Well, hello there. I hope you are super well and had a lovely weekend. Here in the Luangwa the mornings and evenings are still quite chilly, but I think I detect a slight warmth in the afternoon as we speed towards August and almost halfway through the peak season. Where the time has gone I have absolutely no idea, but one thing is for the sure the animals have been showing off big time in the last few weeks. This week we have a wonderful update from Bianca who is part of the Luangwa River Camp team. Bianca over to you:
“As our guests arrive for breakfast at 05:30 they start the morning off each with a slice of toast topped with local honey and a cup of tea. They finish their toast and join us at the edge of the river with their tea as we watch the sunrise.
I turn my back to find my cup of coffee but hear the guest ooh and ahh. I quickly turn myself back to face the river and the bank on the opposite side, you can barely see what is moving but you can clearly tell there is a whole herd of antelope running. I quickly start tapping the shoulder of one of our guides, Chilumba, both of us knowing exactly what is going on as they had seen the pack of wild dogs sleeping not too far from where the chase was happening the night before. Then next moment we hear it, the kill has been made. Chilumba runs to the kitchen to radio our boatman to bring the boat and be ready to quickly zip everyone across the Luangwa into the park. While he is gone another screech comes and everyone is chomping at the bit to get going.
Without further hesitation tea, toast and everything else is dumped and everyone heads to the river. As the sun brightens up the day, I see the boat beetling across the river to where the cars are parked before suddenly stopping and floating downstream a little. A camera flash confirms the guests have seen something and then movement draws my attention as hyenas apparently appearing out of thin air who had heard the kill are now also rushing to join the frenzy. The guests had the treat of watching 12 dogs and 5 hyenas fighting over the kill. (Enjoy this brief clip of part of the action.) Absorbed in watching this all through my camera lens from camp I hear a rustle behind me and see half of the team all standing around also watching the scene unfold. Not only a fabulous start to our guests’ day but also the entire team. The hyenas eventually won the fight and the wild dogs disappeared off in search of another meal.
The following morning breakfast had seemed a little more mundane and the guests had left for their game drive when the waiters were clearing the breakfast area and suddenly looked up and spotted a beautiful leopard in the gully opposite camp just where the dogs had been the previous day. Once again, all the staff zoom out to take in the view whilst someone went to give the guides a heads up, but it was too late, they were on to another sighting.
Having headed out, it wasn’t long before the impalas overtook the game drive running at full speed being chased by wild dogs. Kill made, noise made, and it was a repeat of the day before with the hyenas appearing from nowhere but this time the dogs were not backing down. As they chase the hyenas off the hyenas run into each other and start fighting with one another. One hyena got badly injured, suffering from a fair number of bites from the pack of dogs. This time the dogs manage to finish their meal and head off to a close water hole to drink some water and clean their bloody faces off. Guests returned to camp after their morning drive trying to hide their excitement but failed to do so and it wasn’t long before everything was told to us as we sat there rather jealous of what they had all seen. It’s been a busy week at Luangwa River Camp in terms of game viewing and as the bush dries up, I am sure it’s only going to get busier and better with the sightings.”
Wow, thanks so much Bianca. Certainly, a busy few days for you all and thanks so much for sharing. This leaves me with very little else to say except to bid you a very fond farewell and hope that you have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.