It’s Monday 10th December 2007 and the big bat diaries


It’s Monday 10th December 2007 and the big bat diaries

Last week we had our Special Bat Safari, led by Rocky Simachila – this is an annual safari to watch the bats that congregate around Kasanka National Park by the millions! Two of the guests Claudia and Robin Gore have contributed to their story:

Some of  the team

Bats:

Five intrepid explorers set out by plane from Mfuwe to Kasanka, 100 miles west, to witness the annual straw coloured fruit bat migration. Each year in November millions fruit bats arrive in Kasanka for a month from equatorial Africa to feed on the local loquat fruits. During the day they roost, tightly packed, in a small section of the forest. Every night just after six o’clock the bats filled the sky, backlit by the setting sun – and a pale full moon. Whether observed from the green open spaces or purpose built tree hides, they present a marvellous spectacle. Kim, Edward and Clifford from the Kasanka Trust and Rocky from RPS ensured a memorable and magical few days for us.

BatsBats against the skymore bats

Birds:

Every time we come back to South Luangwa, we are more enchanted with the birds. Again, they caught our attention with their wonderful variety of shapes, sizes and songs!

African SpoonbillAfrican JacanaLilac Breasted Roller

Bones:

We had one very excited physiotherapist (Alison from Oz) on board after we spent our sun-downer examining the anatomy of a giraffe (yes, really only seven neck vertebrae)…

Giraffe bonesSprawled giraffe

Not to forget the Cats:

The cats really put a good show on for us this year – so good in fact, that there was much talk about the secret “RPS-Show Button” back at base which makes the relevant species “pop up” and even provides the sound effects! Here are some of the cat highlights:

One evening we came across a male leopard out for a drink and who then proceeded to mark his territory (rather like males on a Saturday night out in a big city?).

Leopard DrinkingLeopard Marking

Another night we surprised a female leopard just after she’d caught her Impala for dinner…

Leopard Kill

The cat experience was nicely rounded off by the Tena pride of lions lazing under a tree…

Lazy LionsSleeping Lions

Thanks Claudia and Robin!

We’ve had quite a few good times at camp as well – one early morning Braston woke up to hear some splashing across the river and got up to see what was going on … he saw an impala dashing across the river just opposite Nkwali Camp, promptly followed by a pack of 7 wild dogs. The impala made a dash through the staff quarters followed quickly by the dogs (right past my room, but I slept through the whole incident!) … they couldn’t find them in the thickets, so we’re not sure if they managed to catch their breakfast – however Munyama (6 ft tall) counted seven of his paces for one impala leap – not bad?!!

RPS Football Team

Yesterday we had the Mfuwe Football Tournament organised by Markus of Majoru, with lots of help from the lodges. There was a great turnout, with some of the lodges submitting two football teams! Everyone was a little wary in the afternoon watching the big thunderclouds gather, but the rain stayed away until the evening. Unfortunately RPS didn’t have the best results– but congratulations to the winners Mfuwe Lodge!! Everyone had a lot of fun – with a big party at the end of the day at Mr Frog (a local waterhole).

We also had a great staff bush breakfast.

Cheers for this week,

P.S. We still have some space on our special interest safaris (Photographic Workshop, Shoebill Safari, Birding Week and even next November’s Bat Safari!!). Please see our special interest safari page for more information.

Football

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