Its Monday 30th November 2015 and the Tawny versus the Martial

Hello there how is everyone? Sitting comfortably I hope; ready and rearing for another week as we very quickly leap into December and the build up to Christmas. As we still have a little way to go I am afraid that I am going to drag you away from Christmas shopping and potential cold weather in certain parts of the world and hopefully regale you with stories from the bush. It’s not often that I sit here at my desk and don’t have to ask the guides about what they have been seeing on game drive so I am going to make the most of it and tell you about a couple of wonderful sightings that Rob and I had last week.

This time of the year there is a lot of moving up and down to the camps as we close them down pull all the teams out, check on everything, settle in the rains watchmen and get any of the bits and pieces up to Nsefu and Tena which we may need for getting the camp re-open in May. That all said and done it is also getting light from about 4.30; so having planned a trip up to Nsefu and Tena we thought well why not lets make the most of being up so early and take a slightly elongated drive up through the park and make the most of it. With all game drives in the Luangwa we are so very fortunate to have the most incredible amount happening all around us pretty much all the time.

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Whether it be a dung beetle rolling a dung ball, broad billed rollers rolling around and showing off, guinea fowl clucking in the morning light, baby impalas with their dangly little legs leaping across the great clods of black cotton soil. However, it is what Rob and I call the magic moments that stand out above the rest and this drive was no exception. Arriving up to the point in the river south of Tena Tena where we drive over we were surrounded by elephants and more were coming towards us across the river. We parked up in a shady spot looking onto the hippo run that they were using to come up from the river and must have watched in excess of 100 elephants walking towards us. It was an incredible sighting.

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Predominantly bulls but a few cow herds mixed in for good measure. Bottle necks as more were coming up the bank, tussles and at one point a tusk nudging another elephant in the bottom with unexpected impact and snapping off with an almost gunshot loud crack. Once they had all passed we sat there in silence just trying to take in the moment then sadly decided that it was time to move on as we were technically at work!

The morning continued in a usual round the camps visit and having loaded the car up we were ready to head back to Nkwali. Now being rather warm there was significantly less hanging around until just before Nkwali at Robin’s Bridge there was something in the road. Bringing the landrover to a sudden stop and binoculars being raised up we could see a Martial Eagle on the ground with a kill (which turned out to be a baby baboon). Suddenly a Tawny Eagle swooped down and tried to steal the kill I mean that’s a brave Tawny as they sit at about half the size of a Martial.

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The Martial flew off up into a nearby tree swiftly followed by the Tawny who sat there squawking manically trying to persuade the Martial to give up its lunch. Both birds squawking and hissing at each other, necks puffed up, wings out – however it has to be said that whilst the Tawny was being rather brave and reckless he was sadly no match for the Mighty Martial as the magnificent bird with one talon wrapped about this poor baboon simply took off and disappeared into the middle distance.

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It just goes to show that no matter how close you are to being back in camp there is always something that can surprise and enthrall you.

Well there we go and now having monopolized this week’s story I am going to have to leave you all to it as we head on out to Luangwa River Camp to get the last of the seasonal camps packed up for the year. So on that note have a fabulous week with plenty of smiles and laughter and we will catch up with you same time same place next Monday with stories from what the guests have been seeing.

Ems

 

 

 

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