It’s Monday 2nd April 2007 and the Bee Eaters camp building


It’s Monday 2nd April 2007 and the Bee Eaters camp building

Well it’s that time of the week again where we entice you with our tales of the magical place that we live. We have two contributors this week….. Robin, & Simon Cousins!

So sit back, scroll down, and enjoy……

Bee Eaters First, Robin: I cast off from the bar at Nkwali after a quick lunch for a night out at Nsefu. A number of large storms were brewing up river and it was with an eye on these storms that we planed up under the Luangwa bridge on the journey north on this inspection and re-supply voyage.

The river now well down and showing the first sand banks. Large trees, many in mid-river upside down with grass and reeds trapped in their roots, resemble people with loads on their heads. The banks bear evidence of the past flood with more fallen trees and in others the river banks are steep due to the erosion which has taken place. In a few of these I was able to creep up slowly to observe white fronted bee eaters camp building (excavating their nesting holes). This is of course camp building time for many of us in the valley.

Tena Tena “operation clean up” is under way with the rooms being scrubbed, the camp being raked, and ideas for a different bar and dining room taking shape.

The lagoon behind the camp is full of water lilies and a number of Puku moving in front of the tents. The night before I arrived, three female lion and a male had walked through camp leaving their pug marks in the raked sand.

River We planed towards Baka baka lagoon and as we swept round two of the bends we thankfully skirted huge thunderstorms on two sides effectively sidestepping both, receiving only gusts of wind and the scent of rain.

Large pods of hippo were clustered in herds along the sandbanks. The approach into Nsefu was dramatic with light rain to our left and right, bright sun shining through and a huge rainbow arched over our heads. Amazingly overhead was blue sky with a rainbow against it, we would call this a monkeys wedding. I am not sure of the history of this phrase but it is well known in this part of the world.

DinnerTable Nsefu in the last light is quite immaculate, all the rooms have been cleaned and grass planting is under way, fences are being ribbed with bamboo prior to having grass fitted. I had asked on the radio for room five to be cleaned out for me and for a wood bed frame to be set inside. A very proud staff had in fact made the bed, fitted a mosquito net, fitted all the shower attachments, the basin and there was water in the taps. A table was set for me outside on the verandah with a hurricane lamp, I was able to supply the corned beef and baked beans to the Nsima which had been prepared. So it was dinner out at Nsefu camp building style.

Cheers,
Robin

Baobab Now Simon: Well, it is like I never left!! I thought I would just pop over to the Luangwa from Malawi for a night and catch up with the RPS crew ( a friend was driving over so I took the opportunity to get into the bush again !! ) No sooner had I arrived here than I was asked to help Ozzie Simon with preparation for the up coming guide’s exams. No real hardship as this entailed a drive in the park. We had not been in bush for more than 10 minutes when a radio call came through from Jo TELLING me that I was doing ‘It’s Monday’ and had better get some photos!!

So here I am again – and here are some photos!!!

long tailed whydahswoodland kingfisher

The birding at this time of year is fantastic – the light is extraordinary and lots of species are all dressed up in their fancy dress – brightly coloured birds with long tail plumes are everywhere. The long tailed whydahs are dancing all over the place, displaying and chasing off any competition. The woodland kingfishers are still here – you constantly get flashes of brilliant blue as they dart through the thickets.

male warthogs fightingmale warthogs fighting

The rest of the wildlife was out and about and we saw all the usual suspects, but one of the best sightings was a pair of male warthogs fighting – with a captivated female audience!! The two old boys were so engrossed in their duel that they did not notice the female depart as we arrived and we were treated to a fairly amusing little tussle.

baby jacanacattle egret

Sundown The scene at Lupunga spur was spectacular now that the park is drying out and we were treated to all sorts of wonderful sightings. From baby jacanas darting around on the carpet nile cabbage, following their dad, to cattle egrets following the car hawking insects as we drove though the grass.

The best part of the day was about to arrive – sundowners! The sand rivers that flow into the Luangwa are really beautiful at this time of year with little trickles of water snaking across the sand making for some fantastic photo opportunities – and a lovely place to stand and have a cold beer!!

Well, that is it from me.

Keep well and all the best.
Cheers,
Simon

From all of us here at Robin Pope Safaris, have a great week!!!!

Sunset

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