Noooo! We don’t wanna go!! But, we’re out of reservations, and we’re expected back at our respective work desks on Monday.
Despite the extra early hour, Zhila (the camp manager) and Doc (who really runs the place) are up to make coffee and see us off. Our new friend Kelvin is behind the wheel, taking us back to Mfuwe Lodge for our airport shuttle. The two-hour and a half hour drive back to the lodge is like a scrapbook of all that we loved about this trip: the spectacular sunrise and it’s cloak of colors, fish eagles and bee eaters and yellow billed kites, zebras, warthogs, puku, kudu, impala, giraffe, water buffalo and elephants all put in an appearance. And suddenly around the corner, hanging out in a sausage tree next to the road: a leopard, looking mildly annoyed to be discovered, averting his gaze to that “you can’t see me” kind of cat-attitude.
We munch a quick breakfast at the lodge, although it is clear that they are ready to fold up as soon as we are done. We gulp down more coffee, and get loaded into a van with a chatty couple returning to the US. They are disturbing our mood, and we rudely ignore them. We are not happy or excited to be going home. We have caught that scent on the Zambian breeze and we are anxious to hold onto it as long as we can.