The weather, and our secret recipe!
When I think of October in the Luangwa Valley I think of heat, dust, dried out lagoons and struggling animals. I think of an area that has not felt proper rain for months and where temperatures beyond the 40’s only aggravate the situation. But I love October for exactly that reason – there is nothing more authentically Africa than a herd of a 100 buffalo marching towards water, kicking up white dust as they go along. A lot of people say that Zambia is the real Africa – which it is! But October in the Luangwa Valley is Africa in its purist form.
The weather is not the only point on this newsletter’s agenda: Wildlife Camp’s recipe for success has always been very simple. We provide our guests with delicious food (in which Dora is an expert) a comfortable bed and a great guide – all at an affordable price. In this month’s newsletter I want to focus on one of Wildlife Camp’s great guides: Billy.
Q & A with Billy
Wildlife Camp is extremely fortunate to have a guide like Billy Nkhoma, (he likes to call himself Billy the Kid). I sat down with him for five quick questions:
· What is your favourite time of the year in the Luanwga Valley? The peak-season! We get a lot of guests through Wildlife Camp and the animal-sightings are very good.
· What’s your favourite animal in South Luangwa? The Thornicroft’s Giraffe.
· What is your favourite bird? The lilac breasted roller.
· What is your favourite tree? The sausage tree – its very interesting!
· Strangest question a guest has ever asked you? Will we see a bear?
Billy is a legend when it comes to pleasing guests, as some reviewers have duly noted on the world wide web:
- Billy knew everything about the animals and plants in the park and took us to different parts of the park on every game drive. An excellent guide is extremely important when you go on a game drive, and Wildlife Camp has fantastic guides!!!!!
- Our guide Billy was excellent throughout. Very knowledgeable about all the flora and fauna in the park and he taught us a lot.
- We really appreciated the consistency of having the same guide for every game drive, Billy was wonderful!
- Our safari guide Billy, was also brilliant. He was extremely knowledgeable and often went to great efforts to look for the animals we wanted to see. We were lucky enough to see lions, leopards and hyenas along with the numerous elephants, hippos and impalas!
More than a guide.
But Billy does more than guiding. In his free time Billy is also the Director of “The Banana Paper Project,” a unique eco-business aimed at producing paper from banana-plant stems.
When bananas are picked, the stems are often cut down to allow new fruits to grow – Billy’s project turns these stems (which in past has ended up on a rubbish heap) into fibres which are then sent off to Japan to create paper. There are all ready 12 companies in Japan who use business-cards printed on sustainable “Mfuwe Paper!”
Billy’s business employee 15 people here in Mfuwe; 13 ladies responsible for transforming the stems into workable fibres, 1 security guard, and 1 teacher who teaches English and maths to the other 14 employees!
If you are planning on coming to Wildlife Camp in the future, make sure to ask Billy to take you to see his project.
Our Milky Way
Billy’s business partners, Peo & Satoko, are old guests of Wildlife Camp’s who currently live and work in Japan. They still come and visit us regularly and always bring some friends over to experience Zambia and all its delights.
It was during one of these visits that we were reminded of how lucky we are to see so many stars at night – Peo and his friends sat outside night after night gazing up into the heavens, and being Japanese, they naturally had their cameras with them. Hiro Aoki took an amazing video of the stars – it was posted onto Wildlife Camp’s facebook page on the 19th of October: www.facebook.com/WildlifeCamp
Moment of the month
It is only fitting that this October’s best moment comes from one of Billy’s safaris. But I shall not waste words to try and describe the scene as it is one of Africa’s most famous and sought after sightings – a lion kill!
Late one afternoon Billy and Isaac found a pride of lions resting on the sand next to the river. It did not take long for a herd of buffalo to make their way down to the water to quench their thirst, and that is when the lions struck. Our guests saw the whole episode unfold, from the first step of the stalk to the last breath of the buffalo! And that is all I am going to say – more words will only ruin the moment.
Our guests only had happy-snappy cameras, so the photos are not brilliant, but they do tell the story. For the complete album, visit our facebook page (www.facebook.com/WildlifeCamp)
That is all for the month’s newsletter – the peak season is now over and we’ll be waiting for the rains. November is a beautiful time to visit the Luangwa Valley – e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about the newsletter, you can get hold of me at email@example.com
Kind Regards from Herman, Dora, Retha, and the rest of the Wildlife Camp team.