It’s Monday 1st Jan 2007 and Happy New Year

It’s Monday 1st Jan 2007 and Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to you all. If it is anything like ours there are a lot of people wandering around with sore heads and sunglasses on (and it is a cloudy day!).

Kim, at sunsetKim in a helicopter

Kim finally left yesterday which of course was a very difficult day for me! There were tears and laughs and hugs and more tears. And when the flight was delayed we decided we had had enough of all that and just sat and chatted! Kim has been with us for five years. She will be missed in many ways. Both in and out of the office. And that started straight away. It is Monday today and so without Kim at the helm, the newsletter falls back in my lap.

Baby ZebraSunset on the river

Following international newsletter trends I am going to look at what was new for us in 2006. It started with our first “emerald season” at Nkwali. And now we are in our second one, I cannot think why we did not do this many years ago. With two ali boats now we are not only whizzing everyone into the park easily, but offering more cruises. The latest is to boat to the vehicle for a drive, then meet up at the Mushilashi confluence and boat back to camp. It’s a great hit !

Bush mealSand river camp

Robin spent a lot of time exploring the upper reaches of the Mushilashi for the new Palmgrove Bush Camping that is starting in 2007. When you go into a new area you have to put in an access road or two. This involves heading off into the bush, with a supply of baked beans and bully beef, a bed roll and mossie net and exploring, often on foot. Robin loves this work, and always returns on a high. He assures me I would not like it and politely suggests that I wait until the road is in before going to see the area. I used to love it! Now? Bad night sleep after a day of bouncing around (and trust me, bouncing it is when bundu bashing). Nope – not for me anymore.

The new houses were a huge hit, with the guests that stayed and also the international press. I was delighted as starting up new products takes a lot of planning, hard work to execute the plans, and then of course the marketing. But the houses have been exactly what I wanted them to be. Extraordinary.

Luangwa Safari HouseChongwe River House

What else – well of course all the usual suspects – amazing gameviewing, fun and interesting guests, a busy season but that is all par for the course. However, the bush still pulls out surprises. This week, a family that had never been to Africa before, on their first game drive, some 200 meters from camp and they see an aardvark. You simply never know. Oh and a walk with mating lions and 19 wild dogs hunting, but more of that next week.

Here’s to a wonderful 2007, and let it be a year that you remember to pick many daisies.


PS some of the pictures have appeared on It’s M before but Emmy, our computer doctor, has flown to deworm (or whatever it is she does) and I cannot access the right computer. Apologies.

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