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MALAWI NEWS, JANUARY EDITION 2013

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Dear Friends of Wilderness,

 

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2013!  After a late start all of Malawi seems to be getting decent rainfall and this most mesmerizing time of renewal presents challenges and opportunities in equal measure. It’s not so easy to get around but those who make the effort are rewarded with spectacular scenery, clarity of atmosphere, wonderful views and lush green vegetation. People tend not to travel so much at this time so we need to entice you to do so and as always during the rains we are offering some very special deals. Thank you all for your support in 2012 and we hope to see you again in our lodges and camps in 2013.  

 

The Wilderness Safaris Team

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The high Nyika after the rains


Rainy Season Specials 2013

All prices are per person per night and payable in Malawi kwacha

Validity: 14th January-28th March  For all Malawi resident and accompanying visitors

 

Mvuu Camp and Chelinda Camp    $90     Full board including all meals and  game activities

Mvuu  Lodge and Chelinda Lodge $120   Full board including all meals and game activities

Chintheche Inn                                  $60  Bed and breakfast

 

Not included are park entry fees for Chelinda and Mvuu and boat trips in and out of Mvuu at $50 return from Hippo View Lodge-this is 50% of the usual price and is a wonderful; experience in its own right and also saves you a precious 80 kms of wear and tear and fuel on your car.

 

Collect Frequent traveler points!!! Our local loyalty programme allows you to accumulate points towards a free or discounted stay at our properties –please ask us for details.

 

Hot tip!   

Consider upgrading from Mvuu Camp to Mvuu Lodge –it’s only an additional $30 a night and you get an extra activity each day-an early morning guided walk!!!

 

Mvuu Camp and Lodge

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Rain clouds building over the Great African Rift at Liwonde

 

Weather and Landscape: 

We are now well into the rainy season and the floodplains are a rich carpet of green. The vegetation in the thickets and riverine has become extremely lush and the lodge lagoon has filled up considerably and the overhanging vegetation once more proves superb cover for the white backed night heron who for October and November could be spotted as if out in the open perched over the lodge lagoon.

 

Wildlife

While in general the rains disperse the game, we are still getting exceptional viewing in and around the camp. Large herds of impala abound, and 3 large groups are concentrated on the grassland  between the camp and the main road-this year’s breeding seems to have been as successful as ever and there are several  large nursery herds with young, mainly born in November, already beginning to grow fast and strong with the arrival of the new grasses. The sable, traditionally the first antelope to move away from the floodplains during the rains, are now back in the woodland and occasionally seen but usually in smaller groups. The larger elephant herds have moved away from the river but we are still getting regular sightings of lone bulls and smaller groups along the river. As the new red grasses on the banks start to shoot we expect the herds to return.

The increase insect life brought on by the rains has meant great night time views of insectivorous  species-particularly white tailed mongoose, genet and civet, feeding .

Guest comment

Mvuu Camp:

‘Most enjoyable part of trip? Hard to tell, all together it was great. Our guide was great and very ambitious to fulfill our expectations. We saw  everything we expected and wanted to see…and even more”  Sarah and Tobias Muller  9th January


 

Chelinda Camp and Chelinda Lodge

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After the first flush of rain

 

Date: 12.12.12

Contributors: Chris

 

Weather and Landscape:

Heavy rains have turned the high grasslands an even lusher shade of emerald –the road into the park is challenging but is still well drained enough to be passable.  Visits to the outer edges of the plateau at Jalawe and Domwe are now particularly rewarding as the clarity of the air makes for huge vistas-see the quote at the end for confirmation.

 

Wildlife:

The usual concentration of game around the Chelinda area is now even more noticeable as the exceptionally productive grasslands of the high plateau become further enriched by the rain. Large herds of eland, roan and zebra are always visible from camp or lodge and a game drive around the dams is as productive as ever. We have had regular sightings of leopard and serval also.

