Hello there. Here in the Luangwa we are full steam ahead with the camps all having successfully opened and made it through the first week of guests, despite a rather alarming and unexpected rain fall mid-week. News this week is however from Malawi, Noline & Toni at Mkulumadzi Lodge, Majete Wildlife Reserve will share with us.
“The Shire River morning magic – early morning coffee straight off the fire before drive.
Every month reveals new sides to Majete. The difference between the wet and the dry season is enormous. Right now, the bush is drying out, the leaves are turning bronze and copper and the heavy perfume of fallen Marula fruit is everywhere.
With the Marulas come the elephants, and we have had to abandon more than one beach dinner so far, drinks in hand, to carry on up on the deck while an elephant takes his time under the tree in front of the dining room, his eyes half closed enjoying the fallen fruit.
African Parks has been busy in our concession making sure that a male lion called Gervaz did not get himself into trouble by sneaking out of the reserve, he recently broke away from his coalition partner and left his normal territory to go wandering. Fortunately, he was fitted with a satellite tracking collar, and this has enabled the monitoring team to head him off when he is going down the wrong track. They can see that he has swum across the Shire three times now and seems not to want to settle down; let’s hope he meets a girl. With seventy lions in Majete the African Parks Monitoring Team have been very busy. Our guests recently witnessed four lions waking up after being darted to take Biometrics, truly a once in a lifetime experience.
The Shire’s water levels have been fluctuating recently, interfering with the usual basking spots for the crocodiles and hippos. We are now able to identify a couple of resident crocs already, Guthrie, Gustav, and Gabriella to name a few. We have not gotten to naming the hippos yet but there were five in front of the lodge two days ago.
Gustav is a huge male croc, and a bit of a thug, that occasionally comes from downstream to patrol the pool in front of the lodge, while Guthrie is a resident that has part of his lower jaw missing (hence the name). They can be seen basking in front of the lodge on most days. They will have bred during the rainy season and several baby crocs have been seen, including one that was taken by a Martial eagle!
Our new vegetable and herb garden is up and beginning to sprout greens and herbs to support our wonderful Chef Thomas and his team and some of Malawi’s famous Kambuzi chilies are going in this week.
By the time you make it down here, we hope to have some “Mkulumadzi Fire” chili sauce ready for you.
As the rains have ceased and the bush becomes drier, we have made time to explore more of the 700km2 of Majete Wildlife Reserve. We had a look down some of the more out of the way roads past the Pende waterholes where we had two sightings of Sable, Majete Hill and some beautiful secret spots along the Shire. We drove for two days, and we feel we have not even scratched the surface yet. There are springs still flowing all over the place for now although as they dry out the game will start coming into the major waterholes and the bigger rivers more frequently.
We still have to get down to Phwadzi hill where the Phwadzi hominid skull was found and explore the Mwambezi river cliffs, but we will tell you more about it all in the next “Its Monday” from us.
For now, it’s back to the lodge and our amazing work week!”
Thanks so much Noline and Toni! Great to hear about all the highlights of Majete and your plans for the season. We look forward to hearing more from you as the season progresses.
That is all from us this week, so I will leave you to get on with the rest of your day. Have a fantastic week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one-another.