Its Monday and Walk Luangwa with Robin

Hello there! I hope you are well and have had a lovely weekend. Here in the Luangwa its been a few weeks full of excitement. The Walk Luangwa team have completed their 17 day walk through the North and South Luangwa National Parks. Robin joined for a portion of the walk and has been kind enough to share with us his experience. So, for today Robin, over to you:

“Just back at our house “RoJo”, near Nkwali, after participating in an invigorating and reasonably testing two-day fundraising walk. This was part of the Walk Luangwa, an ambitious 350+km walk, from North Park down through most of the South Park. It is a “Valley all” (residents of the Luangwa 😊) affair, with everyone participating in some way and I was there to represent Robin Pope Safaris. Day one, I walked from Kaingo Camp to Kakuli Camp 16.5 km and on day two we walked further south to Mfuwe Lodge, 24.5 km. Note, this was the GPS distance and we walked further as we avoided elephants, thickets and rough ground.

Robin Pope

The object of this walking safari is to raise much needed funds for wildlife conservation and communities bordering the National Park, particularly at this difficult time. Tourism is a very significant contributor to the projects in the area and this year, such funding has dropped to almost zero.

The walk has been well organized and is led by Remote Africa guides and experienced Department of National Park escort scouts. They expertly saw us through a few potentially tight moments with elephants. Different individuals and organizations have volunteered for sections of this reasonably testing walk and a few intrepid souls have embarked on the whole safari.

It has been a pleasure to participate in this walk, immersed in the bush I have known so well over the years. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this worthy cause, particularly at this time when everyone is feeling stretched financially. For further contributions, there is an online option available.

The Luangwa National Park is beautiful at the moment with carmine bee-eaters beginning to congregate, Cassia trees flowering, trees beginning to shed their leaves in anticipation of the hot dry months ahead. It is also very quiet and peaceful with little vehicle traffic.

Stay healthy and safe, Robin.”

Wow, well done Robin! Delighted to have seen you and Jo here over the last week and so excited that you were able to join the walk. The walk ended with the final stretch from Kalawani pans to Croc Valley where plenty of Valley residents were to cheer on the walkers and welcome them to the bar with a lovely and very well earned cold drink as well as a huge pat on the back for the money raised for such a good cause. I am sure that a few people may well look at their walking boots with a certain amount of dislike for a few days after but the memories and experience will be long in their memories.

Other than the epic walk, we have had some great wildlife in and around camp with mating lions just opposite camp making quite a ruckus. A few days later, we had a yelp down the radio from our Luangwa Safari House watchman as he discovered a pride of 4 lions enjoying the shade just behind the staff compound! The giraffes behind camp have been absolutely amazing as they lazily stroll through the bush looking down on all that pass them by and lastly the elusive leopard does nothing except torment the baboons around our house every night whilst we try to block out their rather loud barking.

Meanwhile, the water levels in the river are dropping quickly and the bush is thinning out and drying up as winter looks like it is coming to an end rather sooner than imagined and we prepare ourselves for the heat that will soon come our way. But for another week it looks like we are saying a fond farewell to you all and we will be back next week with more news. Between now and then have a wonderful week with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to take care of one another.

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