We all had a great New Years party in the “Warthogs Pub” and danced and partied the night away until the sun finally rose and the weary went to bed! I had great intentions of getting some good photos but for some strange reason they all seemed out of focus!
The rains have arrived in full force and the valley is green and lush and slightly muddy! For this who have been here before I am sure the photo of the water in front of the main bar will be of interest and we will keep you updated with some more photos.
OUR FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS
The three bush buck that we have hand raised are still seen around camp and Bushy came home the other day I am sure she is pregnant! She walked right into our house, straight to the kitchen and waited until we gave her an apple and the walked out again!
Squirrels… Squirrels and more squirrels
This season has seen numerous babies being brought to me by staff who have found them around camp. I am no expert but have theories on why there are so many orphans (founded on many years of hand raising babies)
The first theory is that they are far too adventurous for their own good. As soon as they are hungry they go looking for food – not an easy process when you are 5 cm long, have no hair and your eyes are closed. So if Mum is late (or by some unfortunate chance has been eaten by something bigger while she has been out foraging) they crawl around looking for her and inevitably drop out of the nest. If Mum happens to come back in a short space of time she will carry them back to the nest but I am sure you can appreciate that there are many other animals and birds that are waiting for this sort of opportunity and they can become a very quick snack.
The other theory (and I have seen this in action by Penny – our dominant female – living in our bathroom) is that females are very territorial and I have seen Penny go and attack other females and try and kill the babies. Sometimes in the fight (which is very loud and vicious) the babies are kicked out of the nests and their mothers driven off. The dominant females will then look for and kill any of the babies she finds.
All said and done this last year we had a 100% success rate on raising these babies and have released seven babies back into the wild. These babies have now set up their own territories and are scattered around the camp. I am sure you will all be amazed at the pictures and see how small they are at birth and how quickly they grow into the cutest animals. They are all so intelligent and more will be written about them in time to come!
Now we cannot forget the famous “”Sam the dog” and he is doing well and no doubt will still be around when you come and visit.
OUR SAFARI GUIDES
Our grade one qualified guides are Nyambe and Herman and they accompany all walking safaris as well as taking our drives. Their knowledge and enjoyment of the bush rubs off on our guests and everyone enjoys it tremendously. They are also the guides who take our guest to our bush camp and spent the night under bright starts with nothing but bush sounds to ease you to sleep.
Sadly to all those who have been here over the last few years and have got to know our staff I have the sad news that John passed away last year. He is missed by all of us and was a guide with us for many years.
Our grade two guides are Julius, Phillimon, and Billy – and Phillimon and Julius will be sitting for the grade one exam in April. Billy still thinks he can run for president and his laughter can be heard as he turns the corner to come into camp – no-one can every be bored on his trips. Our two trainee guides, Sylvester and Andrew, are both studying hard and will be sitting their exams in April.
– some new and some who have been with us for years! Not all are mentioned but this does not mean they are not all appreciated!
Oscar and Miriam are on a well deserved break and will be back with us in April.
Monica has taken her studies to new heights and will now be enrolled full time in Lusaka. She is missed by all of us and I think she has a good career ahead of her in the banking world. We have a new trainee receptionist – Annie – and we hope she will be with us for many years to come.
BJ, Joel and Jason are all still in the restaurant and of course our kitchen staff are all with us – Evance, Jerry, Jubel and Amon. The meals are as good as ever and we keep on coming up with new recipes and ideas.
Moffat has been kept busy during the rains with vehicle rescues and breakdowns on numerous guest vehicles plus helping maintain our new fleet of landrovers.
Thomas has given up trying to make sure that sure no-one gets eaten, trodden or otherwise upsets the peaceful nature of the campsite and has moved over to the more sedate position of housekeeper.
THE CHIPATA ROAD
The best news for everyone is that the CHIPATA to MFUWE road has been graded for most of the way and the fist 1 hour from Chipata is really good, (up to the sharp bend to your left). With rains, traffic and of course the soil itself playing a major role, this road will never be a smooth ride. As of now it still takes about three hours for a high clearance vehicle (4×4) to reach Mfuwe. For trucks it will be even longer. What happens now, after the rains, nobody knows. We are hoping that someday our government will put some money on roads works but as I have been hoping this since 1985 we might have a long wait – when in camp do come and see us and I will explain the mystery of the two bits of tar over the hills!
We hope to welcome you all (back) to our camp for the new season!