Hello there. I hope that you are smashingly well and had a lovely weekend. Here in the Luangwa it’s wet, watery, green and wonderful. It’s a truly magical time of the year – that is as long as we are not worried about high water levels in the Luangwa River. After a huge rainstorm there is no telling what is going to happen whether it be a tree that has fallen across the road or a sudden swelling of rainwater in a gulley causing a mini flash flood. And whilst all of this happens, those that are happiest are the hamerkops and the hippos. Whilst I don’t think that hippos can ever look happy, their faces just don’t seem to allow that, but they can be found dotted all over the park just enjoying life. Whether chomping on fresh green grass or relaxing in a swollen lagoon, this is perfect weather for hippos.
As for the hamerkops, most bridges and puddles have got one living the life fishing for any fish, frog or locust that may be floating past. The other animal that is currently out in force are the open billed storks who are cleaning up on all the waterlogged plains as they feast on snails and worms and all those sorts of scrumptious things! Just as soon as the sun comes out dung beetles and butterflies come out in force to feast on the elephant dung in the road and if you take the time to sit and watch it is wonderful to see what simply happens in front of you. It’s those magic moments and it’s not only the small animals that create them the big ones do too.
John was busy driving along with his guests and at twin baobab he found a lovely male lion who was half asleep (see video). As the weather was overcast and cool the guests decided to just sit and watch and wait and boy did it pay off. After a little while a pack of wild dogs appeared and were coming towards where the lion was sleeping. Unfortunately for the guests there was no interaction between the dogs and the lion as the dogs decided to change direction and veered off into the bush. So, the guests sat for a few minutes more and were treated to the lion getting up and walking straight towards the car roaring (see video).
Leopards have also been out in force, including a great sighting of a leopard right by the harbour. Having finished off the game drive the guests got out of the car ready to get on the boat but suddenly stopped as the baboons were barking furiously. Immediate change of plan and back in the car and just around the corner was a beautiful female leopard who seemed to have one mission in mind and that was to simply annoy the baboons. Having succeeded she then stood up and sauntered off into a lovely thick bush and went to sleep and the guests headed back to camp for lunch and siesta.
The wild dogs, besides the fleeting glimpse of them trotting down the road towards the lion, have been rather scarce but we do like to leave everything to the last minute and as the guests had said goodbye to the Robin’s House team and were all packed up heading to the airport, they found dogs on the Nkwali Road. What a wonderful send off.