Its Monday 26th August 2013 and a prickly evening.

Happy Monday morning to you! As always the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the lions are roaring. Life in the Luangwa is no hardship at all and as if that does not make you jealous, let’s have a round up from the camps on what has been going on and see what the outcome is!!

It has to be said that this is the driest year that I have ever witnessed in the Luangwa and the river is already incredibly low. The lagoons are fast drying out and we suspect that the prey is going to have a very difficult year ahead. The predators however will most likely get very fat and sleepy so let’s watch this space. With the build up to this comes a greater concentration of game and some quite simply fabulous sightings.

Luangwa River Camp will however take first prize this week with a wonderful if slightly prickly situation, as guests watched a leopard hunting and killing a porcupine. At this point I have promised to show my sympathies to the poor porcupine, as one of our guests who witnessed the event is slightly partial to our spikey little friends! Whilst the leopard was successful, I fear that it will probably be the last time that this meal will be sampled due to the fact that a few of the rather irritating quills took up home around the leopards face! The same night drive also had a lovely sighting of some honey badgers and a giant eagle owl, so Yona was definitely hero of the moment after that drive.

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Staying at Luangwa River Camp the fishing parties have also started which is always a highlight. The B52 bombers come in to land in the form of Pelicans and whilst slightly clumsy looking, they move almost poetically in unison across the water catching their lunch. Accompanied by Maribu and Yellow Billed Storks with the occasional Fish Eagle swooping in to steal their catch, it really is a spectacular site, even if you are not an avid birder.

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Scooting up river to Tena Tena, the hippos are starting to get restless as their water space is decreasing and already some minor fights are breaking out. The noise is quite something as they grumble and groan with a little tooth gnashing, to go alongside the buildup. Before a momentous burst out of the water – jaws open, water flying and bystanders scattering every which way possible. Whilst this is probably a rather over dramatized version of what we saw, it is still a very impressive scene. We also have this amazing time which happens every year and that is a concentration of bull elephants in a particular spot south of Tena.

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It must be a combination of food, water and possibly some minerals in the river bank which they dig out but sometimes you can see up to 30 bull elephants in the same spot at the same time. It is a photographers dream as they bath in the water, dust themselves off and wander up the river bank – truth be told it is an elephant lovers dream! Having developed a certain fondness for elephants from a very young age I just adore sitting in the shade watching them all, but sadly I have to at some point drag myself away and get to work!!!

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Having got slightly excited and distracted by the elephants I almost forgot to mention that whilst we were enjoying their company there was a familiar chirp of Carmine Bee-Eaters in the background. This is exciting as they are now starting to come in and we are just waiting for them to start nesting and the colonies settling down so that we can have some excellent viewing.

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Gosh, well I think we have pretty much covered most of what is going on for this week – I wouldn’t want to give you all the juicy news in too big a hit, so I shall ration it out.

Have a fab week, have fun and laugh lots.

Cheers

emily1

 

 

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