Office Africa – December 2017
There is a perfume that lingers in the air when rain arrives in the South Luangwa. Raindrops fall, filling the Luangwa River, giving life back to the dry earth, land that was once barren is so quick to be reborn, gemming with new shoots. The black cotton soil draws in every single drop of the first storms that arrive; its unique musky smell is that of rain in Africa. It embraces us all, cooling the temperatures and clearing the air of dust. Such an incredible thing it was to live the last days of the 2017 season in our camps.
Both Kaingo and Mwamba closed with a very wet finale, never unexcepted but always a surprise. The rainstorms were well received by our final guests; as they glimpsed a land so drastically changed and enjoyed milder temperatures on their last days with us this season. We all enjoyed watching how the animals gained energy from the rains, as we felt electric from them ourselves.
There is nothing quite like rain in Africa; everything is joyous to receive it, from the puku to the blade of grass, the land blossoms with hope for the future young that are to come. The impala nurseries and warthog piglets, as well as the booming numbers of young buffalo, giraffe and elephant calves, all, have a stronger chance of survival now that the rains have arrived, life has come.
This season has left us in awe of the incredible game we have witnessed; from start to finish we’ve been gifted rare wildlife moments. From the privilege of having both Hyena and Wild Dog dens close to our camps; with an endless supply of big-eared and small pawed bursts of energy and laughter for all of us to watch. We’re delighted that the pack had successfully kept five pups alive at the start of the rains, we very much hope to find all of them fighting fit when we return in April.
To the shifting territories of our big cats; with the Hollywood Pride slowly banished from their common land, the Kaingo-Mwamba Pride ever increasing in numbers, and the Kapanda-Mwamba Pride welcoming back dominant males that we had thought to have lost. The endless supply of animal drama and the complexities of the changes in territories has been exceptional to study and observe. Do go through our links below to some of the incredible wildlife moments that we had the chance to witness this 2017 season.
“To experience wild Zambia at its best I urge you to stay at Kaingo and Mwamba with Shenton Safaris. Their hides put you at the heart of the action and their guides know Luangwa like the back of their hand.”
Britain’s foremost writer on wildlife and safaris.
Closing Kaingo’s 25th Season
We’ve received such excellent feedback of our refurbishment at Kaingo, and the soft refurb we did at Mwamba. All the hard work done over the offseason paid off, and the beautiful look of both camps has been praised by both our long-time repeat guests and new faces. Thank you for your feedback, and if you have any more comments to make and share with us, we’d be delighted to hear more from you. Don’t be shy to get in touch!
An incredible year for us, refurbishing our camps on Kaingo’s 25 year anniversary gave Derek & Jules the opportunity to look in depth into what makes our way of “safari-ing” so unique, and built on this. Their passion and love for their camps resonated with us all, bonding us firmly to the Shenton Safaris Family and our unique way of living a Safari experience. With this bond, I’m delighted to share with you that our same management team will be in camp for the 2018 season; we all look forward to greeting you in Kaingo and Mwamba.
Now with the camps closed, our Shenton Safaris Family are all delighted to be back with their respective families, and at the end of this exceptional 2017 season, we find ourselves split across the globe. We head towards the Seasonal Festivities; Derek, Jules, Saphire and Jayabella will be enjoying a family gathering with Marianne and Derek’s siblings in Lusaka. Patrick, Andrew, Yoram and Hendrix, and the majority of our team will be in Mfuwe with their respective families. Sly will be in Chipata, others of the group are back in Lusaka. Craig and Lyndie enjoyed time in Namibia and will be in Cape Town with their family. Gerard will be again in Ndola with his partner Julie and his beloved dogs for the holidays. Catherine is with her family in Port Elizabeth for the holidays.
After an intense training session in Lusaka at the Shenton home, Loraine has joined the “office” side of Shenton Safaris and will be working on the reservations desk with myself. Both Loraine and I will, of course, be working remotely! Ready to receive and respond to any of your emails! Do not fret, we will, however, be enjoying our big Christmas lunches and dinners! Loraine will be with her family in Pretoria, while I will be in Udine.
I always look back on every season enamoured with that which has passed, incredulous that I can fall in love, again and again, each time more so with the beautiful paradise I am blessed to call home. It has been a year of changes, of growth and evolution, and of emotions. 25 years of unforgettable wildlife experiences, 25 years of Kaingo, 25 years of the Camp of the Leopard.
Having had the privilege to witness almost 20 of these years, from the innocent eyes of a child, to where I am now, every day more proud of the incredible place my heart calls home. I look forward to sharing more with you all in the New Year; in the meantime. I wish you all seasonal greetings, and may you end the year with a bang! I hope to see you in 2018 in one of our camps.
Farewell Old Friend
On this note of Seasonal Greetings; a sad tinge hits our hearts. Many of you know Masauso Zimba, one of the longest standing members of the Shenton Safaris family. He fell ill at the beginning of the season. Heartbreakingly, on closing day as we travelled back to Mfuwe, we received news of his passing. Zimba was an extraordinary bush gentleman; his ancestors had lived on the land close to Mwamba. His infectious smile, lovely demeanour, and life stories will be sorely missed by all of us.
For those of you that have had the privilege of meeting him, we hope that you keep the memories you have of him and his tales close to your heart. For all of you and Zimba, we share this last video that we filmed in 2016 of Zimba and his campfire stories. When we fall asleep, we will dream of waking once more to hear the rhythm of your drum beat. Zimba, salani bwino, and until next time old friend.
The Safari Awards
Thank you to all of you that voted for us in the Safari Awards! These awards have a vast reach across the globe, with roughly 15,000 votes last year! Properties across African are voted for in several categories. We are delighted to share that Shenton Safaris received the following awards:
Kaingo – Best Walking Safari in Zambia, 3rd place.
- Kaingo – Best Safari Guiding Team in Zambia, Runner Up.
- Kaingo – Best Location in Zambia, Runner Up.
- Mwamba – Best Walking Safari in Zambia, 3rd place.
- Mwamba – Best Guiding Team in Zambia 2018, Runner Up.
Mwamba – Best Location in Zambia 2018 Runner Up.
Art for Conservation
We are delighted to share with you, that as of 2018 we will be launching ‘Art for Conservation’. This project is the birth child of Juliet Shenton; where we will be collaborating with local artists to sell their imagery, donating 20% of the proceeds to the Conservation or Community project of our guests’ choice. Stay tuned to learn more about how to buy your dream piece of art and support our local conservation and community projects at the same time!
*Images of Francois D’Elbee