It’s Monday 22nd October 2007 and Beej’s Highlights


It’s Monday 22nd October 2007 and Beej’s Highlights

Starting with Beej’s Season Highlights:

Greetings all, yes it is Monday and I am going to pin you to your computer screens for a couple of minutes with tales of life, death and natures beauty. The dry season is almost over and as we will soon be winding down I find myself looking back and reminiscing over certain highlights in my season.

As you may or may not know my job is as a floating walking guide and relief manager, so I get sent to all corners of Robin’s empire. Here are a couple of tales and photos from these far off places.

One of my favourite animals to photograph has got to be the leopard, and one particular female called Two Two (or tu tu), who as some of you know is a resident female close to Tena Tena. She is remarkably relaxed around our gamedrive vehicles as long as you treat her with respect and give her space. One morning going to the airport with Cat (Tena caterer) and her parents, we turned a corner to find a herd of impala snorting their discontent at tutu, who was strangling the life out of a female impala. Tutu finished the job quickly and then proceeded to drag her meal under a combretum bush where she took no time in getting down to breakfast. It was a fantastic experience but short lived as we had to dash off to the airport.

Tutu eatinglion cub a-leaping

Another favourite has got to be lions. And this year I seem to have captured quite a few of these beasts attempting to leap across stretches of water. Some made it while others got very muddy.

Carmine beaters are my absolute favourite of all bird species. Their beauty is breathtaking, especially when gathered in such countless numbers around their colonies in the river banks. If you are patient there are plenty of photographic opportunities.

carmine and white fronted bee-eaters togethercarmin bee-eater colony in South  Luangwa

Elephants are such powerful and majestic animals, they command a presence that no other animal can match. In the valley they have a habit of crossing the river into and out of the park in order to find food. These are the best times to photograph them as it is normally early morning or late afternoon when the light is at its best.

elephant crossing the Luangwa Riverelephants gathering to cross

Robin described the Mushilashi area as a ‘Wild and Desperate wilderness’. This it certainly is, however it is also stunning. Late on in the season it came to life with rare animals not seen in the usual game rich areas along the Luangwa. On my final Mushilashi trip we had an exhilarating walk one afternoon where we tracked 5 Lichtensteins Hartebeast along a ridge above the dry riverbed, they had no idea we were there until we were 30 metres away. Then the wind changed and they galloped away giving us a wonderful view of them as they did. After this we proceeded to the edge of the river bank above the riverbed, Jones, my scout, suddenly backed away from the edge and I told the two guests to crouch. Jones had spotted the most majestic of all antelopes, a lone Roan male. We crawled back to the edge and looked down on him where he posed for brief, but precious seconds. He to then galloped away across the riverbed. It was a wonderful sighting which we all loved and it definitely ranks as one of my seasons highlights. Unfortunately I was not carrying my camera at the time.

Beej walking with Robin last yearPalmgrove Bush Camping

There have been many more highlights during the season however time and space have run out. We all look forward to making new memories in the coming months. That’s all from me. Keep well.

Beej

Thank you Beej. There is just one other story I have to share with you. At Nsefu a pride of ten lion were seen circling three adult porcupine. The spiny creatures were in a circle themselves, heads in the centre, bottoms outwards and spines fully erect. Inside the defensive corale was a baby porcupine! The lions repeatedly tried to break the defense but failed and in the end gave up and walked away. What an amazing defense system.

Over the years we have had requests for people to come and work at Kawaza School from a few weeks to a few months. Finally we have built (nearly finished) a two bedroomed basic house at Kawaza School for these “career gapers” to live in. We are looking for people who would have a specific skill to offer or who have teaching experience already. If you are interested – contact Fiona.

Have a wonderful week

a

walking with elephants in the South Luangwa

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