It’s Monday 8th October 2007 and the recces

It’s Monday 8th October 2007 and the recces

Well again – a few stories to tell you…..

Firstly the baby bushbuck. I was having a busy morning with many disturbances and I was trying to complete a project. There was yet another knock on the door. “What now” I said rather irritably. And in came Vinnie with a new born bushbusk in his arms. The poor thing was bleeding from the nose and there were some small open wounds on the face. Of course, all irritation flies out the window. Strange how that happens – so why have it in the first place if it can so easily drop away. The poor mite had been attacked by baboons but someone had chased them off. I am a “purist” and believe that we should not interfere with nature but once a defenseless animal has been picked up you really have no option. Interference has already happened. Nurse left on guard duty !! Amazingly, after half an hour, the wee thing walked to the lagoon, stood there and mum (we assume) arrived. A happy reunion. Phew!

Releasing the bushbuckThe yellow bubble

I had heard that Barnaby and his yellow bubble were coming back to the valley. Well I never miss the chance of a helicopter ride. What machines! So I booked a few hours to carry out some “very important” scouting we needed to do (yeah yeah). But when the time came, I had such a terrible cold I decided not to take the risk and fly. I gallantly sent Geno and Munyama. The trip was to see a new Wilderness Safaris camp in the south – Kalamu. On their return I asked how it was.

“Wonderful, we did this and that and then he banked and and and and……”.
“No, I mean the camp….”
“Wonderful….but there was no door on the front… was amazing!”

I think both the ride and the camp impressed them both. Their first heli ride.

The Luangwa ValleHippo congretation

Robin and Rob then flew north to the Mupamadzi River. On their return they flew over the Changwa Channel. This is a place where the hippo congregate during the last months of the dry season. What a site. They also saw pelicans flying and buffalo going down to drink. It is amazing how dry the river gets in these last couple of months. What a contrast to February!

Rob and EmilyElephants crossing

Rob and Emily had a few days off and decided to camp up the Changwa. This was really as another recce, this time on the ground, as we are hosting two BBC teams this month. So that we know what is going on everywhere we have driven most of the river and of course the important Changwa needed a further investigation. Day one they break down. “Where?” I ask, hoping that they had not spent the day trying to fix the Landrover (note, not Landcruiser). It had got them to the Changwa Channel but not to the camp site. So as you can see out come the beer and G&T immediately!

Carmine colonycarmine bee-eater

The Changwa – there are around two thousand hippo in a kilometer stretch so it is quite a sight. There was also big groups of elephant crossing the river, lions who walked past the tent at night (Rob could not wake up the passed out Emily), buffalo and of course the ubiquitous carmine bee-eater colony. After two nights, they drive back to Nkwali early enough not to miss the England/Australia game (yes we are all following the rugby). But meanwhile, back at the ranch, Robin had arranged to have the new borehole next to their house re-drilled. The noise! So they gave up on the rugby and drove back into the bush – south of Nkwali. They found wild dog that had just killed an impala. Lazy lions and athletic puku!

Wild dogsWhite headed VulturePukuSpotter to the rescue

Lion sundowner“Jo. Recently had an incredible time with my father at Nsefu, Luangwa Bush camp and a night at Nkawali. Thanks to all that helped make it such a memorable and special trip. I thought I would send a photo from the night we were caught out by lions during a sundowner! Every man for himself. You can see the spotters know how to take care of themselves in a crisis.”
Adrian & Harold Raybould

All in a weeks work as they say.



Crocodile jaws

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