Hello there. I hope that you are splendidly well and have had yet another wonderful weekend. Here in the Luangwa the guests keep on coming and the animals keep on showing off, which is quite simply the perfect combination. This week we are hearing from regular guests Jane and Ian Pike who have recently returned home from a bit of a safari gap. So, Jane and Ian over to you:
“We made it back – over two long years after our dash from the bush due to the pesky virus we finally returned to wonderful South Luangwa and the equally wonderful Robin Pope Safari team! Boy had we missed you!
Our first camp was Nsefu, being picked up at Mfuwe by the beaming (under his mask) Sebastian felt like coming home. We travelled the two and a half hours to camp under a full moon – arriving tired but elated to a typical welcome from Wille, Emma, Jackson and the rest of the brilliant team!
Four nights in Nsefu and two nights bush camping with the expert guiding of Sebastian served up a memorable six days! And with Mathews and Joseph we clocked up 50 Kms of walking! We asked for and got a fabulous Pel’s fishing owl sighting and we now know how to identify different tracks – albeit after a number of false guesses. To coin a phrase from our friend Neil – we can also ‘name that poo in two’!
Onto Tena Tena, with Bertram as our guide, we built on our sightings at Nsefu – wild dog, the biggest troop of baboons we’ve ever seen, emerging from their night in the tree tops – lots of fun to watch their antics; lovely breeding herd of thirteen (very nearly fourteen) elephant. Our first bush breakfast for over two years was a treat and thanks to Kate for the hummingbird cake! To top off our memorable stay here a night drive with wild dog on a kill and a leopard up a tree just behind – Ian’s picture of the leopard was truly ‘a shot in the dark – he pointed in the right direction and got the photo!
Our transfer from Tena Tena across the river to the awaiting Geofrey and then south was special as we had met Geofrey on mobiles in 2017 – his eyesight still as keen now as it was then he’s on track to qualify as a guide – just brilliant!
Our last three nights were spent in Robin’s House, a wonderful way to finish the trip. We were thoroughly spoilt by the wonderful Michael, Daniel and Olipa – not forgetting Kiki our guide extraordinaire! Wild dog passing us by, on a hunt, when we were having sundowners on the first night – position A for us in the middle of the plain – elephant corralling their youngsters and a brave baby giraffe holding her nerve, staying still and close to her mum! Leopard everywhere, more wild dog, lion…. oh, and another Pel’s fishing owl. And not to be outdone by Tena Tena a bush breakfast…
The birding was amazing – 123 species, including some ‘lifers’.
It was worth the (enforced) wait, most importantly to catch up with the friends we have made since our first trip eleven years ago. Thank you all for making it so very special! We’re now working out when we can return – soon.”
Wow, thanks so much Jane and Ian what an incredible trip and so delighted to have you back at RPS after the “break”. After such wonderful images and stories there is very little left for me to say except to bid you the fondest of farewells and I look forward to updating you with more bush antics next week – who knows what will happen. So until then, have a wonderful week with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.