Day 375 - 381 : Mukambi Safari Lodge

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We spent the rest of the day moping around until Tyrone buzzed over to us and suggested that we join the sunset game drive into Kafue National Park.  Something to take our minds off saying goodbye to Mau & Pete.  So we joined them.

It wasn't the best drive in terms of large game but we spotted numerous birds and Trevor was happy.  We had only taken 1 pair of binoculars with us and the deal that we made was that Trevor would keep the binos till we spotted a leopard and then he would pass them over to me.  Suddenly the binos were flying my way as we approached a leopard sunning itself in the setting sun on the main road!!  What luck, till now and all the way down Africa, leopard and cheetah were still evading us.  But the drought was over.  Not for long enough to take a photo, mind, because in my excitement at watching it, I had forgotten.  But what a beautiful animal, so powerful and yet so slinky at the same time.

Back at the lodge Linda and Jacques invited us to join them for supper and to meet with 2 guests staying there.  We were extremely privileged to meet Peter Moss and Ian Murphy, both trustees of the Kafue Trust managing the Kafue National Park and lovely men to boot!  Just before supper began, someone called all the guests as a lioness had just walked through the parking lot.  We quietly rushed to a game vehicle that they had prepared and jumped in to track the lioness and although we could hear them roaring close by, they had hidden themselves well and weren't to be found.  So back to the lodge for a 3 course delightful meal, good company and good wine.  Another fitting ending to a wonderful day in Africa.

We woke up on Saturday morning after a bit of a noisy night with the lions roaring to each other about 100m away from Sully in the tall grass, to welcome our new found friends into the camp aka Miss Piggy and her 2 ugly sisters a_P1000576 and the cutest warthogs we'd seen so close up!!  But as we went to the bathroom, we were a little frightened and thrilled to see how close the lions has passed us.  Check out the size of that paw print in the mud!!! a_P1000579 It was something we would love to have seen close up but.... hey ho.... go to sleep and look what you miss! Maybe next time.

After a busy day and doing pretty much.... nothing.... we wandered off to the lodge for another invited dinner with Linda, Jacques, Tyrone, Peter and Ian.  Whilst we were waiting for Peter and Ian to return from their boat safari, we sat on the deck at the lodge sipping ice cold G&Ts, topping up our quinine levels and enjoying the glorious sunset. a_P1000586 .  Another great night of good food and good company. 

The next couple of days blurred into each other as we relaxed, swung in the hammocks, read and generally got into the swing of what was our 2nd trip in Africa.  Spending time enjoying each others company, listening to the birds, animals and the sounds of Africa.

By Wednesday we we ready to do something active so after a bit of discussion with Jacques and Linda decided on a fishing trip up the Kafue River.  After all, so far, Trevor hadn't caught a single fish despite several attempts.  With the boat suitably provisioned with beer and cold drinks, rods at the ready, worms NOT caught as they had escaped the farm, steak bits prepared as bait (!!!!) and engines full of fuel, we set off for a couple of hours on the water.

Not long afterwards, the great white hunter called Trevor caught a fish!!a_P1000598 and from there all three men were reeling them in with barbel and silver barbel on the end of their hooks.  Trevor got the prize for largest number of species caught as he got a pike as well.  It managed a spectacular escape as it jumped out of Jacques hand as he was taking the hook out of it's mouth (NOT a fisherman's tale as we all witnessed it).  And Trevor won the prize for most fish on 1 line as he hooked 2 large barbel on both hooks that he had baited on a single cast.  The guides were still talking about his feat days later!  As the sun set a_P1000602 and the full moon rose a_P1000612 we made plans for a bird drive the next day before deciding that no matter how good Mukambi was, we needed to get on the road and Friday was to be D day.  Besides being my 45th birthday and the start to Linda and Jacques visit to Oz - what better place than the bright lights of Lusaka to celebrate??