It’s Monday 20th February 2006 and the Very Special Sundowner

Kim is now on the lake (Malawi that is) taking a ten day break.  I spent the week in Lusaka (planes again!) and so have been asking everyone about the gameviewing.  The big excitement is that the dogs are back.  Luckily as the Wild Dog Safari starts tomorrow!.  They have been seen sporadically but have at least been seen.  But the sighting that wins the prize went as follows…..

Sunset champagnewld dogs

Becky and Geno, along with Emma (wild dog researcher) drove to Lupunga Spur to set up special sundowners. The guests arrive. Champers – well it was cold, wet and sparkling – and snacks beautifully laid out. Suddenly fourteen dogs come running and whooping towards the truck.  They are hunting. Yona told everyone to stand still and just watch. They ran around the area, literally getting twenty meters from the group, on the hunt. After fifteen minutes they killed an impala only eighty meters distance from the excited group, remaining obediently around the sundowner table. Emma – the dog researcher – thought this was an amazing way to study dogs, with drink in hand!

VultureHyena

Jill and Bruce – Shanie’s folks have also been staying with us for a couple of nights.  They have visited probably ten times in the last five years but never in the green, sorry “Emerald Season” After the first drive they came back simply amazed at the sightings. They, like so many, had thought that the gameviewing would be less productive during this time of year. They were prepared for LBJ viewing (little brown jobs – a birding phrase) and of course – flower spotting. Not a bit of it.Lion, leopard, giraffe and huge herds of elephant on their first drive. And on their second and an unusual sighting. Vultures in the trees led them to a hyena feeding. It was not until they got close they realized that the carcass was a sub adult lion. We guessed that it must have had an injury sustained during a hunt.

ZebraElephants

Emily has spent the last week in the park taking photos. It has been simply years since I did that and when I saw her arty pics, I had pangs for the early years when Robin and I spent many a day in the park, just the two of us with cameras, a landcruiser, a mattress for the obligatory siesta and of course a picnic. Here are a couple of her creations.

And of course the one which I probably should not have seen. Where she wanted a better view of the elephant behind her and so moved away from the vehicle. However, the elephant seemed very certain on the particular spot for drinking and walked right on by.

Elephant walking past vehiclezebra

The sun is brilliant, the bush is vibrant and the red chest cuckoo is still banging on twenty four hours a day. Has it not yet found a mate?

That’s it from the Luangwa for another week.

Take care

Link to http://www.awdczambia.org/Read more about African Wild Dogs Conservation Project

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