I do hope that you are all well and having a wonderful Monday after what I hope was a fab weekend. Here in the South Luangwa, well we are still cracking on and spoiling our guests with all sorts of incredible sightings from the big to the small.
This time of the year (as I mentioned last week) the leaves literally drop off the trees and we prepare ourselves for a very bare looking few weeks while the groundsmen prepare themselves for an awful lot of sweeping. There is no stealthy approach for anyone as they rustle their way through the leaves. The baboons are having a grand feast as this is the time of the year that the caterpillars pupate in the trees and drop down to the ground on their silky invisible threads. They land up in the leaves in their hundreds and thousands which provides the most incredible feast for the baboons who rustle their way through the biomass to find these little treats, and scatter leaves in every single direction.
In order to try to help the groundsmen and reduce the slightly crunchy sounds for the guests we had an empty day at Nkwali on Saturday so the entire team got to work and we did a mass sweep.
Low and behold hidden under a mountain of leaves we found an old friend from the original Tena Tena, the wooden leopard that was parked in camp from as far back as when I first arrived. Usually wood is not something that lasts hidden in the undergrowth as the termites get to work on it pretty quickly and whilst a little nibbled on the underside it has survived the test of time and has found itself a new home on the water tank stand to continue its careful watch over camp.
Along with all the caterpillars we also seem to be seeing heaps and heaps of lacewings – these originate from the ant lions which we can all spend plenty of time trying to find in their little conical holes in the ground. The dragonflies are also dotted around along with plenty of wonderfully colourful butterflies from the stunning blue Charaxes and vibrant yellow citrus swallowtails.
Moving onto the slightly larger animals, our guests have been treated to some lovely sightings! Wild dogs, lions, and leopards galore. One morning some guests from Nkwali had a lovely sighting of a female leopard in a tree with a cub. Hours could have been spent indulging in the sighting but it was getting a little too warm so it was time to move off and find some shade and tuck in to some refreshments.
Other than that the guests have been enjoying cooling off in the swimming pool whilst watching everything from Jacanas skitter across the Nile cabbage, the resident crocodile basking in the sun and the elephants with their steady march down to the water to drink.
It has been non stop and we don’t expect things to slow down any time soon as the water in lagoons continues to dry up and the main source is the Luangwa River so the wildlife is all concentrating in the riverine area creating quite a mass of incredible sightings.
We cannot wait to give you more updates next week but for now I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have a lovely week with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.