Some of you may have seen a BCC documentary a couple of years ago, set in Zambia and presented by Kate Humble. They were watching animals struggling to find water in the driest part of the year, as they look forward to the rainy season in Oct / Nov. That documentary series was set in South Luangwa National Park and I had the opportunity to visit their last weekend. Steve, Ann and I went to visit Andy & Kate (from Somerset) and have a short break together – I think we all felt like we needed it!
It was a long drive but well worth it as I crossed a long awaited moment off my bucket list – to see a leopard in the wild! We also saw lions, giraffes and plenty of hippos and elephants. In fact, the first night I hardly slept as there were elephants grazing right outside my tent. You can see in the photos below just how dry it is at the moment and how low the river level is. I think we’re all looking forward to the rains to freshen things up a bit.
The arrival of the rains will also hopefully improve our electricity situation a bit. Most of Zambia’s power comes from hydro-electric power stations at Lake Kariba in the South and on the Zambezi River. Low water levels this year (and possibly other factors) have meant electricity production is down and so we’re currently facing power cuts of 8+ hours every day. It also seems likely that within a few weeks there’ll be no power at all. This is pretty frustrating for me but for essential services like hospitals it is devastating. The knock-on effects are huge: Our economy depends on mining and farming, both of which are badly impacted and so the currency here is losing value fast. We are also seeing increasing deforestation as people are relying more on wood burning and charcoal.
Please pray with us for really good rains!
He prepares rain for the earth. Ps 147:8