Well, hello there. I hope that you are fabulously well and have had a fantastic weekend. Here in the Luangwa, we have had an incredible week. It got off to one heck of a start after 8 days of solid rain, the water levels of the Luangwa rose and rose and rose some more. At Nkwali though the team cracked on with getting the rooms open despite the water lapping up right at the very edge…we are talking just a few centimetres that was all it would have taken, but fortunately things dried up and the sun came out just in time to make everything a lot easier. Living life on an island certainly changed things and the morning school runs involved a Landrover to Robin’s Bridge, crossing the swollen lagoon by banana boat then clambering out and jumping into the Cruiser on the other side. This was also the case for getting supplies in and out of camp, so it was quite the challenge.
At the same time, we were also busy getting Luangwa Safari House open for guests. The day before the guests were to arrive, the water rose just a little too much that we had to make an emergency detour to Robin’s House. But the most important thing is that they made it and have also been kind enough to share their safari with us, so for the main part this week, we are in the safe hands of regular guests Sander and Alex Donker.
“When sounds, smells and views meet in South Luangwa, time slows down. Not once but each time we visit. This time we can add water to the equation. We had never, till now, ever visited RPS in February. Five wonderful days in Robin’s House where besides enjoying great food and relaxing, the checking of the water level was one of our other activities. ‘Has the water risen or is it going down?’ We measured it ourselves from the deck each time we had a drink. Somehow, we were on the deck a lot. Not sure if we drank a lot or checked a lot. Probably a bit of both… For sure the view of a full river is fascinating.
In the Park we mostly drove on the main roads. First day we drove by a male lion with two females not seeing them. Only after tea and coffee at the most tranquil place one can imagine did we spot them on the way back.
We watched nature’s way of multiplying and the sheer laziness of lions. Due to the high water, a lot of game was seen close to the road or even walking in front of our car or next to it. No shortage of beautiful photo moments.
Back at Robin’s House we spent many moments calculating the speed of the water. We eventually settled for 10-12 km per hour. It’s just unimaginable the amount of water. Often, we would see trees that had been ripped from the bank floating down the river, not to mention a couple of dead buffalo with at least 50 crocs and a lot of “Luangwa dough” (it’s the foam created by turbulent water) float by.
It has been an unforgettable few days. We visited Luangwa Safari House by boat for the first time (and probably for the last time), due to the high levels of water around, and had a sundowner drink on the jetty which was only 15 cm above the water.
Yona and his team were the icing on the cake (big compliments to the chef, the food was delicious!). In difficult circumstances they made our visit one we will never forget.
The beauty is that no matter how often you visit South Luangwa, there is always a new experience. RPS for sure are able to do magic to achieve this each time.
After this trip there is only one lingering thought…when are we lucky again to get back?? Hopefully soon, to enjoy the beauty of the park, the animals and RPS accommodation and their lovely staff.
Alex & Sander Donker”
Thanks so much Alex and Sander, we always love having you to visit us and look forward to seeing you again soon. There is very little else that can be said after this lovely account, so I shall graciously bow out and bid you a very fond farewell. Have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.