Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Monday, March 22, 2010


It rained...hard...on the way. I was looking at the stack of black clouds on the horizon and suggested they were perhaps the darkest clouds I had ever seen. Nope, said Katherine, the clouds on our wedding day were darker. She was right I think, but just barely.

Mukambi Lodge is in Kafue National Park -- an easy three hour drive West of Lusaka. You basically turn left out of Lusaka, drive three hours, then turn left into Mukambi's driveway.

We went with a group of friends.

It's not really prime safari time so we went in knowing we weren't going to see African plains teeming with wildlife. Basically we were looking for a chance to get out of dodge for a day or two (we'd planned Mukambi before I was invited to Sausage Tree for last weekend).

It was wet. It was green. The bush was thick.

The animals were hiding.

But, we got out in the fresh air, it was a nice morning for a drive, and we saw a bunch of Impala, Puku, Hartebeest, Warthog, and an elephant.

And we got to pee in the flooded out road.

Sam, sharp bottom teeth and all, has a hacking cough that, we were told, should not have kept us from going to Kafue. So we went. And he coughed. And he hacked. And he kept us up at night. He would have done so at home, too, I guess, and at home we can't hear lions calling to each other in the night while we fall asleep in our tent.

Katherine and her boys on safari. Jack has a hot chocolate moustache AND a hot chocolate uni-brow. A twofer!

Our tent. We were right on the river and seemed to be on a hippo lane. There were tracks coming out of the water and to the left and right of our tent. The tent was under a more permanent thatched shell, which provided some additional security against all the scary wild animals.

We had lions in the camping area on Friday night. The apparently chased a puku from about 50 feet from our tent across the camp at about 5:00 am. They missed.

And on Saturday night we had about 30 puku in camp. Sunday morning it was the monkeys' turn. They seemed to sense when we were packing up and came around to wait to scavenge the site after we left.

Our site.

The view from the lodge with a large flock of some white birds (egrets?) flying along the water. We never had completely nice weather, but it only rained for about an hour while we were at the place. It rained on the way there and back, but we were in the car so who cares?


Sunday morning we headed out onto the Kafue river. It was nice, and we found a large pod of hippopotami to watch for a while.

Jack and Peyton were clad in life jackets but still made the pontoon ride a bit more nerve-wracking than it should have been with their inability to sit still and not lean over the rails, push on the rails. etc.

On the way home, Jack and Bruno watched a movie while Sam slept much of the way. Three hours later we were home.

And Jack helped to clean some of the mud off the Prado.


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