It’s Monday 7th May 2012 and from Nsefu to North Carolina!

I hope that fine weekends have been in order for all. Here things have been rather busy, as per usual, but at least it gives me an awful lot to share with you

Where to start? I suppose the obvious place would be the furthest then we can work our way home. Obi (AKA Obi One) has flown the nest (thankfully only temporarily) and for the first time in his life, travelled to the United States. I can only imagine the look on his face as he landed in London and then made his way across terminal 5 to find his connecting flight before finally arriving in Raleigh. Jet lag combined with sheer awe, excitement and nerves must have been quite a combination to get under control. Rebecca and Scott Rothney visited us last year and spent a week at Robin’s House being guided by Obi and had such a marvelous time that they decided that it would be a fitting offer to have him to come and stay with them. What an experience! Obi seems to have taken to life in the States like a duck to water and has been visiting local schools, talking to children about life in Zambia as well as going to sea for the first time ever. We get Obi back in a couple of weeks and are certainly looking forward to hearing all about his adventures.

Obi giving a talk at a schoolObi with his new found friends

Moving much closer to home, Ruben and his team have built the Kawaluzi Bridge in just 5 day, which has to be record time and also means that we can now get in and out of the Nsefu sector to visit the camps. Just after leaving Nkwali we came across a herd of elephants one of which seemed to be a little frustrated by life, apparently this is called “redirected aggression” so she kind of did a lot of ear flapping, a little bit of earth kicking and trashed a poor insignificant tree but soon realized that she was no match for the landrover. Not letting this faze us, Rob and I continued with our journey up to the camps and before long were bumping along the still ungraded black cotton soil of the Mtanda Plain, reaching Tena Tena possibly several inches shorter than we were when we started the journey. Upon arrival, we were greeted by an always smiling Bertie and a lovely looking camp.

Disgruntled ElieAll smiles

Granted that there is still a lot of work to be done before everything is up and running ready for the first guests (who are in on the 22nd), I have to say the camp is looking great. The river has dramatically shifted course, which means that for the first year in many we haven’t lost any river bank. There is a lovely stretch of sand now in front of camp which is going to create the perfect spot for some lunches and dinners. The lagoon in front of the tents is full and as the area is already very dry, it is really becoming a focal point for many of the animals to come and cool off and have a drink at. In terms of wildlife sightings, Bertie only ventured out of camp on one morning and he saw a “hyena mum” taking an elephant ear back to her pups for their latest toy! One can only imagine that this would be the perfect gift from any parent and would provide hours of amusement.

Hippo in the lagoonHyena pup

Monkeying aboutSunset

Daudi is hitting Nsefu with a bang and a roar tomorrow to start getting everything there ready so more news from him to follow. Nkwali has been busy with some great sightings although the one that has to top the polls this week was the fact that on Friday night we had lions relaxing in front of chalet 5, and then a leopard saunter through camp just after the lions had moved off. The waiters who were getting breakfast ready at 5am certainly were keeping a very close eye out for any latecomers and the watchmen were certainly kept on their toes all night.

Lion taking a breatherleopard

So from us “bush folk” we will bid you all farewell and wish you a wonderful week full of smiles and laughter.

Looking forward to catching up with you next Monday.

Take care,

Emily

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