It’s Monday 31st July 2006 and the news from Tena Tena


It’s Monday 31st July 2006 and the news from Tena Tena

It’s Monday and it’s the next instalment of tales from Tena Tena.  The task was given to me by Kerri to brighten up people’s Monday mornings with stories of animal mischief in the land of big skies; so make yourself a cup of tea, get yourself comfortable and I hope you enjoy our stories from Tena…
Walking at Tena Tena Snake

Kudu July is drawing to a close and the thermometer readings, combined with the now occasional need for a fleece, is telling us that winter in South Luangwa is coming to an end.  It’s not just the weather that is warming up but as is the reception given to us by our animal neighbours at Tena.  They are no longer shy in popping into camp to greet new guests or coming over for a spot of lunch. When you have to stop and wait for five minutes to show guests to their tent because a warthog has to finish eating his brunch by the entrance of tent number 3 or when a bush buck makes a guest appearance and steals the show at lunch, you know that the animal kingdom up in the Nsefu sector have once again accepted us into their world.

LeopardRecent game drives have proved that we have some very brave and courageous leopards up around Tena. They are not only willing to risk their beauty but also their lives for a quick feed.  On one game driver Kerri and her trusty spotter spotted a nice family of porcupine, then the spot light swings around and out of the darkness Kerri excitedly spots a leopard.  Mouths drop and the guests cringe, as before we know it, it pounces on one of the porcupines.  The rest of the porcupine family members scuttle off quills out at the ready as the leopard disappears into the thicket with one of their relatives in its mouth.   Kerri, Rocky, Chris or Bertie haven’t spotted any leopards with any designer facial piercing, so I think we can conclude that once again our trusty spotted friend has proven to be a meticulous predator.

Ground HornbillThe bravery of Tena’s leopards doesn’t stop there as only a few days later Bertie and his guests arrive back from a night drive with a good tale to tell.  We all nestle in at the bar to hear the story of the brave leopard and his encounter with not just one honey badger but two.  They are driving around Bongwe Lagoon when the reflection of a leopard’s eyes is caught in the spotlight.  He seemed to be stalking something and as they get closer the scene unravels.  The leopard is crouched in a stalking position, licking his lips at the thought of eating one of the two honey badgers, which have crossed his path.  My trusty guides at Tena tell me that even for a leopard this is a dangerous exercise, as it’s not a very good idea to get on the wrong side of this ferocious little badger.  When the honey badger realises that he could be the leopard’s next dish, he’s not shy in showing his displeasure.  The guests will never forget the haunting sound of the snarling honey badger or the image of a leopard and a honey badger head to head.  Unfortunately, we don’t know the outcome of this combat as the action disappeared into the bushes; however, we have seen the female leopard since, so we know that she survived, whether or not the honey badger was so lucky only nature knows…

Leopard in treeCrossing river

Lion getting to grips with elephant trunk
Unfortunately, when Kerri and I saw the leopard kill the porcupine and when Bertie saw the leopard and the honey badger, we were all cameraless (which if you’ve met us, never normally happens!).  So, we’ve smacked ourselves on the wrist and as compensation we’ve given you some of our other photos for a glimpse of what to look out for around Tena and our antics. Including one of a lion getting to grips with the trunk of an elephant, which was found not far from Tena Tena last week.

So from this happy caterer, and the rest of the Tena team, I’m signing off for now.

Jo

Sarah, one of our other caterers, had a very interesting trip to Church last week and has written a great report

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