When I started working in the camps in Mana Pools National Park, along the Zambezi River, I found one of the hardest things was to wake up before sunrise to get the main area ready for the guests. I would have to check on the kitchen that there had been no disasters overnight – honey badgers getting into the pantry and creating havoc or elephants casually clearing the breakfast table with one swipe of their trunk to get at that Albida pod on the other side!! True story!
But it didn’t take me long to realise that these early mornings were the best times of the day. If you were lucky you would catch a glimpse of a night creature or two as it shuffled off to find a cool spot to wait out the hot day. I would be joined by the four legged early risers who were out to get the best nibbles of grass or the freshly fallen leaves that the wind blew down the night before. And one would think that it would be quiet, not at all!! The bird song was deafening! The White Browed Robin Chat usually being the loudest and noisiest, singing its song with all of its little heart.
And when you have checked everything is in place for the arrival of the guests, it is your chance to sit on the deck with that first cup of coffee and take in the truly stunning view out across the Zambezi River. As the sun just peeks over the mountains, slowing chasing away the mist that had settled along the banks of the river, and welcoming the new day with its soft colours and gentle warmth. I must be one of the luckiest people in the world