And we are off!
Finally after all the months of frenetic activity and immense effort; Ila Safari Lodge threw open its doors and welcomed our first guests early last week. Just before our first group arrived we had photographer, Linda Rorbye, come and spend a few days with us. Whilst we all ran about making last minute touch-ups she humored us all, roamed with her camera and captured the essence if Ila in some incredible shots! We’ll let the pictures do the talking…
We’re delighted to report that over our second weekend of being open we were fully booked! Our guests have not only been enjoying the creature comforts of camp but have also been out exploring Kafue National Park by vehicle, boat and even on their own two feet.
Out on activities our bush-eyed guides (and guests!) have spotted lion, leopard, wild dog, elephant, hippo, zebra, porcupine, jackal, warthog, mongoose and of course those pesky baboon and monkeys. The antelopes have been plentiful with puku (of course!), impala, kudu, waterbuck, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, roan and duiker all showing face. The crocs in the Kafue River just waiting for them to quench their thirst.
Along the banks of the river, amongst many others, we’ve spotted African Finfoot, Spurwing Goose and Giant-, Brown Hooded- and Pied- kingfisher. In the early morning Crowned Crane doze up in trees and a Black Cuckooshrike was glimpsed in amongst the bush. Overhead African Harrier Hawks and Fish Eagle (Zambia’s National Bird) soar.
Back in camp, since we have stopped making such a racket the animals are obviously intrigued to see what we have been up to. Our resident hippos have trundled back from the far side of the river and positioned themselves on a sandbar just in front of camp to keep an eye on us. Behind them a 20 or so strong herd of elephant are frequent visitors for an afternoon drink. The lions roar their way through camp before wake up calls and we know our local leopard is about as we keep hearing him but seems he is suffering from a bout of shyness over the last couple of weeks.
LAST MINUTE SAFARI PLANNING
We’re looking forward to the rest of the year and welcoming many more guests through Ila’s doors. If you are still planning a safari for 2016 or have a last minute hankering for the wild why don’t you come and stay with us? We are offering our low season rates for our entire opening season so it’s an absolute steal with prices starting at $475 per person per night fully inclusive.
HUGE THANKS TO THE TEAM
We wanted to take the opportunity here to publicly thank the entire Ila construction team. We can hardly believe the below photo was taken only 2 months ago! In recent days we have waved a sad farewell to some of these faces but many remain as part of our permanent team. Our all star team moved seamlessly from carpentry, grounds work, thatching, electrics and plumbing into waitering, bar service, housekeeping and guiding! The only tangible proof a sudden spike in hot water, soap and razor blade usage! Congratulations all – Ila Safari Lodge would literally not be here with out you!