Monday, May 25, 2015

New Blog from friend Thomas Prin, "Niassa Buffalo Project"

I met Thomas several years back when he came to Niassa to study the different herds of Cape Buffalo there. We became friends, worked and hunted together and share the same desire to see the Wildlife of Niassa flourish. Thomas is a very dedicated protector and researcher of the reserve. My thanks to all who live there sacrificing much in the support of such an Endangered, Grand, Chunk of Rare Earth.

Reserva Nacional do Niassa: Lion Camera Trap

Reserva Nacional do Niassa: Lion Camera Trap
I met Thomas several years back when he came to Niassa to study the different herds of Cape Buffalo there. We became friends, worked and hunted together and share the same desire to see the Wildlife of Niassa flourish. Thomas is a very dedicated protector and researcher of the reserve. My thanks to all who live there sacrificing much in the support of such an Endangered, Grand, Chunk of Rare Earth.

Friday, November 7, 2014

More on the Poaching in Mozambique, friends on the front lines, doing all they can!

Conservationists Sound Alarm on Mozambique Elephant Poaching

Elephant poaching in the Niassa Reserve, Mozambique. (Wildlife Conservation Society photo)
Elephant poaching in the Niassa Reserve, Mozambique. (Wildlife Conservation Society photo) 

Anita Powell
The elephant population of Mozambique is under siege, conservationists say, after dozens of killings in recent weeks.
The government has put together a task force to address poaching in the country’s northern elephant reserve, where officials estimate two elephants are being killed each day.
Most of the carnage is taking place inside the Niassa National Reserve, a conservation area approximately the size of Denmark, and twice the size of South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park. The reserve is home to approximately 12,000 elephants.
Last month, a gang of poachers suspected of killing 39 elephants this year was arrested, and the World Conservation Society (WCS) counted 22 slaughtered elephants in the first two weeks of September.
According a recent report in Britain's Guardian, WCS said the Mozambique slaughter is occurring at an "unprecedented and 'industrialized'" rate that is seeing between 1,500 and 1,800 elephants poached annually.
The United Nations estimates poaching and ivory trafficking are at a 25-year high, with 170 tons of ivory traded in the past five years. Ivory demand has skyrocketed in Asia, along with the price.
World Wildlife Fund African Elephant coordinator Lamine Sanogo spoke to VOA News from Nairobi.
“This is a real concern, and the rate is increasing everyday," he said. "And we think that if there is no immediate solution, the elephant population is going to collapse seriously when you look at the poaching rate currently.” 
Sanogo is especially concerned the poachers, many of whom he says are part of international crime syndicates and have sophisticated tools, outnumber and outclass the relatively small number of park rangers protecting Niassa’s elephants. 
“This region of northern Mozambique is really critical for the conservation of the African elephant, and we really need more partners ... including government and the international community to join the effort to avert the issue before it becomes late.”
Mozambique is still recovering from a long civil war that ended two decades ago. Last year, the top rebel group turned opposition party threatened to again turn rebellious.
Those worries have since abated with a recent peace deal, but Sanogo says conservationists are worried about possible unrest during and after next week’s national elections.
“If it is a peaceful election, we do not think it is going to be a problem. But as you might know, the political instability makes more vulnerable the conservation of species," he said. "When there are political troubles and no one wants to go into the field, the protected areas are much more open for any illegal actions.”
He says with their numbers rapidly dwindling, elephants cannot afford to be caught in the middle.

From Andrew John Linton and Guides and Rangers

Good news from Mozambique!

Damien Mander "A big congrats to the anti-poaching unit at Sabie Game Park, Mozambique, and their hard work in apprehending Filiciano Ndhlovu and Willy Tivane whilst exiting Kruger National Park. One suspect has escaped with a bag apparently carrying rhino horn, but the net is closing. Another CZ .375 rifle is out of the system. We are going to continue increasing efforts here, on a mission to make this a no go zone for poachers. Please help us to bolster these dangerous operations on the frontline of the Rhino Wars. Thank you"

Photo: Good news from Mozambique!

