Well, hello there. I do hope that you are well and sitting ready for the next instalment from Bianca our Luangwa River Camp host as she enjoyed a few relaxing says at Nkwali Camp and making the most of the opportunity to get into the park. Bianca over to you:
“Last week we only managed to get to the pontoon before I ran out of time to share my sightings with you so now here we go into the park… The pontoon in itself is always a fun experience, but one made even more exciting when you are sitting and, in the distance, there are more wild dogs….
Bumbling off the pontoon and across the slightly bumpy sand track we catch up with the 6 dogs who have come down to the river to drink from a small puddle and cool down. They were soon off again getting away from the sun and heading into the thickets where we lost them.
Continuing the drive with lots of amazing birds including some wonderful ground hornbills who sort of feel like the gentle giants of the birds that we get here as they wander around in their tight knit family groups making their low gentle calls to each other. Carrying on through the ever-thinning bush we start to hear some tell tell signs of a predator as the baboons start to bark and sure enough there was a stunning leopard right there in the open. She eventually got up and fixed her gaze on something in the distance – impala. She was on a mission, but we had had such a wonderful sighting of her that we graciously left her to her hunt so as not to disturb and head back to camp for some lunch.
That afternoon as the clouds built we decided to head back the way we had come and check on all of our sightings from the morning but everyone had moved off so it was a quick trip to the pontoon and into the park with some lovely sightings of hyena, genet, civet and even a puff adder all from the thankful relief of the canopy on the car as there was a sudden sharp storm catching us all slightly off guard.
The next few days of game drives continued to be incredibly productive with amazing sightings of elephants, giraffe, zebra, and plenty of birds. The small rain that we had had ramped up the humidity levels quite significantly as well as pushing the mopane trees into their new flush filling the landscape with the first signs of new life. We searched for baby impala but were not lucky they must be waiting for the rains to start properly before dropping their young.
One morning we found a pride of lion relaxing in a lovely open area and at the same time a herd of elephants heading our way. Wandering what the reaction would be we sit and watch the scene unfold. As the lions shift so do the elephants but it’s the elephants who are wanting to move into the area that the lions were in, and they certainly made it known to the lions. The matriarch protecting her calf from the lions and making enough noise that the lions started to get the message but obviously not quickly enough and she charged straight at the pride of lions and with dust and trumpeting as well as cats just scattering every which way possible it was quite the display.
The sightings continue to come thick and fast with a lovely male leopard out in the open fast asleep on his back without a care in the world. Plenty more lions including some with slightly bigger cubs but these guys were just hot so doing all that they could to keep cool. Elephants all over the place pulling at the trees to get what little green leaves they can find and sunsets which are unbeatable as the world just turns all sorts of magnificent colours.
It was a wonderful couple of days in the park and I have managed to get my fill of sightings for the time being and am heading back to camp rested and ready to go.”
Wow, thanks so much Bianca what an incredible collection of sightings! Thanks so much for sharing with us. As a result, my job has certainly been done and I shall bid you a very fond farewell and look forward to chatting with you next week with lots more news on what is happening in the bush. So, between now and then have a fantastic week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.