Climate and Landscape
Things are greening up nicely now, even though we have not had much rain. The heat wave in early October was a real wake-up call to let everybody know that summer had definitely arrived. Temperatures went up to 38° Celsius and as a result the trees started budding, creating more shade for the animals.
The month of October was no match for any other this year, offering the greatest variety in terms of game viewing.
There were great sightings of kudu wandering around Toka Leya, not to mention the elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala, waterbuck, bushbuck and warthogs. Our guests enjoyed these sightings daily while the variety of bird calls made it even more relaxing as their melodies were heard in the early hours of the morning and late in the evening.
Wonderful sightings of birding ‘specials’ including an African finfoot and malachite kingfisher were recorded on river cruises.
On drives in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park this month we saw excellent game including sable antelope, puku and red hartebeest. Guests witnessed a troop of baboons chase, catch and eat a baby warthog.
On river activities elephant sightings were outstanding and on several occasions elephant were spotted swimming across the mighty Zambezi River to the islands as well as seen playing in the water.
In addition to that, beautiful birds are also seen either perched in the trees or on the riverbanks. In fact, guests become even more interested in birds when they go out on activities, thanks to our professional guides.
Being situated on the banks of Africa’s fourth largest river, Toka Leya sundowner stops are always extraordinary, painted as they are in spectacular African sunset hues.
And a the sun is now setting further south and the cumulonimbus (Charlie Bravo) clouds have started building on the horizon, the sunsets have become even more spectacular.
Our pre-dinner Munjila band experience continues to be a huge hit with our guests and they certainly get into the swing of it around the brazier fire down on our ‘beach’.
Our Environmental Commitment
You might recall we mentioned the elephant damage to our greenhouse in September. Happily during October we managed to turn it around and replace the damaged trees with seedlings from the greenhouse.
New tree species like bauhinia and regulars like mopane, rain tree, milkwood, ana, jackalberry, pod mahogany, baobab and many others ensured that all the guests who visited the greenhouse enjoyed themselves, especially when given the opportunity to plant a tree in the grounds.
Now, the back of house environmental tours we do don’t end at the greenhouse… they also encompass our water treatment plant where all grey water from the rooms is treated using aerobic technology, a system that involves the continuous supply of oxygen to the water to get rid of ammonia, creating nitrate (which is good for the environment) and clear water for use in our tree nursery. This water is also exposed to the ozone generator which kills off any possible pathogens that may have survived the treatment process. The water treatment plant was upgraded during October and is now fully operational.
Our back of house tour also includes a visit to our worm farm where all bio-degradable foods are fed to these little red wrigglers – which in turn give us the compost we use to feed the young trees.
The new saplings planted last month have not as yet shown any signs of life. Hopefully, by next month they will have germinated.
We are pleased to announce that since inception of the electric fence around the greenhouse area, we have had no further elephant damage.
“Everything was great, the surprise with the romantic dinner was the highlight of our stay – everyone was so kind – thanks a lot.”
“After 9 days on safari it was so nice to come to Toka Leya for the closing of our honeymoon journey. Our room had air conditioning and there wasn’t a bug in sight!! Haha!! We loved meeting all the wonderful members of staff, Amon, Mwami, Histon, Felix, George the chef… the list goes on and on. Thank you for the extra bug spray Richard!! We even loved the lightning storm on our last night! It was as if Africa was saying goodbye to us with a spectacular natural show. We wanted to also express our gratitude to Wilderness Safaris and the work they’ve done to educate, support, and empower the people of the local communities. It brings tears to our eyes to know that there is hope for those who have been born with so little opportunity.”
Staff in Camp
Mwami Mufwaya is settling in well and is getting to grips as to how Toka Leya works – she and Faith Chiwende work hand in hand and complement one another very well. Thembeni Phiri joined us in early October as a waitron to replace Isaac Kalungishe.
Management: Richard Cox, Solly Tevera, Amon Ngoma, Stephen Phiri, Faith Chiwende and Mwami Mufwaya
Employee of the Month: Edward Sendabanji (Kitchen)