I hope you are all doing wonderfully well. Here in the Luangwa Valley, we have been lucky to have had some respite from the heat in the form of rain. The bush is slowly starting to turn green and we look forward to the explosion of colour as the rains get more frequent. On that…
I hope you are all doing wonderfully well. Here in the Luangwa Valley, we have been lucky to have had some respite from the heat in the form of rain. The bush is slowly starting to turn green and we look forward to the explosion of colour as the rains get more frequent.
On that note, we will be hearing from Mike & Nancy from Dazzle Africa who are fond of visiting during the Emerald Season. So without further ado, over to them:
“We at Dazzle Africa simply love visiting the Luangwa Valley in the green season. The river and lagoons are filled to the brim with water and often spill over into the bush. Only during this very unique time of the year is it possible to access all sorts of parts of the park by boat and picking your way through the ebony grove by boat is a truly magical experience. Our home for 3 nights is the storied Robin Pope Safaris Nsefu Camp and we are the only safari goers for miles around.
Our only means of getting around is either our own two feet or a sturdy boat – both equally expertly lead by Willie. First off we cruise up the river around trees in channels of water over where the dry season game drive loops used to be. Hippos peer at us suspiciously from behind the ebony trees and when out on the main channel from the higher banks elephants, puku, zebra and impala all stare at us with curiosity.
Then suddenly cutting the boat engine to just listen to the bush a far off din reaches our ear. An epic event is happening and we are going to be able to witness it. As we get closer the screams, chaotic hisses, baritone “woofing” of wing beats and the constant clapping of beaks becomes incredible and we look up into the trees to witness the yellow-billed stork colony.
Year after year these beautiful birds congregate in this particular spot where they build their nests and lay their eggs in an isolated group of jackalberry trees which during the rains are surrounded by water. As we glide closer and the noise of the thousands of birds become almost deafening as they jockey for the perfect spot we notice that below the tree laying maliciously in wait are crocodiles and maribou storks.
The storks ignorant of the danger below as they are far too consumed with the courtship routines of checking out the perfect nest site. She flies down while he shows off his wings by stretching them out and preening them, she then balances on a small stick opening her bill and inclining her neck towards the sky. If she passes the test he invites her in to her nest and the proceed to mate. Bill clapping, head shaking and then the nest building begins in earnest. We watch on as the dance continues between 100’s of mating pairs.
In another direction several yellow-billed storks line up on the edge of the shallow waters and in a coordinated effort they all step into the shallows and muddy up the waters, one can’t help but wonder what might be lurking in the shallows waiting for an opportunity. The lucky ones catch a fish and swallow it whole before continuing on their dance.
A simply incredible scene and one which we look forward to witnessing next March!”
Wow thanks so much Mike and Nancy and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.
From my side there is nothing worthy of such a wonderful story so I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another