It’s Monday 7th May 2007 and the gathering of the clans

It’s Monday 7th May 2007 and the gathering of the clans

Ed and Claire There was a gathering of the clans this week to celebrate the marriage of Ed and Claire. What an amazing celebration, a week long with friends and family from all corners of the earth. Ed and Claire, although not currently living in the Valley, have worked with many of the operators here, including a season at Nsefu. Simon and Shanie were over from Lilongwe and Robbie brought his beau Sam from Arusha.

(Editor: Simon was with us for eleven years, Shanie his wife for five and they met here! Robbie was the C206 pilot who stayed with us for a couple of years).

How lovely to have them all with us again.

Simon Shanie, Robbie and SamCatfish in the mud

On the morning of the wedding, Robin and I took the gang into the park. I rarely take the time off to do this and had a lovely morning. The first stop was at a series of mud puddles that had catfish splashing around. They seemed to sense the vehicle and all went still when we stopped to photograph. A few accidental falling pebbles did not help but we did manage a few photos after we developed a strategy of sneaking up. However, after the sixth attempt the non-photographers were saying muddy puddles had limited game viewing appeal! They did have a point.

Muddy puddlesmismatched zebra rump

We decided to go to Lupunga Spur – always a productive area. Crossing the Mushilashi Bridge on the way we could see how “wet” it still was with water still filling the elephant footprints. The first thing we saw at Lupunga was a herd of zebras, and as Simon put it, one which had an “unzipped” rump (look closely at left hand side of rump and you will see that the stripes don’t quite match up).

african hawk eagle
Raptors are always abundant at Lupunga and Robin loves to photograph them. This african hawk eagle gave us a spectacular show.

giraffe skeletonBaby hippo

We came across the skeleton of a giraffe that someone had reassembled. Then almost immediately the smallest little thing. It was very confident but very very young. And finally we sat at a lagoon trying to get the classic photo of a hippo with nile cabbage on it’s head. Certainly was having a bad hair day!! (see below).

a journey of giraffe

Robin went up to Tena Tena the next day to help with the new dining room (all will be revealed when it is finally constructed). Just out of camp he met a large “journey of giraffe” and later we had a laugh about his long journey and the ……well it was funny at the time. I cannot make it work in the written word however. While at Tena Tena, Kerri told him the most extraordinary tale… A leopard had killed a large puku in camp – literally between the car park and tent four. No one heard the kill but Kerri soon after disturbed the leopard when she was walking back to her room, she waited for a while but the leopard held it’s ground so she eventually had to retreat and call for reinforcements. On their return, the leopard had stashed the prize under a bush and disappeared. The following morning the puku was still there but the consistent whistling of all the antelope nearby indicated a cat was around. Surprisingly, at lunch time, a lioness sauntered into camp and stole the kill, dragging it off to have a feed in peace. We have a low and discrete electric fence when the camp is open and every year I say “do we really need it”, but every year those who live in the camp say a determined “yes!”. The amount of cat activity around camp, along with the larger beasties, warrants it.

elephants outside JOs house

Yesterday had a lovely day at home, and as always, was joined by the elephants.

Have a wonderful week



hippo in cabbage

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