It’s Monday 11th June 2018 and a crazy leopard

I do hope that you are well, sitting comfortably and have of course had an absolutely fabulous weekend. Here in the Luangwa, well winter has definitely arrived and it is mighty nippy in the mornings I can tell you that for free. The temperatures are getting down to the low teens in the mornings so we are all wrapped up in hats and scarves and lots of jumpers. Yes I realize that we sound like wimps but remember we don’t have windows or heating in our rooms here so we do feel the cold at nights and it may take a moment or two to defrost. Anyway let’s not go on about that, let’s talk about what is happening out in the bush. I did my usual panic and called the guides in for their stories, as this week more than most I have had my head stuck in my computer, and when they came in to tell me what they have been seeing I was bowled over, so here goes with the sharing of the sightings.

John was out with some guests and saw either a very bold or totally insane leopard! They came across a pack of 22 wild dogs that had just killed a waterbuck — in itself pretty impressive, as waterbuck are not small. Anyway, the dogs were busy eating away when a large male leopard decided that it would be a good idea to try to steal some of the meat and get a free meal! Well of course this all went terribly wrong for the leopard, I mean seriously let’s look at the math here 1 leopard vs 22 wild dogs — I think we know who is going to win! Whilst he tried to sneak in he was obviously spotted and chased off running as fast as he could to the nearest tree and scampered up. The dogs then decided that actually it would be great to just camp out under the tree, taunting the leopard. I am afraid I can not tell you how long the dogs stayed there for or the leopard for that matter as after a while John and his guests moved off but I am sure that the poor cat was trapped for quite some time.

Talking of cats, the pride of 12 lions down at Nkwali were seen having just killed a buffalo and were all happily feasting looking very full and fat but yet they kept on snacking and when the vultures arrived despite being full to bursting they certainly weren’t going to share their hard earned meal with anyone so occasionally would stand up and chase the vultures away. Needless to say they were so full and fat that they pretty much stayed put for a couple of days before moving on.

Taking a major turn on subject matter the magnificent ebony trees have started to fruit, which is quite early, and the tamarinds are also laden with fruits. When this happens it’s a major feast for everyone with the baboons scooting up into the trees picking and eating the fruits; but they are slightly clumsy and messy eaters, so they chuck their unwanted fruits on the ground, and as they are scrambling around in the trees they are knocking loose fruits which also fall. Underneath (depending on the tree of course) the warthogs and impalas reap the rewards. The elephants also help out and pull down branches for themselves, which obviously has a wider repercussion in terms of a shock wave going through the tree and encouraging ripe fruits to fall. The air is also heavy with the lovely aroma of the Jasmine bush, which is currently in flower, and the delicate white flowers create a lovely break in the greenery.

Gosh so there we have it for this week I really must get going as I think that I have kept you all long enough so I am going to graciously say goodbye and hope that you all have a wonderful week with plenty of smiles and laughter.



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