Well, hello there. I do hope that you are fabulously well after another lovely weekend. Today my job has been made a lot easier as we hear from regular guests Neil Andrews and Sarah Garwood who have been kind enough to share with us their recent trip to the Valley. Neil and Sarah over to you:
“At last, we were back! That’s how Sarah and I felt as we stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac to be greeted by smiling, familiar faces at Mfuwe airport. The pandemic and our own respective hurdles behind us we were, after two consecutive years of postponement, once again in the warm arms of Robin Pope Safaris… with an added bonus on this particular trip of being accompanied by our travel agents, Lankester White.
It had been, almost to the day, ten years since I had first been guided by Jason on my initial RPS trip (to Liuwa Plain). How much of the vast array of knowledge he gently imparts to listening guests would I recall… the last time, five years ago, on a walking safari crisscrossing the Mupamadzi river? Thankfully a lot had stuck in the grey cells and there was even some capacity for more! Though it is undeniably fascinating to learn of the white-browed sparrow-weavers’ alpha male and alpha female breeding structure, my personal favourite factoid on this trip was sound based, listening to the percussive duet of the southern tropical boubou. Hearing is believing. Hit that bass boy!
Whilst the crossing to and from Luangwa River Camp was, by far, the shortest we have ever experienced on the Luangwa, the welcome was as warm as ever … thank you Kim, Leonard and everyone else who made our return stay so special … arriving as we did in a thunder and lightning downpour. A dead hippo carcass, at times being ripped into by over fifty crocodiles of various sizes made us appreciate that however brief the crossing the Luangwa is no paddling pool.
As expected, the drives did not disappoint. We hadn’t even left the confines of Luangwa River Camp when the acrobatics of a sun squirrel eating a sausage tree sausage caught our eyes.
Whilst monkeys and baboons have a propensity to entertain, it was three male lion cubs, barely three months old playing catch with one another’s tail that stole our hearts, along with herds of elephants that we gently stalked as they cruised the park at their own pace, youngsters strategically placed in the middle.
The early rains had greened the park as well as reducing the dust, aiding the photographers in our group. Nesting carmine bee-eaters adorned the high banks of the Luangwa with their dramatic and ever so colourful aerobatics being caught in early morning sunlight; others we observed sand bathing or adorning treetops like Christmas decorations.
The early rains had induced the impala to drop their young, having been preceded by warthogs … youngsters everywhere. Though we did catch our lions feeding in this instance their prey was a juvenile buffalo.
Sundowners followed by a return to the sumptuous cuisine and comfort of Luangwa River Camp. Contentment!
One thing’s for sure. It won’t be four and five years respectively till Sarah and I undertake our next RPS adventure.”
Thank you so much Sarah and Neil for sharing with us this week, what a delightful safari. We look forward to hosting you again soon.
On that note, have yourself a lovely productive week. I will be back with more news update from the bush. Keep smiling and don’t forget to look after one another.