It’s Monday and a collection of Sunday safaris.

I hope you are keeping happy and healthy! Here in the Luangwa, well it’s much the same as ever: the birds are singing, the baboons are barking and the hippos are grunting. The only thing missing is the gentle hum of the goings on of the camp… here’s hoping we can get back to normal sooner rather than later. So before I start today I would like to say an enormous thank you to the outpouring of well wishes and concerns that we have had from everyone. A huge thank you also goes out to everyone who has written stories for the It’s Monday through our ongoing Safari Dreaming campaign and I look forward to reading many more. If you haven’t heard about the Safari Dreaming campaign, take a look at this: Keep the African dream alive!

This week it is my turn though so here goes:

Gloves off and no lies life has calmed down significantly for Rob and I over the last month or so and as a result we made the decision that given neither of us had done an actual game drive for some 3-4 years (can you imagine!?) that we would start a little family tradition as part of our COVID-19 routine, which is every Sunday morning we pack up a breakfast and as soon as Jack is awake we head out into the park for a little pootle and breakfast with a view.

Safaris with a 3 year old certainly take a slightly different approach to what they used to with the rather limited attention span and sitting at a sighting involves a lot of “Why” questions about the animal and surrounding landscape. Rob and I as a result have had to take turns to brush up on our geography knowledge (I have had a lot of questions about the moon and sun and the rain and the clouds) and Rob has been having to answer a whole host of brilliant questions asked by a young mind. Sadly, though we don’t have answers to all of the questions and so the response is simply “because that is the way it is”. Back to school it is for us!

Given the approach to our safaris I am unable to write an entire its Monday about one single outing but instead need to cover a collection of Sundays to be able to put this together. The getting out of bed is the hardest thing and takes some convincing but eventually once his stuffed lion gets up Jack is on his feet and running out the door before I can even get sun cream on him. Everything ready we pack the car up looking like we are setting off for a week away and not just a few hours in the National Park but let’s face it better to have it and not need it than the other way round!

We have had some lovely sightings including some very patient zebras who were more than happy to stand still for us to watch them rather than running off into the thickets.

Giraffes and elephants are always intrigued by us and happily oblige to the slightly noisy little person in the front of the car. The predators have been proving a little elusive which is not surprising but just getting out into the park is treat enough in itself.

Out of the car Rob has been busy showing Jack what lion footprints look like and we were incredibly fortunate to have some wonderful viewing of Humphrey the Hippo before we even started our game drive. Not to mention the obligatory cooked breakfast which is a welcome break for all of us as we find a wonderful open and shady spot and get down from the car for a sausage sandwich and a cup of coffee.

Whilst nothing about the current situation is ideal, we have at least been able to appreciate a few small benefits and hope that we will be able to continue to show and excite Jack with all that this wonderful National park has to offer. So on that note all that is left for me to say is to bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you all have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter. Stay healthy and safe and don’t forget to look after one another.

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