The River Club Newsletter - September 2008

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Summer has arrived and all the trees are in full bloom here at the River Club. There are splashes of bright colours all over the garden and around the chalets. It's still dry and the temperatures are rising slowly but surely.

In the grounds, the wildlife is very active and birds such as White-fronted Bee-eaters, Trumpeter Hornbills and Bearded Scrub-robins are flying from tree to tree.

As it is the end of the dry season, the Zambezi River has fallen to lower levels, leaving rocks in the middle of the river exposed. The Rock Pratincoles are nesting on these and flit up and down the river all day long - a nice sight for birders! (The rocks can be seen just below some of the chalet in the photo top left.)

Our sundowner cruises are an excellent way to end of the day, as all guests will tell you. The cruises have had sightings of elephants, bushbuck, impala, Nile monitors and a variety of waterbirds. A very lucky sighting was that of an African Finfoot just near the Club!

At Simonga Village, our projects are still going strong. The Health Clinic is now nearly completed and should be operational at the end of the year, according to the Ministry of Health. Donations via guests of The River Club funded the building of the clinic, while the Ministry is in charge of building and maintaining it.

The villagers continue to enjoy the clean water that is pumped up to the borehole and is available from a number of taps that are dotted throughout the village. The privilege of clean running water on a daily basis is not to be taken lightly: it costs about $8.000 a year to supply fuel for the generator to pump 50 000 litres of water a day!

The school is still the focus point of the village with the 391 school children enjoying the visits from guests of The River Club. So far this year, $11 640 has been spent on the school, which includes the payment of the examination fees for Grades 8 and 9, stationery, books, school activities and sport events. An exciting new project is the vegetable garden - also funded by donations - which is diligently watered every day by different students.

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