It’s Monday 3rd March 2008 and the dogs come out to play


It’s Monday 3rd March 2008 and the dogs come out to play

It has certainly been an exciting week with lots of exciting game sightings. Alison and Peter Williams returned for a two week visit after a crazy busy season at their bakery on the Norfolk coast. A trip back to the valley for some recharging was called for. In their words they “have seen everything, we’re always so lucky when we visit”. Not only have they had some wonderful leopard and lion sightings, but wild dogs as well!

A few rainstorms at the beginning of the week caused the river level to rise. Peter and Alison jumped at the chance to boat up to the stork colony.  After parking the boat on the river bank Jackson (scout) Joseph (guide) and Kiki (tea-bearer?!) had to choose their path carefully as there were several families of elephants in the vicinity. There was plenty of activity at the colony with storks building nests, testing them out and plenty of bill-clacking, apparently it was a noisy affair! On their return to the boat their path was blocked by a big male buffalo, which was given a wide berth.

Parade of ElesLion

During their detour they had to walk through some thick brush and upon hearing hippo noises, they realised they were between the hippo and the river. Jackson was at the ready in case things turned ugly while behind Kiki and Peter a baby hippo went crashing through the bush and into the river. Joseph and Alison were retreating to Kiki’s location when Alison’s knee gave out. For a few moments they thought that they were in the path of mummy hippo. Joseph was helping Alison to her feet and Jackson was still at the ready, when mum went storming past on the other side. Alison is now joking that Joseph is her number one husband, as he came to her rescue (although Kiki did have to hold Peter back from going to her aid!). With the adrenaline pumping they returned the boat for a sedate drift back home.

AWA game scout- Alison's knight in shining  armour

One of the highlights of Peter and Alison’s trip has been the abundance of dog sightings – almost every day this week! The dogs have been “hanging out” at Lupunga Spur. Alison, Peter and Alan & Irene Jessop have seen them getting up to their usual (and more unusual antics). One afternoon they were seen chasing anything and everything – zebras, eles and hippo. One even ended up in a muddy puddle, much to his surprise, and he acted rather sheepish for a while. A lot of entertainment was provided by the dogs jumping after insects attracted to the spotlight. Dogs have to eat and were seen demolishing a young impala in less than minute.

Wild Dogsaa

Saturday night provided the pièce de résistance. Joseph caught up with the dogs before sundowners, and after watching them play for a while they continued on, only to spot a leopard. The dogs pitched up and chased the leopard up a tree. After sundowners they returned to the leopard’s spot to discover that it had killed an impala and hauled it into the tree!

Leopard under siege

Phew, think I need to go and have lie down after all that excitement (maybe we should publish Peter and Alison’s safari dates as they seem to always pull off amazing sights!)

Update on Jo (from Robin): Jo had her second operation last Thursday. The operation went well and she is on the road to recovery. The plan is for her to return to Zambia in April after the initial physiotherapy.

Enjoy the week, get up to lots of mischief, and cast a thought or two to us in the Luangwa Valley.

Cheers
Fiona

P.S. I forgot to mention that Peter and Alison also had the unusual sighting of lots of crocs feeding on a baby elephant …

Croc & baby ele

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