Its Monday 8th December 2014 and a bush birthday!

So how are you? I hope that another successfully relaxing and spoiling weekend has been spent by all and that festive spirit and cheer is overcoming you all. Here in the Luangwa we are covered by a carpet of green large drops of rain which have fallen, and given those amazingly preserved grass seeds that small amount of encouragement which is all they need to spring up and into life, transforming the parched landscape literally overnight.

However, we are going to go back to October as Ingrid and Robert Hinteregger have been in touch with me about a lovely birthday that Ingrid spent with us here at Nkwali. So for any of you wandering what it might be like to spend a birthday with Robin Pope Safaris… here goes:

“5:30 knock-knock, wake-up call as usual
5:40 big birthday hug from my husband Robert
5:45 breakfast around the campfire
6:30 enter the park by boat accompanied by loud hippo music
6:50 pukus, impalas, kudus and warthogs greet us in the morning sun, Kiki suggests to find out what has happened to the lions’ kill from last night: a baby hippo – vultures all over the place on an island in the river feeding on the leftovers

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8:10 tea/coffee break at a scenic point on a dried-out lagoon, close to numerous hornbills
9:00 continue game drive – buffalo, zebras, lions, elephants, Thornicroft giraffes
10:40 return to camp before the full heat of the day and have a cool drink at the bar
11:40 lunch looking out over the lovely lagoon to the back of Nkwali elephants, large and little ones, coming down from all directions, to drink, eat and cool down in the lagoon – a truly magical moment – we forget to eat and drink, study their behaviour instead, take lots of pictures

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12:40 siesta time – we stay near the lagoon and swimming pool, can’t take our eyes off of ‘our’ elephants

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14:40 cheeky baboon close to me drinking from the pool

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15:30 tea time: tea, coffee, cold drinks, no cake which is not usual; then the sound of an African song comes closer and closer – the Nkwali team with a huge birthday cake, Daudi with a big smile on his face, overwhelmed with powerful feelings I share the cake with staff and guests

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16:15 afternoon game drive again amazing sightings, among them my birthday present – a leopard, what a beauty, so close, so relaxed…

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17:30 sundowner by the river, such a peaceful moment!
18:00 night game drive
20:30 private dinner on the terrace of our cosy bushhome under full moon

Wow – what a memorable day!!! Thank you, Daudi, Kiki and Nkwali team.”

Thanks Ingrid it certainly sounds like a birthday to remember. I have to admit we all really enjoy being able to spend special occasions like this with guests and making it as special as possible.

So for this week though I am going to leave you all to it as I certainly don’t have any stories that will be able to compete with Daudi and his birthday cake and singing surprise. However as I write I find myself looking out of the office at an elephant eyeing up my landrover and I sincerely hope he is not considering a scratch as I don’t think the landrover will survive such a beating!!

Have a wonderful week everyone laugh lots and never forget to have fun.

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