It’s Monday 9th June 2008 and All Work No Play?


It’s Monday 9th June 2008 and All Work No Play?

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The cooler boxes are packed and the sun is barely up as the Reservations Team gathers for our trip out of camp for the day. The reason for our great outing? A trip to visit various camps in the northern sector of the park, including Nsefu and Tena Tena. The team? Geno, Munyama, Sandra, Gerard and myself – Terri. Within an hour of leaving camp we found an amazing site of hundreds of buffalo. They were referred to as a ‘pride’ by a member of the team – perhaps we need to leave the office more. Shortly after this an elegant, long legged, model like, giraffe sauntered along the middle of the road not paying much attention to our attempts to get past. Perhaps today would be about more than just the camps.

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As the sun rose higher in the sky and the day warmed up, we made our progress between camps at a much swifter rate than expected. However, this turned out to be short lived. As we drove along planning where to stop for lunch a strange noise emerged from the back of the car. Geno observed that the last time she heard that noise was when she experienced a flat tire. She hit the nail on the head, we had a flat. So whilst the boys, who appeared to know what they were doing, got to work, the girls like the true, proud Zambian women we are stood to the side, under the shade of a tree and issued ‘advice’ at every turn. Perhaps not always appreciated, but it did seem to work.

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Finally after the hard work of the tyre changing and a final site inspection. We stopped for a well deserved picnic lunch in a hippo hide and watched the hippos bask in the sun.

With our stomach’s appeased, we were now ready for the final leg of the trip. Kat, the Tena Tena manager met us at the river crossing and kindly offered her services as our guide/driver for the trip. To keep ourselves busy we tested our knowledge on the birds in the area. Suffice to say that between us we have a lot of learning to do. As we continued and our knowledge wore thin a small voice from the back piped up that “we’ve not seen anything out of the ordinary”. At this point four majestic kudu appeared from behind a bush.

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Well, kudu are a rarer site in the south end of the park. Surely this is ‘out of the ordinary’. However, this did not satisfy the insatiable desire for the extraordinary sightings. Luckily, it being a Sunday, God was listening and very kindly placed four sleeping lions under a tree a short drive away. This had to be the highlight of the trip – not to say that the camps were not breath taking. Nonetheless, Kat had to drag us away, placating us, like school children, with promises of stopping to see the lions on the way back.

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We finally completed our tour of the camps, all of which were alluring, with each one that we visited having it’s own appeal We discussed planning our leave days at these enchanting escapes.

As, the Zambian sun started to set, we began to meander home, all worn out but happy after a long and rewarding day. But it was not over yet! Just as a sleepy atmosphere descended over the vehicle a cry from the front arose, ‘lion cubs’. That’s correct, we had found yet another pride of lions. Unlike the first pride, lazing under a tree after having recently had a kill, you could see that these were preparing for a kill. We unfortunately did not stick around to see this. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

from Terri and the team, Geno, Munyama, Sandra, Gerard along with William and Maggie of NCS !!

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