It’s Monday 26th March 2007 and the lucky Canadians 


It’s Monday 26th March 2007 and the lucky Canadians 

Bruce and Brenda arrived on Thursday – fresh from Canada. They had never been to Africa and we were the first stop. Their agents had told them that this was the “Emerald Season” and the up side was the bush was green and fresh and the air clear of dust. The down side they were told, the animals are harder to see.

They asked me at tea yesterday – “if this is low game viewing what on earth was it like in the good game viewing months”. So I asked Bruce for a full run down of the highlights.

Male LionLion ubs

Bruce: Well, it started out on our first game drive, the afternoon that we arrived. We boated across the river …
Brenda: An exciting way to enter the park!
Bruce: ….. and started the drive. We had no idea of what to expect after passing an abundance of impala…
Brenda: which alone dazzled us
Bruce: and within minutes we were watching eight lions.
Brenda: RIGHT BESIDE THE ROAD ! And I mean RIGHT……
Bruce: There were two big boys, two females, and three teenage cubs. We were not to know it but these cubs were to become almost a daily sighting. The females spotted some impala and one stalked for a while with the others watching. But soon they were all lying down again.
Brenda: lions do lie around a lot !

Elephant in roadTame warthog by car

Bruce: The next morning, let me see – a huge male elephant was in the road and not wanting to let anyone past. We watched some mock charging with interest.
Brenda: and then much to our amazement a warthog trotted straight up to the vehicle and wanted to be petted. How weird was that. (editor – a rehabilitated warthog – still friendly!)

Leaping ImpalaWild dog

Bruce; then suddenly there were impala rushing across the road, in front and behind us. One jumped at least six feet and cleared the road. Amazing. And within seconds there was a rush of wild dogs. So we spent our first morning drive watching the dogs chase impala for a long time.
Brenda: … and by now we were known as the Lucky Canadians! But it continued…..
Bruce: That afternoon we watched the dogs barking at the lions. The cubs sat well in the bushes and were not coming out to play! We drove on to find a dead female bushbuck with a huge four meter python wrapped around the front end. The buck was covered in flies, and the python was aware of us and it slithered off. So we left.

Pythonchameleon

Brenda: But two hours later, after a lovely chameleon sighting,
Bruce: …how do they spot them?
Brenda: ….we returned and the python had clearly returned and swallowed the buck. Amazing. (editor: I have been here 20 years and have only heard of this being seen twice during this time. And apologies for the photo colour corruption).
Bruce: As we drove to the habour at the end of that night drive we saw a large male leopard cross the road.
Brenda: ….not a long sighting – only a few minutes so we would like to see another one of those please !

So, I asked, that was it – anything else??

Buffalocrocodile in grass

Bruce: Well the next day we saw 600 buffalo. Masumba, our guide, was trying to get closer for us but there was a huge muddy puddle in the way. We tried three times to get through but kept getting stuck. Meanwhile a massive croc waddled by!
Brenda: Masumba wanted us out of the vehicle pushing but I think he was joking. No way was I getting out – 600 buffalo and a croc within 30 meters. Are you kidding?
But he drove out in the end.
Bruce: And finally last night, as we are sitting around the camp fire after dinner….a bushbaby runs down a tree and in the light starts walking down the path very near us. (editor: bushbaby walking down the path?? Never!)
Brenda: we had a wonderful view.
Bruce: so we cannot believe what we have seen. Far beyond our expectations
Brenda: ….and we have had such a wonderful time.
Bruce: did we mention the giraffe?

Of course that is music to my ears. So that is the three days of first timers to Africa in the Emerald Season.

Have a wonderful week.
Cheers,
a

PS – we have been asked by a few of you – are we over the clear up? The answer is a resounding YES. The camp and Robin’s House are up and running and looking perfect. Luangwa House is coming on and will be open for Easter. We are back to normal !!

PPS – all the photos are from Bruce except the leaping impala which was sent by David White on Sunday evening as I was finishing this. David was with us a few weeks ago. David – were you reading my mind?

Lionesses

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