Saturday, 12 March 2016

Our arrival

Well, we arrived in Lusaka on the 29th Feb only to discover one of Karens' bags had not made the journey with us. at least we wen't alone! At least 40 other passengers had the same problem. On the bright side, this did give us our first opportunity to experience form filling and bureaucracy in Zambia; initially, not too bad.
The bag was found the following day and all ended well, for us anyway. We later learned that the flight on the previous day had arrived with the sum total of 5, yes 5, bags only! I can only imagine the chaos!
We manged to get our work permits for the next two years sorted out in record time, again seeing the good side of Zambian government wheels at work. Unlike the young SA lady in the que behind us, who after throwing a complete tantrum and being escorted out by her other half, will probably just never have her paperwork found again. Steep learning curve!
And so it was that we departed by car from Lusaka to a small camp called Gwabi on the banks of the Kafue River. We joined several of the staff members traveling with us on the boat to camp and set off again to camp.
The boat trip was uneventful, except for several sightings of elephant, some buffalo and, must to our surprise two young lions on one of the larger islands in the Zambezi River. Not a bad start.
We were welcomed into camp by three elephant bulls feeding outside the camp.

The day was spent offloading goods for camp and a tour. Lots to learn in a short time!
The following morning we were off again, via the boat to our camp, another hour and a half downstream.
We arrived mid-morning. Off-load and into camp inspection almost immediately. so much needs doing!
We had lost two of the tents due to erosion of the river bank during the rainy season and the needed to be rebuilt. Two of the store roofs had serious structural problems and needed fixing. Tents need repairs and paint.
It was going to be a rush to get everything done before guests arrive before the end of April...