June 2019 Newsletter

So back in May we had the mini marathon and so June kicked off with the Kaingu 100m sprint.  As Joel (barman) had sat out the mini-marathon we had no idea that he was going to take the honours in the 100m! Anyway, before all that on the way to our super track (i.e. the road from the Tsetse control point towards the lodge) we were given a display of just how athletic Junior (kitchen porter) really is: 

Junior leap frogging right over Elephayo’s head! Unreal.

So after the (total) victory that Junior pulled off in the mini marathon and then his jump right over elephayo we were pretty much expecting him to win the sprint.  Imagine our surprise when Joel blasted past him to bring in an 11 second win.  We were amazed! That is seriously fast.  

11 seconds 100m. Seriously quick staff!

Every month we always try and fit in an astroscape session.  In case you are wondering, astroscapes are considered to be photographs of stars with landscape type elements – as opposed to pure astro-photography which is is usually just stars and often of deep space objects.  

Kaingu lodge main area under the stars.

The turning circle under the stars.

We continued a gradual update of lodge interiors and general lodge photography.  

Chalet 3 at blue hour

Chalet 3 at golden hour

Chalet 3 interior

Chalet 3 interior 

We were also updating some main area shots when these three characters showed up…  While they look like they could be members of a band, in reality they are the crew from Valley Lodgeistics who are are suppliers and that of many lodges in the Kafue.  We have known these guys for years, and being stranded in our car park with a broken spring on the truck meant a night in our family house and some fine dining with the guides! 

Musonda, Ken and Claude. The VL crew.

You may or may not be aware that nearby to the lodge there is a pool where every morning at sunrise there is a gathering of Meyer’s parrots.  More here:https://kaingu-lodge.com/blog/2017/07/26/mayers-parrots-kaingu-lodge/

Anyway, they are in full swing:

Parrot pool in full swing

June was also the month that we finished our planned early burning and fire breaks.  I have mentioned before that historically our burning normally always starts in the first week of June.  However this year with drough conditions we were actually finished by the middle of June.  Unreal.  

Peter and Mike in the early morning smoke of our last planned burn of 2019.

Then a totally random shot of the rapids.  Whilst I have been there for so many sunsets and taken so many pictures there it always draws me back time and again.  This is one of the unique aspects of Kaingu – its not just wildlife that is worth watching here, there are also some mind blowingly scenic spots… 

The rapids post sunset.

Then for another atmospheric place…  we ventured down to the allegedly haunted pools of Izhibakamwale. The stories vary, but basically revolve around a very atmospheric pool and (depending on who you talk to) either a sort of mermaid creature that lures men to their death or a young woman who disappeared into the pool and haunts it still. Now I don’t believe in the paranormal, but I certainly admit that the area has an atmosphere. And that only once have I been down there at night alone.

The haunted pool?

Sightings of sable antelope on the Kaingu loops have really stepped up this year.  The Hartebeest are also there in big numbers, but compared to last year the sable numbers are way way up.  We are not sure of the reasons, but we are not complaining that is for sure! 

sable on the pools loops

Elephant activity around the river and around the camp has been really quite something this year.  Again we surmise that it is the dry conditions that are making animals come down to the river earlier, but regardless of the cause it is great to have them around: 

Checking out Oscar’s wheel barrow!

Ah the wonderful taste of ripped up palm trees…..

Two unmistakable African icons!

Then we had a training session.  Advance first aid.  Lessons and an examination over a three day period.  All in the name of keeping our guests and each other as safe as we possibly can. 

St John’s getting high tech this year.

The cold June mornings of course make for beautiful scenes.  Boating some guests up river for a game drive I grabbed this quick shot even though my fingers were so cold I could hardly grip the camera.  

Imagine views like this before you even GET to the game drive vehicles!

And then finally our last entry is another visit from the smilestar dental team.  This year they were in Mongu and stopped off here for some much needed R&R after treating hundreds of patients out in the West for free.  It was great to see Mitesh with a (largely) different crew this year.  Our staff also got checkups and we were happy to see extractions down to only 9 this year! 

The smilestar gang.

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