Its Monday 19th October 2015 and a spot of relaxation

Hello there everyone so how are you all? Well here we can’t quiet get over the fact that the end of the season is drawing to an incredibly speedy end but don’t worry we still have a way to go and plenty more stories to come along with it I am sure. The heat is also definitely kicking in and I fear that there is soon going to be a desperate need for us to all take turns heading up to Nsefu and enjoying the cool of the breeze beds rather than sweating it out down here in my hot office! Speaking of offices …. A couple of weeks ago I wandered into my office and had the pleasure of meeting Gill and Paul Willis as they had snuck in there very quickly to send a couple of e-mails. Anyways we got chatting and they mentioned to me about the most wonderful leopard sighting that they had had. Immediate reaction from my side was well please as soon as you get home if you wouldn’t mind sending a photo or two and a little story for me to share on its Monday that would be amazing. And they did, so for this week over to Gill and Paul and the most relaxed leopard I think we have ever seen:
Back home safely after our first holiday in Zambia, including 7 magical days at Nkwali, sitting here looking out at England’s autumn colours we start recalling our first evening game walk. We crossed the river, full of anticipation, (and maybe a little trepidation), steering between the hippos and watching fish eagles and pied kingfishers as we crossed. Then, a very short drive to the starting point of the Big Adventure. The Landcruiser was parked under a tree – not a sausage tree, we noted! Sundowners were safely stowed for our return.








Off we set, and after a few brief stops to inspect animal tracks, and several varieties of poo, as well as watching zebras and giraffes, Fred, our guide, hears an alarm call. The sun by now is a crimson orb low in the sky. As city slickers our first reaction is to head in the opposite direction, but NO. Fred and John, the spotter, lead us towards the sound, even asking us to speed up so as not to miss any action.” What action?” we wondered. Did he mean two tasty Brits about to be eaten?









Then, the excitement: a leopard prowling in golden light 150 metres away; we felt completely entranced, and SAFE. We even approached to within 100 metres. Full of excitement we returned to the Landcruiser. Safely aboard, Fred took a quick scan of the bush. “What do you see in that tree?” he asks. “Nothing” we say in unison, so Fred drives closer. Then, what was for us the sighting of the holiday so far; a leopard sprawled in the tree, rear legs and tail dangling, front paws crossed languidly over a branch, looking for all the world like an exhausted diva backstage between performances. A nearby hole in the tree looked perfectly positioned for an evening sundowner, if only leopards had sundowners!
Could this evening get any better? We took several photos, but eventually we had to leave to partake in our own sundowners at a safe distance, before returning to the boat for the spotlight crossing of the river looking for the eerie reflections of the green eyes of the crocs and listening to the harrumphing of the hippos.

Thanks so much for this story and I have to say that I mean it really was quite an incredible first outing that Fred took you on, talk about starting with a bang! I hope that you all enjoy this story as much as I did but most of all the genius photo of the leopard – I mean whatever next. So from this side well the rest of the wildlife continues to keep us on our toes and very busy with sightings, large herds of elephants seem to be spending their/our siesta time roaming around the very dry river bed infront of Nkwali which is a beautiful sight.


The hippos are battling it out to try to keep a little patch of water and the predators are making the most of the dwindling water supplies and concentrated prey. Lastly well the Carmine Bee-Eaters are in and causing us a few headaches as they have moved from their usual nesting sights but Luangwa River Camp is getting some lovely sightings of them right in front of camp, which is always a treat. Which leaves me on a chirpy and colourful note to bid you all a very fond farewell until the next instalment. In the meantime have a fabulous week and don’t forget its all about the laughter and the smiles.





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