Well, hello there. I do hope that you are fabulously well. Here in the Luangwa we have finally cracked the 40C mark so we can now really say that things are heating up. Whether it’s the heat or simply a sudden decision, the animals all seem to be gravitating towards camp and this week has been pretty full on at Nkwali with guests and staff alike having some interesting sightings.
Let us start with the baboons – those pesky little creatures. As their usual food sources dwindle, they are becoming more and more of a challenge as they sneak around corners, open fridge doors and peak into guests’ rooms hoping to make the most of any potential opportunity for a free snack. But at the same time, they have also been handy at warning us when there are predators around so it’s not all bad.
Speaking of predators, we have had no shortage of them this last week with guests sitting at Nkwali bar having breakfast when suddenly 5 wild dog came charging through camp chasing a bush buck. Said bushbuck sped towards where Kelvin, one of the watchmen, was sitting. When he saw what was happening, the bushbuck launched himself off the bank in the one direction and Kelvin in another – both all fine don’t worry. Then Kelvin and the dogs saw each other and in a flat spin panic the dogs changed direction and proceeded to run straight through camp; charging past our bedroom window where the cat (safely inside) puffed up like a puffer fish thinking that maybe it might make her appear a little fiercer. And just like that they were gone. Zambia Carnivore Program team later found them down on the beach just along from camp relaxing in the shade after their frantic morning.
In another instance there was a peaceful scene of elephants crossing the river and impala coming down for a cautious sip of water. Turns out caution should have been even more elevated than what it was, as launching itself like a missile out of the water came a huge crocodile catching an impala and killing it.
But let us not forget young Sarel who was heading to Nkwali bar to get ready to greet guests back from their game drive when he found himself in a slight predicament. Some impala came bounding towards him alarm calling and the other side of the impala were 4 lions. It was not long before the impala were the other side of him and he found himself in a fantastic game viewing position!! Fortunately, he was a few steps from his front door so making a hasty retreat he waited for the excitement to die down before heading back to the bar.
In the park the animals have continued to impress with leopards falling out of trees – not literally but some guests recently had 8 different sightings in just 5 days! We are also having increasingly regular sightings of the main pack of wild dogs which is now 30 strong.
Buffalo, giraffe and elephant sightings seem to be increasing in number as the water sources become more concentrated to just the river. The impala are getting fatter and slightly heavier on their feet as we near the time of the year when they drop their young. A few warthogs have already been spotted with some piglets, but they were very tiny and probably should have still been in the burrow, so lets hope that that doesn’t come to too much of an unfortunate end.
So, there you have it, it is nonstop and even as I write this we are surrounded by a herd of elephants as they meander through camp – simply magical! But for now, I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have a fabulous week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.