It’s Monday 30th April 2012 and a week of busy-ness!
I hope that you are sitting comfortably and have had a lovely relaxing weekend. This week Zambia has been all go with staff, cars and equipment spread to their limitations.
Robin, Jason, Polly and the rest of the team have headed up to Liuwa Plain to get the camp open for the first guests arriving in 5 days As many of you know, we have exclusive use of the park during the May-June period as well as the November-December period so it is pretty special.. This in turn means the A-Team is dispatched to ensure everything is ship shape prior to guests arriving. They jollied their way up there courtesy of Zambia’s public transport system, meanwhile all of the food and drinks went up in a designated cold truck to meet them there once Jason and Bernard had got our two landcruisers out of their state of hibernation. Splashing across the plain they made it to camp safe and sound and fully stocked up. Since then we have not heard a peep. More news to follow in the coming weeks.
Back in the Luangwa Valley, building has been in full swing!. The road up into to Luangwa River Camp is open (although I think by looking at the photo it is not yet much of a road) and the drive through the river is rather attractive. Rob and I drove up the road at dawn on Thursday morning only to discover (rather too late) that there had been an exceptionally heavy dew so we arrived with copious amounts of grass seeds plastered to the sides of our faces and rather damp! We opened up an Ebony Grove Bushcamp for regular guests the Letto’s, who were first here seven years ago when their youngest son was only six months old, I remember babysitting him, so when I saw them all, I felt rather old all of a sudden. Tearing myself out of nostalgia, the camp was set up on a stunning bend of the river just up from Luangwa River Camp with a view onto a rather large sized pod of hippos.
Other exciting news on the Luangwa River Camp front is that we have now finished all the work on the rooms so it is now fully open and ready and rearing for a busy season.
Upstream Ruben, our projects guru, took a team of 20 guys to start building a bridge across the Kawaluzi River so that we can access both Tena and Nsefu. Somehow Bertram and a team of guys got across to start working on getting Tena Tena opened.
Speaking of which most of you I assume know that we are building a new Tena this year. This project has not yet been started due to absolutely no access due to the rains lasting so long this year. Bertram and his team are opening up the original Tena and as soon as Ruben gains access into the park we will be up there with shovels, picks, and a large team of guys to get going. A very exciting project which you will all be very much kept in the loop about.
From the girly side, we have Claire here now so she will be getting over the jet lag from her journey back from Oz before she is also sent up to Tena to keep the boys on their toes, making sure that they do not forget the lighter touches of camp building. The rest of the girls will be arriving over the next few weeks so don’t worry you will be hearing from them all at some point during their stay.
Other than that I feel obliged to pass on a few snippets of wildlife news as after all that is what everyone comes out here for:
The elephants have been hanging out at Nkwali most mornings, which is great except for when you are barricaded in your house and cannot get out. Scaling our bathroom wall has been a very real possibility. The lions have been really giving beans over the last few nights with the most incredible melodies bellowing out from just across the river. A large journey of giraffes have been seen regularly in front of Luangwa Safari House which is looking really lovely at the moment with the vibrant green of the lagoon and as if all of that was not enough the wild dogs were also seen again midweek.
As you can see no rest for the wicked. So for this week I shall leave you all to it and get my head down as it is after all Monday morning.
Take care and have fun