Climate and Landscape
This has probably been one of the mildest winters that we have experienced here at Toka Leya Camp. Although the temperature still drops as the sun goes down, it has been very bearable. However as a tradition, the camp fires have been maintained, making for a great venue for storytelling. This has been enhanced by the arrival of Stephen Phiri, a very well-known guide in Livingstone who was with our Touring division and has now joined the camp as the front-of-house assistant. Steve specialises in our country’s traditions and culture and is a mine of information, always willing to share his knowledge of Zambia and its people with our guests.
The elephant have returned in their numbers and on a daily basis several herds come through the camp as they head down to the river for water. The buffalo are also not to be outdone as on many occasions we have had herds spending the night in the open area near Tent 12.
Birds and Birding
The water levels have continued to drop, but really slowly, and the marshy areas are a haven for birding while the sandbanks are starting to show on some of the islands. We have been seeing huge numbers of African skimmers on these sandbanks – in addition to all the other water birds we see on the Zambezi River.
This month we have had some other great birding specials including regular sightings of African finfoot. Birding around the camp has also been exciting with regular sightings of a grey-headed bush-shrike. It has kept everyone straining to hear its call, which is rather unusual. We have also noticed that there is another new site along the river where white-fronted bee-eaters are nesting.
Victoria Falls is always a highlight and the water is still at its peak with the spray seen from miles away as one approaches the area. Guests that have been to the Falls all come back raving about how amazing it was, with many saying it was much more spectacular than they expected.
It was such a rewarding and amazing sight to see the local village school kids tap away on their laptops. A recent guest donated 11 of these laptop computers, with solar panels attached so as to charge them, for the school. This has been a huge boost for a rural school that could not have dreamed of such a donation, considering they do not have any power. The solar panels have solved this problem and the children will now learn to use the computers at an early age.
The preschool children were all smiles as they couldn’t believe the play centre we recently built for them. There were queues of kids one after the other on the slide and see-saw! We also had a very productive meeting with the PTA as well as the village leadership and mapped the way forward with regards to future projects that could further improve the community.
“Warm and welcoming staff. Night’s entertainment, loved seeing the banjos (Munjila Band). Lovely setting on the Zambezi.”
“Only had a short stay but really enjoyed the sunset cruise. Histon was an excellent guide. Funny and knowledgeable. All camp staff were really very friendly and efficient.”
“The room was spectacular. Everything was so perfect, from the boat ride in to the humour of the waiters.”
Staff in Camp
Petros and Gogo Guwa – General Managers
Ondyne Dobeyn – Front of House Manager
Cynthia Kazembe – Rooms Division Manager
Amon Ngoma – Activity Manager
Muchelo Muchelo – Restaurant Manager
Steven Phiri – Assistant Front of House /Guests Relations