Its Monday 22 December 2014 and camp gets taken over

So hope that you are well and that the carols are blaring, the tree is up, the presents are bought and the champagne is chilling in the fridge, ready for some Christmas celebrations! This morning as soon as I finish writing to you I shall be scurrying over to Robins House armed with baubles, fairy lights and all sorts of other shenanigans to get the house ready for the family coming in there. I also have a nicely staggered decorating schedule withy Luangwa Safari House on Tuesday and Nkwali on Wednesday so by the time we get to Christmas Eve we are going to be fully in the mood, despite the heat!!!! Anyway I am not setting out to write to you all about my Christmas decorations as I am sure that you would all rather hear about some of the wildlife that we have been seeing. Let me start off by announcing: “Wow it’s hot!!” The clouds are building, the thunder is rumbling but are we getting any rain here? Heck no! So the river is so low that we are now in fact walking across. When this was announced to the guests it was met with nervous excitement but then fully embraced. The guests, being regulars (and friends) Denise and Andy Turk with their children, and many other family members as well as Simon, Shanie and the girls! I reached the bar as all the men were sitting on the director’s chairs sipping on a cold Mosi, cameras at the ready watching Shanie and Denise bravely striding forth with lots of children and then embarked the trickling Luangwa. Once they had shown all how it was done, cooler-boxes were packed and everyone else followed suit. So yes you guessed – Malawi descended on us. There was a big birthday celebration for Andy so his family and friends took over Nkwali and Robins House for a few days of bush time and whilst there was a lot of fun had by all, there was also some serious game-viewing as well with a “lifer” popped in the middle for good measure: an Angola Pitta, not even 2 meters from the car busying itself in a bush completely un-perturbed by Simons squeals of excitement! f So what of the other activities? Well the first drive ticked the leopard box with two sub-adult leopard siblings wandering around and showing off for the camera and that was just a quick little afternoon outing so not a bad start.   hig The first full day achieved more wonderful sightings the park teaming with baby impalas trying to conserve as much energy as they can because food is really rather scarce as the rains haven’t broken yet. jk







Oxpeckers were making the most of a free meal and warthogs making the most of a free grooming session. acb













Some more beautiful birds including one of my favourites a Marshall Eagle regally soaring high in the skies! And going to extremes from huge to tiny a beautiful little striped kingfisher. d The lions however remained hidden and they were refusing to come out to play. So instead as consolation Daudi and the team organized a dinner down on the river bed which looked amazing. We went ahead despite the clouds which soon dissipated at any rate and it turned into a lovely evening. e The following day was really the Pitta day so pretty much everything else was flung by the wayside and then as if luck would have it our lions popped up just behind camp so a quick 2 minute drive out in the afternoon and there they were , what a treat! Given that it was the last day, nothing really was expected for Wednesday morning, it was going to be a gentle morning, a lie in for some and quick game drive for others then a cooked breakfast and back home but we all know that the Luangwa is not willing to be easily forgotten so what should pop up around the corner at Lupunga Spur but 4 wild dog – could it get any better! So once again the Luangwa is showing off its spoils and whilst it is very very hot and very very dry the game viewing is simply spectacular and lets just hope that it carries on this way through the Christmas Week. l From here really there is not much left to say except I hope that you all have the most amazing Christmas Day and I will chat to you next Monday with an update on all of the festivities from the Luangwa. So have fun, laugh lots and just enjoy.

Merry Christmas




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