It’s Monday 16th February 2009 and Isla goes on safari

As I mentioned in the previous newsletter Simon and Shanie Cousins spent a week with us last week – introducing their daughter, Isla, to the bush. If she’s anything like her parents she’ll be hooked from now on and will be the third generation of Cousins addicted to the South Luangwa. Of course Isla is only 11 weeks old, but it’s great to start the brainwashing from a tender age! Both Simon and Shanie are doting parents, and everyone will be very jealous that Shanie has got back into pre-pregnancy shape very quickly and is still as gorgeous as ever.

Isla in a Robin Pope Safaris capdrop of dew

Simon has a lovely camera and you could find him at dawn and dusk pottering about the camp trying to capture all the fantastic macro opportunities that the Emerald Season provides – fantastic caterpillars, spiders and even the odd dew drop. Their holiday wasn’t all about the little things and of course they went on game drives. Isla was very lucky because on her very first game drive they saw almost everything – lion, wild dog, plus all the other more common sightings (ellies, giraffe and the ubiquitous, but beautiful impala). Lucky girl that she is – shame that she is still a little too young to appreciate her good fortune. I’m sure that they will be back again and the brainwashing will continue.

LionMasked weaver displaying

On a completely different note, I received an email from John and Barbara Starr telling us the highlights of their River Journey. They had had such a fabulous time that I thought I would share their email with you.

Luangwa sunsetwhite fronted bee eater with cricket

For all those afraid to venture into Africa in the rainy season, listen up! Mix towering crimson sunsets and grass so green emerald does not even do it justice with the quiet of the bush broken only by the sounds of the birds, hippos or the call of a leopard. Add in having a National Park nearly completely to yourself and you have the Emerald Season in Zambia. Throw in the incredible hospitality and wonderful food of the Emerald Season the Robin Pope Safaris way and you have something not to be missed!

Baby elephant tripping upWild dog

There were many highlights to our week – thanks to our hard working guides Daudi and Prince. Following a pack of 13 wild dogs as they chased down an impala. Watching an unsteady day old baby elephant trip and squeal out in horror as he stumbled. Being amazed at the coordination of the herd as they reacted to his scream by rushing to surround and protect him. Hearing the heavy breathing and watching ivory sparks fly as two warthogs squared off in a tusk gnashing battle for the title of alpha male. Listening to the warning calls of the baboons and barking of the impala as a leopard tried to innocently walk along the river. Seeing crocodiles rolling in the river as they fed on a hippo carcass. Having the elephants walk into camp at Nsefu. Watching a yellow billed stork spear a lung fish out of a small mudhole. Finally getting a picture of a lilac breasted roller in flight. Capturing a photo of a white fronted bee-eater with a newly captured cricket in its mouth.

Gnashing warthogsCrocodile feeding on a hippo carcass

And what fun it was coming back to camp at night and being able to share the thrills of the day with our hosts Kiki and Emma over the best food we have had at any camps in Africa!

Emerald Season Rocks! We hope to be back again.

John and Barbara Starr

Thanks, John & Barbara – Photos courtesy of John, Barbara and Simon Cousins. Have a fabulous week.

Cheers
Fiona

Colourful caterpillar

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