Its Monday 31st August 2015 and a week with the family.

I hope that you are all well and sitting comfortably as I am about to embark on my own little stint of making you all jealous as I recount the wonderful week that I have just spent with my mum and sister who have been out to visit.

Usually sitting in the office listening to all the guides coming in and telling me all about their sightings makes me a little jealous but for once I don’t have to ask. My mum and sister have recently been over for a week of time in the bush and not only was it amazing to have them here and spend time with them we also have some wonderful sightings. We dusted off the old camera and binoculars, popped the game drive seats onto the Landrover and we were ready to go. The pressure was on in terms of the game viewing and gosh we were lucky with magic moments appearing on every single safari that we did, and even sometimes when we weren’t even on safari.

The first treat or surprise for them was a night up at Luangwa Bush Camping so after a relaxed morning at home with a lie in and getting things sorted we embarked on the trip up to the Nsefu sector. A quick stop off at Tena to say goodbye to Emma Cross and her family as they were about to head home after a week in the Luangwa. Followed by a little visit to Nsefu to say hello to Daudi and Susannah before finally reaching one of the Luangwa Bush Camping sites. Kanga and his team all there ready and waiting for us with cold flannels, hot coffee and some truly scrumptious cake. A quick change and we were ready to get going on our afternoon walk. Steph who was slightly nervous of the situation parked herself firmly behind Kanga on the walk to ensure that she was totally safe whilst Rob was instructed to protect the rear of the walk. Chris the scout however put everyone’s minds at rest with his professional confidence and as my sister said “you don’t mess with Chris”.

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The afternoon walk was lovely taking in all the sounds, smells and life that the bush has to offer with an incredible interaction with some giraffe as they curiously looked at us and made us feel incredibly small but also the smell of them which is something that you never really acknowledge when you are in a car. Then most impressively was walking onto a couple of lions on a hippo kill. Standing in the open some 50meters away completely safe watching them as they tucked into their dinner as the sun was starting to go down behind them. After that sighting a quick walk back to camp before it got dark, bucket showers an experience for all and a delicious braii cooked by Kanga then off to bed in order to be fresh and ready for our morning walk.

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Breakfast was accompanied by lots of lion roars which seemed to be moving around us and remained elusive for the entire morning but its not all about seeing the predators as watching hippos coming down to the water after their evening grazing and the interactions between the beaten boys and the beach masters is absolutely fascinating. Everything from Termites to hippos was enjoyed and discussed and the 5 hour morning walk whisked past us with such speed that before we knew it we were back in camp. Sadly only 1 night was spent at Bush Camping but it was well worth it and we soon scooted back home.

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Night drives are not a priority for us so that evening having had such an incredible morning walk we decided to pop over to Luangwa House which had a night empty and take a look at the hide. As we got there we were lucky enough to have a herd of elephants making the most of the lagoon so down we popped and spent a glorious half hour watching them all taking their turn to have a drink, a mud bath and then a good old scratch.

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The rest of the week continued along the same lines with wonderful sightings of the big and the small the only thing that we were missing was the dreaded leopard and now the pressure was on! But not to be swayed by this we decided to make the most of a couple of free rooms at Tena on the Friday night. Getting to camp in time for lunch and siesta as by now we were fully into the safari routine we decided to take a short drive out in the afternoon and enjoy our sundowners with a lovely young male lion as he had a drink and then crossed Lunga lagoon.

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That evening Christabel and the team had set up a lovely Mongolain BBQ out in front of camp and we were all settling down to eat when Christabel came hurtling down the steps of the bar “Ems Ems where is your sister” gosh well now I was curious, it turns out that she had literally just bumped into a leopard and sure enough there it was sitting on the beach no more than 30 minutes from us as we all enjoyed our dinner. As if that wasn’t enough the following morning we had a fantastic fishing party at Lunga Lagoon with some 16 different bird species in one sweeping view, followed by lions bathed in the morning light warming up on the banks of the Luangwa.

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The icing on the cake was 4 baby hyena pups – 2 slightly older ones then 2 fearless little black fluffy things which were so small that even the grass was an obstacle!

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Sadly the week went by far too quickly and before we knew it, it was almost time for mum and Steph to leave but instead of sitting in camp waiting for the time to pass until we had to head to the airport we decided to go out into the park and have lunch. Finding ourselves a lovely spot we had the most incredible 2 hour lunch with 18 giraffes crossing the river, greeting each other, males fighting over the women, crossing back I mean it was just a spectacle if ever I saw one.

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There you have it some first hand sightings from our own little safari but for now back in the office listening to the rest of the stories coming from the camps. On that note I am going to leave you all to it. I hope that you have a fabulous week and don’t forget to laugh and smile as much as possible.

Ems

 

 

 

 

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