Hello! I hope that you are well and have had a far more restful weekend than we have. Crumbs… let me tell you, this has been a camp opening to rival no other. Usually, this time of the year is frantic for us, but having had both Luangwa River Camp and Tena Tena closed for the last 2 years; getting the machine up and running again has taken a herculean effort. But we have thankfully done it and welcomed our first guests into both camps with enormous grins and even bigger excitement.
We were faced with a challenge or two along the way from small but rather frustrating caterpillars at Tena Tena clambering all over the fresh paintwork in room 6, to hippos trapsing across the buried power cables along the path at Luangwa River Camp rendering them totally useless. Lastly, those pesky little termites causing untold headaches for Willie at Nsefu. Not to mention the biggest challenge of all being access, which is still the case, and a few detours are required but through sheer will and grit we have done it and the doors are open.
Luangwa River Camp opened first on Thursday with the guests being welcomed into the brand-new main area which we have re-built over the course of last year.
It was not just the camp that impressed as on the first morning a big herd of elephants crossed the river while the guests were enjoying a cup of coffee. On the game drive, there were plenty of plains game, some wonderful birds with paradise Wydahs flitting around and Lilac Breasted Rollers who are very busy mating and doing all sorts of incredible displays and rolling around in the skies.
Tena Tena opened on Sunday.
On the way into camp the guests enjoyed peeking through the dense undergrowth at our resident hyenas who are once again busy denning. I am sure that it will not be long until we get some new little members to the clan. The Wild Dogs are also regular visitors to the area and keeping all the impalas very very alert. Baka Lagoon still has water in it and there are few hippos scattered amongst the numerous lily pads and flowers. On the sides of the road the puddles are drying up and the catfish are a real target for the saddle billed storks, but some will be lucky enough to get away and bury themselves in the mud until the next rains.
Then finally Nsefu opens today. I am sure that over the next week we will be filled with news and sightings, and I cannot wait to share them all with you.
Over at Nkwali which seems to be having a continuous stream of guests and sightings, we have had a couple of particularly extraordinary sightings this last week. The first of which had the guests coming around a corner finding a brand new, still wet, and wobbly baby giraffe. So, they sat and watched as is stumbled around getting its footing and figuring out what to do with its extraordinarily long legs! And then secondly, completing the circle of life was a crocodile parked off munching on a warthog. It really has been an incredible week with non-stop activity.
For now though, I feel that this is a good time to stop chatting and am going to bid you a fond farewell and shall look forward to sharing more and more of our wonderful adventures with you next week. Wish you a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.