Its Monday and what’s hot in Liwonde…

Hello there! I hope that you are well and sitting comfortably wherever it is in the world that you are reading this from and are ready to be wowed by news from Kuthengo Camp, in Malawi. Marius and Licia, over to you…

“It’s Monday and it’s not just the heat that’s hot, but the animals were on fire too (thankfully not literary!) in Liwonde National Park. Fitting with the theme, we went out on a safari ourselves early Monday morning, not to look for anything specific but to enjoy the breath of fresh air and maybe spend some time with an elephant or two.

We left camp before sunrise with the hopes of getting a head start, and sure enough it wasn’t long before we had two bush pigs on our right and an African civet to our left. Both species being not so common sightings elsewhere, we were stuck with swinging our heads between the two.
As the morning progressed, we were treated with one special sighting after the other. First, we saw a herd of 40+ eland, then a similar size herd of sable, then just a few seconds later a herd of 60+ buffalo.

The buffalo, although still early morning, were already feeling the heat and were all gathered under a cluster of Mopani trees using the limited shade the leafless trees provide this time of the year.

Little did we know that was just the beginning. As we carried on our way there were clear signs of elephant in the area. Around the next bend, we came across a breeding herd of 45 strong and we silently sat and watched them move over a dry stretch of land on their way to the Shire River.

Already satisfied with what we had seen and the temperature busy soaring, Licia and I weren’t expecting much else; but soon we once again found ourselves overwhelmed. We bumped into 3 lionesses and a single male, also on their way to find some nearby shade. One of the lionesses was clearly showing her affection towards the male and we soon had a mating pair of lions before us; and we were happy to take a few photos of the couple.

After we left the lions, we were going to drive one more loop before stopping to dig into Licia’s picnic basket, but had to be postpone as we found a female cheetah with her three cubs enjoying a freshly killed impala. We sat with them for a while enjoying the elegant creatures. Soon it became very entertaining as the female started playing tag with two of the cubs while the other cub was having it’s fill of the impala. For fear of missing out, all the cubs were playing with their mom and trying to trip one another.

Whilst the cheetahs were playing, two crows as well as a palmnut vulture, tried their luck to steal a piece of the impala; but once the cubs would notice it, they would run to the kill to chase them away… We gathered they didn’t like to share.

With all this excitement in the park, we cannot wait to see what wonders Liwonde will give us next.”

Wow! what an incredible drive. Thanks so much to you both for sharing this with us, and as a result, making us all rather envious. Hope that you are all managing to keep as cool as possible in what I have to say feels like an incredibly hot October. Here in the Luangwa we are already seeing temperatures sneaking to 40C plus. There have been signs of the fact that the rains could just be around the corner with some cloud build up and even a few distant sightings of lightning. It is hard to imagine that it’s getting to that time of the year already! Let me now bid you a very fond farewell and look forward to catching up with you again next week with more tales from the bush. Until then, stay safe, happy, and of course don’t forget to look after one another.

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