Well, hello there. I do hope that you are well and have had a lovely first week of 2022. Here in the Luangwa, we have been bringing in the new year in style with some incredible sightings and scenery. We unfortunately are still not able to get out in the boats on the river as there has been very little rain. Let us see what the next few weeks bring us as the clouds are rolling in and it is certainly very hot and humid but despite the slight doom and gloom there is a lovely green covering of grass and for now, the animals are looking pretty happy.
With the greening of the Valley, all the animals seem to glow and everything for some reason seems even more beautiful than ever. On Christmas Day Obi was out and about with his guests and came across a wonderful female leopard and her cub feasting on an impala strangely on the ground, which offered an even better than normal sighting. What made it even more special was that the leopards seemed to be totally left alone to eat their meal with no interruptions from hyenas or other scavengers.
Perry in the meantime had the joy of spending half an hour watching a huge bull elephant bathing in one of the filled lagoons, wading and splashing about to his heart’s content. Everyone then converged back in camp for a well-earned and scrumptious Christmas lunch.
At teatime that afternoon, whilst tucking into a well ‘Brandied’ Christmas Cake, the guests announced their Christmas sighting wish of an Aardvark. Obi’s eyes widened to the size of saucers wandering how the heck he was going to make this one a reality, but in true Christmas magic fashion… he did it and the guests got to see this incredibly shy and elusive animal. This also meant that getting caught in the most enormous rainstorm was totally forgiven by all as it was worth every moment of it!
The following day the sightings continued with wild dogs hunting while the pups stayed nearby playing. No one, not even the adult dogs, had seen the impala hiding in the bush on the other side of the road until one of the pups spotted the impala baby and stalked it. Sadly for the impala, but well done to the wild dog pups as they managed to kill it and feast before the parents came back!
Lions have also been showing off with the two big boys chilling out in the open grassy Lupunga spur area with 3 females. They have been doing very little as usual but looking magnificent all the same.
Meanwhile in plant news, we have mushrooms sprouting up all over the place with little delicate poisoned inkcaps growing from the damp elephant dung and large bulbous mushrooms loving the shady damp and humid cervices under dead logs. The roadsides are littered with the beautiful purple wild ginger flowers and the occasional fireball lily can be spotted. The white Vlei lilies also break the vibrant green of the bush with their fresh bright white petals. It really is a wonderful time of the year.
On that bright note, I shall leave you to enjoy the rest of your day. Hope that you have a lovely rest of the week with plenty or smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.