It’s Monday 21st May 2018 and we’re kicking off the new season!

I wish I could tell you that here in the valley we had all kicked back and had a lovely relaxing weekend, but in fact the opposite is true. With Tena Tena opening on Tuesday and Nsefu opening on Wednesday I am sure you can only imagine how busy things have been. However I do hope that everyone else reading has had a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

So where to begin? Let’s start here at Nkwali as we have been having some wonderful sightings of the leopards behind camp, which is always a treat. Rob and I even had a fleeting glimpse of the female being followed by a male suitor! So who knows, we may even get some additions to the family in a few months time. The elephants have also been in full force both in and around camp and there has been a constant stream of visitors to the lagoon in front of Luangwa House. And let us not forget Humphrey the hippo who has taken a real beating to his ego after his last venture into society so is licking his wounds both physically and mentally and staying firmly put at home in the Nkwali lagoon.

Scooting up to Luangwa River Camp, Daudi and his team are solid as a rock, there was just one small problem… In the main area of camp there is a small pond type structure which last year Daudi painstakingly fixed up, filled with water, put in some nile cabbage and also a handful of fish. He was incredibly proud about this but has been scratching his head of late as he has discovered a dwindling population of his fish. Checking with everyone what on earth it could be he soon discovered that a magnificent Pel’s Fishing Owl has discovered that there is an easy meal to be had at Luangwa River Camp so has been visiting in the evenings to pick up some dinner! Definitely a 50/50 situation going on there — Daudi’s fish Vs. the Pel’s Fishing Owl, he couldn’t decide which to favour so has let nature take its course.

Next stop on our whistle stop tour is Tena Tena where Bertie, Nicholas and Nyambe have been feverishly working with the team to get the camp ready for yet another busy season. The lions have passed through on a few occasions to keep up to speed with proceedings and there have also been plenty of elephants in and around camp. Whilst out clearing the roads, the guys have been inundated with loads of different sightings as well so there is no shortage of game despite the tall grass. The camp is looking fab and the team are ready for yet another bumper season starting tomorrow.

Over at Nsefu, Willie and his team have been super busy getting everything ready from preparing the hide at the lagoon to watering the lawn ready for the lions to walk through and drink from a recently made puddle. Whilst talking about wildlife they have also seen the Wild Dogs from the bar a few times and the elephants have already started crossing the river in front of camp, which is always a massive treat. Marcos the new host up at Nsefu went up over the weekend and was thrown in at the deep end getting all the linen sorted and checked as well as getting the kitchen ready and all of the supplies organized.

As for Braston and the Luangwa Bush Camping team, they certainly pulled the short straw of it all, as with a small tented camp which doesn’t take much preparation they were dispatched to croc river to start putting in the crossings for the cars. Always a nail biting moment as they tentatively feel their way across the water with their feet whilst knowing that there are some beady eyes lurking in the brown water. There is a reason it is called croc river! But don’t panic, all done from the very edge using a rather long bamboo stick and then a series of sandbags are thrown in to ensure safe crossing for all.

So now that everyone up in the Nsefu sector is in place and ready to go we can breath a momentary sigh of relief, but not for long as next we get to start putting in the pontoon here at Nkwali then the challenge of getting our mobile safaris up and running.

So on that somewhat frantic note let me leave you all to it and hope that you have a fabulous week ahead with the usual smiles and laughter and we will catch up with you next week hopefully with stories of sightings from the Nsefu sector.



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