Home Westcliff To Kuyenda Kuyenda Tongabezi


We arrived in Kuyenda after dark. After drinks around a fire (Zambian television) we feasted on our first of many fantastic meals prepared by the Kuyenda staff under the direction of executive chef, Babbette. These meals are all the more amazing considering there was no running water nor electricity at Kuyenda. They did have a four-burner propane stove, though. And the camp usually only has six visitors, so the quantity of food to be prepared isn't all that much.

We were escorted to our hut after dinner and slept very soundly. Jet lag never seemed to be a problem for any of us. We were awakened at 6:00 am with a gentle "Knock, knock" spoken by a staff member carrying a basin of warm water. Breakfast at 6:30 and we finally get to see the camp. then at 7:00 we're back in an open truck and are driven to the beginning of the first of eight walking safaris. It is close enough to sunrise so the light is great for photos.


The walking safaris were always headed by a park employee, Bottle, carrying a gun, just in case. Phil, our naturalist was next followed by the six of us single file. (The third couple in the camp was a white farmer from South Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, who lost his farm and leg in the wars, and his young wife.) Bringing up the rear was Vernon lugging water, tea, and refreshments. Our morning walks were three hours with one break for water and a second for tea and crumpets. Babbette would drive out to the end of our walk and bring us back to camp, where brunch was waiting for us.

It is amazing how much wildlife is always within sight on these walks. We were initially most interested in the large mammals such as the various antelope, the elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebra, etc. But on the third afternoon the third hut was occupied by a biology professor who was an avid birder. He had studied up and he spotted 74 new species of bird in his first walk. Our attention was turned to the hundreds of species of birds in Zambia. This attention to birds didn't flag during the rest of our trip. Shirley and Paul started keeping a list and spotted about 120 new species by the time the trip ended.

Mid day, from noon to 3:30, was battery recharging time for both us and our cameras. (I said they don't have electricity but they did have a solar panel charging a 12 volt battery, which in turn ran an inverter with one outlet that we shared to charge our camera batteries.)

At 3:30 we had tea and at 4:00 set off on our afternoon walk. The afternoon walks lasted until nearly sunset so again, the light was perfect for photography. Then back to camp for "Sun Downers", drinks at sunset. Then we went out in the truck with a search light to check on the nocturnal animals, including the lions. Lots of shining eyes were peering back at us but we got very few satisfactory photographs during these night excursions. Finally, another exquisite meal and bed.

This routine was repeated Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.