Damien Mander "A big congrats to the anti-poaching unit at Sabie Game Park, Mozambique, and their hard work in apprehending Filiciano Ndhlovu and Willy Tivane whilst exiting Kruger National Park. One suspect has escaped with a bag apparently carrying rhino horn, but the net is closing. Another CZ .375 rifle is out of the system. We are going to continue increasing efforts here, on a mission to make this a no go zone for poachers. Please help us to bolster these dangerous operations on the frontline of the Rhino Wars. Thank you"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


December 29, 2011
Record Number of Illegal Ivory Busts in 2011, Officials Fear Impact on Elephants - 3

by Martin Leung
Illegal ivory trading is on the rise. And while the official numbers are being calculated, 2011 looks to be a record-setting year for large-scale seizures of illicit ivory worldwide, according to Traffic, a conservation group that monitors trends in wildlife trading.

There have been 13 large-scale seizures this year, where an estimated 52,196 pounds of ivory was collected – it would take at least 2,500 elephants to produce that much ivory, according to Traffic. The latest discovery took place at a port in Kenya on Dec. 21. The shipment was on its way to Asia. It contained 727 pieces of ivory equaling 5,676 pounds.

Tom Milliken, who manages the Elephant Trade Information System, the illegal ivory trade monitoring system, said in a statement that 2011 is the worst year for large ivory seizures since ETIS began keeping records 23 years ago. A global ban on the ivory trade was placed in 1989 as a means to prevent the extinction of the elephant. But the ban hasn’t stopped poachers or smugglers, and things may get worse.

"We've reached a point in Africa's history where there are more Asian nationals on the continent than ever before. They have contacts with the end use market and now they are at the source in Africa," Milliken told Reuters.

He said economic development from countries like China could lead to an increase in poaching. Zimbabwe, Zambia, northern Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya are some of the places where elephants are being poached, he said.

"The trade data suggest that thousands of elephants are being killed a year ... I think central Africa has been brutally affected, especially Democratic Republic of Congo," he told Reuters.

There is an estimated 400,000 to 700,000 elephants in Africa. Some of the illegal ivory sent to overseas markets is used to make jewelry and ornaments.

“The escalating large ivory quantities involved in 2011 reflect both a rising demand in Asia and the increasing sophistication of the criminal gangs behind the trafficking. Most illegal shipments of African elephant ivory end up in either China or Thailand,” he said in a statement.

Smugglers can be difficult to catch because they are constantly changing their routes to avoid detection. And seizures may do little to affect the illegal ivory trade.

“As most large-scale ivory seizures fail to result in any arrests, I fear the criminals are winning,” Milliken said.


february 01, 2012
Mozambican Rhino Poachers Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison - 0

by S.K. Dachowitz
A South African court has sentenced three Mozambican men to 25 years in prison for illegally hunting rhinos.

The men, Aselmo Baloyi, Jawaki Nkuna and Ismael Baloyi, were found guilty on four charges, including the illegal hunting of a rhino in Kruger National Park in July 2010. They were caught with an assault rifle, a hunting rifle, an axe and two freshly chopped rhino horns. A fourth accused tried to escape, but was re-arrested and died in custody last year, reports

South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa expressed hope that the court sentence “will send a strong message” to poachers and would-be poachers. Earlier this month, reported that government officials were discussing the re-erection of a 150 km fence along the border between South Africa and Mozambique to reduce poaching.

This sentencing comes just weeks after news of around 450 rhinos being poached in South Africa in 2011 made headlines worldwide. Last year, 232 suspected poachers were arrested, David Mabunda, head of South Africa National Parks, told BBC Africa. Despite the poaching, South Africa is still home to the world’s largest rhino population--1,916 black rhinos and 18,780 white rhinos.

According to BBC Africa article, poachers typically dart a rhino with a tranquilizer before using a chainsaw to cut away its horn, which is later exported to the Middle East or Asia. The animal is usually left to bleed to death. Some game farms in South Africa de-horn their rhinos specifically to deter poachers from targeting them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A short ditty by the famous Mr. Littleton. I asked him to write something for the blog years ago it seems. Finally a few words and as you will hear he is torn between comic relief and serious measures but he entwines them well. Listen close to the seriousness of the specifics that pertain to the area, for this is the real message. It's a suttle read for the most part but the facts ring out that our beloved piece of Africa is destined to painfully fade with the rest of Africa.

"Same Ole Same O" the African way throws down a challenge and too few of the faithful to march.

