Hello there. I hope that you are well and have had a wonderful weekend with plenty of fun and frivolity. Here in the Luangwa one thing is for sure we have turned our back on winter. From very chilly mornings and tepid afternoons we have in a matter of days packed away our jumpers and dusted off our shorts.
The sausage trees are busy dropping every single leaf creating a crunchy carpet through both Luangwa River Camp and Nkwali which the grounds-men then battle to sweep up in between the elephants coming through camp to snack on the ebony fruits which are also falling.
However, this week we will focus on a little bit of Mfuwe community news…So I am not sure if you are aware of Luangwa Community and Conservation Fund (LCCF), a portion of your safari cost which goes towards communities and conservation initiatives in the areas we operate within. In South Luangwa we donate this money to Conservation South Luangwa and Project Luangwa who work tirelessly in their respective fields. I was recently chatting to Ian from Project Luangwa to get a little more insight into where this money goes as I thought it would be really great to share this information but also because of an exceedingly exciting project that they are embarking on. It’s not all glamour but with all charities every little helps and the beauty of the LCCF donations from the member operators is that it is unrestricted, meaning it can go towards funding for anything which is needed at the time. Whether it be fixing the cars to enable the team to get out to the various projects in the Mfuwe area or buying a new sewing machine for the women making the ladies pads.
However, over the course of the year so far to name but a few of the projects that this money has gone towards, includes putting electricity into two schools (Uyoba and Chiutika), buying new desks for two schools that were in desperate need, sponsoring 6 volunteer teachers and 3 students who all lost sponsorship during Covid and the highlight in the village was helping support the Malambo Utd and Valley Queens football teams.
Project Luangwa has also been working towards preparing children for the greater world! It was noticed that all of a sudden, rural children who had received sponsorship and wanted to go on to university were dumped wide eyed and totally unprepared into urban centres. Expected to know how to use computers and navigate a totally new style of life. With this in mind and with some incredible support, Project Luangwa are embarking on their most ambitious project to date and are aiming to build a centre of excellence with boarding houses for students from more rural areas and classrooms to incorporate younger school children, as well as to develop a post graduate Career Immersion Scheme, providing the critical final link between education and employment.
On top of all of this there will be an athletics track, tennis court, netball court and full-size football pitch which will be open to all local schools and greater community for use. If you are interested in learning about this rather impressive project have a look at this link.
Before I keep you for too long let me give you one animal story for the week which was a real nail biter. Perry was out with a group of guests, and they were bumbling along enjoying a glorious morning when they spied a pack of wild dogs on the opposite side of the river. As a back story the pack from the main area has been in a bit of a kafuffle after its alpha female left the pack and so they have been sort of running around all over the place including crossing the river and leaving the park. As Perry saw the dogs, he noticed a slight nervous excitement and then suddenly they all just went for it and swam in unison across the river whilst the guests watched as the crocodiles closed in, hearts beating super-fast spurring the dogs on terrified that one was going to get munched and after a few breath-taking moments they made it out on the park side all safe and sound. Lets hope that they decided to settle down now and don’t do that again in a hurry. You can watch the full video here: Wild dogs escape a hungry crocodile.
How’s that for a finishing story…Nothing else is going to beat that for this week, so I shall bid you a very fond farewell and hope that you have a fabulous week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.