Thom came home on Thursday and said that the director of his project had arranged an impromptu retreat for the senior staff at a safari lodge 30 km north of Lusaka. Of course, I was worried about leaving the dogs, but Danny, our gardener, agreed to babysit for us (and earn a little extra money).
So, on Friday afternoon T. (a spouse of one of Thom’s colleagues) and I spent 45 minutes fighting traffic and then crested a hill just as we were leaving Lusaka proper and found a complete east-to-west rainbow greeting us. Not one but two pots of gold! Thom and his colleagues had caught up with us on the road and proved their masculinity by passing us as soon as they could. The Protea Safari Lodge was now just 30 kms away.
Talk about over the hills and through the woods! We had to wade through 2-3 foot creeks (about 5 of them). I was worried if we would make it so would get a running start and hydroplane through the water. Once we reached the lodge gate we breathed easy until we saw the sign that said, 4 km to reception. Fortunately, the road inside the lodge was much better than the public road.
Upon arrival we were led to an authentic thatched-roof chalet with mosquito nets over the bed (which we didn’t use because we didn’t see a single mosquito).
Breakfast was your typical upscale hotel buffet…
…With one exception. A Kudu joined us…
…and fell in love with me! (Not only am I the swan whisperer, but I’m the kudu whisperer too.)
While the guys worked, T. and I went off to see the lions. We found the safety standards a little lax, in our opinion. The only thing that separated Kiara (1st photo) and Kimba (2nd photo) from us was a chain-link fence. Granted, it was tall (about 20 feet) and had electric wire at the top, but still, I was literally 15 inches from the lion and could have wiggled my fingers through the fence to call them if I wanted. Fortunately, I’ve matured recently and kept my fingers and toes outside the fence. T. hovered behind me in case the lions broke through. She no doubt thought they’d eat their fill on me and spare her.
It was a nice, quick getaway but I have to say I’ve come to really like our new place. There’s no place like home!