Toka Leya - May 2013

Jun 21, 2013 |  Zambia |  Victoria Falls - Livingstone |  Toka Leya Camp
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As usual the winter months are characterised by clear blue skies, making it such a pleasure to be outdoors. As temperatures start to drop, we have noted that the fire place has once again become the main hub of the camp evenings, with more and more guests sitting out by the fire and admiring the star-studded skies. The river water levels are starting to drop but it will still be a long while before one can walk through Victoria Falls without a rain poncho. The Falls are still living up to their reputation of “the smoke that thunders” and can be seen from miles away before one actually gets into Livingstone.

Wildlife Sightings
As usual the dry season brings a lot of different animals through the camp and amongst the regular visitors are the large elephant herds who are now frequent visitors. It’s wonderful to see their numbers increasing daily and seeing the different herds passing through camp at all times of day to go down to the water. We have also started to see herds braving the current of the river and crossing to the island for some feeding sessions as well as taking dips in the mighty Zambezi. This always surprises the guests who never expect these bulky animals to be able to swim.

The white rhino are starting to frequent the area near Tent 12, seemingly attracted by some beautiful lush grass. On several occasions a female and her baby as well as the dominant male have been seen in the vicinity of the camp much to the excitement of our guests. Many have heard of the Rhino Breeding Project in the park but never expected the rhino to be free ranging.

Our resident hippo, Motto Motto, is becoming an entertainment factor. For some reason his new favourite place to sleep during the day is next to a boat. We have noticed that if one boat moves away he literally moves over to sleep next to the other one - behaviour none of us can understand.

The river experience is still one of the activities guests talk about for a very long time after they leave here. Most are amazed by the sheer size of the river whilst the abundance of the birdlife and the variety of game seen along the river adds to the beauty. Our guides have come to know all the corners of the little and large islands which make for the great sightings we have been recording. The colony of the white-fronted bee-eaters is one of the great attractions of the afternoon cruises. The birds have become so habituated to the vessels coming in that they don’t seem to be bothered any more, which is making photographing the birds such a pleasure.

Another exciting viewing this month has been the regular sighting of a massive crocodile downriver who seems to have established a territory on one of the banks and has been seen at the same place daily sunning himself.

Our 4Cs this month
In line with emphasis on the “Culture” part of our 4Cs we have been sampling a few different cultural dance groups from different tribes that make up the Livingstone population. It has clearly shown that Zambia is very rich in culture and traditional dances. Different age groups starting from the young to the elderly take pride in their culture and partake in these dances.

We have also taken a great step towards our “Community” relationship this month. On 28 May we flicked the switch for the solar pump at Twabuka Basic School in Sinde Village, much to the amazement of the kids and teachers as well as the PTA who clearly were touched by this kind donation from our guests at Toka Leya. A discussion that started as a general talk finally became reality and the school staff were very thankful for this. Going solar also contributes to the “Conservation” side of our 4Cs together with our intention to start growing trees at the school.

The staff and management this month also felt it was a great month in working towards the “Commercial” C of the 4Cs when we learnt that the camp was among the few places that was awarded a certificate of excellence.

Guests Comments
“What a very beautiful camp you have. Very well designed and thought out. The staff are all lovely too”.

“I love the camp very much as it is built in such a unique environment. The staff is extremely warm, polite and hospitable. I like their positive attitude. Much enjoyed their company and as well as their being so knowledgeable.”

“Fabulous place to begin our first African adventure. We were spoiled for the remainder of our trip. Entire staff and accommodation are five star.”

Management in Camp
Petros, Gogo, Amon Cynthia and Muchelo

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