It’s Monday 8th Jan 2007 and a day with Beej

It’s Monday 8th Jan 2007 and a day with Beej

Greetings all and a Happy New Year. It has come to that time of the week when one of us puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and indulges you all in the goings on in and around our Eden.

This week has been reasonably quiet, with people trying to re-engage their brains after the season’s festivities, so it is up to my brain to try to grab your attention for a short time.

On Friday I had a request to do an all day drive and picnic with a brother (Leo) and sister (Judy) from Holland. So after a little planning, and a lot of rain the previous night, we set off early Saturday morning on our quest to see as much of the park as possible. The roads were a little wet, but having recently graduated from Duncan’s 4×4 course, I thought it would be no problem…….

pair of frisky crowned cranestenacious gymnogene

The birdlife this time of year is fantastic, especially with all the migratory species here. However, it was a few of our permanent residents who were entertaining on this day. First was a pair of frisky crowned cranes, with their Rod Stewart-like hair dos, who provided us with a beautiful dancing and flirting display which Leo managed to capture with his camera. The second performer of the day was a very tenacious gymnogene, who was spotted wreaking havoc through mopane woodland, and causing much stress amongst his potential prey. One lucky tree agama narrowly missed being breakfast for the acrobatic gymnogene, by quickly ducking into a hollow of a dead tree. The gymnogene was looking slightly flushed, with a pink colour to it, after the chase.

zebra standing at attentionlioness

Then, in an attempt to cover new ground, we headed toward the Wafwa Area. Big mistake on my part, as it was VERY muddy. We were sucked down by some very inhospitable black cotton soil, and Leo and I were soon up to our elbows in mud, refusing to get on the radio and call for a rescue squad. Luckily for me, Leo and Judy were still smiling and thought that being stuck just added to their African Experience. After 45 minutes we were free, and with big smiles headed out of Wafwa toward drier pastures.

At Mopane spur, I noticed a herd of zebra standing at attention and guarding their foal. After a closer inspection, Judy spotted a lioness behind us in ambush position in the long grass, unfortunately the lioness had also been spotted by a lanky giraffe, who alerted the zebra to her position. The dejected lioness sauntered off into the thickets to look for new prey.

Wild DogsWild Dogs

I then decided to head off toward Lupanga Spur in order to see if the Wild Dogs were still in the area. They have been seen almost daily this week and they didn’t disappoint us.  We came across a pack of 18 splayed out all over the road exhibiting their very swollen stomachs. A few obviously had indigestion and were trying to cure this by wallowing in puddles. They also put on a show chasing an arrogant waterbuck away from their resting spot.


After all the excitement, we chose a scenic spot for our picnic, and recharged our batteries with some delicious food. We finished off the day with a cruise on the newly swollen waters of the Luangwa.

All in all it was a successful adventure and South Luangwa proved yet again that you never know what’s around the next corner, which is why guides like myself go out seeking new adventure everyday. Also a big thank you to Leo for his photos.

cheers Beej

PS thanks to Beej ! I could not resist putting this photo on – a breakfast on the fast receeding sand bank in the middle of the river. 

BeejBreakfast on the river

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