The sun is setting. Tea, G&T, or beer?
G&T for me.
What is the first place that comes to mind where you would love to drink it at Nanzhila/in the Kafue?
Anywhere with a panoramic view of the horizon and the setting sun - and good company - is fine by me.
Your walking shoes must have stories to tell of your adventures in the Kafue over the years. If they could tell us one funny/quirky/memorable tale, what would it be?
Most of my memorable adventures occurred in the early days of the development of the lodge. These include driving into a sinkhole one night on the cordon road and having to sleep on the road in the open that night, to discover in the morning that two lions has come within two metres of us before continuing on their way. On another occasion, vehicle problems required that my son Sean (12 at the time) and I had to walk 36kms back to camp. It took us 11 hours, arriving at midnight, and I can still feel the pain! Last year in June, we came across and rescued some campers that had been stuck in the plains (about 12kms from camp) for six nights. They’d heard lions calling on their first night and were not going anywhere.
What wildlife is the Kafue known for? Is there anything in particular people travel to see? What do you recommend guests to the area should be on the lookout for?
The Kafue is renowned for its extraordinary diversity and is home to 160 species of mammals, including 21 species of antelope - more than any other park in Africa - and 500+ bird species, making it a priority destination for enthusiastic birders. Nanzhila is blessed with all the major carnivores, with regular sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog. It is also ideal habitat for serval (we see these almost daily) and honey badger (regular nocturnal visitors to the camp) and, on the antelope front, our populations of sable and roan are healthy and regularly encountered, along with eland, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, kudu, wildebeest, Defassa waterbuck, reedbuck, bushbuck, common duiker, impala, oribi, grysbok, and steenbok. The undoubted birding highlight is the black-cheeked lovebird, an endemic to the area and all but guaranteed sighting.
What time of year is best for game-viewing? When is the rainy season? When is it unbearably hot? What is the average summer high and winter low temperatures?
The Nanzhila area is blessed with good year-round water so there is little noticeable difference in sightings between May and November. Between December and April, wildlife moves to higher ground to avoid surface water in the plain and drainage lines, making viewing more of a challenge. Our rainy season falls over this period and the camp is closed. October and November are the hottest months, but the heat is never unbearable. Temperatures rarely exceed 35C. The coldest months are June and July when temperatures do, on occasion, go below 5C in the evenings and early mornings.
Is there one thing in the area visitors shouldn’t miss (e.g. day walk in the bush with a guide, night drive, activity, watching the sun rise from a particular vantage point, etc.)? What activities are on offer through Nanzhila?
Nanzhila offers bush walks in the vicinity of the camp and game drives in the early mornings and late afternoons when wildlife is most active. The late afternoon drive includes a sundowner break and we return to camp after dark with spotlight in hand. During this upcoming season, we shall be completing a hide on a particularly productive pool in the area in memory of Peter Moss, who sadly passed away last year, and from which we will be offering some exciting new activities.
What sort of people would most enjoy the area?
We’ve welcomed all from the safari novice through to the safari connoisseur, from the young to the young at heart.
Based on your experience, what items would you recommend visitors to the area should pack? What items can’t you leave home without when heading on safari?
Comfortable trousers/slacks and at least one long-sleeved shirt and wide-brimmed hat, in neutral colours, and some good walking shoes. A good camera, a charger and memory cards, and binoculars.