Sunday, August 25, 2013

Out in the sticks

This lodge is all about the wilderness we live in.Dining, dipping in the pool, relaxing in your room and nodding off after a day of bush adventures are all accompanied by a breathtaking vista of the mighty Rufiji river.
We could hear the sawing call of a leopard as he made his way past camp last night, the grunting of hippos and the whooping of hyenas are a nightly chorus during dinner. We were sitting up in bed excited about lasts nights leopard performance, as you can imagine, our guests were buzzing this morning! Sounds pretty wild hey??

Believe it or not we can trump it……..try this on for size.
You leave the lodge in the late afternoon on one of our open game-viewers. Once the temperature has cooled a little you hop off the car with your guide and strike out on foot.

Rounding a bend to come across our home away from home for the night. A fly camp is light weight with minimal impact on the environment it is set in – we literally put it up and take it down for each group, moving around our own carefully chosen sites throughout the season.

We’ve arrived for the sunset and it’s high time for a Gin and Tonic, ice cubes in the glass of course as there are certain ceremonies that need standing on, even out here. As darkness falls the camp fire we’re gathered around becomes a focal point, guests begin to whisper as the sounds around us spur on active imaginations.

Several people jump when Francis (our waiter) calls us to the table for dinner. Three courses under the stars… decedent.

Our tents shield you from the insects without obstructing the night sky – there are few places left in the world with such little light pollution and a clear night sky here is nothing short of breathtaking.

The first light brings birdsong and fresh brewed coffee – we head out on a morning walk with Hamadi to explore the surroundings we slept in, checking the tracks to find out exactly what those noises were last night. In his 23rd year as a ranger/scout Hamadi is a legend in the bush, it’s really a pleasure to follow him.

Fly camping may not be for everyone, it is an option we arrange for those interested. If you have the slightest inkling this may be for you, if you’re looking for adventure and a story you can dine out on for years to come then trust us – this is the real deal.                                                                                   We love it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

“Although the hippopotamus has no sting, a wise man would prefer to be sat upon by the bee”

Our massive amphibious friends have been keeping us well entertained of late. Cavorting in the channel in front of our breakfast deck, chasing each other across the sand bar, some romance and even a birth have been viewed by our guides and guests.

These three must have seen Jana and her camera coming….

“Here she is ….get ready”

“wait for it…….”

“Strike a pose!”

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A soft spot for Elephants

..............You must have a favorite though…what is it?

Despite a noble speech about the fascinating diversity of this place and the pleasure of watching a year pass by - caught up in nature’s dynamics I predictably arrive at the same old confession:

“I’m really here for the Elephants”

The table was being set up for dinner on the deck while our guests enjoyed afternoon tea before their activities. Lazaro pipes up at a shadow on the horizon (One of the guides, Laz has crazy eyesight - if he spotted a tourist on the horizon he’d tell you what brand of binoculars he/she is sporting).

Sure enough squinting through our own Bino’s (annoyingly Laz isn’t using any) we were treated to this distant elephant sighting. It looked to be quite a sizable herd mulling around on the northern bank of the river when to our surprise they crossed!

The boats were already prepped to go so we dropped the tea and dashed out to view them from the water. Elephants are wonderful subject matter for a guide, always busy with something (a lot of eating) and- being so large and visual in their interactions with each other - they keep us captivated.

In this vast setting you can’t help but marvel at their resilience. They can manage in deserts and forests from the coast to the highlands. Vulnerable as they are, left alone in this habitat they are able to thrive -and it is tough out here. We’re unlikely to see rain for another four months and the salad on offer is already looking pretty sparse, the elephants can move massive distances seeking the best food supply available.

That was the magic of this sighting – they just crossed our path and we were lucky enough to see them. Totally on their own mission, without manmade water holes or food supplements, we hold no sway over the pathways they choose and can only watch dumbfounded when, massive as they are, they decide to vanish into the colossal space they call home.