It’s Monday 16th April 2012 and a wonderful weekend

Gosh, well, now I know what all the hype is about. I have always loved the bush and been fascinated by the wildlife but, very embarrassingly, have never actually taken the time to really enjoy it as a guest. Just to make everyone jealous, as I write this I sit on the edge of the Robins House swimming pool watching elephants on the other side of the river whilst concentrating intensely of course on writing to you all.

So, where to start? Wednesday night was intolerably long as I lay up unable to obtain any form of sleep as the excitement of my mum and godfather arriving had really rather got to me. In case anyone was worried, Rob and Mouse both had a perfectly restful nights sleep!! Arriving at the airport massively early, then panicking as the plane landed but none of the officials were there fast enough to open the door, it was not long before I saw mum trotting across the runway, bags in hand ready to say hi. My godfather, on the other hand, calmly made his way across, but with equal excitement as we hadn’t seen each other for eight years – what a reunion.

Wasting no time at all, we were out in the park as soon as a rather large rain storm had passed and enjoyed some wonderful evening light. First port of call was a lion, at which point Rob breathed a sigh of relief as the pressure was now off. The large lazy beast with his mohican style hair-do just lay languishing in the evening sun, drying off from the rain. We then took a trip to Lupunga Spur where we really were spoilt, not only were there enormous amounts of animals and activity, but some really beautiful views as the sky had cleared from the rain and was a deep blue, dotted with the remaining broken up clouds.

ThunderstormAfter the storm

LoungingMohawk

And this was only the first afternoon. Fully fueled with excitement, we embraced the first full day leaving as soon as the sun peaked through the bank of clouds which looked after us all morning and allowed us to stay out until midday without major overheating issues. What else could we possibly see – lazy mowhawk was still there, having done nothing except grunted a little during the course of the evening and moved ten meters along the river bed. Then hyenas – mum and pup trying to digest some form of large evening meal. Giraffes, all in a giraffe tizz, as one of them had come into estrous so all the boys were there in their unbelievably slow manner following her around waiting for their opportunity. Some however were slightly more interested in chewing the cud and having a good long sip of water, than the palaver that was going on in the back ground.

Hyena

GiraffeGiraffe

Impalas: the males furiously defending their territory and their ladies making the most amazingly unattractive grunting type noise, fluffing their tales up in the air and bouncing around all over the place. We stopped to watch one chap and he got himself into all sorts of a panic at the prospect of defending his patch from a large Land Cruiser – so after a good laugh at his expense we left him to it.

ImpalaImpala

Day 2 – Kanga was guiding us so that Rob could fully relax in the back of the car – more giraffes, elephants all over the place with their gentle rumbles signaling to each other that it was time to make a move. A dwarf bittern all fluffed up because of the cold hiding in a combretum bush and then, in true understated Kanga style, we were sat watching a family of Guinea Fowl going about their morning’s business, and just as we were ready to go he says: “Oh, and also there is a leopard in the tree!!!!!” You can just imagine we all looked up and saw this beautiful female catching some morning sunshine up in a tree no more than fifty meters away. Well, sorry for that Guinea Fowls, but they were squarely ignored as there was a priority sighting taking place. What a treat watching her stretch, warm up then get down from the tree ready to hunt. This was a first for me – do you know that after nine years in the Luangwa I have never seen a leopard in a tree. Now I have no excuse to moan at all.

ElesDwarf Bittern

Guinea Fowl

Leopard snoozingUp and about

What a phenomenal outing and we still have a few more days to go. Unfortunately, or fortunately, which ever way you look at it, I could go on and on about the last few days but I really should leave you all to the excitement of another week. I will however leave you with one last story….

On Sunday I had the supply truck arriving, so mum decided to stay with me to help and see what all the fuss is about, so my godfather went out with Kanga on his own. Having had a wonderful morning they were on their way back to camp but had a several hour delay as they watched twelve wild dog kill an impala, and then a leopard scoot through, steal it from them and drag it up a tree!!!!! Put it this way, Kanga and the Luangwa have surpassed themselves.

Have a fabulous week and I shall conjure up some more tales to treat you to in a weeks time.

Cheers

Emily

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