May 5, 2022
The river bank can fall away, and adjacent camps have to be re-positioned for the new safari season. To get things ready in time for the guests’ arrival often involves extremely demanding logistical feats and highly organised team work.
This January in Malawi cyclone Ana swept through Majete wildlife reserve, swallowing up Mkulumadzi Lodge’s pool, restaurant and footbridge and spitting out bits and pieces kilometres downstream.
Further heavy downpours continued sporadically until mid March when the roads were finally dry enough to allow teams of workers to start a rebuild. Trucks still got stuck, making it a serious challenge to refurbish the lodge in the three-week window available. To make matters even worse a lion took up residence near the main water tanks — something the team of welders hired in from Blantyre were not overjoyed about!
On April 8th Mkulumadzi Lodge opened: while guests were having tea on the new restaurant deck, Tobias, the smallest member of the team, was fastening bolts underneath the floor.
Sometimes when you are enjoying the special hospitality that a safari lodge gives you it is worth remembering the resilience of the work force and the hard graft that goes on behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, in the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana, an area not known for huge numbers of beasts, the guides have had an easy time of it, as these welcome rains have produced an abundance of zebra and wildebeest with attendant predators following.
Kalahari lions and cheetahs are normal here, but now there are leopards and wild dogs in good numbers as well. The evenings have seen extraordinary lightning shows, just to give an added drama to a stay at Jack’s camp right on the edge of these pans.
Right now these herds are moving across to the Boteti river in what is almost the longest animal mammal migration in Africa. The size of this migration used to rival that of the Serengeti — before humanity got in the way, putting up veterinary fences to protect beef production in the 1950s.
Now, with tireless conservation work by safari companies such as Natural Selection and others, the fences are coming down and the herds are finding their old routes once more.
This is always in the endless quest for the most nutrient-rich grazing sites, which are to be found on the pans in central-north Botswana. There is lots more rich grass in the Okavango delta, but here the nutrients allow them to have even more young.
You never know what Africa might unveil for you next.
Thinking about a holiday?
Call Miles on 0207 723 5858
NB prices shown were current at the time of writing the newsletter and are not necessarily current now.
Please ask for an updated quote.
- A Sense of Place – A favourite place: Tanzania and Ruaha
- A Sense of Place – A favourite place in Botswana: the Okavango with elephants galore
- A Sense of Place – Here be dragons and a dark past
- A Sense of Place – Justice Regained
- A Sense of Place – Summer rains make the roads impassable
- A Sense of Place – ‘Those two ladies put light in my future.’
- A Sense of Place – The bird who lost its nest
- A Sense of Place – Talking with the Maasai
- Newsflash: first American guests to Tanzania since March 2020
- A Sense of Place – AFRICA NEEDS YOU
- Escape to Italy?
- Covid: the road still to be travelled.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 3): Tiger reserves.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 2): Khajuraho.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 1): Lucknow.
- A Sense of Place – Engaged people may save the planet
- A word on lions and a trio of treats
- A Sense of Place – India’s most holy city
- A wealth of wilderness walks in Namibia
- Travel snippets from Miles
- A trio of treats on the green island of Pemba in the Zanzibar archipelago
- A Sense of Place – THE INSIDE TRACK on Cape Town guiding
- A Sense of Place – Migrations of people and beasts: East Africa
- A Sense of Place – An era of revolution and global alliances
- A Sense of Place – A walk on the wild side
- A Sense of Place – The ghost ingredient is back
- A Sense of Place – Liuwa Plains and Kafue National Parks – Zambia
- A Sense of Place – Literati in the Pink City, the Capital of Rajasthan
- A Sense of Place – A Tamil town still connected to Europe, Art Deco architecture, and temple antiquity in Southern India.
- A Sense of Place – Dreamy aquamarine sea and stunning safari with the Makuleke people
- A Sense of Place – A trio of lovely ladies in Hyderabad
- A Sense of Place – Entamanu, the wishing tree and walking with the Hadza tribe.
- We get you to places that others don’t… St Helena, Gt Zimbabwe ruins and Papua new Guinea
- A Sense of Place – Walking in the hippie hills of the Himalayas
- A Sense of Place – The Okavango: the river that never finds the sea
- A Sense of Place – The Great Rift Valley, Laikipia, Samburu warriors and Maasai Olympics.
- A Sense of Place – Escape the world in the Namib Desert
- Africa is a massive continent: a collection of 55 countries
- A Sense of Place – Zambezi Watery Wilderness
- A Sense of Place – Burma: the road beyond Mandalay
- Lake Malawi – Would you rather pay for the advertising or the experience?
- From shoe-shine boy to tourist guide in Ethiopia
- A Sense of Place – Ladakh, the Himalayas
- Dhow sailing, Lions are back in Malawi, Self-drive in Namibia
- Sacred rivers and forts, India
- Piranhas, sting rays, caimans – and still people go into the River Negro!
- Kerala, Southern India – God’s own country
- South Africa: Crucible of the rainbow nation
- Madagascar: croissants and lemurs
- Argentina vs Africa on wildlife drama
- Uganda – Gorillas and Gardens
- Mozambique & Kenya: immigration official on holiday
- Mozambique: Gorongosa and reconciliation in the bush
- Zimbabwe is ready for Tourists again
- Serengeti ecosystem and unbeatable savannah
- Lamu: crab complaining
- Kenya: circumcision
- Zambia: Ellie rescue
- Africans: always smiling
- French sketch
- Kenya: the best hosts
- First visit to Africa 1986
- Namibia, Namib Rand, Skeleton Coast and the ultimate flying safari
- A few gems off the beaten track: Fanjove Island, Tanzania; The Singular Hotel, Patagonia and Isla Palenque, Panama.
- Elephant relocation, quad bike expedition and new Sossusvlei reserve
- Templed out in Tamil Nadu and elephant refuge in Jaipur
- Kenyan sanctuary and family run camp in Zambia
- Australia: Arkaba, Tasmania and Lord Howe Island
- Australia: in the outback and off the beaten track
- India: heavenly Himalayan hideaways, Botswana: fun safari for children and Argentina: hidden homestay in a mountain desert
- Limpopo retreat, Serengeti spectacle and adventure on the Zambezi
- Value for money in Kenya and the trail less travelled in Peru
- Lions in danger, free nights and a new coastal gem
- G and T on demand, hidden beach, micro-light and sleeping on a dam
- Off the beaten track