The year of the Phoenix.

The year of the Phoenix.

2020 is almost over and it is one that we will also remember for so many different reasons.

First the good news. We have enjoyed the company of many new and existing friends who have given us a lot of happiness and fun times.  We send sincere thanks to all the residents who have supported us and the precious few intrepid travellers from overseas who made it out to us.  Each and every one has kept us going in so many ways and we thank them all. We have also been heartened by the loyalty of so many guests who have chosen to postpone rather than cancel their holidays and their determination to get out to us as soon as circumstances allow.

The first bad luck was a direct lightening strike on our kitchen in January. The appliances and hardware we managed to salvage were however used to build a bigger and better solar system for the lodge as well as the campsite. We now have a bigger, fancier and more efficient fridge, and can use an electric iron and hairdryer all from power of the sun.

Our first busy weekend over Easter was really enjoyable and well supported.  Sadly two of our staff had other plans for our first and much needed income of the year.  They stole from our home and then burnt out the interior to try and disguise what they had taken.  The fact that two individuals who we had supported so well and for so long could do this to us was a very bitter pill to swallow.  We still await justice and the final outcome but in the meantime our home has been renovated so the physical damage is no longer evident.  With the amazing support of friends and colleagues we got through it all and the goodness of humankind has well and truly outweighed the greed of the culprits.

We have been spared the worst of Covid as far as lockdowns are concerned.  Zambia has managed the pandemic as well as possible and it has not evidently taken hold like in so many parts of the world. The freedom to travel within Zambia has been a boost for domestic tourism and allowed many residents to experience all that Zambia has to offer.  We have not travelled as much as we would have liked but we did return to Liuwa in November and loved it once again.

We will be sharing a family Christmas Day with great friends.  2021 will be seen in with campers and we very much look forward to sharing the coming year with friends we know or have yet to meet and some family too we hope.

We wish you all a holiday season full of what’s really important to you even if it can’t be enjoyed in the company of those you love. 

Andy and Libby

Right now, ironically, the Flame Lily is brightening the bush with it’s vivid colour and beauty.

Photos for conservation.

Photos for conservation.

We are proud to work with the KCC (Kafue Carnivore Coalition) by sharing the photos of Lion, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Wild Dog and Cheetah taken by ourselves and our clients. Anna and Xia have put together this useful and interesting information to educate visitors and thereby help with the ongoing conservation of these threatened species.

Although there isn’t a Kasabushi pride or pack we have recently seen the Mawimbi pride in this area, mum with two sub-adult daughters and four younger cubs.

We hope our visitors can better appreciate the importance of good ID photographs and therefore contribute directly to the great work done by ZCP and Panthera here in Kafue.

Liuwa re-visited.

Our second trip to Liuwa, this time later in the year and after the start of the rains. We enjoyed thousands of Wildebeest over three days and lots of new-borns already able to run as fast as Mum. We stayed at Kateyana (Site 1) campsite again, it’s central and adequate facilities.

The drive from Kasabushi Camp to Mongu takes six hours and we broke our journey at Liseli Lodge, expanding all the time and a smart pool area now. From Mongu we headed west to Kalabo over the Barotse Plains and Upper Zambezi on the impressive King Limbosi Imwiko Bridge. After checking in at the African Parks office with Mimi it’s a short pull across on the pontoon with tyres already deflated ready for the hectic sand. Great memories of our last visit in 2019 with Kim and Vic and new ones with Harry and Geke. Definitely a park to drive and share with friends.

We’ve been sailing.

A quiet year has allowed us the time to do many jobs around camp, they never end! Our attention to detail, high standards of maintenance and expert craftmanship are very much appreciated and respected by all campers and lodge guests.

This week it was the Round House roof that had a make-over. The sixteen canvas ‘sails’ and their steel frames needed painting due to constant sun exposure and before the onset of this rainy season. Each sail had to be unbolted at the central rim, carefully lowered down by rope before the painting could be started. It took four of us to lift each one back into place on the gum pole frame with Andy hoisting them up from the top of the roof. A week of hard work in hot sun and the result is stunning.

Guests marvel at the technicalities of the roof construction and the gum pole design beneath that complements it. It has gained the respect of many architects and designers over the years for it’s modern style but also the fact that it is sympathetic to its surroundings.

The Round House is now protected for a few more years and we very much look forward to guests enjoying themselves under it. On to the next job…….

River of love.

River of love.

We are so lucky to enjoy the freedom we have here in Zambia at the moment. The river here is getting prettier every day and we love the reaction of guests when they realise just how stunning this stretch of Kafue is.  The winter has been warm so far and we are enjoying beautiful sunny days with stunning African sunrises and sunsets.  We are thinking of everyone that was due here this year and very much hope they will get to enjoy Zambia, Kafue, Kasabushi and us in 2021 if not before.  The natural world continues as it always has done and is there waiting to be enjoyed.

GBD in Central Kafue.

GBD in Central Kafue.

 

Kasabushi will be part of the 2020 Global Big Day on Saturday 9 May.  James Duncan-Anderson, one of Zambia’s top eBirders, will be recording the number of species seen in and around camp and from the river.

Last year Zambia’s eBirders observed 330 species as part of the 35,209 eBirders from 174 countries that collected an astounding 92,284 checklists in a single day.  Join us on Global Big Day to make 2020 the year that surpasses 100,000 checklists of birds in one day and help eBird set a new checklist record.

James and Andy will be sharing their knowledge with campers on boat trips and walks next weekend as well as taking part in the bird count.

Here in Zambia we are lucky to have the freedom to travel and all our recent campers have loved their time in the bush.  We never over-crowd our campsite so everyone enjoys space and peace by the river and our ablutions are kept spotlessly clean.

If you can’t get out to us then why not sign up with eBird and support the bird count in your local area.

Please email us to book space or look at our website for more information, no tweets though sorry :).

 

 

Escape into the natural world.

Escape into the natural world.

The one significant change over the last few months for the wildlife in Kafue is that the rains came and the park is now green and lush.  The Kafue River has been high for the last month or so (no flooding luckily) and just started to drop but our plunge pool is still under water.  The rains in Zambia have been good and Victoria Falls is flowing at a rate not seen since the 70s.

Wet season sightings have been great with plenty of lions on the Spinal Road.  We’ve heard both leopard and lion most nights and our hippos are always there to keep us company.  Last week we enjoyed seeing an African Wild Cat on a night drive.

Kasabushi Camp and campsite are looking smarter than ever after recent renovations and the work will continue while we are quiet in camp.  We are enjoying the freedom to explore the park and river and watch the wildlife in solitude.  With no lockdown in Zambia at the moment we are enjoying the company of a few campers and hoping for a busy Easter weekend in the lodge too.

We are thinking of all our followers around the world and hoping every one keeps well.  The outside world has changed but life in the bush will continue.  Enjoy this escape into the wild with these great photos of the Kafue wildlife taken by guests Jon and Raina last September.

 

 

 

Home from home in Lusaka.

Many campers and guests need to stop-over in Lusaka for shopping, vehicle repairs, visas etc.  We recommend GH Campsite and Rooms for a friendly home from home stay.  Harry and Geke are wonderful hosts and have years of experience self-driving Zambia and around Africa.  They (and their dogs) love sharing their home with old and new friends, just like we do at Kasabushi.