Well, hello there. I do hope that you are well after another wonderful weekend and are ready and raring for the week ahead. Here in the Luangwa, it’s still all systems go and today the Mobile Walking Safaris team have arrived at Nkwali. We are opening the container doors and embarking on unpacking, washing, checking and counting everything ready for the season ahead. We are also making some modifications to the big truck to upgrade Alfred’s kitchen which he is very excited about. Even if Webby the driver is somewhat skeptical about us fiddling with his pride and joy, but that’s all going to be news still to come as today it’s all about diving into the container and sorting things out.
Out in the park the guides have been super busy with guests, showing them, all sorts of wonderful sightings. A fabulous start to the season up in the Nsefu sector with porcupine, honey badger and plenty of leopards. In fact, one evening the guests had seen so much that they opted for an afternoon in camp taking it easy on the wonderful beach in front of camp with a glass of champagne watching the elephants out on the distant bend.
Having thought that the rains were behind us, we very strangely had some last weekend which caught us all massively unaware, and it meant that all the elephants literally disappeared. We were all very excited when they started returning both up at Nsefu and down at Nkwali. The rain thankfully was just the one short but rather sharp shower, enough to settle the dust for a few days but not enough to massively scupper all our plans. So, life in the dry season has begun and the river has dropped enough for the elephants to start crossing in certain areas which is always a wonderful sight. Whilst on the subject of the river, the African Skimmers have certainly made themselves at home opposite Luangwa River Camp offering fantastic sightings for each boat crossing. Guests also had a rather entertaining sighting of a monitor lizard using the hippos as steppingstones to reach the required branch for its afternoon siesta!
In other animal news, the birdlife continues to provide constant entertainment whether it be the incredible colours of a glossy starling, the wonderful rolling of a lilac breasted roller, staggeringly long tail of a Paradise Wydah in its breeding plumage or an African harrier hawk hijacking a nest in the side of the tree. They really are the unsung heroes of the bush (excuse the pun) but once you take a moment to notice the birds there will never ever again be a “quiet” game drive. It also pays to take a little time to enjoy the animals that are taken for granted and whilst sitting and watching a scene unfold in front of you the rewards of a pair of young puku posing for a photo or a zebra foal and mother walking straight towards you all show themselves.
That being said, it is always a treat to find the predators and at Nkwali we have been incredibly lucky this week with regular sightings of the wild dogs on the road in and out of camp. Some of them admittedly being incredibly fleeting but others long enough for guests to enjoy watching these incredibly athletic creatures. And from the park side there have been mating lions, which was a spectacle in itself, the male was however left totally exhausted after the event.
I could go on; however, I feel that for this week I have spoilt you enough with a complete range of different sightings. I shall gracefully bid you a very fond farewell and hope that you have the most wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one-another.