Hello there! I hope that you are suitably full and happy after a wonderful Christmas and sitting comfortably ready to enjoy the last week of 2022. Boxing day today and the festivities continue but lets run you through all the fun that the guests have been having the last few days.
Things sort of got off to a very soggy start as the rains really decided to arrive in style and with them came the ‘inswa’ flying ants. This year more than ever the flying ants were out in force to the point that the guests vacated the bar and instead enjoyed evening drinks on the lawn whilst watching a bush baby sitting under a light feasting. But a little rain and mud didn’t stop us and on Christmas Eve morning the plan was for a bush breakfast for everyone with all the usual plus freshly baked English Muffins with ham and eggs benedict and cream cheese and smoked salmon bagels with a sneaky side of sparkling wine – well it is Christmas after all! But as it was somewhat soggy, we adapted and instead did this in camp which actually worked brilliantly as it meant that after large quantities of yumminess everyone could saunter back to their rooms for a nice long snooze.
That evening we had the Christmas Eve sundowners and carol service which is always a fab start to Christmas here in the Luangwa. A and a tradition that has been going on for as long as most of us can remember. All the lodges get together with their guests and set up tables with snacks and drinks and we all sing along with the choir. Guests had an early tea and off into the park they went – sadly there was quite a storm brewing and most of the guests retreated to camp but some of them continued stoically.
Meanwhile myself, Sarel, Rob, Jack and Elizabeth were headed to Kalawani pans determined that carols were going to go ahead, and that the last 4 days’ work was not for nothing. The event got off with a light drizzle that got a little heavier which played havoc on the snacks and hymn sheets but by the time we got to the carols the weather had dried up and the choir did a fabulous job.
Sadly, the rain started again but this time in earnest so everything was packed up and we all had a gentle drive back to camp before dinner and bed, before Santa flew over on his sleigh to deliver gifts. Santa’s gifts to us included brand new lion cubs to the Nkwali Pride and other fabulous Christmas sightings including a monitor lizard catching an enormous bull frog but battling to hang on to it then dropping it and catching it again until finally the monitor lizard won the fight.
A wonderful sighting of an elephant crossing the road heading towards a wild mango then not realising there was a young male leopard on the other side getting a little bit of a fright. The leopard then decided that he would stalk the elephant but for obvious reasons the elephant sort of laughed in the leopard’s face and gave him a bit of a rev and then another elephant joined, and the leopard just turned and ran away with its tail between its legs.
Christmas morning another fabulous spread awaited the guests for breakfast before we scooped them all up and sent them out so that we could get down to the serious business of Christmas lunch. Turkeys stuffed and, in the oven, sides ready to go; it was time to open the bubbles once more and welcome the guests back into camp with the sound of popping corks and delicious snacks before a table full of goodies and crackers.
The weather was not really on our side it has to be said but we have had the most wonderful group of guests in camp, and everyone has simply made it a fabulous Christmas. Now we embark on the last week of the year and hope that we send 2022 off in style and wish you all a very happy new year and I will be back next week to give you all the first update of 2023. Until then have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.