I know he's back in the bush with us because my head hurts and my tongue feels like it's stuck to the side of my face. Two bottles of rum lie empty next to the camp fire. Only habit has dragged me squealing from bed as the morning glow infuses the Lugenda with the colors of Africa that I live for. The bird chorus shows them to be in significantly better condition to begin their day. Strong wet coffee seeps into my drought stricken blood stream as I sit happily in the cool dawn. It's good to have him here.


With the dust of the long drive washed off with a woodsmoke scented shower, we had set upon the rum. Elephant had cracked branches as they fed past the camp. Paula shook her head and headed for the kitchen knowing it would be a long night.

'So, what's been going on while Ive been away?'

'You know, Skeeter,' I begin, then realize my mistake. He has asked us not to call him Skeeter. It is how we were introduced years ago and it's a hard habit to break. It is an old nickname with annoying associations for him. So he became TAFKAS, The Artist Formerly Known As Skeeter. This mouthful is now Taffy - also the name of a legendary Rhodesian Special Forces operative, and this he finds amusing.

I try again, 'Most of the characters are still around. Anabela still has a tight reign on the basics, and is keeping the show running on a ludicrously small budget, but the perennial problems are not going away, in fact they are growing at the same rate as the game, which is doing incredibly well. Problem is this is all conflicting. The human population within the Reserve is out breeding everything else. Every girl or woman over about 13 has at least one child on her hip. We still do not have any clear perameters of where people can live and farm. Cultivation is still slash and burn, with new fields being opened every 4 or 5 years when the soil gets tired. It's all good in theory having people living in a Wildlife Reserve, but in practice the remedies for conflict are always two steps behind. We are very fortunate to have dedicated men like Wim Eberson involved with the anti poaching, and an unusual situation where most operators have bought into
creating a solid management model.

'Adel still subsidizes our operations, the logistics here are extreme. He has been a bloody saint. I wish he was able to make it out more often to enjoy this place.

Poaching is now becoming an issue. The Chinese are buying anything they can lay their hands on. Ivory has gone from $10 a kilo to over $50. Zebra skins go for around $200, a leopard for close to $500 and a lion skin for as much as $2000. There is talk that the bones are being sold as a replacement for tiger bones, but we have not been able to verify this. In an economic system like this that's crazy money for these guys. It's a new gold rush that we are not prepared to cope with.

'Oh hell man! So what are the Government doing about it?'

'Well you don't get votes from the wildlife. To most communities these animals are still considered a bloody nuisance or a danger. Despite our best efforts to change this mindset - 20% of our concession fees go to the communities, we try to help with community projects - there are very few who get it yet. Sheesh, these wilderness areas will be priceless within our lifetimes if we could keep them safe. Perversely to do that we will have to protect them from the very people we are ultimately protecting them for. Much of Mozambican environmental law is still based on the antiquated Portuguese system which gave very little value to wildlife or forests. It is not a criminal act to kill an elephant for instance. There is a small fine and no jail time. Most offenders are out and about 3 days later grinning at you. Basically we have been given no teeth to deal with these issues. More progressive legal systems in Africa make potential miscreants think
twice. In Zim there was a shoot to kill policy with armed poachers, and a 7 year mandatory sentence for a conviction of elephant or rhino poaching. It's incredibly frustrating. Anyway, on a brighter note, how are the Gals in your life?'

Taffy is surrounded by beautiful women. Sandi his wife is gorgeous inside and out, and is fiercely supportive of a man whose lifestyle is a little wacked, tolerating his free spirit where most women would loose the plot. He kept his lovely daughter Mareth safe from the boys in the bush until she was able to find herself a decent young man to marry and has now made him a grandad, and I have had the good fortune to be fed fried chicken by his Mom who is a wonderful lady.

'they are all good, I am hoping Sandi will make it out here again this year. It's been 6 years since she was here last.

Lilepe arrives with a plate of prawns for snacks. We are both hungry and they don't last long. Safari season is about to start so we are eating well. The routine diet of rice and beans will be replaced by meals cooked over a bushfire that would not be out of place in a fine restaurant. It has always amazed me how our native cooks do this under crude conditions and when our style of food is so foreign to them. The rum is getting better with every swallow and the noise level is rising. Leonard Skinner is trying unsuccessfully to depress us on Audwins iPod. The elephants are now splashing and rumbling as they enjoy the cool Lugenda river.

