… it’s organic, ergonomic, enchanting, zany… this is the way forward.”


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