It’s Monday 10th April 2017 and the smoke that thunders

I do hope that you are well and have had a fabulous weekend.  Here in the Luangwa well we are starting to think about the beginning of the season, so as soon as we are through Easter we will be full throttle with camp opening. Fingers very tightly crossed that there is not too much rain so we can start putting in roads and bridges.  However that is not what we are going to chat about today, that can all wait until it actually starts.  Today we are going to hear from Ruth who has been taking in some different scenery from the Luangwa and has been at Stanley Safari Lodge managing there for the last month, so for this week Ruth over to you:

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“The biggest reason for coming to Livingstone are the Victoria Falls. They are truly impressive and a must-see. In Lozi, one of the local languages, the Falls are called Mosi – o – Tunya which means “The Smoke that Thunders”. During this time of the year it smokes and thunders indeed. The Zambezi River is getting to its fullest and the good rains in the whole of Southern Africa are making it a particularly impressive sighting this year. Especially in the morning we can see a huge cloud rising up into the air from our chalets. When our guests open their eyes this is the first thing they see and they are blown away.

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A great way to fully appreciate the masses of water thundering into the gorge is by helicopter. We are first descending right into the Batoka Gorge whizzing past steep walls following the mighty Zambezi. Because of the speed and narrow curves we are on a rather hair-raising incline. Adrenaline rush guaranteed!

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When coming out of the gorge the helicopter nearly touches the trees and then climbs high into the sky approaching the powerful Victoria Falls flying over several villages and bushland. From the air, the Zambezi with all its islands looks absolutely magical. We circle around the Falls and the start of the dramatic Batoka Gorge several times to get enough chances for pictures. The journey takes 20 minutes and the memories last a lifetime.

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Another great experience that should not be missed is tracking white rhinos in the Mosi – o – Tunya National park. At the moment we have a one month old baby and another one was born a few days ago. The walks are led by an armed scout from the Zambia Wildlife Authority and an accredited guide. Because there are walking safaris in the park every day the rhinos are quite relaxed. This makes for great photo opportunities.

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The knowledgeable guide also points out whatever else happens to cross our path. One very exciting experience for me on this walk was to finally watch and hear a Flappet Lark. I had heard it on recordings and was intrigued as to how it would really look and sound. Energetic wing clapping partly replaces song in this lark, hence the name. I was impressed with the high volume and the aerial displays that goes with it. It is hard to believe that such a little bird can make such a noise with its wings. Nature is amazing!”

Wow I mean not only amazing stories but photos as well and if that doesn’t make you want to visit the Falls I am not sure what will.  Thanks so much Ruth for sharing some of your experiences with us, it’s always great to hear what’s going on down in Livingstone.

Just a quick trip up to the Luangwa Valley to keep you updated with some of the wonderful sightings that the guides have been having.  The birding as always this time of the year continues to be fantastic with many of the birds in their breeding plumage and the vibrant green grass is often spotted with the fire crowned bishops with the vibrant red plumage.   For those keen birders amongst you there was also a rare sighting of a lesser grey shrike which got the guides all rather excited.

Moving onto the bigger animals; the lions have been really showing off, but the funniest was our friend Garlic, the big male lion was completely smitten by a lioness but she had absolutely no interest in him whatsoever, so despite his continued perseverance he was rejected and somewhat embarrassed by this.  Let’s hope that he received some attention further down the line.

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So there you have it for this week.  As you can see lots going on everywhere and plenty more to report but lets keep some stories back as we need to keep you guessing!!  I hope that you all have the most fabulous week with lots of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after each other.  Oh and also, as I wont be chatting to you before hand – Happy Easter.

Ems

 

 

 

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