It’s Monday 27th February 2012 and back to South Luangwa

It’s Monday 27th February 2012 and back to South Luangwa

I hope that everyone has had a smashing weekend and is looking forward to what this week has in store for us all. Can you believe that we are already looking at March – I mean where is the time going? Enough of that, having heard from Simon last week I thought that this week would hear from his mum, so Anne – over to you…

“As some of you may know, the Cousins family, are addicted to South Luangwa. The addiction started in 1980 but became much stronger when, about twenty years ago we discovered Robin Pope Safaris and now an annual visit to one or more of the camps is required to prevent the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms! Hence we needed little encouragement when Simon suggested a visit in the Emerald Season with better odds of seeing wild dogs. From there it was a natural progression to add on, what to us, was a new experience in the form of the River Journey and three nights in Nsefu.

Daudi heading upstreamEmperor Moth

We have visited fairly frequently in the Emerald Season and it is one of our favourite times – although it is difficult to have a favourite when all seasons are so good. Having said that, there is something very special about seeing the rejuvenation of the South Luangwa. Most people are familiar with the browns and greys that epitomize an African winter with the game blending into the surrounding bush, however the vibrant colours of the Emerald Season are so different and so beautiful that it is hard to describe them if you have not experienced them. The vegetation has so many hues of green, the river, although in reality a muddy brown, reflects the blue of the sky and the game stands out from its surrounds and the birdlife is in breeding plumage.

We started our trip this year with the familiar landing at Mfuwe airport, the vegetation as we came in to land was certainly not the familiar browns and greys, but the vibrant greens that I have mentioned above. The next stage of the trip was the usual road transfer but this time to our boat, which under the capable guidance of Captain Daudi, was to take us to Nsefu. It was an amazing experience to see the river and park that we know and love from a totally different perspective. We loved identifying the areas that we know so well – Lupunga Spur, Momboza wa Milombe, The Wafwa, Tena Crossing Point – never mind the fun of game spotting from the boat – hippo of course, crocodiles on the few remaining sand banks, elephants towering above us on the bank, a few buffalo lazing in the edge of the river, a fleeting lioness unimpressed to have her domain disturbed and smaller plains game. Add to that the water birds – Egyptian Geese, Spur winged Geese, various ducks, herons etc and it all makes for a magical trip.

HipposBuffalos

ImpalaSpurwinged goose

Upon arrival at Nsefu we were greeted by the usual team and our entire stay had the RPS stamp of professionalism with wonderful meals – I was glad I was not the person who had to tackle the logistics of getting all this lovely fresh food up to this remote part of the world by boat!! Our daily “drives” were boat trips followed by walks into places such as the stork colony and the ebony groves. On one momentous walk we surprised a wild dog who was rushing through the grass to join the rest of his pack who, we later discovered that it had killed an impala. Although we did not meet up with the pack, the evidence of the kill was clearly visible. Sundowners were enjoyed drifting down the river or moored next to the bank enjoying the vista of massive cumulous nimbus storm clouds.

Storm cloudsHyena

Stork colonysunset

After our stay at Nsefu we had the wonderful trip down river to Nkwali – much faster this time as we were “going with the flow”, so to speak, where we joined Simon and Shanie and their two special little girls.

Simon has given you the highlights of our stay but I must add an event that occurred on Monday afternoon, and that was the arrival at Luangwa House, of a procession of RPS staff, bearing a birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Simon! A wonderful note on which to end our trip.”

Well if that doesn’t make anyone envious I don’t know what will, Thank you so much Anne for the tales from your latest trip. Golly I have a lot to live up to for next week!!

So for this Its Monday we shall say goodbye, take care and have a fun week

Cheers

Emily

Happy Birthday Simon

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