Hello there, I hope you have had a wonderful fun filled weekend. Here it’s ‘all go’ in a rather ‘non-go’ kind of way as we are super busy running around getting camps closed. Tena Tena is all done and packed up and we are excitingly starting on Robin’s House today as we plan a bit of work on the house over the next couple of months. But more on all of those updates another day, as today we are hearing from Nancy McDaniel – all about her recent trip to Malawi. Nancy over to you:
“Boy, was I glad to finally get to Mkulumadzi Lodge on September 21st. After 20+ hours of flying time, plus a seven-hour time change and a nearly three-hour road transfer, I was pooped (PLUS the drama of immigration and the big white COVID tent…). But everyone at camp was so welcoming and eager to get me ensconced in my lovely chalet and kindly granted my request to bring my dinner and a bottle of wine to my chalet so I could shower, unpack, have a leisurely dinner, and go straight to bed.
After a comfortable night’s sleep, I was up early and raring to go on my first game drive the next morning. I was THRILLED to see the first of many nyala, a most beautiful antelope that I had only seen once before in all my times in the African bush. And also, sable and eland!
Although I was sad not to see any predators, the elephants and a large variety of antelope and birdlife definitely made up for it.
The setting on the rugged Shire River was so beautiful and I eventually got used to crossing the LONG swingy bridge over the river.
After three nights at lovely Mkulumadzi Lodge, it was off to Kuthengo Camp. The river transfer was magical, I wanted it to go on forever. I have NEVER seen so many hippos out on the riverbanks during the day, contentedly grazing among buffalo and elephants. This is HIGHLY unusual and really interesting behavior! The camp managers at Kuthengo have no idea why “their” hippos behave this way. I suggested that some biologists should be studying them. Any takers out there??
I loved my tent with a beautiful view of the river and all the bird and animal activity there. Boating was a favorite activity. The Shire River in Liwonde is so different from what it is at Majete – wider and calmer and conducive to water activities. And the sunsets – oh my!
But the REAL highlight of my stay here was the lions! First, we came upon a lioness and her two cubs resting on the airstrip, seemingly just waiting for us to visit. After we spent 20 minutes with them, we drove a little farther and there was a big male lion resting by a termite mound. We spent a long time with him and watched him wander off. One of my favorite memories ever will be watching him as he slowly walked and started to call. We were close enough to see him moving his head, marking his territory, and giving a mighty roar. I wish I could include my video for you. It was amazing to experience.
One of the best parts was that the Camp Managers Jenn and Mike dashed over with their vehicle filled with camp staff to see him. Many of the staff members had never seen a lion before so it was really special to share this experience with them!
Another fun thing was going to see Livingstone’s Baobab, where apparently Dr. Livingstone slept (at least that’s the story). Here’s Stanford demonstrating!
And this is me, just for scale (it was a HUGE tree).
What a wonderful 6 nights. This was my first time in Malawi, and it is indeed The Warm Heart of Africa.”
Fantastic thanks so much for sharing your Malawi experience Nancy, as always, your continued support and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated. And a huge thank you as well for the generous supplies you brought for the local community school, which will go a long way. We look forward to having you out to visit us again soon.
In other news, a quick update on our little wood owl up at Tena Tena who is busy hopping around, preening and seems to be starting to open its eyes. The mum has been so attentive and patient with it as well as the staff who in the morning pop it back into a safe shady perch. So far so good so we keep everything crossed.
With that happy news I shall bid you a very fond goodbye for this week and hope that you have a fab one and we look forward to updating you next Monday with more RPS happenings. Between now and then though take care, have fun, and don’t forget to look after one another.