Kilimanjaro campsite, Ride Kenya Amboseli

October 2010 Newsletter, Woodbridge Safaris

Breakfast at Sindabezi

With the African sun on your back for a fortnight, who wouldn’t feel refreshed and happy? After a nostalgic return to Zimbabwe, I’m pleased to report that the resilient people there are as friendly as ever. Another safari with lots of enduring memories: hundreds of elephants quenching their thirst in the camp swimming pool, ivory silhouetted against the starlit sky as they raise their heads for another squirt of sixteen pints; or the leopard, unaware of our presence, lapping up water just forty feet away.

Devils Pool, Victoria Falls

Visiting Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side is very special. Each viewpoint has a different perspective, and being directly opposite the main flow offers plenty of photo opportunities. At this time of year you look across at the swimmers braving Devil’s Pool in Zambia. A week earlier we were the other side on Livingstone Island and had ourselves been on the very brink of the waterfall. Swimming out across the current is an amazing experience and takes you to a view like no other. From Zimbabwe it looked madness, in Zambia it was exhilarating!

White Water Rafting, Victoria Falls

As I sit in my new home-office I can still bring back the sounds and smells of the African bush. You cannot help but relax in such tranquil surroundings. Every camp you visit pampers you with mouth-watering food, ice-cold drinks and helps you choose how to spend your day: tracking fresh rhino footprints; stealthily following a lioness on foot; bird watching from a boat on the Zambezi River. But you’ll have to talk to Graham about the twenty-four rapids of white-water rafting below the Falls - I was too busy carrying out lodge/hotel inspections in Livingstone. Watching his video confirmed I that I was right to decline the opportunity!!

Elephant Herd, Hwange

We still have the builders around completing the last few jobs on our new house. These include adjustments to the borehole, a feature we have in common with the waterholes of Hwange National Park! Campfire conversations about borehole performance, depth, pumping options etc. are suddenly much more meaningful. The award for the best hosted dinner on our safari goes to Dudley at Somalisa in Hwange: he had the whole table captivated and in tears (with laughter). Private dining is OK for a special occasion, but eating together is much more fun and learning about “the gorge swing” means I don’t have to do it myself – thanks Paul!

Volter

On a sadder note, some of you will already be aware that I recently lost my horse, Volter, when he fractured his leg in a freak accident. This happened within a week of us moving so he never lived in the home that we had built for his retirement. He was so special to me and won’t ever be forgotten. Being positive and moving forwards, I now have more hours available each day for advising clients new and old on their very own special safaris. So I hope my days are filled with designing itineraries for next year – otherwise I’ll be out digging and levelling soil in what will one day be our garden!