It’s Monday 1st October 2012 and a flurry of rain

Yes you guessed! So the story always goes that the minute you do something different, the weather is going to put in the knife and have something to say about it. August we opened the new Tena Tena and we got an entire day’s-worth of rain! Tuesday night, Fran goes out to the plains behind Nkwali and sets up a beautiful bush dinner and it rains!!! The rain was completely and utterly heavenly while it lasted! It is now long gone and the only reminder of the rain is the ever increasing warmth (to put it mildly).

Cloudy skies

But that aside, hi there! Hope that you have enjoyed a fabulous weekend! You see, you can tell that I am from the countryside, as I just love to talk about the weather. I am sure though that that is not what you are after so let me stop rabbiting on about that and get on to the real stories surrounding the wildlife.

My personal seasonal favourite is that the pelicans are in, the fishing parties have started and the enormous shadows of the pelicans loom overhead before plunging down towards the ground and landing with surprising grace! They then proceed to move around the water in complete unison and really the only thing missing is some soft classical music, which would complete their dance.

PelicansIn flight

There have been a couple of fleeting glimpses of baby warthogs, I think that the recent random weather events has confused some mothers so a few may well have popped out a little early. The impalas are starting to look rather round as they wait for their youngsters to be born, slightly slower as their effort of leaping gracefully is doubled by the weight gain and heat. The carmine bee-eaters are in full swing with a few really huge colonies scattered along the river. The reassuring squawk that they make is promptly followed by the dazzling array of colours as they take to the skies and line the riverbanks. To top it all off there have been a series of great sightings of Pel’s Fishing Owls which for all bird lovers is a real treat and even for those slightly less fanatical is still a pretty impressive sighting.

Warthog familyCurious impalas

Carmines

The camps have all been having some magical sightings over the last week with the cats rolling out the red carpet. The new Tena Tena is proving quite a hot spot as the local leopard walks through regularly and lions have been spotted on the opposite side of the riverbank whilst guests enjoy their morning coffee. Luangwa Safari House continues to host the hundreds of elephants, which come down to the lagoon in front of the house for a deep cool drink of water followed by glorious mud baths. The hippos now face the challenge of submersing themselves completely in ever lowering river levels, how they do it is quite something! A couple of days ago we drove up to Tena and as we crossed the river, we could see one hippo’s eyes, ears and nose poking out. He then stood up and I promise you the water was no higher than knee height. As always, the bird life never fails to fill every single moment of the game drive with their colours and song. One particularly brave nightjar had chosen its resting place just centimetres from the edge of the road and was absolutely not going to move for the large Landcruiser that passed it. Small but stubborn!!

EliesA great sighting

Birds galoreStubborn Nightjar

So there we have it for this week. More tales to follow I am sure as there is definitely never a dull moment out here with everything that Mother Nature has to offer.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to catching up with you next Monday.

Cheers

Emily

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