Sunday, 19 December 2010

Santa's Coming!

6 days till Christmas? Really? We'd love to hear what you're all wishing for this year!
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

End of Season 2010 - A final say from the Lodge Manager

“Well, we have come to the end of yet another wonderful and memorable season here at LWL. I must say we have had a much improved season in comparison to last year so a big thanks to all who visited us. I do hope many of you keep in touch and that we will see you again in years to come. There have been some unforgettable moments such as guests turning up after cycling to us on push bikes! Jörg Völlm, bringing another group of wonderful guests to us, including our oldest visitor, Margaret. We have been able to welcome our largest number of Spanish and Swiss guests since the lodge has opened. We have had famous authors drop in and tell us a tale or two. We must extend a big thank you to our sponsors and directors who visited and supported us this year and lastly, I would like to acknowledge the self drivers and guided tours that passed by our campsite this year. We have had some real adventurers travelling through and it is always great to hear their stories.
So as I watch as the lodge is being packed away ready for the rains I would like to reflect on a special moment I wish to share with you all.
As many of you know this is my second full season here and I have been unlucky in spotting a full grown male lion here. There have been several times guests have returned from game activities telling me of a big male on the plains or a proud lion crossing the road with his pride in tow, however, up until recently I had never seen one.
It was the 24th October, Zambian Independence day and myself and the other managers were preparing a special supper to celebrate such a day. We were all chatting away contently when we were disturbed by some aggravated barking from baboons. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as they often announce the arrival of our resident male leopard, however, on this occasion, they were really “shouting”. A few moments later we were silenced by the unmistakable call of a male lion, just meters away from us in the thicket. We carefully and silently climbed on the kitchen surfaces looking for him….but….nothing. Then, he called again, this time closer still until the amazing creature emerged from the bushes in the car park just 20 meters or so from where we were stood. He stared at us for a while and then as calmly as he arrived he swaggered off. With a tear in my eye I realised that instead of me having to go out in search of my male lion, he had come to me instead!! What an incredible moment.
So from myself, Bjorn, Joe and Josie we wish all the Europeans a good winter and all the Zambian’s a good rainy season and harvest. We look forward to the season to come and see you all again some time!”

Thursday, 30 September 2010

A big thank you to our most dedicated sponsor

This season we were happy to welcome back Charlene and Fabrice from Touroparc, France. This is their second visit to the project and we are grateful for their active and generous financial support of our conservation activities and protecting Luambe`s wildlife. Not only have they helped to expand our clubs this year by offering them the chance to sell some of their products in Europe, but this time they also brought with them donations in the form of children’s clothing and sun hats. We are happy to report that we have donated these items to a local orphan group run by a village church. The hats are so needed to protect the youngsters eyes from the extremely strong sun and the clothes will come in use when the cooler weather comes after the rains. These donations have given the orphans something to get excited about and they were very grateful on receiving the items. So from the orphans and all us on the ground out here, we say a big THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Winner of the name the leopard competition

A huge thank you to all of you who entered the competition with potential names for our resident male leopard, we had some fantastic suggestions. We are pleased to announce that the winning name, chosen by the Directors and the managers here at Luangwa Wilderness Lodge is Chinshingwa. The name was suggested by Chris Swart who chose the name after stating “I feel an ideal name would be " Chinshingwa " meaning shadow in Bemba, You always know it is there and will always be wary of it subconsciously. It disappears as soon as the sun goes down and comes out with artificial light.” Thanks and well done to you Chris

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Conservation Corner

The new Lapa at Luangwa Wilderness Lodge has proved to be a success with many guests appreciating the hard work that went in to designing and constructing the lapa. One feature that is also commented upon is Conservation Corner, where various items created by the local clubs and skilled local workers are displayed for sale. All of the items for sale are crafted by local residents, items such as woven baskets, local, Zambian style bottle openers, key rings and beaded doylies, made by the women’s club. Conservation Corner plays an important part in the overall conservation project here at Luangwa Wilderness Lodge, giving local workers an incentive to put their skills to good use and create items that can be sold to guests. We have recently received more items to display in the form of mini boats, modelled on the style of the boats used by local fishermen, and decorated egg cups. The most popular items this season have been the bottle openers, popular no doubt for their unique style and effectiveness, the Zambian style bottle opener is one item that no guest should be without!
We would like to extend a huge thank you to those guests that have purchased items from Conservation corner this season, all the proceeds have gone towards ensuring that the local clubs can continue to produce the traditional style items that we have for sale and continue to produce these items in the future. We hope to receive many more interesting and unique items in the near future.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Expansion of Hippo Pods

As the dry season begins to set in and the rivers slowly start to dry up here in Luambe, we have noticed a surge in the number of hippo pods slowly positioning themselves further down the river, in front of the lodge. When the season began we were fortunate to have two small pods that set up home in front of the lodge and many days were spent watching these pods interact and wallow in the river, and on the plus side the noise was kept to a minimum. Now that the more significant areas of the river have started to become shallow, we have found that the numerous pods have made a bee line for the stretch of river by Luangwa Wilderness Lodge, as the water stays relatively deep, well, deep enough to satisfy a hippo in any case. Each pod has grown in size and more pods have begun to relocate themselves in front of the lodge, which has ensured some very interesting viewing, with daily fights amongst the larger males and mothers carrying babies on their backs. You can always rely on the hippos to keep you entertained.
With the increase in numbers there has also been an increase in the noise levels, still, this is more of a joy rather than a burden. The hippos here in Luambe just love to communicate with each other! Even with this increase we are pleased to report that we have not had an increase in the number of midnight visitors to the lodge, there is of course one persistent hippo that finds the grass outside the manager’s houses irresistible, and frequently pays us a visit at 4am to graze. He is, however, the only hippo brave enough to face the manager’s wrath when we are woken at such an unsociable hour.

Friday, 10 September 2010


This season, Luangwa Wilderness Lodge was pleased to welcome whom we believe to be our most prestigious guest to the lodge so far. Margaret Hoz who is 88 years old visited us at the beginning of this month as part of a larger group from Switzerland. Margaret was a joy to welcome and was full of enthusiasm for the landscape and animals, taking part in all of the game drive and bush brunch activities. A skilled potter and artist, Margaret demonstrated her talents by creating a beautiful water painting of elephants in one morning. We were all overwhelmed by Margaret’s zest for life and hope that when we reach 88 years old, we will still be visiting Africa and leading an active and energetic life such as Margaret is.