Well, hello there. I hope that you are fabulously well and have had a great weekend. Here in the Luangwa, it has been raining on and off all weekend and the lagoons are full and the river is filling. Everyone can be seen walking around slightly cautiously being careful not to slip on the mud and on a couple of occasions people have certainly come a cropper much to everyone’s amusement – that is until it’s their turn!! As for the animals well, the elephants are simply loving the weather and making the most of the lagoons for lots of swimming, splashing around and general fun – see them in action in this video clip. Whilst they are doing this the resident hippos and jacanas are less than impressed as their tranquil scene certainly becomes disrupted. The baboons however are far less embracing of the rains and generally look a little damp and miserable and look for whatever dry spot to sit that they can find and the ropes along the Luangwa Safari House deck certainly provides the ideal spot.
Out in the park the wildlife has been non-stop despite the bush thickening out and some of the roads no longer being accessible. In fact because there are large swathes of the park that are now big puddles quite often the driest spot is on the road and the guests have been really treated with everything from dung beetles rolling their dung balls, mushrooms springing out of the elephant dung or out of fallen rotten branches thriving in the damp and humid conditions to leopard and wild dog going about their business trying their best not to get their paws too muddy.
This time of year is also a lot quieter so chances are that the sightings you have are pretty much all to yourself which means that we can really take the time to enjoy them. One particularly amazing sighting was of a pride of lion feasting on a hippo that happened to be in a puddle which was also occupied by a crocodile. As everyone watched on wandering what was going to happen it seemed that the crocodile patiently waited its turn finally moving off to give the lions their space and only once they decided it was time to digest and dry off did it move in.
The lions then preceded to relax under the shade of a tree for the rest of the day looking very full and sleepy and only slightly registered that something was happening when a hyena popped into the picture to enjoy some of the leftovers.
As the river levels rise we are also starting to take the opportunity to get out in the boats enjoying some wonderful skies and a totally different view of the park which is always such a treat. There is something pretty impressive about looking up at an elephant from the boat as well as slightly nerve-wracking – not that anything would ever happen, but you certainly take note of their size that is for sure.
Lastly as we take the time to enjoy the anomalies that this time of the year brings with it there was an incredible puddle event a few days ago. As guests drove past, they popped the breaks on wandering what on earth was happening as it almost looked like an oil slick. It was however a mass of tadpoles all moving as one enormous black mass. Just under an inch long there were hundreds of them it was quite incredible and mesmerising in a strange sort of way. The foam nest frogs are also incredibly relieved with the weather as it means that the gamble of which puddle to build their nests over is far less of a risk as the water levels are being topped up daily.
Other than that, we continue to keep ourselves very busy despite the weather and the guests are having a wonderful time. For now, though I shall leave you to the rest of the week as mine is already running away with me and I shall bid you a very fond farewell with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.