Well, hello there. I do hope that you are fabulously well after another relaxing weekend. Here in the Luangwa winter feels like it might be starting to draw to a close, however the mornings and evenings are still beautifully fresh. As the season motors on and the teams are working super hard it is also important that everyone gets to take a little breather now and then. A couple of weeks ago Bianca, who is based at Luangwa River Camp, had an opportunity to jump on a few game drives and has been kind enough to share her sightings with us, so Bianca over to you:
“Leaving camp for a game drive is always exciting as you never know what you are going to see whether it large or small every game drive is different and every game drive is special. Being lucky enough to jump on a few drives over my time off having listened to all the sightings the guests had been having I was very excited indeed and I was certainly not let down. As the day awakens around us we stumble across a herd of elephants with one of the smallest babies I have ever seen, probably less than 2 months old. We sit and watch this little baby explore the world around him, interact with the adults, find his feet and stumble over them. Everyone giggles as this baby gets a little confused as to which adult is his mom as he runs back and forth between females and tries to suckle from them. The excitement on his little face was clearly seen when he manages to run around without falling over his feet.
Not long after leaving the elephants a hyena walks straight towards us down the road, past us and carries on without a care in the world and then ahead and with great excitement a couple of honey badgers. Too shy for anyone to take photos but nevertheless such a treat to see. Following the meandering road, we come across some wild dog sleeping on the road – again it seems like today everything just wanted to hang out on the road and whilst we are watching the sleeping dogs from behind us the alpha female comes running up and with some gentle encouragement from the rest of the pack the puppies start venturing out into the open. They run around and interact with the adults. Next thing the whole pack starts moving out with the pups in tow, it seems the alpha has decided to move the den site into a nearby tree line. Once everyone is settled the adults head out on a hunt at which point, we lose them as the distance and speed with which they cover ground is quite incredible. So instead, we take in the views and the plains game which are equally as rewarding.
The following morning a gentle potter around the bush listening to the dawn chorus and keeping our ears open for the tell-tale signs of any action. A big elephant bull meandering down the road making sure we all know he is boss, puku aplenty as well as giraffes before they’re sleeping in a typical “my belly is full and now I’m sleepy” position, legs on either side of the branch and head down fast asleep a lovely female leopard.
She opens her eyes, and we get a few nice shots of her. Our guide says he wants to confirm something, so he drives around to her other side and says this is Ntima, the daughter of Olimba. So, we decide to leave her and see if her mother or brother is also in the area. As we drive the sight of a carcass jumps out at us and we sit wondering if we drove past it the night before and didn’t see it but come to the conclusion the kill must have been made in the early hours of the morning. As we round a bend still in search of the rest of the leopard family the pattern and colouration of a leopard jumps out at us and right there in a small shallow ditch under a tree fast asleep is another leopard. We drive around to get a better view and it is confirmed that this is Olimba.
By the looks of it she was the one to make the kill and feast on majority of the carcass, her belly is so full it looks like she is pregnant. We then take our turn to head back to camp and adopt a similar pose to Olimba after a delicious lunch and even more luxurious siesta. Afternoon tea arrived and time to head back out into the bush and after some serious birding it wasn’t long before we wound up with the wild dogs who all seemed pretty relaxed and then back to see Olimba who by now was significantly more comfortable and she strolled down the road ahead of us for a good 20 minutes patrolling her territory completely at ease.
What a way to end 2 days of safari.”
Wow thank you so much for sharing all of this with us Bianca, what incredible sightings. Certainly, leaves me with very little to add so instead I shall gracefully say a very fond goodbye and hope that you have a fabulous week with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.