It’s Monday 8th February 2010 and emotions, adventures and photographic workshop

Directly from Portugal and a very cold Europe, I arrived in Luangwa Valley on 18th of January to join an exciting and warm Robin Pope Safaris Team. Now I have the huge challenge of taking over from the infamous Jo Pope! The only thing I can promise at this point is I’ll do my best!

Emerald Season South LuangwaHippos, South Luangwa

Last time I was in the Valley was in November last year. I’m amazed at how the landscape has changed in just 3 short months! In November the valley seemed like a nursery, all animals with their babies, from leopards, to warthogs, giraffes, zebras… Now it’s lovely to see how they have grown up and how the Valley has changed in colour and shape. At this time of the year the days seem to drift from one sporadic storm to another – beautiful and hot sunny days changing to huge dramatic thunder-heads in the evenings. The landscape is brilliant green, which is why, I guess the season has come to be known at the emerald season – great description!

Boating on Luangwa River, South LuangwaCricket on the sand bank on Luangwa River, South Luangwa

Just before leaving for a months break in UK, Robin and Jo together with the staff went across to the Nkwali Island for a game of cricket and the final ROJO sundowner’s drinks. I must confess this was my first experience of playing Cricket… it did not take too long to get used to playing and it was really good fun! Something that I think will happen more frequently!

River safaris on the Luangwa RiverElephant at Tena Tena, South Luangwa

Taking full advantage of the high water in the river, I joined Daudi and Glyn (our guide from Pumulani) on my first exciting river journey north from Nkwali to Nsefu with a short stop at Tena Tena Camp. The trip up to Tena Tena took about an hour of zigzagging up through the slow Luangwa meanders. Along the way we saw an amazing amount of wildlife and notably there were elephants at Tena to welcome our arrival. My first impression was of a camp with a great river view, the camp is set amongst a grove of trees neatly hidden from all bit the more discerning eye.

The amazing Luangwa River looked like a mirror where the only small protrusion was the big round eyes and large bodies of Hippos that emerged and submerged from the water. Jo told me there are about 45 Hippos per Km in this river – amazing. She also assured me that they were not a danger. Arriving at Nsefu, I found a wonderful classic camp located on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River. For those who don’t know, Nsefu was the first photographic safari camp in Zambia, it opened in 1951! Here you have the chance to travel back in time and experience the true original safari concept as it was first conceived.

David Rogers Photographic Workshop, South Luangwa Dragonfly, South Luangwa

Now I’m counting the days for the arrival of David Rogers and the Photographic Workshop, early next month. This will be a unique opportunity, in one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa (I am not biased I promise!!), seeing the Luangwa Valley at its most colourful!

David Rogers Photographic Workshop, South LuangwaLion, South Luangwa

Imagine spending a week with a wildlife photographer, where you can learn all there is to know, to express your wildlife passion. If you would like to join us, we still have space for 4 people. All talents and skill levels are welcome.

Nkwali Camp, Robin Pope Safaris, South LuangwaNkwali Camp, Robin Pope Safaris, South Luangwa

True form I believe RPS are building AGAIN!! I’d like to share with you some renovations we are doing at Nkwali. Yesterday we finished the new deck and soon we will have a brand new swimming pool and leisure area with the Neil Rocher signature on it. Neil was the architect, who designed Luangwa Safari House and Chongwe River House, I look forward to see the final product!

The outside area of the Robin’s House is also being transformed, apart from being completely rethatched we will have an exclusive Robins House swimming pool now. Well done Neil!

On a final note we send out a request/plea to all those who feel their guide in the past deserves to be recognised as the Worlds Best Guide. The Daily Telegraph has launched a competition this weekend, in partnership with Wanderlust magazine. ‘TRACKING DOWN THE WORLD’S BEST GUIDE’ www.worldguideawards.com. If you have any favourite guide that you would like to nominate click onto to the website and put forward your vote – he or she and we will thank you! The closing date is 25th February 2010. The six finalists will be named in Wanderlust and in The Daily Telegraph in April and the winner will be announced at the Royal Geographic Society on 28th September 2010. Watch this space we might get a guide nominated!

As the new Marketer of Robin Pope Safaris, I would like to hear some guest’s opinion about RPS. Are there any volunteers out there to help me with my research? If so please send me an e-mail back.

So have a great week, and stay well.

From a very beautiful and green Luangwa!

Cheers,

 

Zebras in South Luangwa

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