It’s Monday 25th February 2013 and a wet start to the season at Mkulumadzi.

Hope you had a good weekend! This week we will hear from the Mkulumadzi team and how things have been going. So it’s over to Emma.

“We have been closed for the last few weeks so staff, including Guy (our chef), Chris and myself, could go on some well-deserved time off and to be able to catch up on some maintenance. You try to anticipate everything before leaving which can be a long task in itself, but lists were made, supplies bought and staff went off. We packed up Sid, our recently sunken Land Rover, and headed to the Mozambican coast for some R&R. Despite the best laid of plans, sometimes you encounter problems, which you could never have foreseen.

The lodge is looking spick and span, however in the last couple of weeks we have had a lot of rain which has been very well received by all of Majete’s inhabitants but has of itself caused us further maintenance issues in the form of our footbridge.

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I received an email the day before coming back to work that our footbridge had been washed away and immediately thought it was a joke. Not thinking too much of it, I went into the office in Lilongwe to pick up supplies before the journey back to the park and saw the photos! Indeed the bridge had very narrowly escaped disaster but had come away with a few battle wounds. The Mkulumadzi river had raged down within a few hours in the night and taken with it part of our bridge!

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In addition to this the alternative roads into the park were also flooded and subsided leaving the camp almost completely isolated. The staff were unable to come back to work as they could not make it across the bridge but we rallied around, called for back-up in the form of Brother Harry, a trusty friend to RPS, and tried to come up with a plan.

The rain was merciless and did not stop and neither did the team. We had no option but to continue which involved removing all the damaged planks, tightening the cables on the bridge and lifting it up again. It demanded every hand in camp but the bridge was raised within two days. The planks went back on fairly quickly and just like that, the bridge was restored. Our thanks go out to Brother Harry for helping with the arduous job–without him we would never had been able to manage.

Since the catastrophe, our first set of guests arrived and we are all happily back to normal. The bush is lovely and green from all the rain, I too like the rainy season because all the animals are happy and healthy, and the sound of the Shire River is so tranquil. We had a good sighting of a hyena not too far away from camp and the birds are in abundance.

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The rain has cleared up, the sun has come back and started to dry up all the excess water. Buzz, our resident bushbaby, was spotted during the day taking shelter in a large shady lead wood tree with her baby. Unfortunately we believe her other baby has not survived as we haven’t seen it for a while. But I have to remind myself that that’s nature. The remaining baby is healthy and strong and comes down most evenings with her.

Majete’s lions continue to stick around the north eastern sector of the park and have been seen scent marking and territory calling from the Mkulumadzi River to Twiti in the west and Thawale in the south. There’s no hint of pregnancy yet but the prey species are very aware of them now and are acting as they should.

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We’re looking forward to the busy season ahead and hope to see you down this way soon.”

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Thanks Emma, glad to hear things are going well your end.

Well that’s all for this Monday, have a great week!

emily

 

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