Day 295, Thursday 25 October 2012, Wildlife Camp, Sth Luangwa, Zambia
I (and I was not alone in this) had a terrible nights sleep – for the early part of the night the heat coming up out of the hard rocky ground made it very uncomfortable and I was hot for hours. As the heat abated the mossie invasion arrived and we had to spray the tent in the middle of the night.
It was another early morning, up at 5:20 for the second half of the long drive to South Luangwa Park. We left at 6;00 Am again and stopped for a roadside breakfast on the way.
The countryside is quite attractive through here, in a flat, dry African way. We pass through lots of villages and get waved at by almost every child as we do. Due to a lack of electricity in most of the villages cooking is done on open fires so there are very few trees.
We stopped in the town of Chipata to visit the supermarket and then headed off on the final run to Wildlife Camp on the side of the Luangwa river and our home for two nights. The road from Chipata to the camp is not particularly long but it is rough, most of the entire length is being reconstructed and we spent three hours on a very rough temporary dirt road. We passed through many villages but there is less waving and far more begging from the children – and some of the adults. Apparently in the past overlanders have given sweets to the children and they have started to develop a begging culture here, a real shame. One offended lad threw a stone at the truck as we did not hand anything out.
The campsite is right on the side of the Luangwa river and is unfenced all around. In the dry season – like now, elephants and other wildlife have been known to stroll through the camp to get to the river for water. There is a ton of elephant damage outside the camp so they have been through recently. When we got off the truck we were given a safety briefing by the camp manager and told what to do if animals do come through – stay in the tent and don’t shine your torch in their eyes!
Sunset over the Luangwa River.
A number of the group have elected to do an optional extra night drive, we have an included one tomorrow night so I stayed behind and helped pitch all the tents and do a massive load of dishes as it was my turn and I wanted to break its back before dinner. After that it was a dip in the green pool and a couple of beers before dinner and a couple more and time getting to know some of the newbies after.