It’s Monday 13th February 2012 and triumph for the Chipolopolo boys

We start the week with exciting news on the soccer front, with a huge congratulations to the Chipolopolo Boys (Zambian National Soccer Team) on winning the African Cup of Nations this Sunday. An historical moment for Zambia, winning this acclaimed title for the first time.

For those of you in Europe, we hope that you are all surviving the cold – I couldn’t believe it when my mum said that it was -11 at midday yesterday afternoon!  Anyway, here we have been on the opposite side of the playing field with some rather warm days, finally though, ending with the most enormous downpour on Saturday afternoon with just under two inches falling in about 45 minutes!!!  Unfortunately my timing seemed completely out and I got caught right in the middle of it, clutching two bottles of white wine on my way back from stores.  Needless to say, by the time I had squelched back into the office I resembled nothing more than a drowned rat!

Rain aside, Nkwali has been having some brilliant game viewing over the last four day,s with the guests living on the concept that “every second spent in the park is precious”! That being said, after the rain had subsided the team headed out and within two minutes of having got into the game-viewer were blessed with a wonderful leopard sighting – Braston the “leopard whisperer” was back in action!  Whilst on the subject of getting into the cars there was somewhat of a scramble on Sunday morning, as, some 50 meters from where the cars were situated, a large male lion had parked himself and in a ‘magic moment’ just as the guests peeped over the river bank a hyena also loped past between them and the lion, what a fantastic sighting for first thing in the morning.

LionHyena

Chatting to Kiki this morning about the wildlife and who’s who in the zoo he mentioned that a coalition of three male lions had moved into the main gate area of the park which has resulted in the Mfuwe pride moving down river to almost opposite Nkwali which is really rather convenient to have a pride of 15 lions on your doorstep serenading the camp to sleep and in place of the wake drum!!

Cats aside, it seems that the elephants and giraffes are also stealing the show. Appearing in large concentrations with great frequency they really do never fail to please.  Giraffes with their long legs squelching through the mud extremely cautiously for fear of interpreting a cartoon character with legs slipping and sliding everywhere.  Elephants almost dwarfed by the length of the grass, which says something about the height of the grass, and occasionally coming up onto the raised roads for some sightseeing.

ElesEles

GiraffeGiraffe

And if that wasn’t enough, it has all been wrapped up with some stunning bird viewing, as they make the most of the readily available water.

Daudi came down from Nsefu yesterday – a brief excursion out, as he has been up there for the last three weeks and was also telling us about a wonderful morning boat drive and walk during the week.  Given that the water levels had dropped quite a lot there was good and bad – bad first, no scurrying down little channels by boat and floating amongst the ebony groves.  Good – ground is quite dry so some major exploration can be had.  Fresh wild dog tracks in the Nsefu sector was a cause for some serious excitement and tracking, but unfortunately they were moving at pace and given Daudi’s Presidential (Daudi’s nickname – “the President”) disposition, keeping up was a tall order!  However the tracking did end in some pretty major excitement, leopard tracks were discovered on the path which led straight to a tree.  Crouching behind a bush and peering through the foliage there is was, going about its business totally oblivious to the walking party’s presence. Spotting a leopard on foot is quite an impressive feat at the best of times.  After a short viewing the leopard leapt down and sauntered off, still oblivious to the walkers presence. Zero impact!!

LeopardsLeopards

As you can see things have not slowed down here one bit, which is great news.

I think though that that’s going to be it for this week.  We have Simon and Shanie Cousins coming in this week with family so I am sure there will be some stories and photos to come from that trip.  In the meantime I hope that you all have a fabulous week take care and have fun.

Cheers

Emily

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