It’s Monday and the doors are open again

Hello there! I hope you are well and have had a lovely weekend and are sitting tight, ready to hear the news – the doors are open…After 6 months of ghostly silence, all of a sudden we have gone from stop to running at one hundred miles an hour. Robin’s House, Luangwa Safari House and Nkwali are now all open and receiving an influx of international guests. Yes, you heard me correctly! The pressure has been on to get everything out of storage, washed up, dusted off and painted.

The first guests to the newly painted pool were some lovely elephants, who have grown quite used to having camp to themselves and now having to share it with all the staff and now having to change their routine somewhat. Tribal Textiles have been busy sewing up plenty of fabulously bright coloured masks for our staff and our guests. We have disinfected and sanitised every inch of everything and with big smiles hiding under the masks and the sounds of the first red-chested cuckoo and rumbling thunder, we have welcomed our first international guests for quite some time.

Now the pressure was on, as having written up about all the wildlife we have been seeing, the animals had no choice but to pull out all the stops. Out in the bush guiding was Kiki, Perry and Yona, so the guests were in very safe hands. To back them up in camp, the teams were full of excitement and energy and Chico was in the kitchen whipping up a storm with the chefs.

So, then the question is, ‘where do we start?’ I think in all honesty we are going to go with the first word in the dictionary – Aardvark! Shut the front door!! I kid you not, on Perry’s very first game drive, this is what he saw. Lets just shove all the elephants, giraffes, hippos, antelope, and birds right into the bottom drawer for this one shall we and say goodbye for the week! Or maybe let me continue with more tales of what the team has been seeing…

Aardvark aside, there is absolutely nothing stopping us, and we have had some other incredible sightings.

Yona was out and about with a group of guests staying at Luangwa Safari House and on one of his morning drives, found a male leopard trying to steal a warthog from a lone lioness. Soon after, a hyena also decided to join in making life very difficult for the leopard. As if this was not enough of a scene, there was a troop of baboons stuck in the tree under which the lion was sitting with her warthog and they were not best pleased with their predicament.

With all the noise and added attention, the leopard decided that the warthog was not going to be an option and so shifted his attention to the baboons who were by now understandably freaking out. Unfortunately, he failed again on his mission, due to the hyena who pretty much scuppered it for everyone.

I realise it’s very hard to follow on after these two sightings but let us not forget about the rest of the game that sometimes gets pushed aside. There is very little, in my opinion, that can better that than a beautiful herd of elephants crossing the shallow waters of the river and having a quick cool off.

Lastly a quick update for you all from Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) … Just over a month ago I wrote about the work they were doing, and the Wildlife Ranger Challenge aimed at supporting rangers across Africa and in South Luangwa. Response to this was overwhelming and we are thrilled to let you know that CSL have exceeded their fundraising target and raised over £130,000 for their important conservation work in South Luangwa for 2021.

CSL would like to thank everyone who supported the initiative, your donations helped us achieve our target. The combined CSL & DNPW 4-man team ran 21km carrying a 22kg backpack in an incredible 2hrs 49 minutes. We are so proud of them.

For now, though, with a new feeling in the air as the thunder clouds start to build and the cicadas keep a constant chorus going during the day; we await the emergence of the baby impalas and warthogs. We rub our eyes in amazement that October is far gone, and we are getting ready for the rains once more. I shall bid you all a very fond farewell, and hope that you have a fabulous week with plenty of smiles and laughter and do not forget to look after one another!

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