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Luangwa River Lodge - at its best again

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Hi all, as per Cooncat's advise, here is the report and photo's reloaded into a new thread:

We've just got back from Luangwa River Lodge having spent a week there for our second time in 2 years.
Must add that as much as we were aware of the potential for disappointment after the devastating floods earlier in the year, that the lodge itself is back to all it's glory, and yet again failled to disappoint us.
Last year we had a combination of Victor and James , and this time were designated James for the week.
We saw some awesome sightings throughout the week, and yes , the brothers have got the seeds sewn... three gorgeous lion cubs basing themselves with mom across the river from the lodge-A major attraction right on our doorstep. We were also lucky enough to have an awesome sighting of a leopard with 2 cubs, a first for me to see and beautiful sighting with all three animals in fantastic condition.We were lucky enough to have this sighting to ourselves without another vehicle in sight or sound.Well done James!!
On that note: Previous scripts I've read had criticised the SLNP for having too many vehicles at some sightings?...may I hasten to add, that I will dare to say that these criticisms of the park are certainly unfounded, and clearly spawned from a first-timer to safari lodge travel in africa? I would like to make a point that If you'd like to have a bitch about vehicles , please go and travel to Kruger Park, Sabi Sands, or perhaps Madikwe.... These are commercial Parks , and comparatively accessable to all.If by some coincidence you had a crowded experience at SLNP you need to have a chat with your ranger/guide and ask him to take a route less travelled.(we have often had our best sightings in this situation, without any other vehicles-and highly recommend it )You also need to realise that there are tourists who only want to see 'big 5'...this is generally the case,especially for first-timers to african wilderness.May I please suggest on your next trip that you take a little more notice to learning about the interactions of the flora and fauna that make these areas so unique? Or perhaps dare to be brave enough to ask your guide to organise a scout from ZAWA to provide you with a walking safari? These options can actually be just as exciting , and normally alot more educational to someone not necessarily familiar to the bush...and I can assure you, you can learn an immense amount. I have lived in and travelled to africa for some 15 years now and managed to find that every single encounter is different.Guides such as James and Victor have an immense band of knowledge to share with anyone prepared to listen.
Sorry, but back to the LRL.
Sean, you've done an awesome job of maintaining the place.Marco your food as always was exquisite(I wish the same was relevent at the restaurants we frequent in london).The bar staff and spotters were also a pleasure allowing us to relax as much as possible.
I am hoping that a direct flight soon becomes available from jhb to mfuwe could make life just slightly easier?
This lodge,this park, and these people are still my favourite destination in africa!!! Thanks all for a splendid time , and I look forward to being back soon. Photo's and Video's can be viewed at this url: