So our camp opening was a bit more thorough than in 2022 when we got stranded in Paris by a missing passport and then Covid… A long story. This year everything went according to plan and we were back in good time to spend almost three weeks getting everything ship shape. But we won’t bore you with pictures of slashing grass and painting. What was far more exciting was that we did a Guides “pre-season warm-up” at Kaingu with our own team of five as well as others from our friends and neighbours at Classic Zambia and Northern Kafue Safaris and the Zambia Safari Company.

The training was excellent and great fun. We leaned on each other and everyone did talks on their areas of speciality. Gilmour did some mammoth sessions on 4×4 systems – how they work and their use, photography (as well as lots of practical sessions) and astronomy.

We have also been joined this year by a lot of new staff. Maternity leaves of absence have taken their toll, and our mechanic Mike has moved on after many years. But our new addition Sam brings a level of professionalism and attention to detail that we are very pleased with.

We also got our mini bush football field slashed and worked on a bit and then the night before our official opening saw a big match take place.

Then the following day it was all systems go. The first guests of season 2023. And we were absolutely delighted that our new uniforms arrived literally just in time. Thankfully, because being completely honest our last supply was pre-covid and some of us were looking a little bit ragged. Not any more:

Chef Wina of course going the extra mile for the shot…. Our very own outdoor influencer. Chef Wina. As you know, he is constantly plugged into the fast paced and ever changing outdoor social media landscape. He doesn’t just know the Instagram zeitgeist – he creates it! From running the rapids in a canoe while wearing a chef’s toque to posing on the river with his patented anchored sun dried tomatoes. He receives daily offers from Yeti, Patagonia and other cutting edge outdoor goods and apparel companies to be their brand ambassador. Here he defines the new Zambian glam bushcraft outdoor cooking aesthetic by cooking prime aged grass fed Zambian beef while using a lantern! Not just any old lantern either. Certainly not one of those green or blue Chinese clones from Builder’s Warehouse. No, an actual genuine Deitz No10 pattern:

Then on a short three day gap between groups we also did a first aid refresher course for guides and management. As we also had a last minute booking (fortunately just a couple, so the training could still go ahead), the training location was the rather nice deck of No4:

Although it is early in the season the sightings have been good. The loops were still wet in April (not surprisingly), but sightings on the all weather “spinal road” have been super. A real highlight was this one of wild dogs where Julia and I were able to jump in the car and head up to join guides Kebby and Israel on the sighting. And get some shots with dogs and Kaingu vehicles – very important!

And then we end the newsletter with some pictures from the first guests of 2023. The entertaining “last night” with Benny’s band as well as Mpamba rock.

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