It’s Monday 5th January 2009 and Happy New Year

As soon as Christmas was over everyone had a quick change of step and started concentrating on the festivities of Hogmanay (New Year). Lucinda and Emma, our very capable caterers were back in the kitchen creating dishes and menus that would complement all of the activities planned to bring the New Year in with style.

Lucinda, New Years at NkwaliEmma

The guests at Luangwa Safari House were having their family reunion – a few days at Nkwali and Luangwa Safari House and then on to Pumulani on Lake Malawi to soak up the sun and recover from the festivities. Could you imagine a more perfect reunion? They bonded so well with the other Nkwali guests everyone decided to have one big New Year celebration at Nkwali. So a dinner for 25 guests was prepared – no mean feat by anyone’s standards! Four courses of delicious mushroom a la Greque, followed by mint sorbet to clear the palate, beouf en croute with trimmings and finishing off with chocolate mousse and fresh mango. Yummy. I was striving for an invite to dinner, but had to content myself with helping with ‘quality control’! Lucinda and Emma were dedicated to the kitchen, making sure any hiccoughs were dealt with smoothly and the guests were none the wiser!

Dancing at an Nkwali New YearKawaza drumemrs at Nkwali New Year

To get the party started the drummers and dancers from Kawaza Village gave everyone a beat. Nearly everyone got up and had a go, with different hip flexibility! Surprisingly agile and smooth dancers were Keyala and Daudi and although Emma adjusted the hips to fit her Aussie style a bit, she did very well (Zambian ladies will make everyone jealous with their dancing abilities!). Lucinda was not keen to dance (not enough champagne had been consumed) and tried to avoid it, but was dragged back across Nkwali lawn by Emma, Jacob, Kiki, Daudi, Edward and Aliyele.

Safaris usually have an early to bed time-table and so a Mauritian New Year was chimed in at 10pm – however the party was still going strong and so the New Year was rung in twice (any excuse to drink more champagne). At one point someone put on their ipod, and everyone stopped dancing and looked a little lost. Obviously only authentic Zambian drums were appropriate for this New Year! A quick change of beat and the party was back on track.

Seka actors at Nkwali New Year's daySeka actors as tourists

Amazingly everyone was up at 5:30 for their morning game drive full of great spirits. A few of the game drives were caught out in a sudden squall and dashed back to camp for steaming hot chocolate and morning tea. Once the storm had passed the guests jumped back on the boats to be zoomed across the river to continue the game viewing (dedicated souls so they are). In the afternoon we had another visit from Seka, the local drama group – you can tell how good it is that anyone who has seen it before will still rush out to watch it again, their impressions are that good.

A sudden squall over the Luangwa RiverJacob - with his family

Jacob, whilst heading out with his family, had a bit of a tricky situation and became seriously stuck in a muddy part of the road. No one was bored while waiting to get pulled out – Jacob had the whole family singing along and bonding with Hawk, the land cruiser. That section of the road has now been renamed to Jacob’s wallow

So all in all New Years was a success and we wish you all the best for the rest of 2009.

Cheers
Fiona

PS just to highlight the extraordinary change season to season – the two photos below were taken off the Luangwa Safari House deck in October and just last week. What a difference!

View from Luangwa House at different seasons

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