It’s Monday 25th September 2017 and a family safari

I do hope that you are all well and getting ready for another week after what I hope was a wonderful weekend. Here, winter is slowly coming to an end and whilst the nights are still lovely and cool there is a definite climb in temperature during the day. The river levels are dropping as if someone has pulled the plug out of a bathtub; each week when we visit the camps we notice obvious changes in the levels and from Nkwali deck we watch the elephants walk across the river with the water just coming up to their knees. We are now into that time of the year when we have crossed over the half way line, and from here on in life gets harder for the herbivores and easier for the carnivores.

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Anyway, enough chit chat about the weather let’s move on to the real nitty gritty of what has been going on in the park. Rob and I were treated to a visit from my sister and her boyfriend, so we got to sneak out on a few game drives. They also headed up to Nsefu and Tena for a few days of proper safaris and when they got back they did a very good job of making us very jealous of all that they had seen. The good news is that after 12 years of visiting, my sister finally managed to break the curse and had not one but three different leopard sightings. The first sighting was literally 10 minutes outside of Nsefu I mean what a relief for Julius who was guiding; the pressure was now off he could breath and they could crack on with the rest of the drive. He also, may I add, managed to get one up on Rob who had up to that point managed to miss all leopard sightings with my sister on board!

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Whilst up in the Nsefu sector, they had a huge number of amazing sightings but the one that stood out was watching a pride of lions just south of Tena Tena. They first found the lions before sunset so watched them for a while before they moved off with purpose. Sensing that something was afoot, John scooted around in the general direction to which they were heading and they sat watching and waiting for a while before they saw the lions again coming towards them. As if this wasn’t enough, they then sat and watched as one of the young male lions decided to have a go at hunting a hippo.

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He stalked, pounced and held onto the back of the hippo for dear life while his brothers just looked on at him as if to ask him what on earth he thought he was doing. Given that no one came to help him, he let go realizing that his eyes were quite possibly bigger than his stomach and sheepishly sauntered back to the rest of the pride trying to pretend nothing had happened. I mean it has to be said that cats are rather entertaining in that respect, they really don’t like to be embarrassed and quickly pretend like it was all on purpose or in fact nothing actually happened.

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Having had such a wonderful time up at Nsefu and Tena Tena, the pressure was definitely off when they came back to us. This meant that game drives were effectively an afternoon pootle out just behind camp with the purpose of a sundowner and if anything else was seen it was quite simply a bonus. This being said, on their last evening we had a wonderful elephant sighting just sitting in the car as the herd walked towards us and hung around just a few meters from the car picking up fruits and pods before eventually moving on.

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As the elephants chose to walk off, the baboons started to bark and it was not long before we saw a hyena loping off into the distance and then around the next corner – yes you guessed it a leopard. Talk about ending their week on a high and also enabling Rob to feel rather relieved and smug.

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So there you have it for this week’s installment of tales from the bush, as you can see there is plenty going on. So no shortage of stories from us that is for sure. So I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and will leave you all to your week. Have a good one with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after each other.

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