It’s Monday 30th July 2018 and a very special stay at Luangwa Safari House!

I do hope that you are all fabulously well and sitting comfortably ready to read about the latest memory that we have helped create, this time at Luangwa Safari House. Obviously every trip out is special but some of them become even more special when there is a little surprise in store. We had a family out recently to Luangwa House for which this was truly the case. Deborah is now going to graciously take over from me and tell you all what happened and I am not going to ruin the surprise.

“Paul and I visited South Luangwa for a going away party with our friends and their three children, who are returning to the United States after a three-year tour in Malawi. They stayed at Robin Pope’s Luangwa House last year for a birthday celebration and had told us about their wonderful experience there. Entering the Robin Pope concession was like arriving at a conservationist’s dream. We were blown away by the amount of wildlife found in an area unblemished by the presence of fences, which strongly highlights the anti-poaching efforts and community partnership for wildlife preservation. As we were driving up to Luangwa House, we crossed paths with elephants a few metres away from our vehicle and a giraffe greeted us in the car park area. It was incredible to see how comfortable the animals felt coming to the house.

On our second day at Luangwa House, the morning safari was marked by 12 lions eating a buffalo and a pack of hyenas. As we prepared for our sundowner drive, I thought to myself, “We have seen everything we could possibly imagine. There is no way this trip could get better.” Little did I know! The sun was nearing the horizon as we made our way up a hill when suddenly the vehicle stops. There were two foldable canvas camping chairs surrounded by blue hurricane lanterns and a table with snacks and a bottle of champagne. Hindsight, I should have noticed that the champagne would have marked a special occasion, but I had no idea of what was to come. (See, Paul and I have been dating for 3 and a half years. We have talked about marriage before, but with no concrete idea of when it would be on our timeline.) One of the children in our party was trying to hop out of the vehicle, but was asked to stay seated. I looked over and suddenly see Paul out of the vehicle, motioning for me to get out and I hesitated having just seen the child being told to stay seated but eventually made my way out. The scene was incredible. We watched a signature golden African sunset, with a view into the valley and the silhouette of the escarpment in the background. It felt like a scene out of a romance film. I start to get emotional thinking about how incredible Paul is and reflecting on our years together. He sees that I am starting to tear up and he asks me what I’m thinking about. I reply, “How happy I am.” He takes my hand, drops down to one knee, and asks if I would marry him! I proceed to cry for the next 15 minutes and nod my head up and down to give my answer – Yes! South Luangwa joined us in the celebrations by allowing us to spot three more lions before heading home to delicious dinner.

I want to take a moment to thank Matt, Sebastian, and the rest of the staff at the Luangwa Safari House. They made our stay unforgettable. Not only were they amazingly intuitive, attentive and hospitable, they also helped my now-fiancé organise the proposal.”

Well if that doesn’t tug at the heart-strings then I don’t know what will and I sincerely apologise to all men out there reading this and hoping that respective partners are not going to come home and question your romantic streak!

Paul and Deborah congratulations and thank you so very much for sharing your experience with us and let’s hope that we will see you back out in the valley again soon for more memories.

Everything else in the valley has been plodding along at its rather hectic peak season pace and we have had plenty of wonderful sightings to speak of including another visit from Simon Cousins and some clients who as always had great game-viewing and here are a few photos from their latest trip.

Thanks everyone and hope that you all have a fabulous week with plenty of smiles and laughter and as always don’t forget to look after each other.



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