Wildlife Camp; Here We Come
Oct 13, 2011
|Patrick our tour guide picked us up at 7:30 from the Korea Garden Lodge to drive us to the Wildlife Camp in Zambia. We paid him the remaining money in US and Euros.
The scenery is unlike Uganda. Everything looks parched and each village is unique. There is no evidence of advertising for air time or anything on the buildings. As we go farther west towards the Zambian border villages go from brick buildings to mud huts. Now this looks more like Africa. The road is paved to the border.
The border crossing was not busy at all. Filling out the required forms and getting our passports stamped to exit Malawi went smoothly. A short walk to the Zambia side, a few more forms, a fee of $50US each for the visa , and proof of yellow fever vaccination got us through. Now we just waited for Patrick to clear the vehicle.
First thing Patrick did when we arrived in Chipata, Zambia is to get fuel. There had been no fuel at any gas station on our way through Malawi. We stopped for a bite of lunch on the road in the middle of no where. Hot!
On the road again with foothills in view. Still everything is very dry. Many locals are working extremely hard riding their bikes uphill stacked high with firewood, huge bags of charcoal, water containers, grasses, or other heavy objects. I think about the times I decide that I can't ride my bike to school because I have too many books. What a big baby I am!
The road quickly deteriorates. Patrick is basically driving on a dusty cart path which is what it is like the rest of the way to the National Park. Lots of road construction so someday this will be paved.
Mfuwe is The small town just before the park gates. Many people stay here as it is cheaper than staying in the Park. We turn left at the edge of town to the Wildlife Camp area. At the camp we meet Conrad who is from South Africa. He has worked and lived here for two years and explains the rules of the camp and how the next few days will run. For our safety we are told that safari trucks will pick us up from our tent area to take us to and from the restaurant any time it is dark. DO NOT WALK! There are wild animals that roam through camp all the time so even in daylight we are to be very aware.
Our tent has to beds and an en suite! The toilet and shower area are open to the sky and surrounded by tall dry reeds as a fence. Very cute! We have been given a padlock to Locke the zippers of our tent while we are away. Apparently the baboons and monkeys know how to open the zippers so no food in our tent! Clever! It is just like camping in bear country in a way. Our tent has a small covered patio with two chairs and a table overlooking the Luangwa River which is pretty much a dust bowl at this time of year. This makes it easy to spot wildlife though as they all come to the small water holes that are left until the rains come next month.
From the small swimming pool and bar area a short walk from our tent, we can sit and watch with our binoculars and cameras to admire the scenery. Hippos, elephants, baboons, monkeys, squirrels, and varieties of birds are numerous here. It is such a peaceful setting!
Conrad tells us that he will organize our first walking safari tomorrow morning for 6am. We will be ready.