It’s Monday 5th Mar 2007 and the Pope’s Sunday

It’s Monday 5th Mar 2007 and the Pope’s Sunday

I have to admit that I am cheating here. In fact, I am on the way to Berlin as you read this (trade fair – not a holiday alone!) but I had such a lovely day with Robin last Sunday that I had to share it with you. The river has dropped considerably and as we boated up there were times when you thought – did it really happen? But then there quite a lot of flood evidence and this I found intriguing.

Floating treeFloating tree

Every year the river scours away at the bank, and trees fall in, float down and as the river drops they are dumped on route. This year the effect is a little more obvious and there are wonderful tree sculptures down the river. This tree looks like it has it’s arms spreading to the sky in a jest of joy – and Robin thought the second one reminded him of someone with a huge hat. Well it becomes a game really – of course at a distance it is more believable. Rather like clouds taking shape.


For a day on the river we saw a surprising amount of game. There were lots of crocs – all hanging out with the mouths open. We saw elephant and giraffe as well as the small usual suspects. As we reached Nsefu I was relieved to see that the “terraces” which attract so much activity in the dry season had not been washed away. Nsefu in fact could open in a week – all was well.

First call was our picnic. Being the bosses – the kitchen tend to over supply and we had four sandwiches each. That is eight slices of bread! However, with strong cups of tea we wolfed them down. I would never sit down for lunch and eat eight slices of bread! Never. Yet somehow when “on the road”, or ‘up the river” or just “out in the bush” you eat whatever is there. Will need to check the picnic next time. We both suffered for it and wanted to snooze of course!

Lion spoorBuffalo

On chatting to the watchmen it seems that they have been having a lot fun There is a pride of lions that have decided Nsefu is the place to hang out, especially during the high water. The bar, which had a thin layer of mud left behind by the water, had lion tracks everywhere and quite a number were clearly slipping in the mud. I would so love to have seen that. Apparently the lions had brought a kill (not sure what) to the deck of room three during one of the nights. Quite a thought. And the resident four-toed-elephant shrew ran around in front of us. Those who have stayed at Nsefu in the last few years will remember him. Well it seems there is lots of game around Nsefu in the rains – including a couple of old buffalo who were there as we wandered around.

Feeling sleepy, we boated back to Tena Tena. We knew this visit would not be as easy. The river had moved things around here. Well firstly a sausage tree had fall in the middle of camp. Between tent 1 and 2 – just missing the water tower. We had a problem here with visibility from the bar to tent 2 and we keep planting things that the ellys then eat. Well it seems that has been taken care of now. We have a fallen tree trunk. Perfect.

Now there are two ways of looking at change in nature. One to accept it and make the most of it and the other to get very upset. Well there is simply no point in getting upset. I remember my first big change – when a winterthorn fell over at the north end of Buca Buca in 1991. I was devastated. It had been a tree that ellys loved. But it is quite exhausting being upset by change in the bush here as there is so much. I soon learnt to go with the flow. And this one is quite a whopper. The river has washed away the bank and the dining room had collapsed into the river. Hmmmmmmm… well. Robin and I looked at it and we have come up with a very cunning plan. A moveable dining room so if the bank changes again which I think it will– not a problem. The dining room will be in a container safe and sound.

african hawk eagleclouds and beautiful light

So we boated back in the afternoon, chasing rain clouds and beautiful light. I played with trying to take pictures of flying raptors (including this african hawk eagle). We felt pleased with the thought of the new Tena Tena. A face lift is always a good thing and we are chuffed with our ideas.

So from here in Berlin and from there in the bush, have a lovely week


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