It’s Monday 28th May 2007 and a Night with the Devil

It’s Monday 28th May 2007 and a Night with the Devil

Back from Indaba and to my lovely home. Indaba is an annual trade show in South Africa and this was my 19th show. It is a very busy week and I was desperate to come home. Robin hijacked me in Lusaka between flights for a couple of days, after some protests, which just heightened my anticipation to get here even more! I do love coming home.

What a week….. Tena Tena and Nsefu opened for the season. Every year this is a big task but this year Tena Tena was hit by the floods and lost the dining room, kitchen and store room areas, as well as the staff compound. There was a lot to rebuild. It was a good thing as we needed to redesign anyway and this forced us to do it. And just to make our lives extra busy we pulled down the bar in the rains. Only in March did we manage to order a large tent for the bar area, and another for the dining room (yes we were cutting it a bit tight). The tents arrived last week but there were no poles. Miscommunications with the tent maker. Hmmm…well it is amazing how the workshop scrambled, and a few days later the tents were up with poles!! The dining tent is on a platform, that was made in Lusaka. It came up with instructions which were duly ignored for the first attempt. But of course it had to be dismantled and reconstructed. Our regular photographer is coming tomorrow to take photographs and I show you what the new Tena Tena looks like next week.

the chickens Meanwhile the fifty new chickens were arriving. They were loaded onto an open vehicle in Lusaka at 0800 hrs for the fourteen hour journey. A long journey for a chicken! On arrival they were put to bed quickly in the freshly painted chicken coop made ready for them. The next morning Robin was having early breakfast with the guests and the watchman ran over saying “a large snake is eating the chickens”. Robin ran to rescue them. On arrival he found two dead chickens and a large cobra in the coop and forty eight very shell shocked chooks in the run. What a day – fourteen hour drive followed by a night with the devil. That evening there was extreme difficulty getting the chooks to go back in the coop! They were having none of it!


Robin is leaving tomorrow for the first Palmgrove Bush Camping trip. The road only went in this week and he had to go up and finalise the camping site. The sand was still damp at the planned site (see pic from photo shoot last year). But he found a new one around the corner. A day out with the lads, building roads, eating from the pot is Robin’s idea of heaven. Webby and Jones look happy too.

road makingWebby and Jones relaxing

And on the game viewing front? The game at Nkwali has been wonderful. The Willison family were lucky indeed.

mating elephantnight leopard

Mating elephants are a rare sight – something I have never seen and even Robin who has been here for thirty years and only seen it a couple of times.

And up north? Well I hate to be focused on the cats but it is hard not too. Nsefu have a pride of ten lions they are seeing and have had good leopards, including one at the waterhole by the bar. And Tena Tena have leopard every day so far. Well it is only a week but still…….

So, here we go…..another season starts, with all that it has in store.
(thanks to Paul Watkins for leopard pic)


P.S. For all of our kind donors in the UK…Kawaza is now a registered charity!!!!

Please see the Donate section of for more information.



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