I hope you are splendidly well after another lovely weekend and are sitting comfortably ready and raring for this week’s update. So, without any further musings from me I am going to hand you over to Mike and Nancy from Dazzle Africa who have just returned home after leading 2 trips to Nkwali, Nsefu and Luangwa Safari House. Mike and Nancy over to you:
“It was almost like a dream, landing in Mfuwe this February, nearly 2 years after leading Dazzle Africa safaris at RPS in March 2020 prior to the life changing pandemic. But here we are, in 2022, with 8 guests from the U.S. ready to fill Nkwali, Nsefu and Luangwa Safari House with laughter and stories from the bush. We were back.
South Luangwa and RPS were ready and did they deliver. The very first game drive had us at Lupunga Spur, surrounded by the Manzi pack of 22 wild dogs, hunting. The VERY FIRST NIGHT! 5 of the 8 guests had never been to the continent before, and still probably don’t understand how lucky this sighting was on the first night. Some had never seen a wild elephant, and here we were whizzing right past a bull so that we could see the dogs hunt (“you’ll see ellies later, don’t worry!”). Yona, Obi, and Banjo did an amazing, professional job positioning the vehicles and explaining to the guests what was going on – because there was a lot going on!
The dogs were expertly corralling impala toward the water, where they could not escape. The action had the photographers panning left, panning right, standing up, getting low. Everyone was pointing and commenting like we were watching a football game, play by plays filling the air. In the end, not only did we get to watch a hunt, but we got to witness a successful hunt, to the end. We’re back! Safaris are back!
It was a tough 2 years for everyone, we know how much suffering was endured in Mfuwe, like elsewhere – both financially and with the loss of loved ones. Dazzle Africa, is delighted to be back on safari and making a positive impact again.
Back to the present, the dogs were regular sightings for our first group. We watched an incredible hunting scene in the rain in the Chichele hills, with dogs jumping around and chasing puku at high speeds, the puku pronking like mad. We witnessed a mating pair at Lupunga (perhaps a new alpha male is ready for the spotlight!) and hunting by moonlight. In the morning we returned to the same place and there they were. Emerald season = Wild Dog heaven!
We had many other wildlife sightings with this group and the same with the second group of 7, who arrived a few days after our first group left for home, many of them calling it a trip of a lifetime (they’ll be back). We saw leopards in trees, leopards under trees, a leopard with a kill near chalet #1 at Nkwali, and a leopard cub. Lions were elusive but our first group saw 2 gorgeous males on the riverbank while boating back to Nkwali from Nsefu (where Willie and Betram guided marvellously as always, and even joined us in a few games of “Oh, hell”!). The second group of guests had to wait till the very last day, but there they were, lions in the road, looking like royalty.
Through it all, RPS delivered, time and again. We always provide an itinerary to RPS, with highlighted “special instructions”- we’re a bit high maintenance! We arrange for our guests to see the projects their safari is funding, so we visit Conservation South Luangwa HQ (CSL) we have tea at the airstrip in the park, under the wing of the CSL / Zambian Carnivore Program anti-poaching plane, while listening to our partners talk about how important it is to conservation and research. We visit the secondary school, where Dazzle has helped the students and faculty create an entrepreneurial arts program, and we visit a borehole that prior guests have funded. And of course, we bring them to shop at Mulberry Mongoose, Project Luangwa, and Tribal Textiles. We even all go for beers at a local Mfuwe town bar. RPS says yes to all our requests, always sprinkling the trip with surprises. We’re so thankful to Rob, Emily, Kiki, and the entire staff for always accommodating us and treating us like family. We are back!
Mike Paredes and Nancy Law – Dazzle Africa, USA”
Wow, thanks so much Mike and Nancy for sharing your trip. What a way to kick off the 2022 season! It was fab to have you all in camp and we are so pleased that the animals showed off to you all so that you and your guests were able to enjoy the total magic of the South Luangwa.
Since this group left, we have not stopped, and we are so excited to be receiving guests again and look forward to welcoming even more. Whilst I could go on and on with more stories, I am going to leave you to the rest of the week and bid you a very very fond farewell. Have a fab week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.