It won’t be long before some river channels between the islands here become unnavigable. So, we decided to try one that we’ve never been up before while we had our Zambia ‘besties’ with us at the weekend. Sara and Sam, Harry and Geke come out to us a lot so we decided to go somewhere none of us had been before.
We navigated the narrow channel in the centre of the map.
Andy’s driving was amazing as always and with the help of our ship mates we squeezed and pulled our way through to the open river. So many laughs with Harry trying to get Sara out of his favourite spot at the bow and the American, Dutch and English nautical terms that left us all in fits and Andy unsure which way to turn the boat.
Harry demoted to the posh seats!
The rock spotting commences.
Captain Andy in control.
Sam jumps ship.
Harry back in his favourite position.
Geke happy to drink wine and enjoy the ride.
The top of the islands.
First mate takes the chair.
Sam catching flies.
No stones or rocks and I’m chillin’.
The ride home.
The stretch of river was absolutely stunning as you can see. Water-berry trees with their unique root formations formed a tree-lined tunnel that shaded the route in places and the biggest crocodile we have ever seen that was sunning itself towards the top of the channel.
We love it when we can share these experiences and laughs with friends and have some down time, even on a busy weekend.
Right or starboard.
That’s a stone.
That’s half a stone.
We’ve had a quiet few days recently so time to get some repairs and renovations done (and write a blog post!) before a hectic August.
The boiler room.
Our campsite is in its fifth season now and there is always touching-up to do be done. The donkey boiler area we call the boy’s ‘office’ was in need of a makeover. The old grass walls have now been replaced with smart gum poles and a more robust wood store. Campers often remark on the standard of Andy’s plumbing (EU standards!) and the efficiency of our boiler and the water system to the showers and loos.
Lib’s power nap.
Andy and the boys did the heavy work ramming in all the corner posts then Lib screwed the 200 poles in place (followed by 40 winks that were sneakily caught on camera).
We have continued our reputation for an exceptional attention to detail with every pole sanded and the structure built to last many years and, hopefully, withstand termite invasions.
We are all proud of the new ‘office’ and looking forward to campers appreciating the facility over the forthcoming peak season.
Another great lion sighting yesterday afternoon. Eight sub-adult cubs (four males and four females) were all chilling near the entrance to the Sishamba Loop under the shade of trees. Two had nasty cut on one leg so we assume they had been fighting or were injured on a recent kill. It’s encouraging to see so many young lion prides in the Kafue this time of year and often on the Spinal Road.
Access to the Sishamba Loop is restricted to a few kms but drying out fast now that the rains have ended. Let’s hope for lots more cat sightings throughout the Kafue as this season gets underway.
One preferred his space.
They still have their tummy spots.
So close but they did not move.
This one preferred to rest nearer the Sishamba Bridge.
When we came upon this pack on the Spinal Road, between the Luansanda and Sishamba Rivers, they were eagerly greeting the return of a few dogs that had been on a kill and covered in blood. We watched the pack fighting over a small head, all that was left of what looked like a Duiker. This would have been a snack for so many dogs and after a rest they would have been off on the hunt again.
The pack was made up of ten dogs, two with collars so known to Panthera in Kafue and our information will help with the monitoring of Wild Dog throughout the Kafue National Park.
Wild Dog have been seen quite often over the wet season and this pack in particular. Let’s hope for more this dry season.
Dogs welcomed back after a kill.
One dog walks away with the head.
The GRI Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for abandoned elephants orphaned due to poaching, human conflict and other tragic circumstances. The babies receive 24/7 care and protection from their dedicated keepers and learn to interact with other orphans after the trauma of losing their natural family. The milk-dependant orphans live at the orphanage in Lusaka until they are 2 years old when they are relocated to the release facility within the Kafue National Park.
The Kafue Release Facility is located in the southern sector of the Kafue National Park and backs onto the Ngoma Teak Forest. There are currently 12 elephants being cared for and they spend their days roaming the park, meeting the large herds of wild elephants from time to time. The hope and intention is that these orphans will be fully integrated into these herds in the next few years and enjoy a natural life within the protection of the park.
The release facility is a days excursion from Kasabushi or a short drive from Lake Itezhi-Tezhi and the perfect opportunity to see and enjoy elephants at a safe distance but up close and personal.
Baby Nkala with one of her adopted family.
Nkala making new friends in the Kafue.
Water fun in the KNP.
Many of our Lusaka based followers and some clients will have visited the Orphanage at Lilayi, Lusaka and got to know the babies cared for there. The youngsters run in with their keepers at 11.30 every day much to the delight of the viewing public. On a recent visit I heard about the latest addition to the family, 3 month old Kesewe but she was sleeping at the time so not on view, next visit I hope to meet her.
The rescue, rehabilitation and release of these orphans is totally supported by public donation.
Another special day in the story of Kasabushi. We are now the proud owners of our first game-viewing vehicle and it is already being enjoyed by campers on an evening drive.
To date most of our clients have done self-drives within the park. We can now offer drives with Andy who is our Kafue qualified guide. We also have the benefit of driving from camp at first light and until after dark because of our location with the national park.
On the drive out to the park from Lusaka this morning we were lucky to spot a pack of Wild Dog on the M9, a great start to the game-viewing this season. Lions have also been in camp the last few days and a cheetah was seen last week.
Our vehicle is a big step for us and Kasabushi and we are very much looking forward to driving the camp forward in the season ahead.
Off they go.
Wild Dogs on M9.
Our first clients off on an evening drive.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the heart of the Kafue!
Kyle and Edwina will never forget their recent stay at Kasabushi or the Kafue, he proposed on top of Lubalanzuki Hill and the answer was ‘yes’! Kyle decided during a previous visit that the hill was the perfect place to get down on one knee and they have both felt on top of the world since.
Love and a rock.
The heart of the Kafue is now blessed with two marriage proposals and has a place in the hearts of so many of our guests.
We wish Kyle and Edwina every happiness for their wedding later this year and a lifetime of love, fun and adventure.