Its Monday 23rd March 2015 and 168 birds in 3 days!

Hello everyone and happy Monday – I hope that you have all had thoroughly enjoyable weekends. Here in the Luangwa there is a definite feel of change in the air. The nights are cooler, the days are sunnier and the rain is far more infrequent and it certainly feels like we are through the heavy rain for this year. However that being said I am sure that I will now be proven wrong! In the meantime though we are enjoying some nice cool weather – well cool by Zambia standards.

Enough of the weather though, instead lets turn our focus onto the animals and see what has been going on in the Park. Well Simon, Shanie and the girls have just been to visit with good friends Alan and Ali along with their children, taking over Luangwa Safari House for a long weekend. Two days before arrival the excitement really started to grow with the children and lots of bouncing around and exclamations of “we’re going to Zambia” being chanted. Finally Friday arrived and everyone was packed up into their respective cars and the weekend got underway. Both Simon and Alan have an annual competition on bird sightings and so the year has got off to a fierce start with books on LBJ’s (little brown jobs) being brought along in order to clock up the numbers; as well as alternative trips to various different parts of Africa being planned just to see who can win. This weekend in the Luangwa though was a record breaker with 168 species of birds being clocked and most impressively whilst the car was full of excitable children.

Whilst some of the sightings were regularly seen birds they are appreciated non-the less. It is not often that you have an opportunity to get such good photographs of ground hornbills and masked weavers.

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Along with some very special sightings of an Allens Gallinule, a juvenile Dark Chanting Goshawk, which had them stumped for a little while whilst bird books were ferociously flicked through.

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That being said it was not just birds that were enjoyed, there were lots of other wonderful sightings including some lovely leopards, a slightly “growly” wild dog, beautiful bushbuck standing proud in the lovely grass and plenty of other game. And a somewhat sneaky looking crocodile just peering out of the water from under all the greenery waiting for something scrumptious to come its way.

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Having spent copious amounts of time sitting in the back of the gameviewer a morning tea stop by the Katete River was appreciated by everyone and offered a fantastic opportunity for the children to get rid of some energy by splashing around in the river. Let me just make a note here that the water is clear running and no more than a few inches deep so perfectly safe. However with all the excitement that was going on I am sure that it was unlikely that any animal would dare to sneak up on them!

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As always it was wonderful to see everyone back in the valley and hopefully lots and lots of fun was had by all. From that I really don’t think that I can follow on with many more stories but I will leave you with Nkwali’s sighting of the week. A pack of wild dogs hunting a puku and running down the road towards the game viewer whilst 3 giraffes stood on the road bending their necks looking down at them and as they were in the way the dogs just simply ran through their legs!

So on that note have a wonderful week wherever you are and whatever you are doing, laugh lots and look after each other.

 

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