It’s Monday 2nd February 2009 and a River Journey

Emma had the chance at the beginning of last week to join one of the first River Journeys. She was very excited and for a couple of days before she kept on saying ‘guess what?’ and you’d fall for it every time and ask ‘what?’ … only to hear ‘I’m going to Nsefu on Monday, he he!’. And of course her experience really lived up to its name – River Journeys.

A Luangwa River sunrise before setting off on River JourneysNsefu in the Emerald Season - with a full river

She caught a very early boat transfer up the river as they had no guests and had to get up to Nsefu in time to meet some of the guests returning to Nkwali. It was a beautiful misty morning and they watched the sunrise as they set off. However there was a slight chill to the air that Emma was not expecting! Kiki, Jacob and Emma made the journey in great time and arrived while the Nsefu guests were enjoying breakfast. They did manage to have a quick stop on the way to watch the lions regally overseeing their kingdom from the bank.

Lion on bank of LuangwaFamily of elephants crossing the Luangwa

In the afternoon they planned to go on a walk but ended up being distracted during the boat transfer by a herd of elephants crossing the river. It’s very deep and the youngest ones had to swim so all that was in evidence was the tips of their trunks. At the other side of the river they were faced with a very steep bank which was impossible to get out of, try as they might. This involved a lot of wading up and down river trying every possible crack in the bank, but to no avail. The more they tried the more distressed they became – trumpeting and splashing and generally causing chaos. Things were about to become more complicated and possibly very dangerous.

Elephants trying to climb up the very steep bank of LuangwaThe big bull elephant swaggering across the river

A big bull elephant appeared on the original bank and swaggered his way across the river to see what the raucous was (he lost his dignity half way when he sank to his knees in mud and became stuck for a moment or two!). He was up to mischief and once he caught up with the family, he started to jump on them and roll around in the water – with a real danger of drowning the little ones. The family was very distressed now and seemed to give up and float downstream (suddenly forgetting the young-uns). Luckily they found a more elephant friendly gully through which they escaped the clutches of the river. After reaching the top they seemed to pause with relief before continuing on into the lush green bush.

Elephants climbing out of the gullyElephant on top of the bank

Needless to say Emma and the rest of the team didn’t go for their walk as they were gripped on the edge of their boat seats watching the scenario. Daudi and Emma made sure that drinks were organised while they watched the show.

Sundowners on the LuangwaA walk in the Luangwa Emerald Season

The following morning the same family of elephants wandered through Nsefu looking fully recovered and none the worse for wear. On this morning there were no dramas and the morning walk was full of adventure – from watching the zebra acting seriously wild, jumping and galloping all over the place, to learning the difference between and hyena footprints that had walked over the area in the previous 24 hours.

What an adventure, I think I can officially say I’m jealous – and will certainly be bribing the bosses so that I can hop on one of the boat trips north!



P.S. Some of you may have noticed a new look to our website. With our recent opening of  Pumulani on Lake Malawi we had to rethink our company profile. Unfortunately our wonderful ‘man with a gun’ doesn’t represent Pumulani so we have created an umbrella logo that encompasses all Robin Pope Safaris has to offer – South Luangwa, Pumulani and Liuwa Plain. With the new logo comes a new web design – and it’s not just the colours that have changed, but the layout too. We hope that this will help you find the perfect safari.

To help you get orientated we have split the site into 3 sections – Zambia, Malawi and RPS. Under the countries you’ll find specific information on destinations, camps, itineraries and much more. Under RPS you’ll find information that is relevant to the entire company – It’s Monday, Photo Gallery and availability. Don’t worry – our ‘man with a gun’ still has a presence, he’s just no longer the main logo for RPS.

There may be one or two hiccoughs that we have not picked up, so if you notice anything amiss please contact us and we’ll fix it as soon as we can. Thanks!

Sunset over a full Luangwa River

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