It’s Monday 6th June and some news from Liuwa


It’s Monday 6th June and some news from Liuwa

Hello everybody – I do hope that we are all well and have had a lovely weekend. This week the valley has been rather busy, in fact last night as I was lying in bed, I could hear lions calling off to my left, then, to the right, leopard. In between all of that KP (my cat) sat bolt upright on the bed and started growling and at the same time the baboons also became restless and started barking. Peaceful night’s sleep had by all!

Enough of the Luangwa for now, and instead this week let’s hear from Robin and Claire all the way up in Liuwa.

Claire over to you first….

Liuwa is a treat for all the senses. As a new day breaks the sky is a wash of apricot hues. Early morning light slowly creeps over the plain revealing a bejeweled carpet of blue and purple flowers. Ebony silhouettes of wildebeest in constant view. A sweet herbaceous aroma of the Saltbush follows you wherever you go. Pairs of Wattled Cranes with their subtle tones gracefully take to the sky. Shy Oribi pop out of the golden grass and make a dash. Fishing parties made up of hundreds of birds raid the lagoons for fish. Their shrills of satisfaction echo across the water. Wading in a lagoon looking for terns’ nests leaves you feeling refreshed from the cool water and a little relieved you didn’t bump into any monitor lizards or snakes. Spooked Zebra stampede through the Munde River. The thrilling sound of their pounding hooves through the water leaves you with goose bumps.

pelicans and other birdsSpooked Zebra

As for taste, let’s just say you certainly get a taste of adventure here as well as Chef Alfred’s amazing cooking. Whilst standing in the middle of the plain you can look far into the horizon and all around you and the only things you see and hear are created by nature. These days that is a rare privilege. Every artist has a standout masterpiece. Leonardo Da Vinci has The Mona Lisa, Botticelli has The Birth of Venus and Van Gogh has The Sunflowers. As for Mother Nature, I have to say Liuwa with all its heavenly beauty has to be one of her best works.

Sunset setup

Robin next…

Our journey to the west to set up camp again at Matamanene in the Liuwa Plains has gone relatively easily this year. The rains which fell over western Zambia have been lighter than the two preceding years. This has meant that the initial camp building journey across the plains by Jason Alfonsi and Claire was not quite so testing as it can be.

driving through water

The grassy plains have already lost their green season look and the flood has retreated. Large pools across the plains are brimming over, covered with water lilies, and are attracting an enormous amount of birdlife. Whiskered Terns are nesting on the water lilies, Pygmy geese, Spoonbills, white and pink backed Pelicans and Yellow Billed Storks in profusion.

Wildebeeste are widespread across the vast plains for the moment and will by the middle of June begin their gradual movement to the west towards the Luanginga River and north towards the Lungwebungu River where they remain till the end of September. The mauve Dissotis flower is rapidly spreading across the short grass plains and the first of the yellow Conyza are showing their heads.

Lady Liuwa is close at hand whilst I type this report and has been through camp a number of times, her tracks evident on the pathways in the morning. Her escorts are now looking rather exceptional with big windswept manes. They have settled in and now range quite extensively.

wildebeestlion

Our time remaining in the Liuwa now can be counted in a matter of weeks. The return to the valley for the dry season’s camps and mobiles is nipping at our heels. Lots to do and see before then.

Good evening to you all.
Robin Pope

Thanks ever so much Robin and Claire – I don’t know about everyone else but this has certainly made me rather jealous….

Claire will be back in just over a week with her team and will have a couple of days to get their feet back on the ground before we kick off with the mobile safaris for the season – another great adventure. I always look forward to the first trip up the 05 road behind the “green loaf”, the big truck in which the camp is packed up in.

So until next time I shall say goodbye and look forward to keeping you all up to speed with our latest news soon.

Have fun
Cheers

Emily

sunset

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