It’s Monday 5th November and a half term trip to the Luangwa for the Cousins Family.

I do hope that you are all well and sitting comfortably. For those of you who still have children at school and are looking at ways to spend half term – take a leaf out of the Cousins’ hand book! Simon and Shanie have just been back out to visit with the girls; as where else would you spend half term. The valley at this time of the year is admittedly a little on the warm side but with that comes some pretty incredible game viewing.

Straight out of school and into the car they set off for the Valley; and were here just in time for a cold beer for the adults and lots of fun and splashing about in the swimming pool for the children.

First morning waking up in the Valley is always filled with incredible excitement and there was absolutely no time to be wasted; a cup of tea and off by 5am as its always best to beat the heat. For the next few days joined by various friends they had some incredible sightings showing off the Luangwa at its best.

Littering the sharp banks of the Luangwa are colonies of Carmine Bee-Eaters who are busy nesting and, well, zipping back and forth catching food for their youngsters. It’s a great time of year as we did have a little early shower and since then we have had heaps of cicadas, moths and other bugs for them to catch and take back to their little mud caves.

Still on the birding front, they had a fabulous sighting of a Giant Eagle Owl flashing its wonderful pink eyelids. And with the lagoons drying out we have seen an increased number of pelicans coming in to reap the rewards of the crowded fish population.

Giraffes – well, there are loads around at the moment and whilst there is no rhyme nor reason or scientific proof that they have a particular mating season (in fact a lot of the females are wandering around with youngsters already and given they have an approximate gestation period of 7 months that would prove me wrong!). But the females seem to be being followed by a trail of male suitors, maybe it’s just something in the air – the anticipation of the rain perhaps. Who knows.

Whilst lions were somewhat scarce, they had some incredible sightings of leopard including a beautiful scene of a mum and cub just chilling in a tree enjoying the breeze and the last moments of day time before beginning the evenings hunting activities. Which really has to be an absolute highlight of anyone’s safari.

So, if that isn’t just quite simply the best way to spend half term, I don’t know what is. Simon, thanks so much for letting us share your photos and sightings with everyone as always hugely appreciated; and hopefully we will see you back in the Valley again soon.


Other news… we are being catapulted towards the end of the season and Tena Tena has now closed. The unfathomable speed at which the team is able to pack up the camp still astounds me. Spending a month putting the camp up it can take just 3 days to get everything washed, counted and packed up. It’s like a whirlwind and you don’t want to stand in the way, that is for sure. I think there is an innate panic instilled in the guys worrying about the rain coming and not being able to pack things up properly; but also lets face it, getting home to their families is certainly priority number 1. This year was no exception and after possibly one of our busiest seasons the team certainly deserves a well-earned break.

This leaves us with Nsefu, River Camp, the Houses and Nkwali; so don’t worry there are still plenty of guests with us and plenty of stories still to come your way. So I will graciously bow out for this week and bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have a splendid week ahead with lots of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.

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