I knew I liked Audwin the moment I met him. He is that laid back Southern Gentleman, hands on farmer hybrid, observant artist, sixties wild child - I should qualify that - he would have been as comfortable exploring the meaning of life in the 1960's as exploring the world in the 1860's. Cut of a broader cloth, psychedelic one side, sepia the other. Normally calm, I know he has a mans temper when necessary. What I like most is that he is honest. 'When do you start work on those giant aluminum statues? ' I ask. 'Well the City has just about raised the money needed to get started. It's ready in my head, just waiting for the green light.'

Our discussion flows from issues relating to the Reserve, to the latest baboonery of mutual friends. That commercial companies are giving seed to local farmers to plant tobacco on islands and stream banks in a pristine wilderness, and there is the associated abuse of insecticides to kill fish and poison game. The animals killed in this manner were sold to unsuspecting families resulting in the death of children and even adults. The number of new people coming from Tanzania and other districts, where they had already over used their own resources to fish the Lugenda River or cut timber, more aggressive, they out compete the local fishermen who have lived in sync with the river for generations. There are solutions, but not without political will. Government's lame answer - poverty - and that the operators must find answers. There you hold the baby. None of them willing to make the unpopular decisions needed to secure a sustainable future. The next
generation won't think much of their lack of fortitude.

The conversation rambled on, we lamented all politicians, condemned all poachers and their masters, and willed 'progress' in our shrinking world to slow. Aside from bitching we laughed a lot, and laughing is very thirsty work. ' Do you miss Zimbabwe? ' he asks. 'Absolutely, you only realize what you had after you lose it. It's still surviving even with all the nonsense there. I miss my friends the most. It's funny how proud and territorial you get over a country. Pity human nature screws it all up. I think I may have shifted my loyalties to an ideal rather than a specific place.' I slur.

A lion moans from the opposite bank, and muddy hippos chuckle at his reverberating gloom. The rum has taken the edge off a crispness that has crept into the air. Even at our age, taking a pee in the bush is competitive. His artwork is better than mine, but he does not know that my claim to fame at school was weeing over the school bus, a record I believe still stands to this day. We stagger back to the fire each believing himself to have been the victor.

There are 3 of them sitting in front of me now. I can feel the stupid grin hacking my head in half. Skeeter, Audwin and Taffy. The firelight dances as they merge then separate again. Father son and holy terror. He is trying to tell me about a time shit happened in Central America but I have lost my grasp of English, although I seem to have swum the language barrier with the local dialects and am busy making a fool of myself in Swhaili. I notice through the haze that Paula has taken herself to bed. Hope she hasnt been eaten on the way.

'We are ludicrously privileged, Taffy, challenges are good. I just hope we can hold the line long enough ' is the last coherent thought that crosses my mind.

The last I remember of the evening is Audwin moving towards his tent on all fours playing the last post on a varmint call he has produced from somewhere.


'I had better get the team out onto opening roads and see what the anti poaching lads have been up to before he wakes up' I think to myself. There is one bottle of rum left, and a lot still to talk about.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ivory and Timber seized at Pemba Port

At last a move by the Mozambican authorities! As this blog and any number of other publications have been reporting, the "Illegal Ivory Trade" still flourishes in Africa, especially on the coast of Tanzania and Mozambique where large Chinese owned or back companies are raping the natural resources of these countries. Allowed to operate mostly without any oversight from "ANYONE" because of under the counter, back door payoffs proliferated by greedy corrupt politicians both on the local and national level these countries are becoming rich as the indigenous populations sink further and further into poverty. What little good the "honest local official, or national government officer" want to do is quickly smothered in bureaucracy.

(2011-01-14) Mozambican authorities who seized the container ship “Kota Mawar” in the northern port of Pemba as it was about to depart with 161 twenty-foot containers full of unprocessed timber, have announced that they have made another discovery. In a parallel operation, the authorities found 29 containers on the docks belonging to Miti Lda, some of which contained ivory.

The authorities are still searching the port for more illegal exports. There are suspicions that elements in the port, including in the customs service, have been complicit in allowing illegal exports. This suspicion has been reinforced by the fact that it was the police who intervened to stop the ship leaving harbour after it had been given the green light from customs.

