Well, hello there. I do hope that you are fabulously well and fully in the Christmas spirit. Here in the Luangwa the choir for the annual Kalawani Christmas Carols have been very busy practicing. Sarel and the chefs at Nkwali have been doing a few bits and pieces in the kitchen to get ready for the week ahead. Meanwhile I have been fetching decorations out of containers and the waiters await, with a slight amount of dread, for them to be put up as they become a magnet for the baboons as they are simply way too tempting a plaything! But this week it’s not about us here in the Luangwa, we are hearing from the Kuthengo Camp team down in Liwonde. Mike and Jenn, over to you:
“Guess what, its Monday and IT’S ONLY 5 DAYS TO CHRISMAS!!! Is it only me or does Christmas come around quicker and quicker every year? I do remember sitting in traffic early this year and saying, ‘We will only be home by Christmas’. Thankfully it didn’t take us that long.
It certainly is getting closer to the festive season and Jenn has been asking me since the 15th of November if she can start decorating. I managed to get her to wait until the 1st of December. She has been very busy going through all the decorations as well as painting old mopani trees to make the “perfect bush Christmas tree”.
Liwonde has exploded with colour so quickly since the first rains hit about 4 weeks ago, and it’s starting to feel like a proper green African Christmas.
Within a matter of 24 hours after the first rain, the new buds started sprouting from all trees, bushes, and grass from where you would think it would never grow again after the harsh heat and dryness that we went through in September and October. With new vegetation life sprouting, come also what we like to call “Baby Season”. There has been a sudden increase in baby impala, warthog, and many other antelopes. That said, it has also been the best opportunity for all the predators to take advantage of the rather slow youngsters.
From the Kuthengo team and the whole Robin Pope Safaris, we wish you all the best for the festive season and hope you have an amazing start to the new year.”
Thanks so much Mike and Jenn it sounds idyllic. In other news of sightings, similar to Kuthengo here in the Luangwa there has been an explosion of baby impala and warthog and the predators are simply revelling in the explosion of tasty snacks whilst the rest of the animals are making the most of the huge number of fresh leaves for them to munch on. The giraffes seem to be loving the soft green carpet and are frequently seen sitting amongst the fresh shoots watching the cars drive by.
The elephants meanwhile continue their annual ritual of sneaking into the village at night to indulge in some mangoes and then come first light can be seen making a dash back into the bush. From the mangoes that we are managing to get before the elephants the team have been super busy making mango chutney, jam and even trying out some dried mango.
For now, before we have any further mango treats, I had better sign off for the week and wish you all the most wonderful Christmas. You will hear from me again next Monday with updates on how we have all spent our Christmas in the bush.
Between now and then, take care, have fun and don’t forget to look after one another.