We are almost at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and well underway to recovery! Covid-19 affected so many in our industry causing job losses, business closures and hardship for so many Malawians. But it also forced us all to stop in our tracks, consider what we do, how we operate and how we can help mend our fragile planet. The positives... getting to know the team better, working together to rebuild, reassessing ways of operating, introducing sustainable ideas, appreciating our amazing environment - slowing down.
Let’s just take one example. Chrispin Shawa, our long suffering maintenance manager, for whom nothing is too much trouble. Be it a burnt out light bulb or a burst pipe at 2 AM, a flat tyre in front of a family of cheetah, a green pool that needs to be blue, a dangerous snake removal from the thatch roof, you name it, he is on it! And with a smile that makes you want to smile too. Patient, kind, loyal - that’s Chrispin. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for weathering this storm with us. Developments in camp and lodge are steaming along.
Mvuu Lodge now offers delicious vegan options and homemade pizzas from the Bush kitchen, and are proving very popular! Namagogodo Retreat is a new concept to suit groups, families or couples wanting a totally secluded environment with private safaris, dining options and three superior chalets set apart from the lodge, a lagoon setting with savannah backdrop and private boma. At Mvuu Camp the new dining area at the camp pool offers a look into the history of the black rhino reintroduction to Liwonde with facts, memorabilia and photographs.
Children are top of the agenda this year. Lockdown isolation has been brutal and the bush is a healing environment. Children’s walks, activities and meals are a priority. Shire Cottage offers two bedrooms, a bathroom, a self contained kitchen and gazebo – ideal for longer stays, and for those wanting a self catering option. And from the bush, game viewing is at it’s best during this green season. Regular sightings have included black rhino, sable, cheetah, large herds of buffalo and the elusive lion as well as tremendous numbers of impala, kudu and water buck.
Hippo continue to frequent the camp and lodge grounds, along with resident warthog, bushbuck and Mvuu’s favourite genet, Abiti. Birding has delighted. With the loss of a fever tree into the river last year, a huge colony of feathered friends has taken up residence. Weavers, black crowned and white backed night heron, bittern and green backed heron, kingfishers of all kinds including the seldom seen half collared, giant, pied and malachite to name a few. Nothing better than an early morning coffee, the dawn chorus and a spot of birding on the banks of the Shire!
From the team at Central African Wilderness Safaris