It’s Monday 22nd February 2010 and return to Nsefu 43 years later

It’s Monday 22nd February and return to Nsefu 43 years later

Luangwa River, Sunset, South Luangwasunset on Luangwa River, South Luangwa

For various reasons, apart from the occasional amazing sundowners I spent most of my time in the office this week. The biggest reason being because I am due some days off this next week. I am looking forward to a few restful days on Zanzibar, a destination highly recommended by Neil Rocher. It will, I am sure, include some “Jacques Cousteau” adventures. So yes, I’ll scuba dive. On a note closer to home – without even leaving the camp the wild life has come to me, yesterday on my way home I was stopped by massive elephant bull! As I’m sure you would not be interested in my week in the office I asked Lucinda to give her news from the bush.

So it begins…

As the Emerald season continues we all watch the river with growing anticipation – its height is discussed daily and any change in the level is closely watched. This may seem like a strange thing for us all to be doing, however the river level is very important for several reasons including the speed with which the level can change and our River Journey Safaris to Nsefu. When the river is in full flood the journey up and down becomes easier and faster, and the ebony groves are flooded making them wonderful places to go on the boat. We have now had Nsefu open for nearly a month and the guests staying there have all had the most fabulous time.

Nkwali Camp, Robin Pope Safaris, South Luangwa, ZambiaPukus in front of Nsefu Camp, Robin Pope Safaris

The safari starts and ends at Nkwali so I get the chance to meet the guests and hear all about their trip up river and some of the highlights of their stay – always slightly green (with envy) making, but fun nonetheless. Recently we had guests in camp who were going to Nsefu, John and Clair, and guests who were staying at Nkwali for a couple of nights, Jane and her son Tom. Over a glass of white wine one night we discovered that Jane had last visited the Luangwa Valley some 43 years ago. As she was so young she could not remember the name of the camp but she did know that it was Rondavels – step forward Nsefu! A remarkable story, completed by the photos of Nsefu that Jane brought with her from that trip with her family.

Nsefu Camp, Robin Pope Safaris, South Luangwa, ZambiaNsefu Camp, Robin Pope Safaris, South Luangwa, Zambia

John and Clair went up to Nsefu and, by all accounts, had the most wonderful time on the river with Daudi and the camp to themselves, seeing the wonderful birds and animal life that this time of year brings with it. They took some new photos of Nsefu for Jane and Tom, which they will send them by e-mail when they get back so the family can see the camp as it is 43 years later!

River Journeys, Robin Pope Safaris, South Luangwa, ZambiaSundowners, South Luangwastork colony, South Luangwa, Zambia

On another note we had the Roach family staying in Luangwa House for 6 nights who, by the end of it, decided they did not want to go anywhere – I know that feeling which is why I am still here three years after I should have left! They had a fabulous time, but leaving for afternoon drives took longer than usual – it might have had something to do with the buffalo, elephants, puku, impala, baboons, crocodiles, Spur-Wing Geese and Openbill Storks, to name a few species that were in front of the house one afternoon. The elephants were particularly wonderful to watch – a young male was obviously not very happy that afternoon so proceeded to wind the others up, chase the buffalo and puku and make a huge song and dance over it all! In fact he was so persistent the puku also started fighting and a large bull elephant joined in the fun as well. Kiki was under a lot of pressure that afternoon to find something even more spectacular to compete with this he capitulated saying, “Lets go and have a sun-downer somewhere!”

crocodile, South Luangwa, Zambiabuffalo, South Luangwa, Zambiaelephant, South Luangwa, Zambia

I am sure the Roach’s would have been amazed at the water levels we discovered under the deck the day after they left. The water had been rapidly receding over the course of their stay. Here is a photo I took of the deck that day. It never ceases to amaze me how the water can change its levels so quickly and dramatically.

Nkwali Camp, South Luangwa, ZambiaNeil Rocher

The building is also continuing at pace, with the new swimming pool at Robin’s House completed. In fact it has had its first swimmers. The new dining room and swimming pool at Nkwali is also beginning to take shape. The thatchers are busy on the roof, the finishing layer of the swimming pool has been applied and we even have some rather large stones from the Chindeni Hills, large enough for Obelix (Character in Asterix comic) would be proud of. The largest mobile in Zambia – made from a termite eaten tree, now being referred to as our doughnuts, has been hung to creat a wall between swimming pool area and dinning room! It is fascinating and fabulous watching it all come together, although the size of the stones meant it was no mean feat getting them here as you can see! – Lucinda

Flying to southern end of Malawi’s beautiful namesake lake, poetically referred to as “Lake of the Stars”. We just bought a professional ‘star-gazer’ telescope to watch the stars from the privileged view of Pumulani. Imagine a clear and brilliant sky, flooded with a billion lights, watching satellites going over across the sky. I can’t wait to try it… I think I’ll stay up all night!

I’ll be back on Tuesday next week, so next week you will not hear from me, “It’s Monday” will be entirely be written by Lucinda.

So all the best from us all in the Luangwa Valley.

Have a wonderful week.

PS. Thank you Fill for sharing with us ZOS write-up and pictures of your lovely weekend at Luangwa House

Elephants

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