It’s Monday 4th September 2017 and a wonderful walk with Jason

I hope that you are all well and having a simply splendid start to the week. Here in the Luangwa, there’s not much to complain about; we go to sleep with the gentle sound of lions calling and we wake up with blue skies and the morning alarm clock of the Heuglin’s Robin who sits outside our bedroom window for a good 30 minute sing song. Anyway this week we are going to hear from regular guest Neil Andrews who has recently been out on a Mobile Safari with Jason, so without anymore chit chat from me – over to Neil:

“Our walking with Jason had been long in the planning and its initial postponement had resulted in it being finally booked for August 2017… however, when I opened and read ‘It’s Monday of 3rd July’ I did wonder whether I had finally lost the plot … for reading Jason’s account; “we walked along the Western ridge and had a wonderful view back to the Muchinga escarpment” and again “we walked along the ridge” I suddenly had visions of Alpine like heights with the need for appropriate mountain gear.
Rest easy … it’s all relative, as per hills in The Netherlands.

The hundred kilometres or so drive up to Camp Two from Nkwali was interesting in itself, with the varied bands of vegetation as well stops at the petrified forest and sites of early man’s tool making that liberally litter the crest tops.

Though our luggage had not accompanied us from Jo’burg, RPS staff and the RPS shop kitted us out appropriately so that we were fit for purpose upon arrival at the mobile camp. One of the pleasures of being an RPS regular is seeing familiar faces, in this case Geoffrey, Jacky, James and Alfred. Geoffrey was an absolute star, not only with providing Jane, Ian and I with towels for our wet and sandy feet after each river crossing but virtually being my private barman during all our walks – we very much appreciated Geoffrey. Alfred’s cuisine remains imperious, as does the food presentation. We had an educative visit to the camp’s kitchen and were amazed at how Shadreck produces the baked goods from his earth oven. I was particularly taken with Jacky and his feather duster, not as daft as one would imagine out in the bush as it works well in keeping the dining table free of tree debris.

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But the reason for being here was to be guided by Jason and enjoy The South Luangwa on foot, being totally away from everything, even its quiet byways. We tended to set off soon after six in the morning, returning either side of one in the afternoon depending on what sightings we had encountered. In distance terms, the most we did in one morning was probably a bit short of ten kilometres, the pace leisurely, not solely to appreciate the sights and sounds, but because of some of the terrain, especially those that were frequented by elephants required care and attention.

It was brilliant to listen to exchanges between Jason and Geoffrey each time a bird or animal sound was heard, and then see the juvenile giant eagle owl in flight, confirming Jason’s diagnostic. Then later that same morning to have Geoffrey spot an amazingly well camouflaged male lion. A whole different world from our urban one where we shut out sights and sounds rather than embrace them.

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Whilst we came within thirty metres of a male lion, as well as an inquisitive bull elephant we also saw a large herd of roan antelope, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, numerous herds of elephants and a pride of lions with cubs… all on foot.

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Then there were insects and flora that received closer inspection as we had the volition, time and Jason to encourage our curiosity. A shorter after-tea-walk was followed by sundowners at a choice location to close the daylight hours with. Then a drive back to camp to welcome hot showers and a scrumptious dinner.

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I hope I can close my eyes and feel the cool Mupamadzi sand between my toes for many years to come. Thank you Robin Pope Safaris.”

Thanks Neil it certainly sounds like you all had an amazing trip and hopefully you will make it back up to the Mupamadzi again soon.
Now I am not going to give you any more stories from the bush as I am going to leave you to your imagination; so on that note I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have a wonderful week full of smiles and laughter.

Cheers
ems

 

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