Its Monday 5th January 2015 and Happy New Year!

So there we have it, good bye 2014 and hello 2015 – I hope that you all had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and all of us here at RPS wish you every ounce of best wishes for 2015. I will ask one question though – where on earth did the year go? I mean it flew by so quickly that I can barely believe that it is over already? As for seeing in the New Year, well we seemed to have worn out all of our guests so successfully that everyone was tucked up in bed well before midnight and all leapt out of bed at 5am bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready for another safari experience!

However before we start with this year, let me tell you that our last sighting of 2014 was wild dogs through the drizzle… Having complained bitterly about it not raining, well the rains arrived and we had about 5 days of continuous rain; so now the ground is saturated, the grass is starting to grow and finally the animals have something to eat. So long and short of it after on/off rain all day on the 31st and an elongated debate by the guests about whether or not to, they went with yes lets go for it and it turned out to be very worthwhile.

The bugs and beasties are also coming out and the dung beetles are rolling their balls ready for laying their eggs; the centipedes are having a lovely time munching on some fresh mushrooms in our garden. As for the red chested cuckoo, well one has stationed itself right outside the Nkwali kitchen and can be heard incessantly boasting with its call about the rains having finally arrived. We always say that once you hear the call of this particular cuckoo it is a sign that the rains are on the way – they have been calling for almost 2 months so lets not take it as an absolute given shall we! Other than that, well the other exciting news is that the water in the river is finally coming up so the boats are being scrubbed down, checked over and serviced ready to get launched for River Journeys, which starts in just over 3 weeks.

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On the wildlife front though there have been no disappointments for our guests and the year has got off to a splendid start.

The leopard sightings have been out of this world… almost every drive has been seeing leopards. But the lions have been somewhat absent, so on Saturday night the boys at Luangwa House were reading up on lions to find out about their preferred habitat in order to guide Kiki to the correct location for finding them. Yesterday morning they finally found 3, so all very excited they then returned to the house to read up about buffalo which sadly were not found.

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In the meantime Daudi had a lovely sighting which he shared with Lameck our Nkwali head chef as they headed out armed to the teeth with sausages and bacon ready to set up a bush breakfast for the guests. On their way saw 12 giraffes all sitting around big baobab enjoying the cooler and overcast day.

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Looking upwards and on the bird front the European storks and Abdims storks have arrived. We have an Angola Pitta which is taunting the guides as it can be heard around Nkwali but has yet to be seen. The Narina Trogan at our house only seems to come out when the guides are out which is also annoying them somewhat. But the guides almost danced on the bar as they saw 2 pygmy geese splashing around in the river in front of Nkwali.

So as you can see plenty going on and I am sure more to follow but for this week I am going to bid you all a very warm and fond farewell. Have a lovely week, take care of each other and have fun.

Cheers

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