Hello there. I hope that you are well and are cracking on with another exciting week ahead. So, this week we have had a lovely update from Carol Byler about her recent stay with us at Luangwa River Camp so before I digress and become distracted – Carol over to you:
“I just returned home after somewhat of a grueling plane journey, but it was worth every second. I promised Kim, our host at Robin Pope Safaris’ Luangwa River Camp, that I would write a brief note for the newsletter about my stay.
This was my first trip to Africa and my first ever safari. Our travel agent, Explorations Africa, highly recommended the Luangwa River Camp because of its first-class accommodation, food, and twice daily excursions. And we were not disappointed. What an experience – one of the best trips I have ever been on.
I could list all the animals we saw over the 4 days of our stay but that would just be a list. Everyone loves the big cats – they are proud and fierce. We saw lions up close, sometimes sleeping, sometimes munching on a recent kill. We saw many elephants, some big and some very little, moving through the bush and in the lagoon. We saw lots of other animals, but my absolute favorite was the hippos. During the day they would rest in the river or lagoon, lifting their heads every so often to check us out. At night, they would emerge from the water and travel through the bush to graze. We could hear their moans and harrumphs at night from our rooms. Impossibly big and so purposeful in their quest for food, we stopped the jeep when we saw them, day, or night. It is incredible and humbling to see all these creatures in their natural habitat.
Our guide, Daudi, was amazing. His knowledge of the land and the animals was mind blowing. He gave us a lesson on termites, lion ants, various trees, animal habits, tracks and scat. During one safari, he noticed drag marks in the sand and then heard the baboons screeching across the river. He said there must be lions nearby with a kill and sure enough, he drove through the bush and there was a pride of lions resting in the shade after a satisfying meal. A hyena was waiting nearby for his turn.
We even learned some of the unique terms for animal groups: a confusion of guinea fowl, a dazzle of zebras, a journey or tower of giraffes, and a bloat of hippos. Each night, while out on our evening safari, we watched the African sunset with a cocktail and snack. Daudi called it the Sundowner, and I looked forward to it every evening.
The staff at the camp was fantastic: Kim, the ultimate host who made sure everything was just right; Jason, the executive chef who prepared amazing meals and even cooked us scrambled eggs over the fire in the morning; the night watchmen who escorted us to our bush suites when it was dark and stayed in the area throughout the night; Manuel, the boatman who made sure we made it across the river without agitating the resident hippos; Leonard and Boniface who helped with meals and safaris.
Of course, the camp itself is first class with a wonderful bar area where we had a drink and played card games in the afternoon, a dipping pool, wow, my trip of a lifetime! Hope I get back there someday.”
Fantastic thank you so very much for sharing this with us Carol, we are delighted that you enjoyed your time with us.
As the temperatures rise dramatically here, the water starts to shrink away so the hippo harrumphs are turning into deep yowling sounds as the big males fight for the best patches of water.
The animals cautiously approach the water’s edge as life becomes that little bit tougher from here on in until the rains start. I look forward to sending more updates your way, but for now I am going to bid you a very fond farewell and hope that you have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.