Sorry I’ve been away. A few more technical problems have been getting in the way of my blogging life: I rejoice to say they’ve been solved – I think — and I can now start telling you about a jaunt I made back in September…
Back in the Luangwa Valley
From deep in the soft darkness the sound of an African scops owl: prrrp! From deeper still, the yodelling whoop of a hyena. And from deepest yet, the distant crump of lion. It was all true then. I really was back in the Luangwa Valley, returning at last like the wild rover in the song. The Covid exile was over; soon I would be walking with lions again.
Next morning I attended a trustees meeting of the excellent organisation Conservation South Luangwa. While it was going on an elephant walked up to a waterhole a few feet from our table. He drank his fill with quiet satisfaction as we talked on about the best way to make sure future generations of elephants would be able to drink at future water-holes.
I first came to the Valley 33 years ago, and I left a fairly substantial chunk of my heart here, so I have to come back every now and then to reunite with it. We all have these secret special places in our lives: places rich in personal meaning, places often hard to explain, though I tried my best to do so in a book called The Sacred Combe.
Resolutions were passed, decisions were made, hands were shaken and cheeks kissed. The meeting, a good one, broke up. It was time to move south, deep into South Luangwa National Park. It was good to be back: it was as if I had never left.
I was co-leading the Ultimate Luangwa safari for www.wildlifeworldwide.com. Next year I will be co-leading https://www.wildlifeworldwide.com/group-tours/sacred-combe-safari and I will also be participating in https://www.wildlifeworldwide.com/group-tours/festival-of-wildlife-zambia