It’s Monday 11th March 2013 and a trip up the river.

I hope that you are all well, jolly and enjoying life. Here in the valley we have had a strangely warm week with all of us complaining about the heat. And there the Brits were, thinking that they were the only ones to talk about the weather incessantly! Well you would have thought that we were all used to the heat but apparently not. So fans are on full blast and fridges are working overtime in an attempt to keep everything nice and cool. Warmth aside, the river has filled up, which is a heavenly sight and has given rise to the wonderful opportunity to head up stream to Tena Tena.

1w

It’s that time of the year again when we start to plan for camp opening. So Rob and I took the boat up to have a look at how new Tena Tena has survived the rainy season. Truth be told, asides from looking really rather woolly, everything is how and where it should be – so hurrah for that. In fact, the other very interesting fact was that the old Tena Tena site that we still love and check on had absolutely no water in front of it at all! It is amazing how drastic the changes in the river over the last few years have been in that area, from losing about 3 meters of the camp during the flood to now gaining the entire island bank in front of the camp (about 30 meters).

Anyway, enough waffle about Tena. What I really wanted to chat about was the magic of being out on the water. It really does give a completely different perspective of the journey up through the park. The constant guessing of where exactly are we… Ooh, is that where the road is? Then the turning around the corner and recognizing a tree or a bend!

2w

The views from the river are stunning, storm clouds brewing, and hills clearly visible with the lack of dust in the atmosphere, looming up as a purple grey silhouette and everything looking lush and green. Game viewing from a boat also takes on a completely different perspective, as we are not used to seeing everything from low down. Elephants are even bigger!

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Boating around the corner and the muddy bank is broken up with the bright white of the cattle egrets sitting in the shade taking a midday break. Elephants swimming across the river, making a real palaver about getting up the bank and then larger herds of elephants coming down to the water for a cooling drink, with the knob-nosed ducks keeping a beady eye on their goings on.

6w

One friend though, that we have completely left out of the equation so far are our friendly hippos who gladly (at least most of the time) share their home with the boats as we scurry up and down. And then the not so friendly crocodiles, which slither into the water at a moment’s notice unheard and undetected. Their toothy smirks are enough to give anyone the heebeegeebees.

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So I think on that note I will bid you a very fond farewell and wish you a superb week. Prognosis for us this week? Well we are in full swing on the maintenance side at Nkwali. Dodging the thunderstorms and preparing to work through the rooms to make sure that they are all looking tip top ready for Easter, which can you believe it, is just round the corner!

Hope that you all have a good week.

Cheers

emily

 

 

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