I think one of my favorite seasons in the valley is the rains and the life it brings to the valley and the dramatic storms that are now at their end. I treasure the last few ones as I know that the dry season is ahead and slowly the valley will turn from lush green to golden and onto the shimming dry season.
In Zambia we don’t call our seasons by the usual summer, winter etc but rather aptly name them the wet season and the dry season. Our rains usually start in November and peter off in April. It is wonderful to know from then onwards whatever event you plan will not be spoilt by a sudden shower. We don’t change our clocks; the sun rises and sets around 6, slightly earlier in the hotter months and slightly later in the cooler months. It has also been pointed out to me that our English is slightly different!
For example to us, and to put it in context, you might be planning meeting someone for coffee…. you can say, I will meet you now now, now or just now and it all means something totally different in time scale…
now now, means right away, usually with some urgency now, means anything from 10 minutes to a few hours just now, after some hours
When driving in Lusaka we have robots…. which others may refer to as traffic lights, we give way at traffic circles where others have roundabouts.
When someone answers asks you a question, to which you know the answer you just reply…Obvious!
If someone falls over or something bad happens to them you just say “sorry for that”
And if asked where you are from, we are just from within.
I have a new mopane squirrel that squirms in my shirt and pops his head out of my top so I can no longer ignore him and I give him his next feed of milk out of a syringe.
Bushy the bushbuck was back at the house for some fruit and to play with Sam the dog, and yes, we think this is totally normal!
And now as I turn my attentions to the financial year end, budgets and the upcoming Indaba I will end off, happy Easter!!
Over to Colleen..
As we float into April, I remembered my concerns from the beginning of March, although the park was a beautiful blanket of green, we had not had enough rains to fill the lagoons and ox bow lakes in the park. Although great for game viewing; later on in the year, as it would mean more wildlife would be concentrated on the main river. It meant that it would be a tough year for the wildlife and farmers in the area that rely on good rains to last through the harsher; hotter months of year.
However my concerns have been washed away. We have had some late rains, which have filled the river to its brim, and ensure there is enough water to last the year. Although for a few moments we all had a slight panic attack at the thought of a repeated flood episode from 2 years ago. We are much relieved to say the water levels are dropping and the sun is shinning again. The kids and I have had lots of fun playing in puddles, and fishing from the balcony of my house.
One of the great advantages of the rains is the amazing bird life. I have seen 6 of the stork species in front of the camp, the beautiful Yellow billed stork, the open billed stork with its unusual shaped beak, the visiting Abdims and woolly necked stork and the beautiful Saddle billed stork with striking red, white, black and yellow colourings. These large beautiful birds are so majestic in their flights. When there large wings spread out and they take off, you suddenly realize how big these birds are.
As the water recedes, I would like to send our thoughts and condolences to those in the western Zambia and our neighbouring countries, who were hit hard by the late heavy rains.
Easter is around the corner, and we are looking forward to having a busy weekend. Dora has been in the kitchen teaching the staff how to decorate eggs for Easter morning. I can’t wait to see the end product. I will definitely snap some shots away at her master pieces before we devour them. Patsy is planning her annual picnic in the park, with the Easter egg hunt being a huge hit, and hopefully the children find all the eggs before the monkeys and baboons do.
The road is drying up and I have heard that the road from Chipata is improving with all the sunshine. If travelling from Chipata, please use the airport road as it has been worked on and is in far better condition. If you need directions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
That’s all for now, and I look forward to sharing next months adventures.
Take care from
Colleen and the Wildlife team