Its Monday 4th July 2016 and it’s time to hit the Mupumadzi River

I hope that you are all well and sitting comfortably and ready to hear from June and Roger O’Neill who have just returned home after a trip with us up to Mobiles. Yes I know I haven’t spoken about mobiles yet this year and so here it is, the first of what I am sure will be the first of many. For this week over to June and Roger:

“This was our fourth visit to South Luangwa with Robin Pope Safaris and this year we chose a Mobile Walking Safari and 3 nights at Tena Tena. And what an amazing experience it was!

Setting off on our drive north to the remote region of the National Park along the Mupamadzi River, the landscape varied tremendously from dense miombo woodland to wide open plains. The animals here are not as used to vehicles as they are in the Valley and tend to be rather shy, but we still had fantastic sightings of gentle bushbuck, roan antelope, impala, puku and kudu, not forgetting elephants and zebra.

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We arrived at our first camp in time for lunch and everything was ready for us. The logistics of mobile safaris are complex but the team at RPS excel at this. We moved camp twice and each time, the camp was completely dismantled and remade in a different location whilst we were out on our morning walk and lunch was always ready when we arrived at camp. Alfred and his team produce the most gorgeous food – including fresh bread and cakes – and even a birthday cake!

On a walking safari, it’s more difficult to get close to big game but it’s the little things you notice which bring the bush to life. Our guide Kanga and Yona, the scout, found us some wonderful things – the nest of a praying mantis, lucky beans, wild cucumbers, and even a sunbird taking nectar from a foxglove. The elephants were plentiful and once or twice necessitated some interesting diversions!

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The bird sightings were as good as ever – everything from tiny Lilian’s lovebirds to Bataleur eagles – but best of all a threesome of lilac-breasted rollers putting on an incredible display right in front of us. Sundowners in the river on our last night – with the sun setting behind us and the Southern Cross bright in the sky – were a perfect end to a fabulous safari.

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Returning to Tena Tena, we joked that this was our fourth trip and we still hadn’t seen the wild dogs. Previous It’s Mondays had been full of sightings, but they always seemed to leave the area as soon as we arrived. Bertram likes a challenge so, on our last day in the Valley, we drove out to the edge of the park and – joy of joys – there they were – a pack of 17! And the pride of 9 lions, fast asleep on the road to the airport, was just the icing on the cake.”

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Thank you so very much for this it’s always great to hear about mobiles but on top of that allowing Bertram a chance to show off with managing to find wild dogs for you both.

Other than that I think that I am going to give you all some rather shocking and sad news. Our female lioness the one with the 2 youngsters that we often see behind Nkwali is sadly no longer. We are not entirely sure what happened to her but she was seen deceased and being eaten by another lion. We suspect that she got caught in a turf war with another pride and being on her own was very sadly defeated. The youngsters we believe survived but are certainly keeping their heads down as a result. We will keep you posted with any more updates on this.

There we have it for this week so let’s all go forward and have a cracking week ahead and I will give you lots more news from the Valley next week.

Ems

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