It’s Monday 17th February 2014 and an all day drive with Kiki.

Hello there – I hope that you are all well and having a tip top start to the week. Well, what news from the Luangwa?

The river came up and is going down again, the clouds are low and ominous with occasional downpours – in fact the other day the rain came through with such speed that it sounded like a steam train!! We have had some magnificent skies with guests having sundowners on top of Chichele Hill watching storm clouds gathering in the distance and then some isolated rains starting to tumble down; all highlighted by some beautiful deep purple and red colours with shards of light peeking through the clouds hitting the elephants and zebras. I mean there is no beating the colours of this time of the year

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So what news from here – well we have regular guests Peter and Alison in and they went on an all day drive yesterday with Kiki and it was certainly very productive. But before we start with that they went on a night drive the night before with Kiki and Chalwe, Kiki’s wife as she spent some time with them when they were in the UK together last year. I think that she may be having trust issues though, as on their way back from sundowners they saw 2 lovely big male lions; parking the car they sat to watch the events unfold. The lions walked right up to the car, positioning themselves either side of the car and started roaring. She was slightly scared so much so that it took all of Peter’s persuasion for her not to hide under the seats! She was not the only one – Samuel our Nkwali grounds man was waiting in the boat at the harbor and actually untied himself from the bank and waiting slightly off shore!

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But enough of that lets attack the all day drive:

The day started off with a slightly late wake up, a gentle cup of tea around the camp fire and a slow amble across the river into the park. One of the first sightings of the day was a pair of Saddle billed Storks sitting on their nest at the very top of a baobab which was quite a fun way to start the day. Then there were some lovely sightings of Abdims Storks, lots of plains game and then tea on Lupunga Spur watching teams of impala, puku and zebra going about their every day business including a rather majestic male kudu who jut strolled across the plain in a very regal manner. Up until now though there hadn’t been any elephants so a small comment on this fact was made by Alison and then it was as if the elephant floodgates had been opened and the park just seemed to be littered with them including a magnificent sighting of a huge bull – in fact probably one of the biggest elephants that Kiki has seen here in the Luangwa.

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The elephants however were not going to steal the morning’s show and just before stopping for lunch, a lovely male leopard was found relaxing on a low branch in a nearby tree.

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Then it was Peter’s turn to make a comment “but we haven’t seen any giraffes yet”, well this was rather late on in the day and just as they were driving out of the park the giraffes seemed to pull up all the stops. They saw 3 very large “journeys” between the main gate and coming back to Nkwali – it was like they were almost lining the road at one point!! A wonderful day out in the park finished off by lovely sundowners on the Nkwali deck with more wonderful light displays.

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Last but not least Kiki thinks he burnt his forehead whilst out on his all day drive – this is possibly his first experience of sunburn and it is certainly one that has him flummoxed.

I do not think that it is possible to follow up with anything else after this so I shall bid you all a very fond farewell, have a lovely week, look after each other and have fun.

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