It’s Monday 11th December 2017 and Nsefu & Carnivore Week

I do hope that you are all well and keeping yourselves busy and out of trouble. Here in the valley well I am going to keep quiet this week as regular guests Jane and Ian Pike have just been out for Carnivore week and have very kindly shared their holiday and their incredible photos with us. So I hope you are all sitting comfortably – Jane and Ian over to you:

“Arriving in Lusaka for our second visit of the year it was great to be met by the friendly faces of the Tours Africa team and to be whisked through the airport formalities. We are soon on our way to South Luangwa! At Mfuwe we are met by a young Sebastian – can it be we thought, has Sebastian abandoned his ‘glue’ research and found the fountain of youth, but no we turned around to see the beaming smile of Sebastian Senior! So now RPS has two Sebastians – the younger version has something to live up to, but we are sure he will. On to Nsefu where Ruth and all the camp team made us very welcome. We had some great sightings. The start of the rains meant there were lots and lots of babies – impala, warthogs, vervets and baboons. The carmine bee-eaters were everywhere – performing their beautiful aerial ballet accompanied by their constant chatter.

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We then moved on to Nkwali for Carnivore Week, where we were so well looked after by Kiki, Shannon and the team. Here we met Linda and Jackie with whom we share this special experience, as well as Chris our guide for the week. During the week we find out about the Zambian Carnivore Programme, spending time with Johnathan and Henry, finding out what they do and how they do it. We got first-hand experience of tracking carnivores finding a pride of 7 lionesses with three cubs on a buffalo kill, a sighting we had to ourselves for two days.

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Another sighting of note was a reacquaintance with ‘one-eye’ a large male leopard that we first saw in 2013. He started stalking two impala with babies, Chris halted our vehicle to prevent us from driving the impala into the gulley where the leopard was hiding. The impala still ventured into the gulley – we held our breath – but they spotted the leopard, escaping unharmed, phew!

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Our visits to the Conservation South Luangwa and Chipembele were both excellent. At CSL we learnt about the different initiatives in place to support both the animals and the community – heartening to hear that the number of snares retrieved and de-snaring incidents are reducing. We also debated the relevance of tsetse flies – I’m still not convinced of their worth!

We were extremely humbled by the welcome, knowledge and enthusiasm of everyone at Chipembele conservation club – clearly the young people were highly motivated to make a difference.

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To top off a fantastic week we had our final sundowner on a sand bar in the Luangwa river – with River Camp as a backdrop and the three male lions recumbent on the bank in front of us – perfect.

The only thing left to say is a very big thank you to everyone for making our 10 days so memorable! We’re now trying to work out when we can return – hopefully with our usual safari buddy Neil.”

Wow thanks so much and what incredible sightings you guys had. There is no point in me trying to better this so I shall very fondly bid you all farewell for yet another week and hope that you all have a fabulous time with plenty of smiles and laughter.

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