It’s Monday 21st April 2008 and it’s all go behind the scenes


It’s Monday 21st April 2008 and it’s all go behind the scenes

Our seasonal camps are opening in a little over a month, so it’s all hands on deck to make sure that everything is spick and span for the beginning of the season. Camp building is going on exceptionally fast with teams stationed at Tena Tena and Nsefu.  The tractor was left at Nsefu during the Emerald Season ready to start building the road network before any vehicles could cross the Kauluzi River (we’re trying to stay ahead of the game).

The Kauluzi RiverStuck in the Kauluzi

Providing supplies to the camp building teams has become a little tricky. The river level has dropped so boat trips upstream are no longer possible – it is not advisable to compete with hippos for the right of way. The pressure was on to cross the Kauluzi. The river is still chest deep, and normally we would wait for 2-3 weeks for the water level to drop before attempting to cross. However, this year with the aid of some huge ‘I-Beams’ and lots of sandbags a bridge was constructed, which allows the water to flow underneath.  Rob went up north to test the bridge and take vital supplies up (including a generator for Tena. We may have been a little eager with our bridge building attempt and the current was strong enough to wash a few sandbags away. Rob valiantly attempted the crossing, but ended up having a little difficulty en-route and every effort made to extract himself actually dug the cruiser in a little deeper. In the end the tractor was recruited to pull the cruiser out. The bridge was fixed and Rob returned with no more incidents.

The Mtanda PlainEles on Mtanda Plain

Rob said that the adrenaline pumping crossing was worth every moment as the Mtanda Plain was looking fantastic. It was a paradise of colour with huge herds of puku, impala, eland, elephants and buffalo as well as being awash with butterflies. The animals were remarkably calm for the beginning of season as they are often a little skittish towards vehicles this time of year – this bodes well for the first visitors!

Re-thatching at NsefuGiraffes

At both Tena and Nsefu a family of elephants have taken up residence, causing a little disruption to the renovation work. However work is still going full steam ahead with thatching rooms and renovating Nsefu’s bathrooms. A family of yellow bellied sunbirds moved into Daudi’s house over the rains, and they are still happy sharing his abode now he has returned home.

Engine  service

Back at Nkwali HQ there are plenty of signs of change on the way. The Nkwali kitchen has larger windows to improve air circulation and Marko is very excited about the seven new stoves that arrived last week. The stoves have already proved their worth at Nkwali, Robin’s House and Luangwa Safari House, as cooking a perfect cheese soufflé in a less than reliable oven can cause some hysteria! At the workshop several of the game viewers are receiving a makeover. They do receive a lot of a wear and tear during the season and having a new coat of paint revitalizes them. The workshop is also receiving an overhaul with new sheds and staff houses.

Making new furniturePrepping the game viewers  for a new coat of paint

We are all looking forward to the start of the new season – especially Jo with her new knees. It’s been almost two months since the second operation and she is walking around with confidence, agility and speed. She’ll soon be outrunning us all.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Cheers
Fiona
Chameleon

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