Well, hello there, I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend and that as we hurtle into December that you are all getting into the Christmas spirit. Here in the Luangwa the Christmas cakes are baked and a few little preparations for the festive period are on their way. It won’t be long until the decorations are unpacked and checked, and we start that wonderful challenge of untangling the Christmas tree lights!
As we prepare ourselves in that respect, the bush is putting on its annual bonanza of beauty. The first rains have arrived, and the bush has been transformed from the dustbowl into this lush and vibrant environment. There are baby impalas and warthogs everywhere, the elephants are clean and full as they move from green tree to green tree with a glut of choice. And the bugs… wow the bugs have been out in full force.
Walking past a rain tree in camp and a couple of hundred cicadas all flew out landing in the next tree and making a racket which was so loud no one could speak with each other. The millipedes have exploded into life and picking our way around has become quite the challenge as we try to avoid squishing any. However, hours of fun for little boys can be had as they are collected from pathways and relocated, scooped out of swimming pools, and just generally inspected in great detail.
The plant life has also exploded into action, in particular the lilies which pop up and give us such pleasure with their beauty. Some of them lasting several days and others literally just 24 hours. The spider lilies line the side of the road coming into Nkwali and the fireball lilies hide slightly further back suddenly springing up with their stunning red. Both so delicate that it is a wonder that they don’t get destroyed by the rain or the slightly unforgiving hoofs of a giraffe not necessarily seeing that far down as they plod along. One which had us all a little flummoxed was this magnificent Black Arum (Amophorphallus Abyssinicus) who popped up just by our main stores area. It did have us all guessing as this was the first time any of us here had seen it, so the books were delved into, and it was identified and just in time as the following day it had already started to perish. Seems so very sad in a way that something so beautiful is so fleeting but then on the other hand I guess that is what makes them so special as I doubt you often hear me waxing lyrical over the likes of a rain tree!
Along with the lilies the jasmines are also out and filling the air with their fragrant aroma and the Oncoba Spinosa has also burst into bloom and the bees are loving it. As the humidity levels rise it won’t be long before the wonderful array of mushrooms start popping out of the ground, crevices and trees, so we wait for those to soon show themselves.
As we approach Christmas and the time of giving it seems like the bush is already well ahead of us on that front and is treating us at every single twist and turn. The river is still very low and there has not been much change there, but we look forward to it soon filling up and being able to get out in the boats and explore the Luangwa from that different and wonderful perspective. For this week though I really should leave you to your day and bid you a very fond farewell and hope that you have the most fabulous week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.