It’s Monday 28th August 2017 and another magical trip to the Luangwa

Well here we are again on another glorious Monday. I do hope that you have all had fabulous weekends and are set up for another spectacular week ahead. Here in the Luangwa it just simply doesn’t stop and even I have managed to sneak in some wonderful sightings over the last week. However this is not about that – this week we are hearing from Simon Cousins who was recently with a group at Luangwa River Camp and as always had some incredible sightings. So Simon over to you:

“We were hugely spoilt by the Luangwa again, both the bush and the lovely crew at Luangwa River Camp.

All but one of the crew had never been to the Luangwa valley before so there was a lot of excitement, and a certain level of expectation, obviously. The fame of the Luangwa had certainly reached this crew and the pressure was on!

With this excitement reaching fever pitch we decided to give afternoon tea a skip and leave early for our afternoon game drive. Across the river we went and into our waiting game drive vehicle. Now, I have always told guests that the best way to see game and experience the bush is to follow 3 basic rules – Stop, Look and Listen. The bush will tell you a lot about what’s going on out there if you give it a chance and you can’t do that if you are bombing around the park hoping to see something!

Well, we had only been in the park for about 10 minutes when we stopped to have a look around. We noticed that the puku were not as relaxed as they could be and I told the guests that there was something that was bothering them and we should sit and wait to see what happens…

During this time some folk in a closed vehicle drove right past us and carried on going. We sat for a bit longer and then, all of a sudden the baboons started barking, the puku were alarming and we knew there was a predator there. Sure enough, on closer inspection a little female leopard was moving through the thickets!

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After all this excitement and beginning our safari with such a bang, we carried on up river. I stopped to show everyone the Mahogany tree flowers, which were putting out a fantastic scent all through the grove of trees we were driving through. As I stopped under one of the trees I saw a leopard, not more than 5 metres away from us, with a fresh kill! If we hadn’t stopped to smell the flowers we would not have seen the leopard…

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I think a baboon that was probably meant to be on sentry duty, was not doing what he was supposed to be doing, and paid the ultimate price for not being alert to the constant dangers that lurk in the bush, and was killed by the leopard.

As luck would have it the leopard took his mid afternoon snack up into the Mahogany tree right there so we are able to smell the flowers and watch a leopard with its kill!

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Throughout the trip events like this continued to happen. Stopping to watch squirrels we were alerted to some very alert impala… another leopard sighting! We were looking at birds when one of the guests spotted the 2 big male lions off in the distance. If we had not stopped to look at the squirrels or the birds we would not have seen the leopard or the lions.

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Having said all of this, we should never ignore squirrels or the birds as they are all part of the experience. Watching 2 squirrels fighting over a seed or spending half an hour watching a troop of baboons going about their daily business is a whole lot more exciting than watching lions sleeping!

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As with all trips to the Luangwa valley it is over all too quickly and after another amazing experience we bid our farewells… not too long before I am back I am sure!”

Wow – incredible. Thanks so much Simon and can’t wait for your next trip out here to hear all about it. I am not going to ramble on about any other bits and pieces as Simon has clearly given us more than enough to be thinking about this week. So on that note I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you have a fabulous week and let’s see what happens in the next 6 days. Have fun and as always, don’t forget to look after each other.

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