The operation to unload “Kota Mawar” was delayed by arguments over who was responsible for the cost of removing the containers of wood.

Meanwhile, the owner of Pemba port, the national port and rail company, CFM, is complaining that no other ships can dock at the port due to the size of “Kota Mawar”.

“The losses are enormous. No other ship can dock and we are on the fourth day of being idle, while costs continue to mount without any income. I am talking of the fixed costs of electricity, water and labour that are not doing anything” said the port’s Paulo Bento.

Bento went on to say that the final evaluation of losses can only take place after receiving the ships that are waiting for the space occupied by “Kota Mawar”.

2011-01-13) The Mozambican authorities have aborted an apparently illegal attempt to export large quantities of unprocessed logs hacked out of the forests of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

161 20-foot containers full of the logs had been loaded in the port of Pemba, the provincial capital, onto the “Kota Mawar”, a ship operated by SDV-AMI, a company registered in the Caribbean island of Antigua. The cargo was destined for unspecified “Asian countries”.

According to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the timber belongs to five companies owned by Chinese citizens – namely Mofid (89 containers), Tienhe (30), Pacif (20), Sinlan (15) and Alphaben (7).

Officials in the agriculture and customs services must have been complicit in the attempt to smuggle out the logs – for if they had been doing their job properly, the containers would never have been loaded onto the ship.

Indeed the “Kota Mawar” had received the green light from customs to leave last Sunday – but it was the police that intervened to stop the export.

There is an order to unload the containers, but the operation has not yet began because the owner of Pemba port, the national port and rail company, CFM, has demanded to know who will pay for the operation.

Meanwhile, other ships are queing up to enter Pemba. The “Kota Mawar” is so large (179 metres long) that no other ship can dock. The port authorities say that the tankers which supply the hydrocarbon exploration vessel on the high seas are expected in the port within the next day or so.

At least one of the timber companies involved, Mofid, is a repeat offender. In 2004, the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court had to intervene to stop a ship leaving Pemba, laden down with illegal timber exports from Mofid and seven other companies.

In January 2007, Mofid was again caught, this time trying to export 47 containers full of unprocessed logs. The export was blocked because the then provincial governor, Lazaro Mathe, ordered that the wood be seized.

Source: AIM NEWS

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finally a little bit from Paula

I had been prodding my friend Paula Ferro to write something for Dancing ever since the idea for a blog about the Reserve was conceived about a year ago but she has been a bit shy about sharing.This year while staying with Paula and Derek in Luwire I again breached the subject and she told me she had written a short little page or two describing a typical day of operation in Luwire. Although she has sent pics and info about the Reserve I still was waiting for something from her own voice, something personally experienced and told from her own perspective. Paula is from Columbia and came to Mozambique for research purposes and stayed. She has been living in Mozambique for the last 4 years and her sweet disposition and calm demeanor go a long way when dealing with the ups and downs of daily operations in such a remote area. But, as we have all come to understand Mama, as the staff and local population call her has the ability to command the respect of the most hard nosed troublemaker for when she looks you in the eye and extends her index finger in your direction you know that at his point you have overstepped your bounds. Paula asked me to read and edit the piece and after reading it for the first time I knew immediately that any editing on my part would only take away from the piece. Paula's accent and South American perspective comes through in her words and only adds to the beautifully described tongue and cheek imagery. This is exactly what I was hoping for, a window to the lives of all that have so serendipitously been assembled to call this place their home and allow for you to experience through their words the depth of the wonder and ambiance that makes this piece of Africa so special.

I will however explain a few words so as to allow you a better understanding as to the local meaning.

1. palacio, a small bamboo house that Paula, Derek and Ph's use that is set back and away from the Client tents.
2. The tree house, about 30 ft. up a large tree was built to stay in after a bad encounter one night with an Elephant that had a bad disposition.
3.Ndapata, one of the Luwire Camps located in the center of the concession.
4.Gato and Le Chiffre, the two camp cats, part African Wildcat and part domestic.
5.Madala- honored older person
6.Cheetah-a light duty plane used by the Reserve

One day in Luwire camps

4 am, Lilepe wakes up with his powerful alarm. A bip bip coming from a Chinese Casio watch bought in the potato market in Pemba, a paradise where you can find the best electronics made in China, the best rate for dollar exchange and the best potatoes. Sorry where I was, oh! Yes Lilepe, sorry, Lilepe is our waiter, he has being with us for 10 years and he has being fired about 5 times. He is our best waiter. This story should be called the best, or the best of Luwire! Ok, lets continue our story.
4:15 underneath the Tree house, called the 2nd floor or Segundo Andar, just next to Palacio, Lilepe wakes up Derek, the Number One, “ Licença Patrão, Licença”! The day starts!
4:30 Derek and the client go to the bush, and Lilepe goes to sleep. The hunting day has started. Driving on the bumpy roads the impalas jump in front of the vehicle, some kudus on the right, a few meters later ten sables, eight females and two males.

