It’s Monday 26th November 2012 and the season of suspense

So after last week’s foray over to Malawi, we are bringing you right back to the valley, where it really is the most magical time of the year.  I know you probably hear me harping on and on about it, but, hey, here I go again…

The mornings start off warm and sunny, gradually getting hot and humid with a few clouds starting to materialize by about 11.00.  By lunch time, the sun bounces off the cumulonimbus towers dotted around the sky, each one housing its own power until several merge, the sun is temporarily blocked out and dark grey clouds take over, briefly being cut in half by sudden flashes of lightning and loud deep thrilling rumbles. Everything is still held within the magic of the clouds.  Sundowner time arrives and everything comes to a dramatic finale! The wind starts to blow, the sun peeks out from under the clouds, casting a phenomenal golden light, unlike any that we have seen for the last eight months, the sand is whipped up from the beach by the wind and like a steam train coming towards you, the rain hits!  Short and sharp, and before you know it, it is over.  Cool and damp with the cicadas and frogs singing, and the wonderful smell of rain.  Some days hold all the drama but with no rain, who knows what is going to happen.

Getting ready  to rain

As for the wildlife, well admittedly there are moments when it does scatter, but the excitement of finding wildlife, makes up for it!  Baby impalas everywhere with their bandy legs, jumping elegantly across the uneven churned up soil putting a smile on everyone’s face because they really are so adorable and, on a slightly darker side, are a particular favourite of the leopards who are feasting at the moment.  Elephants looking refreshed and gleaming from the numerous mud baths available, with the occasional youngster developing a football size clump of mud on the end of its tail.



The zebras stand out beautifully against the green, making everyone understand why it is that the collective noun for them is a dazzle.  Then driving around a corner, a glimpse of a head and as the car stops and changes angle a lone hyena enjoying a cool-off in a puddle before heading off into the shade.

A  zebra

The carmines have lost the vibrancy of their breading plumage and are starting to get ready to head off but are making the most of the Luangwa views.  The African Skimmers are furiously guarding their eggs against anything that may threaten them and even have the nerve to give the landrover a little bit of a rev!  Vultures are feasting on the poor animals that haven’t got the stamina and strength to carry on after the long hard dry season and the lions are looking full fat and sleepy with ample shade to rest up in during the day.

Flying  low

VulturesSleepy  lions


The river, I think, is at one of the lowest points I have seen it at for years and  now we sit and wait for the rains to start and the levels to rise, It really is a time of the year when everything is happening yet at the same time everything is waiting.  Will it, won’t it?

The  Luangwa

And on that note I think that for this week, I am going to leave you all to it, as some of you contemplate the excessive rainfall in the UK while we enjoy the momentary respite from the heat as clouds pass overhead.

Have a great week and look forward to chatting next Monday.




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