Day 10 – 09 August 2013 – Mamili (Nkasa Lupala) National Park, camping within the park – Coordinates: S18 23.462 E23 42.109
Trip Report –
The gentleness of the morning awoke the emotional being inside me. I had no reason to be feeling sad. I was feeling so blessed with being just where I was, in the here and now but couldn’t help but think of the hardships of life that we all go through at times. The peace, quiet, tranquility, almost nothingness in its stillness within the wilderness allows one to do a lot of soul-searching and awakening to what it all means when it comes to returning to our lives as we lead it. The humdrum we all go through to make more money, having more material goods and the joy that all these things bring in having them but the cost involved in getting them, is the cost of living and how it is. Sacrifices!
Waking up, besides my loved one, in nature, exploring, sightseeing and living our dreams feels like the simpler life, not entirely wine and roses but so less stressed. I let the pains of the past flow out of my body and breathed in all the joys of the years past and the future: day, month and years ahead to enjoy our Wonderland, Earth with the ones we love and the life we live. I knew, I was also missing our kiddos just a bit more than I’d have admitted and knowing what they had to deal with, in the next few weeks. My heart ached for their hearts that would share heartache, for that I was certain. Love does this. I allowed myself some peaceful time out to get all the painful ‘stuff’ out, and I was ready to tackle the day in the beautiful calmness and tranquility that was all around me, within nature at its best. I thoroughly enjoyed my morning cuppa while lazing just that little bit longer, in bed.
It was so good knowing that we were going to be relaxing around our campsite all day and spending another night here. There was no need to drive anywhere, so Ian and I did just that. We all enjoyed a day of rest, the Robsters taking some time out in their hammock, hanging in the distance under the arch of a fallen tree. A little bit of bird watching, reading, taking pictures, game viewing for some, writing of memoirs for others and playing a good few rounds of ‘bullshit’ together, the card game, was the order of the day.
The weather has been so fantastic to us, and we’ve had no need to set up much more than our ‘basic’ camp on almost every occasion.
We expected there to be more mosquitos and bugs about, especially here as we are staying alongside an abundantly large swampy, lush, watery land. We have had no problems at all with regards to mosquitos on this entire trip which is a blessing as we are within a high Malaria risk area.
Ian and I had decided to do what the locals do. We weren’t on any Malaria preventative medication. Many years ago, on our first holiday in Botswana, our family had all taken the preventative medicine, every day religiously with the side effects of feeling extremely nauseous every day which was a terrible way to be feeling when on holiday! Our friends living in the Botswana gave us the solution to times spent in the bush. They would rather travel with the treatment medication for Malaria and a test kit, to be able to make entirely sure if you have it or not, at the onset of any symptoms. The treatment medication consists of only a few tablets that you have to take. By doing it this way, you are healthy and happy while enjoying your holiday, and if you get Malaria, you’ll know it, and you can treat it right away, which is necessary to do, as soon as possible as many people have died in the past from Malaria. It is a risk you take and thankfully for us; we didn’t get Malaria.
There are, apparently, much better tablets that one can take these days (at a significant cost), which apparently don’t make you feel as sick as the others do but after feeling what the tablets did to us all those years back. I still prefer to do it the way we’re doing it, for now.
I was quite surprised that no animals came to investigate us in their habitat. It shows just how untamed and wild this park is, where they are more frightened of visitors and choose to move away from us. The large amounts of water channels around the park also don’t help as they are free to drink anywhere instead of being drawn out, into the open at the smaller watering holes that some other game viewing areas have.
Our friends and fellow travellers were leaving early the next morning for the long road ahead of them on their Zambian adventure. Ian and I were planning to explore as much as we could tomorrow, within the park, to see if we could find the main river and to see if the island was accessible to reach.
The Landy came in handy with its view vantage point while on a game viewing drive to explore the area. A perfect place for any four-wheel drive enthusiast who is looking for a real, rough, outdoor African adventure. It is better to be in convoy with another 4×4 or two. It allows you to be more confidence, in particular through the thick, muddy, black sand and water crossings as help is nearby if needed.
The day was winding down with a breathtaking sunset, perfectly situated behind the lone palm tree standing proudly in the sky.
Around the bonfire sharing campfire stories.
The day came to an end, and we ensured our fire was dead before going off to bed.
We all slept deeply with the grunts of the hippos and a medley of various calls coming out from the river and bush.