 

For a description of one family’s holiday at Chelinda click here.

 

Sightings

Below are just a few sightings over the last 30 days

21/12/12 Whyte - Great views of 2 bar tailed trogons in forest near Chelinda

23/12/12 Apollo - A side striped jackal feeding on flying ants as they hatched from the termite mound. Great views of a serval in daylight near the airstrip.

24/12/12 Apollo - 2 very young jackal puppies on the road near Chelinda Bridge.

2 x serval cats hunting near Dam 1

27/12/12 Watson - 2 serval cats sitting in the ferns close to Airstrip         

Apollo - 2 large bull elephant grazing on slopes near main road Chelinda junction.

30/12/12 Apollo, Chris, Whyte - 2 jackals feeding on a zebra carcass with lappet faced and white headed vultures. Whyte 2 leopard’s One male crossing the road near Lake Kaulime and a female right by the guards hut at the lodge.

01/01/13 Apollo - 2 jackals hunting at Dam 2   A large female leopard on the airstrip –came within 5 metres of the vehicle. 

Whyte and Chris saw a large male in the pines at Dam 3.

 

Guest comments

“Thank you so much. The view at 5a.m was spectacular. The night game drive was amazing” Duncan Mac Millan

 “Would especially like to thank Whyte for his knowledge, enthusiasm & friendliness. He was a fantastic guide and we were all thoroughly impressed by him” Katy Shaw


Chintheche Inn

 

We are thrilled to introduce to you our new management at Chintheche Inn located on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Miss Tracy Steenkamp: General Manager and Miss Veronica Phekani: Assistant Lodge Manager who are hard at work to make your getaway memorable and worthwhile.  They look forward to seeing you there and giving you an adventure and experience you will never forget. 

 

 

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New managers at Chintheche Inn, Veronica(left) & Tracy(right)

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

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Children in the Wilderness at the Mvera Baobab

 

Children in the Wilderness

Over November and December we hosted another 96 children at Mvuu in our unique orphans programme-see www.childreninthewilderness.com

One of the activities was a boat trip up to the northern boundary of the park and the famous Mvera Baobab. The tree is actually a baobab with a strangler fig and a sycamore fig growing around it and is at a traditional ferry crossing point at the junction of the Shire River and Lake Malombe.

Local tradition has it that David Livingstone slept under this tree on his journey up the Shire to Lake Malawi in 1861.

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“The kind of scenery that makes you want to burst into spontaneous applause.”    Nyika National Park 31/12/12

 

Quote of the month and a short story

The most spectacular scenery in Africa?  Douglas Adams, most famous for his “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” trilogy was once in a helicopter flying over the dramatic fjord landscapes of South Island, New Zealand, and wrote ‘It is the kind of scenery that makes you want to burst into spontaneous applause.”   On New Year’s Eve 2012 ,  4 families from Lilongwe and the UK  -12 big and 10 small-  set out on a round trip of the northern grasslands of the High Nyika stopping at the stunning viewpoints of Domwe and Jalawe.   The recent rains had cleared the air of dust and the grassland was a rich carpet of dark green. Everywhere we looked the grass was dotted with large herds of eland, roan antelope, and zebra.  When we arrived at Domwe viewpoint, mid morning, under a clear sky, and looked west off the Nyika escarpment into Zambia our generally reserved but enthusiastic group of guests spontaneously hugged each other. Need we say more? 

 

 

For more camp news: Please visit the following link and click on the camp news you are looking for,

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/news/index.jsp

 

Wilderness Safaris
P O Box 489, Bisnowaty Complex, Lilongwe

Lilongwe: T + 01 771 393 E reservations@wilderness.mw
Blantyre: T + 01  836 960  E blantyre@wilderness.mw
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WILDERNESS SAFARIS

P O Box 489, Lilongwe, Malawi

Bisnowaty Complex, Kenyatta Drive, Lilongwe Malawi,

 

T + 265 1771 393/153

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