It’s Monday 20th June 2005 and Jo’s Dream takes shape

With Simon leading the first walking mobile of the year and Kim staying at a bush camp for a couple of nights, you have me this week. It is in fact Sunday as I am flying to Lusaka this afternoon and there will be no one left in the office who knows how to send the newsletter now we do it from the web. Time for a training day me thinks!

So this week I am going behind the scenes…….

Every year we spend April and May getting Tena Tena and Nsefu ready to open, and then next it is the fly camping equipment. The final camp to re-emerge from hibernation is the mobile unit. At the start of June “project manager” Rueben leads a team up the “05” road to the Mupamadzi River. They camp out for up to a week digging the steep sides of the streams, cutting back fallen trees and generally opening up the road to the northern part of the park where we operate our mobiles. As soon as we get the word that the track is ready for the National Park’s grader – off it goes to make a cut. Meanwhile back at the ranch the team is getting all the equipment ready, counting plates and sheets, sorting out the tents and going over the huge truck. This year it had a new spray paint job !! And the team left full of enthusiasm, ready for another season in the remote area of the Mupamadzi.

Every Sunday we receive our delivery from Lusaka. All the food, booze, hardware, camp equipment comes up in two trucks – and not just for us but for all the camps in the Valley. It is a mammoth task for the central buyer to get this all together and send it up. And wonderful for us to have someone who will perform this thankless task. But it is Shanie’s job to get the food counted, checked and off to the camps as fast as possible. Trust me, there is a lot to count. And clearly Ross is pleased not to have to do this !!

Taken a couple of weeks ago………….. and now………the west wing !!

Finally, I want to report on the building project – The Luangwa Safari House. We are 10 days behind as the huge leadwood tree trunks (all dead of course) took longer than we had planned for. A mammoth operation in itself, putting all our bush skills and construction skills to the test – mission accomplished! Having been told a number of times this was impossible these five to seven ton pillars had to be transported 30 km, and then put upright into meter deep holes. But, job done!! And we are now moving quickly into the exciting stage when shapes develop, swimming pools (yes plural! A dip pool and a swimming pool) are sited, and bathroom designs are discussed at great length. Designer Neil and I are flying to Lusaka today to look for granite and slate, and then off to Joburg next week to order furniture and fittings. The house is going to be exceptional – large, powerful and exceptional. And I love it when dreams become reality.

the front door !!

So have a wonderful week, and take time to pick the daises.


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