It’s Monday 20th March 2017 and a full river at Luangwa River Camp!

I do hope that you have had a fabulous weekend! Here in the valley we certainly have even if possibly things have been a little wet of late. However lots of rain is certainly not something that we are going to complain about, as let’s face it, we need to remember that the rain that we are getting now needs to last us until the end of the year, so the more the merrier! Another bonus to all the weather around is that the river is looking full and magical and in front of Luangwa River Camp is bank to bank and the island is almost completely under water.

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This has also meant that the boating trips up to Nsefu have been absolutely fabulous with lots of sightings of crocodiles and hippos as well as plenty of other animals on the river bank looking curiously down at the boat as it floats past.

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At Luangwa River Camp this week we have had a great show of about 20 crocodiles on the bank opposite the camp. They must have shared a kill, they seem to be preying on the Puku’s that are still able to make their way across to the island for grazing. They were enjoying basking in the sun to aid the digestion process. Isn’t it amazing that a crocodile is able to eat up to 23% of their body weight in one sitting, especially when they can weigh up to a ton in weight!

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Guests have been brave, putting up with some wet weather out on the drives but this has not stopped some fabulous sightings including a pride of 5 lionesses and their cubs attempting to climb trees. It appears that this exercise was purely for fun! The older ones managed to show off and get quite high, showing us a classic leopard pose on a branch with her legs dangling over, the little ones barely managed a few feet up!

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We have also had elephants returning to the area behind camp and they have been happily hanging around feeding in the peace and quiet.

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Still lots of sightings of babies, including new born impala, which is either very late in the birthing season for these animal or very early depending on how you want to look at it! A very cute and lovely sighting of a baby giant eagle owl, precariously perched at the very top of the tree calling for its mother, who was nowhere to be seen…. with a very interested bat hawk circling above, we all waited with baited breath until the little one managed to fly the short distance to another tree and hide himself deep within the branches to wait for mum. We were also very luck to see the Pels fishing owl, these birds of prey are especially elusive so to see them this time of year with the bush being so thick is wonderful.

And all of this is just at Luangwa River Camp! Before I get stuck into all the other sightings that we have been having, which I will leave for next week, I am going to give you a little behind the scenes glimpse from Luangwa Safari House. Each year we close Luangwa House for about 6 weeks, just during the time of the heaviest rain and it also gives us an opportunity to get some little bits and pieces done in the house. This year the job was not quite as little as we had a bit of a blip with the main deck that runs out in front of the house.

Having taken a stroll underneath it after a particularly big storm when a branch decided to go through the deck, we noticed that the superstructure was, well, shall we say, needing some attention. Not being believers in doing a half-hearted job, everything was pulled up and replaced with metal work. Shortly after setting to work on this project, the rain really started, the lagoon filled up and underneath the deck was completely flooded! Thankfully most of the groundwork had been done and the team was working from a higher vantage point however there was a lingering concern that there may be some snappy jaws waiting in the water under them! Anyway, long and short of it, all hands on deck (excuse the pun) and the team managed to pull out all the stops and get an entirely new deck in place within two and a half weeks and it looks fab.

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So there you have it for this week as you can see we don’t like to sit still for too long and are definitely keeping ourselves busy. For now though I am going to sign off until next week and between now and then I hope that you all have a fabulous time with plenty of smiles and laughter.

Ems

 

 

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