Setting up camp

Our camp at Lake Paradise with Julius, in chef's hat, working on dinner. Photo and video by David Lansing.

We only had an hour or so left of daylight so everyone quickly pitched in to make camp. Karani, our bushman and head of security, gathered wood and quickly built a fire as Julius, our chef, and Eddie set up a tarp over the mess area and started preparing dinner.

The rest of us all started getting the tents up. I was working on one of the tents while at the same time keeping an eye on the smelly ellies out in the meadow in front of us and thinking about Osa and Martin Johnson arriving here for the first time almost 90 years ago and suddenly I just became overwhelmed.

Here we were. At Lake Paradise. The time was short, the light fading, but I just had to take a moment and walk down to the edge of the meadow and take it all in and think about what we’d accomplished just in getting here.

Hardy came over and asked me if I was alright. I shook my head and the two of us just stood there looking at all the animals in front of us, from the elephants to the flocks of ducks and Egyptian geese, the fishing eagle that circled overhead. So much wildlife all around us. We truly were in Paradise.

Here’s a one-minute video of us setting up camp and looking at the smelly ellies, as Calvin calls them.