Well, hello there. I do hope that you are well and are ready and raring for a pretty exciting and hectic update from the Luangwa.
As the season progresses and the bush dries out invariably the sightings become better and better not only because you can see more but the water is more concentrated, and the game is focused on being in these areas.
Also, the guides have gotten to know the patterns of the animals as the new season unfolds. That being said there is simply no telling though what the animals are in fact going to get up to as they simply don’t read the books. The next question is where do we start? We could start with the fleeting glimpse that Kiki had of a leopard as it hurtled at top speed across an open plain being chased by a troop of baboons! Or the rather upsetting and dramatic sighting that Willie had of a lion attacking a wild dog.
But instead lets start with the cute and fluffy – well some may say not so cute, but I leave that up to personal opinion. As we know Tena Tena has over the years become a favourite spot for the hyenas and for the last couple of years, they have denned at the top of the entrance road. Well, this year was no different except after finally thinking that they had settled, something obviously spooked them, and they upped and moved and now Nyambe has a fantastic view of the den from his bedroom window! I am not sure how thrilled he is to have the whooping all night and the slightly aromatic notes created by the hyenas, but I am sure that as soon as they have settled, and the pups start appearing we will be taking our guests on a very short drive to the other side of camp to take a look.
Speaking of pups, the wild dog pups that were denning just outside of Nkwali have left the den and can be seen running around with their parents trying to learn the subtle art of hunting but occasionally to the adult’s frustration messing it up. And the dogs up at Nsefu have had a rather dramatic few weeks having lost one of the males to a crocodile and then another to a lion but now that the pups are out and keeping up, they are thrilling all of our guests with some wonderful sightings playing and hunting – or at least trying to learn to hunt!
The leopards have been littering our sightings repertoire including a young female leopard parking off in a tree behind Bertie’s room at Tena Tena for an entire day, so the guests really didn’t have to go far but they did soon decide to wonder on to take a look at the other offerings of the bush.
Over at Luangwa River Camp the guides set off for their afternoon drive and spied a few cars all parked in the same area which is usually an indication of a predator but quickly the cars all moved off but not put off by this Daudi decided to investigate and it paid off as a slight flicker of movement in the grass and there was a female leopard so insanely camouflaged that no one else had seen her. Marveling at her ability to blend no one had noticed a hyena creeping up from behind which certainly got the leopard’s attention, and she got up and just started walking towards the car. Everyone wandering what on earth was going on was even more surprised to see her grab hold of her kill (again cunningly hidden) and dragged it up a nearby tree.
The hyena not to be put off by the fact that there was food so close spent a lot of time and energy jumping up trying to get a tooth to the kill and make it fall down the tree, but the leopard soon mustered the energy to drag it even higher at which point the hyena realised that it was wasting its time and sauntered off leaving her to the fruits of her efforts.
So, as you can see it has really been action packed the last few weeks and I feel certain that it shall not stop and look forward to sharing more of these incredible sightings with you as the season plods along. However, for this week I am going to bid you a very fond farewell and hope that you have a fabulous week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.