It’s Monday 9th May 2005 and Three is not a Crowd

I am writing this over the weekend this week as I am not going to be in the office on Monday morning as it is the annual safari guides exam and I am going to out there examining. We have 4 candidates taking their exams and as you can imagine it is quite a nerve wracking experience – there is a lot of “butterflies” flitting around right now as the final bits of studying takes place. I am sure they will be glad when it is all over!!.

Well it has been a very good week on the wildlife front – well, not so good if you are part of the puku community as the population took a hammering the other night when Rocky was on drive in the Luangwa Wafwa area, north of the main gate.

Male lion with male puku Just after sunset Rocky and his guests came across a pride of  ten lions moving out to hunt. Not long after they started Rocky heard the unmistakable sound of an antelope being caught and rushed over to see what the lionesses had taken. Just as he arrived at the scene of the crime the 2 big male lions ran in and stole the puku from the lionesses. Highly annoyed at their loss the females set out to catch some more dinner and amazingly within a very short space of time they had taken down another 2 puku (a male and a female puku as you can see by the photos) either side of the vehicle! Lions’ success rate when hunting is not usually very high but it seems that they got it right this time!!! A fantastic yet very gory sight but life is tough in the bush. female lion with female pukua gory sight

Keyala saw a very interesting sighting whilst on a picnic drive with some of our guests. He was up in the Nsefu sector and was having lunch at Baka Baka lagoon when he saw a black headed heron take a tree squirrel. The poor little squirrel went down to the lagoon for a drink and obviously thought very little about sitting next to the heron – usually they are no threat to squirrels. Unfortunately for the squirrel the heron had not read the rule book about what herons are and are not meant eat and the heron grabbed the squirrel and proceeded to dunk it into the lagoon in an attempt to drown it. This process took about five to seven minutes whereupon the heron swallowed the squirrel!! Amazing sight – nature never ceases to amaze!!

chocolate leaves

Staying on the subject of food – a little better prepared and presented than the above tales – Shanie has been doing a refresher course for all of the chefs from the camps this last week. Much excitement from both Shanie, Ali – the Nkwali caterer – and the chefs as they have tried out all sorts of new dishes and ways of presentation including chocolate leaves (great fun was had making sure that non – poisonous leaves were used !!), porcupine quill skewers and 101 uses for a banana leaf!! All in all it was a successful few days for the folk from the kitchen.

porcupine quill skewersCertificates for the folk from the kitchens

On a more serene and peaceful note the sunsets have been amazing recently. The winter haze is setting in and the evening light is wonderful making those gin and tonics on the banks of the Luangwa even more special.

the evening light is wonderful

Cheers,
Simon

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