It’s Monday 21st November 2011 and some guest snippets

This week I have had a few snippets from guests so I thought that we would have a fun week with all sorts of different stories.

Hope you are all sitting comfortably…

First off, some news from Rebecca Rothney who was here earlier in the year and has done a lot of work for the local communities:

“From our initial inquiry with Robin Pope Safaris handled expertly by Sakhile until our final departure from Zambia, our time with RPS was a truly spectacular safari experience. The staff handled all the details and a warm welcome is the pervasive feeling throughout Nkwali Camp.

As the founders of Pack for a Purpose ®,we had the opportunity to bring 210 kgs of school supplies for Project Luangwa which was established by Jo and Robin Pope. RPS made all the arrangements to clear the supplies through Customs in Lusaka and move them to Mfuwe and Robin House where we were staying. They even arranged for us to visit two schools during our 9 day stay and helped us personally deliver some of the supplies. Everything went like clockwork. It is very easy to do and even if it is just a couple of kg’s packed in to the little gap in your suitcase every little counts.

SchoolChildren from the local community

Every day at Robin House with Obi as our guide was simply amazing. His in depth knowledge of the bush and his skill at interpreting what we saw offered us not only incredible game viewing but an easy to understand science lesson. Leopards seemed to appear magically both day and night. In most cases, right beside our vehicle. We had the pleasure of observing a leopardess stalk impala right in front of our vehicle. While she was unsuccessful, observing the process for about 45 minutes was a breathtaking experience.

While Obi had an uncanny sense of direction, we were able to capture a photo of a Yellow Billed Stork who felt compelled to direct traffic, even though we were the only vehicle around. A great view of a hippo enjoying a cabbage bath as well as watching elephants, one of our favourite safari pastimes. We even had one family unit join us for sundowners. This youngster was particularly adorable.

Yellow billed storkLeopard

Continuous sightings of the birds were a constant source of delight. Even the butterflies were gorgeous. At every turn we saw nature at its finest.

Our only sadness was leaving, however, it is mitigated by the joy of knowing for certain we will be coming back.!.”

Thanks Rebecca – it is always great to hear about peoples’ stay and involving the community projects are also so important.

Next up comes from Mike Mol of Sydney who has been in the Luangwa Valley for a few weeks now and was finishing up his Luangwa stint at Luangwa River Camp. After some phenomenal game viewing throughout his stay what else was left to see??

“We had just come from an excellent leopard sighting after leaving sundowners at Wakumba Wamilombe, we chanced upon an amazing sight of an aardvark coming out of the spine combretum bushes along Katete River. I immediately told my guide Victor to stop the vehicle and snapped a few images just in case it would move off, which of course it did, as soon as we restarted theLandcruiser. Wesearched along the riverbank to try to get another glimpse ofthis rarely seen creature, but noluck. It was stilla spectacular encounter whichVictor,Sam the spotter, and I will neverforget.”

AardvarkAardvark

Wow!! After 8 years here in the valley I am yet to catch a glimpse of an aardvark! I shall continue looking and will keep you posted if I am successful.

Last but not least good friends and regular visitors to RPS Richard and Mary Chaplin have also put in some serious safari time and have been equally rewarded whilst they have been with us.

“Glorious lions up at Nsefu gorging themselves on Puku with a tug of war between a couple of them before they dutifully sat down with the rest of the pride and posed for the camera as well as seeing the mum attempt to cross the river carrying the cubs but wimping out and keeping them on dry land. Hundreds of quelea coming down to the drying up river bed to grab a drop of water to drink, civet during the day time, a rare and very exciting glimpse of a Narina Trogan which is a beautiful but very elusive bird – unfortunately this one was too fast for Richard to catch on camera. Then the icing on the cake of a leopard up a tree on a bush buck kill and her 3 cubs.””.

Pride of LionsCivet

Lions & Pukuquelea

Leopard cubs

So if that doesn’t make you green with envy I am not sure what will. Other news – Claire, Jason and the Liuwa team have headed up to the Eastern Province ready to set up camp for another session of safaris up there, so hopefully we will hear from them soon to find out how life out in the Plains is treating everyone.

And if all of that wasn’t enough some very exciting news from Tena Tena – for those avid readers amongst you, I am not sure if you remember earlier on in the year that we had a snared lioness? Well, she was seen mating with one of the males in the pride and we saw her about ready to pop just a couple of days ago so hopefully any day soon there will be the pitter-patter of tiny lion paws around Tena Tena. On that note, Rachel McRobb and her team at SLCS (South Luangwa Conservation Society) who were instrumental in helping this particular lion have put out an appeal for anyone who would like to support their anti-snaring campaign – if you are interested take a look at their website

Have a great week.
Cheers

Emily

leopard

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