Hello there. I hope that you are suitably contented with the Easter splurges and have had a lovely weekend. Here in the Luangwa truth be told, it was touch and go for a while as to whether we would be able to celebrate Easter with our guests. The water levels thankfully remained stable, albeit at an extraordinary height and we have had a wonderful weekend. The river has been sitting incredibly high for the whole week with water pouring under and over Robin’s Bridge and many areas being completely cut off. However, here we have been very lucky and our biggest concern over the whole period was whether the Easter Bunny would be able to get here – good news he did…
With Nkwali and the houses being full to bursting due to a little hiccup with the water levels and us having to close Luangwa River Camp just 2 days after having opened, the teams got busy with baking hot cross buns and all manner of chocolate treats. Moreover, no weekend is complete without a bush breakfast and Kiki probably doesn’t manage more than 4 days without his fill of sausages, so Sarel and the chefs set sail across the vast expanse of the Luangwa to find a dry spot to get a fire going and start cooking.
With energy levels at a high there was no excuse for sitting around in camp and everyone maximised their time in the bush and the guiding team really showed them the best of the Luangwa. Being known as the valley of the leopards there was absolutely no doubt of that this weekend and every group of guests saw leopard at some point over the weekend, if not more!
The sighting which stood out against the rest was on Good Friday when Kiki was just approaching the harbour when suddenly a young female just literally popped out of the bushes. She started looking very focused, so they followed her for a while until she set her sights on a herd of impala. Switching off the headlights they sat in the moonlight watching the shadows of the action as she stalked the impala before she was spotted and after some serious snort from the impala, they all ran away, and she skulked off into the bushes. Lights back on and back to the harbour where the river was exceptionally high for a super speedy dash back to camp.
Here we are not just about the big game, we have had some great birding ticking over 100 bird species from the checklist without any great effort just in the last 2 days. The standout was the purple crested turaco with the good luck glimpse of the red under the wings as it flitted from tree to tree calling loudly to its mate. The mate eventually appeared but quite some distance apart and they spent a good while calling to each other.
With the river having burst its banks, all the lagoons were backed up and as a result the crocodiles and hippos were all displaced and taking refuge in the slower moving water. Now that we have had a drop of more than a meter in the last 36 hours the animals have changed their battle to extremely slippery and squidgy mud and the hippos and crocs are relocating once more.
Meanwhile the open-billed Storks, yellow billed storks and egrets are all feasting on various molluscs from the soft silt and the fish caught up in the drying puddles. Its been quite a marvel to watch the changes in the landscape over this last week.
So, there you have it for this week another fantastic week with lots happening and plenty more in the pipeline as we speed our way towards May and opening up Nsefu and Tena Tena for the season and I shall definitely keep you posted on all the updates from there.
Which brings me to the point where I bid you a very fond farewell for the week and hope that you have a fabulous week ahead with lots of smiles and laughter.