It’s early, and they seem to have worked out most of the kinks in our requested walk. All of our companions at Chindeni were departing, and getting guests on to their next destination is a logistical pretzel. We could walk to Chamilandu, but our chalet would not be ready, as we would be overlapping brunch with the guests currently there. No problem – we’re still on vacation.
We drove a few kilometers before we start walking – I’m not sure what hazards prevented us from walking the entire distance, but it was nice to approach on foot, and to walk with a destination. Arriving a little early, we sat out on the sand on top of the riverbank, enjoying cold drinks and the view. Brunch was served at the camp’s hide – a spectacular braai and accompanying salads prepared by Chef George.
After a short wait in the lounge area, we moved into our open chalet. With walls on three sides and the front open to the river in the sleeping area, the bathroom was open to the sky, with an outdoor shower and just enough walls to give us privacy. I missed the hammocks at Chindeni, but the open air was better than the somewhat stuffy tent. Perched on the Luangwa River bank, and up in the canopy of the surrounding trees, this place was perfect!
Our escorts for our evening game drive were our guide Gilbert, ZAWA scout David, and teabearer Mulengwe. While a ZAWA scout is not required for the evening drives, David opted to join us rather than hang around the camp. Gilbert seemed to have a specific sundowner spot in mind, but as we approached, we saw that another group had snagged the spot. Gilbert turned the vehicle to head down river when he suddenly spotted a Pels Fishing Owl. Generally a rare bird to spot, some people make many trips and never see one. And we saw this one just because we were bumped out of a sundowner spot – very cool! We also caught up with a hyena that settled down to crunch on some leftover bone. Back at camp, George whipped up another great dinner, and we capped off the day catching moths to feed the tree frogs that had taken up residence in our bathroom sinks.