It’s Monday 28th November 2005 and the Annual Reminder

Today is Sunday. Simon has left for his new life in Lilongwe (we miss you Simon!). Kim is with her mother in some historical European city. And we have realized that I am the only one here that knows how to create the weekly newsletter. So you have me. Having said that – I am flying to Lusaka for another week of airline management and so I need to get my skates on!

I have returned from my three week trip. For the last 17 years, I have flown to the UK in November for the annual World Travel Market tradeshow. It comes at the end of the peak season, just after the bush camps have closed. As I talk to the agents about the camps, the season and our plans for the coming year I see everything from a new angle. Distance is an eye opener. And I see, very clearly, that it is the staff that makes the company what it is. I feel like a proud mother – with 120 excelling kids! So I want to dedicate this newsletter to every one of them.

The teamElies crossing the river

Living in the bush, at a safari camp, is not easy. How many of our guests have said to me over the years “lucky you – what is it like being on permanent holiday”. Well, you have to smile and say “just great”. But of course it is not like that. The hours are long (up at early light each day!), the conditions tough (remember to check the loo for snakes and scorpions every time), the frustrations can be overwhelming (the food truck has broken down and it is now Sunday evening with NOTHING in the larder!). Then the elephants start crossing the river during breakfast, the carmines decide to build a colony within hearing distance of camp, the resident female leopard has a cub that you start seeing regularly. The day to day difficulties are negated.

CarminesLeopard

Then of course there is another huge factor in the equation. The guests. Many of our guests return if not annually, then regularly. They become friends and the staff look forward to their return. They know what we offer and have chosen to return to it – so it gives you a great feeling of “getting it right”. It is also very rewarding to show the new guests the magic of the Luangwa. And watching the first timers to Africa marvel at their first elephant or giraffe – well there is nothing like it.

Watching elephantsGiraffes

So my annual migration to WTM gives me a different perspective….right at the end of the hot busy months (when it is much needed!). I see it all through fresh eyes and I remember what a great live it is. What wonderful people I work with and what a magical part of the world the Luangwa is.

d

Here endeth the annual reminder.

Take care and have a great week.

Jo

PS Thank you to everyone for the congrats on the award winning!
PPS Next week – Kawaza and Nsefu School news.

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