It’s Monday 28th March 2005 and the Easter Picnic


It’s Monday 28th March 2005 and the Easter Picnic

Well it has been a busy Easter weekend for us in the Luangwa Valley. Nkwali has been full and Keyala and his team have been organizing all sorts of activities and picnics. All the guests had a lovely Easter Sunday lunch in the park after some fantastic game drives.

Once again the wild dogs have been the stars of the show over the last week and Sunday was no exception. The big pack of now sixteen dogs have been seen almost daily by our guests with another pack of nine dogs are passing through the area.

Not wanting to be out done by the guests we, the staff, decided a little picnic of our own was in order. We packed up a picnic box of food and drinks and headed out into the park. Black and white safari seemed to be the order of the day with fantastic zebra activity and wild dog action.

One of the first sightings of the morning was a lovely western banded snake eagle posing for us on a dead branch. As it took off Kerri managed to get a great photo of the bird.

Zebras dust bathing was our next sighting, which provided us with a lot of entertainment and laughs as, in true zebra fashion, they all use the same patch of ground on which to dust bath. Order of events…..line up and wait patiently for your turn, then an ungainly collapse to the earth, an even more amusing roll with legs kicking, up and off you walk through the long grass. Reason – to rid yourself of little mites and ticks.

After seeing the wild dogs relaxing in the shade in the morning we headed off for our picnic in the bush. As it was a hot afternoon we our lunch spot carefully – one of the sand rivers still had a little trickle of water in it so we dug shallow holes in the sand and sat in the little pools of water. A cold mosi in hand relaxing with our bottoms in a pool of water during the heat of the day is not exactly a bad way to spend our afternoon – especially with a plan of returning to the dogs in the hope that they would rise from their resting spot and go off hunting.

As always with the wild dogs we were not disappointed. Our patient wait of two hours for the dogs to get up and do something was rewarded with an amazing display of their pre hunt psych up session. It is truly fantastic to watch these creatures rushing around greeting each other and psyching each other up with their high pitch squeaking. All of a sudden, with their fifteen minutes of madness over with, they set off in a line towards a herd of impala. Once within range they fanned out, and with an amazing turn of pace, took off towards the traumatized antelope. Unfortunately for us we were not able to see the end result as they disappeared into the bush. An amazing sight to witness and we all returned home tired and a little sun burned but very happy.

Until next week,
Cheers,
Simon

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