It’s Monday 4th July and nothing beats South Luangwa!


It’s Monday 4th July and nothing beats South Luangwa!

This week Les Ruhrmund, from South Africa, who stayed with us this June, sent us a very simple feedback: “There is nothing to beat South Luangwa ” and that’s exactly how I felt on my visit to the valley after being away for seven months.

crossing the Luangwa river on the pontoonSunrise from Nkwali deck

My mission was to do a promotional video for each property. Together with the filming crew, I had to visit all RPS properties again and experience the entire activities once more… tough job huh? Trust me, it sounds a lot easier than it actually was! For those who understand a bit of photography know that the best light to shoot is early in the morning or just before sunset. So we literally ran our days according to the sun! We watched and filmed every single sunrise for 2 weeks, which meant waking up between 3:30 and 5:00 depending on how far the camp was from the spot we wanted to shoot at…

LeopardGirafes

Luckily the game was very cooperative and most of the trip it was in the right place at the right time!

Luangwa House plunge poolEles outside the window of Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House filming was hilarious. I wanted to film lunch at the deck with elephants in the background – right…!! They were around no doubt. We saw them not even 1 kilometer from the house -it was just a matter of luck. Rob said “wait for 14:00, they will come!” I thought he was joking (we will never know…), so lunch was setup for 12:30 instead. After we filmed the lunch at the deck with not a single elephant in sight, we began filming the rooms and the plunge pool around 14:00. Right on cue, the elephants arrived…maybe Rob was right after all! Fortunately we managed to film each room with our friends the Eles outside the window playing in the water around the lagoon. Very exciting!!

Elephants crossing in front Nsefu campElephants crossing in front Nsefu camp

My second favourite moment was at Nsefu camp when we went out on the first game drive and found elephants crossing the river just in front of camp – wonderful! We “ran” to the sand bank and we manage to film the elephants crossing the river with Nsefu camp in the background – just perfect! “Another tough day in the office” I thought to myself. Later at dinner I found out from Sebastian that the elephants crossing in front of Nsefu camp was a daily routine and my luck had nothing to do with it….!

Ginger and an old female  Ginger

The time to film Tena Tena was very short, and I was a little anxious because we had a lot to capture. Julius picked us up at Nsefu, to take us to Tena Tena . We were less than a kilometer away when Julius suddenly stopped the Landcruiser and I nearly jumped from the front seat when I saw not far from me two beautiful young male lions and an old female lioness that had been unexpectedly woken up by our vehicle…. And it was then for the first time I saw the famous Ginger, the most amazing shiny red-maned young lion!

Filming activities at Lake Malawisundowners at the dhow

The filming trip ended on the other side of the border at Pumulani lodge , Lake Malawi. Here the time to film was again rather short and the number of activities huge (purely my fault, I was too ambitious!). So we tried to get as much done, as we possibly could. On the second day at Pumulani we went by speed boat to the scuba diving spot and I experienced diving in Lake Malawi for the first time, very interesting and different from the sea. We also snorkeled and fished off an island close by. The best was saved for last as we ended the day with sundowners on the dhow. A truly beautiful way to end any day.

In all our properties we managed to film some of our special activities. I’d tell you all about it but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Soon you will be able to see the result of this trip online on our website.

That’s all for now, have fun this week!

rita

Elephant

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