The sun and the wind in the open car begins to burn their faces…
But in the camp the real activities start just before 7am, when the radio comms wake up the whole Reserve, the Luwire camps and Pemba with the most amazing news: food distribution, vehicles broken, scouts missing, a cook sick, etc. This is the event of the day. It is just like being in a Radio Station recording “Good morning America”.

Tigre is the leader, a fat, 4-foot man; he takes control of the news. Nobody is aloud to talk before him, not even Katandika, the Main Scout or Motorola, the worker in charge of Metarica Camp, a lover of radios. Tigre takes note of all the information that comes through the radio and reports all the details of the day to Derek on a dirty piece of paper written with terrible handwriting.
Tigre calls all the posts: “Posto no ar”? (Post in the air?), Matola - the waiter from Ndapata Camp, the only camp that can hear all the other posts responds; but a little note, he is the only one that can’t relay a message well. Answer: Yes, here Ndapata, Good morning! At the same time, Motorola gets in between the conversation and says that the ‘potato is getting rotten’ and his radio will die soon. (The potato is what the workers call the radio battery, when the potato gets rotten, the battery gets flat.) It is an emergency call. In the middle of this big moment, Dona Paula calls Tigre and he gives the “mazaroca” (microphone in our language, corn in theirs) to Lilepe to continue the radio show. “Why is the potato so rotten, where is the solar panel?” All the posts are talking- Madala is sick, Abondio has being missing for 30 days, Cezario is a father for the 10th time, Tome’s wife has being capture by the police and sent to jail because she bit the neighbours- But Dona Paula, takes control of the mazaroca and everybody stops talking – Mama is on the air, everybody listens to her instructions. Mama is like a bush Oprah giving advice in medical and love issues. Because when Number One is not around, Mama that takes control of the strangest situations.
The radio has been on for 30 minutes, all sorts of problems have been resolved, some of the workers are happy but others are very disappointed at the conclusion of the radio show.
The radio is off. Mama prepares her magic finger, and starts to give instructions to all the workers, scouts, cooks and tractor drivers. Everybody listen carefully. The cleaning starts, furniture is moved and poor Audwin that has just woken up has to move from one corner to the other just to drink his cup of coffee. It is the genocide for the ants and the spider nests, the Cobra wax and the Handy Andy (South African multi surface cleaner) invades the living area, the tents and any area that can be cleaned. Lilepe comes and goes, delegating all his tasks to the other poor workers that just past by in front of him. But at 11am, the floor is shining and the tents are clean, Viegas has done an excellent job. And Gato, the camp cat, sleeps.
Tigre is in the kitchen preparing lunch; making sure that the quantities will be enough for the clients and himself. If you see him you will have the feeling that his big belly will soon explode with the amount of food that he eats.
12am Radio time, Tigre comes from the kitchen with his mouth full of food and takes the mazaroca- Posto no ar? – Oh no! the horse (tata truck)is broken and the tinga tinga (tractor) too. Tigre yells, nobody hears, the “temperatura esta fraca” (the temperature is low!); one of the reasons why nobody hears Tigre on the radio! Mama Paula is upset - Why have these drivers broken the trucks again? - Pemba is not on the radio. It is Sunday; this is the reason. And suddenly the land cruiser noise comes closer and closer, Number One arrives with his sun burnt client and in the back of his car, the trackers, Sabadi smoking and Viegas sleeping.
Lunch on the table, Gato and Le Chiffre (if you have seen Casino Royal, Le chiffre is the bad guy in the movie, he has a funny eye, just like our cat) are around our feet. Few cold drinks and we are all ready for a hot siesta before the afternoon drive. At the same time the Vervet monkeys, full of nonsense, search the living area, Palacio and the tents for items they can steal and eat. And Gato sleeps.
3:30 pm Derek, the client that smells a mix of Skin so soft and Detol to fight the tzes tzes flies and his trackers go out for a second run. The camp gets hotter and hotter. Lilepe and Tigre are still dreaming, the monkey has destroyed half of the kitchen and Mama Paula and her magic finger are trying to get the guys to work again. But suddenly Mama Paula gets sidetracked.

