It’s Monday 25th June 2007 and dispatches from the bush


It’s Monday 25th June 2007 and dispatches from the bush

This week we have dispaches from our camps.  Jen is the mobile caterer, Patti and Jim have just stayed with us at Tena Tena, and Celia was with us at Nkwali a few weeks ago. 

Dispatch from the Jen on the mobile team.
The first walking mobile for the season started out with quite a bang! Our lovely guests John, Elizabeth, DJ and Dave shared some of their amazing photos and stories from the bush with me.

Saturday morning our adventurous group set off from Camp 2. Shortly before tea time they heard the alarm calls of a monkey and bushbuck and looked to see the cause but found nothing. Rocky spotted some vervet monkeys in a tree. Suddenly a gigantic martial eagle swooped in to grab itself a monkey.  A fish eagle, seemingly out of nowhere, then confronts the marshal midair. The marshal flipped over upside down in the air to avoid the fish eagle’s attack from above and they locked talons in brief aerial combat before disappearing. It was definitely the monkey’s lucky day.  It was dropped and ran away!

Leopard chasing vulturesLeopard chasing vultures

While stopping for tea more alarm calls were heard, this time from guinea fowl. Rocky spotted a leopard as it crossed an open patch so they quickly packed up and followed in the direction she had gone. Vultures were landing and as they came through the surrounding grass they found a large dead buffalo lying covered by a frenzy of vultures clamoring over the carcass. The group was observing the vultures fighting when suddenly the leopard appeared and with her tail arched into the air she began to chase the vultures! Still unaware she was being watched, the leopard walked in circles right in front our excited guests who were standing only 30 meters away. The ground was clear and it was a perfect view. She disappeared for about 10 minutes and then returned to chase the vultures again. This time she gave our group some fantastic portrait photos of her facing them before she finally spied them. Unsure of what she was seeing she stood there for at least a minute staring straight at the group, then with her tail up and a few ferocious growls she retreated into the grass leaving everyone awed and exhilarated. What an amazing sighting! The next evening we took our sundowners in the nice cool waters of the Mupamadzi River enjoying the beautiful colors in the sky. Definitely a wonderful start to the season.

(Ed – the leopard shots are not that clear but had to put them both in, such an exciting event. Taken on foot !!).

Martial EagleSundowners

Dispatch from Patti and Jim Shipman – at Tena Tena

Even though camp life has its rhythm…no two days on safari are alike.  You learn to expect the unexpected around every bend of the river or behind every tree and bush.  In the blink of an eye the atmosphere changes from peaceful silence to near frantic excitement.  You never know when the constant choruses of hippos will be interrupted by the barking of baboons, the trumpeting of elephants or the roar of lions….signals of what lies ahead.

Mating lionsGiraffes

One day at Tena Tena we took a picnic lunch to the salt pan.  Things were very quiet for quite a few kilometers, (and I do mean quiet), but all of a sudden we saw lion near the road.  It was the Nsefu male and two Tena Tena females.  The male had his eyes on one of the females and I guess she felt the same.  We watched them mate twice in less than an hour (must be the third day).  The mating is very dramatic.

StorkStork Colony

We then moved onto the stork colony.  The sound of hundreds of birds calling and wings flapping is hard to describe.  But time to move on and the next sighting was a “journey” of giraffe drinking at a waterhole. Back at camp in the late afternoon, we were ready for our shower.  Before we had a chance to step in….we were told a baby leopard had been spotted in a tree near camp.  We dressed faster than you can imagine and were back on the vehicle.  The tiny cub was 5 or 6 weeks old.  A perfect end to the day. 

Baby leopardBrenda dancing at Kawaza

Dispatch from Celia Ansdell – from Kawaza Village

On our recent visit to Nkwali, Brenda from Vancouver and I, from London, spent a day visiting Kawaza Village.  We had a wonderful day ably guided by Constantino.  We visited the school and saw how RPS has been supporting the school providing teachers and scholarships, helped by donations from visitors.  We then went to a church service, talked at length to the local faith healer, saw the gin still, walked through the fields, visited the village and saw the everyday life.  We were then served a delicious meal and then the ladies came out to dance.  We were persuaded to join in and included is a photo of Brenda.  Fortunately the battery on her camera had run out so there is no photo of me! We had a wonderfully interesting day and can’t recommend a visit too highly for those who have an interest in Zambia

So that is it from the bushes. 
Have a wonderful week.

a

Kawaza Ladies dance

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