Its Monday 13th April 2015 and a week of dining out

I hope that you are all well having had a successful weekend; and are all sitting comfortably ready for this week’s installment of Its Monday. So what to report… Well let me tell you, as of this morning we are in full swing of getting ready for the peak season and opening up the bush camps. Bertram and a team of guys have been dispatched up to Tena Tena to get started on getting camp ready. However I must admit I am not entirely sure how they are going to get there as they are going up at the same time as the road building team. The latter are to get the road in and most importantly to get the bridge in over the Kawaluzi River so that we can drive to camp. But I am sure that they have an incredibly cunning plan so I will leave them to it! I will however keep you all posted on what is going on as soon as we have updates.

Lets make a quick turnaround from all of that though and chat about the week that we have had. One way or another it has been incredibly busy. We have over the last few weeks had a large portion of our chefs in camp going through some training and new recipes. Everything seemed to go very well indeed and we have had some deliciously tempting meals go out. There was however one problem which occurred yesterday when we had a risotto lesson! I just made a small batch for everyone to see how it is done and to taste it so that they know what it was like. Everything went quiet and then all of a sudden there was an enormous amount of chuckling and nattering. When I asked what was going on they all looked up from the pot, spoons in hands and said it’s so good but we are scared that if we eat it all we will not have room for our nshima (local staple of thick porridge) in the compound! Needless to say both were successfully consumed.

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Moving out of the kitchen and into the National Park as lets face it that is what everyone is here for, let me tell you there is no way this week that the animals have let us down. We have had some phenomenal sightings including wild dogs almost every day. There has also been some really interesting dog movements happening as a pack of 5 dogs were spotted of which 3 of them had collars. We questioned this as usually in a pack it is simply the alpha female and male that are collared. When we spoke to the guys at the Carnivore research programme they helped us clarify the situation and it seems like it was a rendezvous from afar!! One dog had come from the Nsefu sector, one dog had come from the Kaingo area and the rest were a bunch of locals!!! Fascinating, so we wait to see what happens later on in the year and whether they all head back to their respective neighborhoods or they decide to stick around.

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On the lion front we have also had a few sightings one of which was a personally nail biting moment as driving down the Nkwali road heading home for the day I was stuck behind the pride of 4 which I have spoken about many times, they sadly used to be 5. A lovely sighting for me, however knowing that not only were the staff all wandering around the compound but my kittens were outside. Some frantic radio calls ensued, everyone was packed up safe and sound and a sigh of relief went around camp!

In the park however a pride of 16 lions killed a fully grown hippo, which is quite an achievement. In the morning they were all taking a few minutes to cool down and catch their breath but in the afternoon the game drives headed back to where the lions were and there they all were out in the open causing quite an incredible sight.

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So there you have it, we are almost done for this week however we do have an announcement of our own. Our Mobile Walking Safari has been chosen by National Geographic Traveler as a 2015 Tour of a Life time! We are absolutely thrilled to receive this accolade! More details can be viewed in National Geographic Traveler magazine’s May 2015 issue and online at http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/tours/.A splendid and timely award as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of operating this safari this year.

Thanks so much I shall leave you all to it. Have a fab week, laugh lots and never forget to smile.

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