Walking from the kitchen to the living area on the river, a group of 5 elephants come to drink; it is so beautiful that there are no words to describe it. They are all bull elephants, maybe 15 to 20 years old, happily splashing water over their bodies. And in the sky our resident Brown Kite flies around looking for food. The Egyptian Gooses are around making all sorts of funny noises. The strange looking Marabous with their peculiar looking heads hunt for any bicho on the river flats. The Mbamba Mountain starts to change color, some describe it as a lady with different sized breasts, for me is like the Little Prince of St Exulpéry, a big snake that ate an elephant. This place is so amazing, so magical and so pure. Mama Paula sits for few minutes in the bench and relaxes, waiting for the workers to appear.
4:30 pm Kitchen, living area and tents are clean again, Madala Mbamba with his little shorts and long socks is watering the grass, the cats are hunting for birds and one of the tractors is back from the bush with fire wood. Lilepe is getting dress with his best uniform, long dark pants and a white shirt. But note if there is a woman in camp he puts his bow tie to impress them. Lilepe prepares the glasses, the ice and the bottles of scotch and rum – we have to remember that he is not only our best waiter he was named the best barman in Pemba Beach Hotel, and he is very proud of that.
6:00 pm it is dark. The radio is on again; there is more noise that voices. Once more is only Ndapata that can relay the messages. Tigre screams few words. Kantandika needs 15 days to go to Tanzania to see the witch doctor, a special place where everything gets cure and all your problems get solve; he is with leprosy and the western medicine is not doing any effect. Mama Paula gives him permission to go. But it is difficult to believe that with teas and psychology Katandika will be fixed. Macanha Camp speaks: Macanha is ready for Dave’s client. Motorola – informs that a crocodile has bitten one of the fishermen, it was 5:00 pm the fisherman was sleeping and the crocodile attack. And at 5:30 the fishermen came to camp to inform. Tigre calls Romeo November (the main camp for Niassa Reserve) – Romeo November, Lusingi? – Whisky Eco gets the info about the fisherman. He will fly in the Cheetah tomorrow morning.

All the news are finish, everybody give the regards to all the radio speakers and to Number One and Mama. The radio is off.
6:30 pm Derek and his client arrive with a cloud of dust and few tze tze flies around them. The Trackers are drunk and singing. The car is full of branches. We all know what this means. The client has a lion. All the camp staff comes running, singing and dancing. The party starts, the kitchen staff prepares a big meal, drinks get out of the freezer, and the bar gets busy. There is music and hunting stories in the air. After few beers and scotches a good shower will get the smelly day and give some energy for a long night. Gato and Le Chiffre run away having a lion in camp is too scary.

7:30 pm, Trackers, Skinners, tractor drivers, few scouts and the safari camp staff are singing and preparing a sketch about how the hunter got his lion. The trackers use long sticks like rifles, two cans of beer like the pair of binos and they start to entertain the crowd. All laugh. The river bed is alive singing and dancing, “Festa, Festa, Viva Luwire, Viva Derek, Viva cliente, Viva!” (Party, Party, Long live Luwire, Long live Derek, Long live the client, Long live!). Food arrives and drinks are distributed, Rhino Gin is their favorite a kind of poison that our staff loves to drink and when it finish Lilepe share out our Absolut Vodka, that for the workers taste the same. And Tigre eats the left over quiet in the kitchen.
It is 8:30 pm, the effect of the Rhino Gin is visible and the songs are louder. The client and Mama Paula join the dancers, all dance and dance… Later, half of the people disappear in the dark; they are all going to bed.
It is 4am the trackers are still singing, the tractor drivers are sleep laying in the sand, and Viegas is asking for another beer to help his head to get better. Lilepe half sleep half drunk wakes up with his powerful alarm. “Licença Patrão, Licença”! And another day starts in one of the camps of Luwire.