It’s Monday10th January 2005 andthe River is full

It’s Monday10th January 2005 andthe River is full

Thursday saw the last of our guests leaving for this season. As Nkwali Camp closes the “back of house” staff emerge from nine months of eating in the “cage”. We now enjoy the view of river as we eat our meals at the bar. Shanie has almost finished the big pack up. Keyala could be seen for a few days wandering around with a clip board looking very efficient. He informed me that he was making lists of lists as Shanie doesn’t do short cuts! When each camp closes we go through the process of inventorising all items (Jo always questions the validity of this RPS verb!) and then Shanie compiles her buying list for the next season.

The last guests with us were two lovely ladies, Gudrun and Deborah, who had come out to Zambia for a wedding and stayed on for a few days safari with us. The animals are now in peak condition – with fresh grazing in abundance. The zebra are very fat and their contrast against the lush green grass is even more evident. The baby impala are adolescent and the males are beginning to sprout horns. The ladies had phenomenal gameviewing with cat sightings everyday. They saw lion, leopard and wild dog on one night drive. Unfortunately it was the day after they left that Keyala came across a male leopard dragging a freshly killed female impala across the road just behind Nkwali.

Malachite Kingfisher Spurwing Geese

As for those of us left in camp, we tend to do our gameviewing on the river at sundowner time. The river is of course the main topic of conversation at this time of year as it rises and fall – however, this week it has done nothing but rise. We are now jumping into the boat direct from the steps next to the bar. We boated into Wakumba yesterday and it is just amazing to see how the river has invaded this area turning it into a lake. The river is so high that it is almost over the bank and a few more inches and it will form part of the river itself. On the way down we spotted a couple of beautiful malachite kingfishers as well as a pied kingfisher. We also saw abdims storks coming in to roost and spur wings wandering along the river bank. Large groups of red wing pratincoles swoop over the river and plovers make a racket overhead. Indeed this is a fantastic time of year for bird song and the different calls are all around us.

This pic is taken from theriver looking into Wakumba lagoon – this is not the river !!

After a short time enjoying the sights at Wakumba we opened the obligatory mosi when Simon spotted the rain coming towards us – we high tailed it back to the bar arriving just as the storm hit. The clouds are impressive with all colours from white to dark green and purple – at this point Jo has the habit of launching into song – usually Purple Rain!!

Kerri as we all know is a superwoman – she not only guides but also covers for reservations when we are away, catered in amazing fashion over Christmas and now a new talent has emerged. She sat waiting for the moment as the storm built clicking away at her digital camera and managed to catch the most amazing shot of the lightening. Wow what a girl – are there no end to her talents?

Nkwali bar – with a full river ! Lightening storm – taken from the deck

This is the time of year when most of us take our holidays and Adam, our workshop manager has just returned from a month in South Africa – rested and rejuvenated and ready to launch into the green season projects. Simon and Shanie will be heading off next week and I am off to Malawi for a week or so. Robin and Jo will be here watching the river and keeping you up to date on the happenings. As I write the rain is coming down and one imagines that it is raining all over Zambia – in fact Tena Tena watchmen just radioed to say that the sun is shining and the river is dropping there – amazing how localised the rain can be.

Stay well and have a great week


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