It’s Monday 31st December 2012 and the winners are…

Well hello everyone, I hope that we are all feeling full and contented after a fabulous festive season and that we are getting ready to welcome the New Year in with gusto and enthusiasm.  Whilst speaking about this I am going to take the opportunity to wish everyone all the best for 2013.

Quickly on the game front, there have been some fabulous sightings – leopards, hyenas, elephants, buffalo – well the list goes on and on and I would hate to make anyone not here feel jealous!

LuangwaEmerald green

Christmas in the valley was lovely as always but really the day started with quite a bang and a roar. The Chichele pride of lions decided that they were also going to have a Christmas double feast of buffalo and zebra, and having gorged themselves, they spent the rest of the day very full and sleepy – which I am sure is the ideal way to spend Christmas day!  The rain stayed away with a few overnight showers, which cooled things down nicely and provided us with some fabulous sunsets and sunrises and beautifully crystal clear days.  And our guests were treated to some fantastic vulture and hyena interactions, as they all set about their hippo feast.  All in all pretty perfect and in true British style I even managed to get my hands on some brussel sprouts to accompany the turkey.

the hyenas and vulturesthe hyenas and vultures


Over in Malawi early morning Christmas breakfast on the dhow and jumping into the middle of the lake also seemed like the perfect way to spend the day; followed by absolute relaxation on the loungers under the thick shady trees.  Mkulumadzi started their festivities like us in the valley on Christmas Eve with the staff singing Chichewa and English Christmas carols which we’ve been practicing for some weeks. Then on Christmas Day their guests went out on a boat safari and came back and spent the rest of the day by the pool before going out again in the afternoon. Buzz obliged and came down to join in with the festivities much to the guests delight. The Christmas dinner was a sight for sore eyes – nothing was left off the menu with a delicious Turkey, juicy Gammon and all the trimmings, crackers popping and everyone was in high spirits!


As for New Year’s Eve, well bubbles will be flowing and resolutions made this evening.  One or two game drives may have started off a little later than usual but this by no means put a dampener on the game as there have been some fabulous sightings.

On a completely different note though I would also like to announce the winner of this year photo competition.  As always the competition was fierce and it was by no means an easy decision but here goes:

Best in landscape category is Joseph Mitchell – a stunning capture of boating on the Luangwa in the Emerald season at sunset.


People Category winner is Dawn Cieplensky – Kawaza School pupils keenly looking into the camera…


Best in the wildlife category is an interesting shot of elephant trunks by Darryl Priester – what fun loving species elephants are…


And the Overall Winner for 2012 is Dan Mackenzie – a beautiful shot of a lion and her cub.


So congratulations to the above photographers – we look forward to seeing you out here when you make the most of your prize!  For a closer view of these winning shots and other shortlisted ones, please have a look at our Photo Gallery. Remember that for anyone wanting to take part in next year’s competition the same rules will apply and all photos must be in by beginning of December.

Right that is all from me for now I shall leave you all to your New Year’s day or eve (depending on where you are in the world) and will catch up with you in 2013 – next Monday.  Have a great time.





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