It’s Monday 3rd April 2017 and another successful trip to the Luangwa

I do hope that you are fabulously well and have had a lovely weekend. I trust that those of you in Europe are enjoying the lovely onset of spring. Here in the valley we have been nonstop, but at least the rain seems to be subsiding a little bit which is good news, as we are now looking towards the beginning of the season and getting the camps open and ready – always a nerve wracking time! Anyway, let’s not look too far ahead shall we, and let’s concentrate on the stories that I have to tell you from this week.

Simon Cousins was, once again, out to visit with some work colleagues on another ‘stressful’ working weekend on safari and they had some wonderful sightings. Simon, as usual, has been kind enough to share some of his photos with us on what they saw.

There was the usual birding challenge and they hit a high count of 160 birds in just four days which is pretty impressive. Amongst those spotted was the somewhat elusive Allen’s Gallenule which, is a small water bird that is particularly secretive and can be heard more easily than seen, so that was a big tick in the box.

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They also saw, but didn’t manage to photograph, a Sombre Greenbul, Pallid Harrier and Striped Crake – for those birders amongst you, enjoy the research, I certainly learnt something, as embarrassingly I hadn’t heard of any of them!

The team made the most of this time of the year with all the insects that came out to play, and took some great “upclose and personal photos” of a praying mantis and a cricket – pretty creepy but kind of cool!

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They also had a fabulous sighting of mating foam nest frogs getting all foamy; it certainly shows us the difference in size between the male and the female.

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Moving onto some slightly larger animals there was an epic battle between a couple of male giraffes out on Lupunga Spur. They are funny, I mean they really do mull things over before they act, so everything always seems slightly in slow motion – but when those necks go down and they swing their heads like an enormous club into their opponent, it really does hit with a great big thud. All the ox-peckers vacate their resting spots on the giraffes, which is a wise move, and wait for things to calm down before returning to their job of picking off any mites.

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The buffalo were making the most of the muddy wallows and caked themselves in thick gloopy mud before dragging themselves off to the next priority of eating.

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As for the lions, well who can resist a photo of an adorable lion cub? As hard as you try it is simply impossible to resist.

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The other wonderful thing about this time of the year are the sunsets that we get as the orange glow fills the air and everything covered with the soft radiance of the last light of the day. Nothing else can really be said except – magical.

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What better place for me to end my ramblings or musings for the week than with these lovely  photographs. So I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have an absolutely fabulous week ahead with lots of smiles and laughter and remember to look after each other.

Ems

 

 

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