It’s Monday 15th May 2017 and it’s camp building time

I do hope that you are all well and sitting comfortably ready to hear about what we have been up to in preparation for getting the camps open for the season. As always, we do like to make things as tricky as possible for ourselves and the late rains have certainly created a hurdle, but in true RPS fashion we leapt over said hurdle undeterred and ever determined and just went for it all the same.

The opening date for Tena Tena and Nsefu camps is getting closer by the day and we are still experiencing enough rain to stop us from putting the roads into the camps. Nonetheless we have to get on with camp building and get staff and materials up to the camps so there is no choice but to fill boat after boat with cement and other bits and pieces which we then take up the Luangwa River, together with our camp builders. If we don’t actually focus on why we are on the river we have to admit that each and every one of those trips is absolutely amazing!

As soon as we leave the harbour at Luangwa River Camp we are greeted by the many hippos that are at home in the Luangwa. On one of the trips we did not just get the typical warning yawns of the braver ones in the pods but witnessed a proper territorial fight.

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They were completely oblivious to us and carried on with blood splattering from their wide open mouths. Crocodiles are sunbathing, often disappearing into the river for safety when we approach. Some of those larger ones look truly scary and seeing them from the river almost on eye level is all the more impressive. This season some of our guests at Nsefu witnessed them devouring a zebra right next to the boat. A sighting never to forget and only possible to experience so close-up during the river journeys in the emerald season.

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The bird life along the river is amazing and we have great chances of seeing the tiny but absolutely stunning Malachite kingfisher, the brightly coloured Woodland kingfisher which will soon head back North, Giant Kingfishers and many more. The beautiful call of the African fish eagle is a constant companion on those trips up and down the river. On occasion we catch a glimpse of a herd of elephant, some curious giraffes, puku, impala or even lions.

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After all of these mouth-watering stories we have now reached Tena Tena which is still looking deeply taken over by the bush. Bertram’s bar is empty as he is busy getting the stains from the green season off, filling all the cracks that the roots have created and repainting the rooms to look all new and shiny again. Soon the tents will come out of the container and get put up as well.

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3930e57b67a930b78a6f879a7e44f85dAt Nsefu we are waiting for those bricks to come in by road so we can replace our bar floor. In the chalets we are removing the old paint and sanding down the doors, after treating them they will look completely new. We are repairing the decks and stairs and filling all the cracks. New fences are being put up to make everything neat and tidy again for opening. As said earlier, the clock is ticking and we are slightly concerned that we will not make it on time, but isn’t that the case every year and our cautionary panic always spurs us on. With all the good rains we’ve had this season we feel that we can hope for it to stop now. We can’t wait to get our land cruisers out of the workshop and be able to drive into the camps with more material! While we will miss the boat trips, it does make things somewhat easier that is for sure. As always, we will keep you all posted with progress; we can’t wait to receive our first guests and hopefully fill It’s Monday with heaps of stories of all the incredible sightings that they are having.

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For this week however, river tales and Ruth’s incredible photos shall absolutely keep you going and who knows what is hiding around the corner. On that note I am going to leave you all to it for yet another week and hope that you all have a wonderful week with lots of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after each other.

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