Its Monday and wildlife sightings galore

Well, hello there! I hope that you are fabulously well after another wonderful weekend and are ready and raring for the week ahead. Here in the Luangwa, before we launch ourselves into the updates from the animals, let me share some wonderful community work news with you. As you are, I am sure, far too aware the Covid 19 outbreak has had a staggering impact on economies worldwide and the tourism industry has been quite badly hit. We have all of course done our best to support our staff and their families as much as possible. However, as you can imagine, a town like Mfuwe has grown exponentially over the years mainly supported by the tourism industry and that income has suddenly fallen away. Project Luangwa works in the community and has seen an increasing need for support mostly with staple food sources and have been working towards setting up a project for food hampers for families most in need. Not knowing that this had been set up and with immaculate timing we have some regular guests who contacted us wanting to put some of their “2021 holiday funds” towards something to help. Asking us what it could be used for food immediately came to mind so speaking with the Project Luangwa team we put them in touch, and they have subsequently made a substantial donation which will enable the first care packages to be purchased, put together, and distributed. The Project Luangwa team has since been working tirelessly in getting everything put together and will be starting the distribution in the next few days. We are so excited about this and cannot thank the donors enough for this generous offering, it is going to make such a huge impact on the community.

Out in the National Park the animals have been giving us quite a display as well and the sightings have been staggering. Up at Nsefu over the course of a two day stay recent guests saw wild dogs, hyena, leopard on a kill and just to pop some icing on the cake, a leopard with 2 cubs. Absolutely incredible and I think that as the wildlife had last year ‘off duty’ they have decided that they just needed to show off.

Down at Nkwali we have been surrounded by giraffes, one of the females in is oestrous, so all the boys have been hanging around just following her like lost sheep desperate for a chance to mate. But sadly, as with all things with giraffes, it always seems to take an extraordinarily long time for them to do anything. No mating has been witnessed yet, but it was great watching all the interactions and behaviours.

Kiki has been guiding down at Nkwali and has also had some incredible sightings including a leopard feasting on a large male puku which was a couple of meters up in a tree. The story behind the kill was that the female had actually killed the puku but the male had been hiding and just swooped in and stole the female’s kill. She was lucky not to have had an interaction with hyenas as this year we seem to have a very dominant clan and are getting a lot of regular sightings. The leopards are having to be incredibly quick with their kills and getting them up in the trees as soon as possible before the hyenas come in.

The plains game has been phenomenal with so many elephants, buffalo, impala and even a sighting of a Cookson’s Wildebeest. The bush seems to simply be teaming with animals.

Lastly here at Nkwali we have been hearing lions most evenings and on Sunday morning I ventured down to the kitchen to get the chefs sorted ready for the day and unusually found the door closed but all the guys inside. So, I wandered in and was told that a young male lion had just killed a bushbuck outside the kitchen and dragged it into the bush. I thanked them of course for the heads up and when it was time to leave left by the other door!! The baboons by this time had cottoned on to the fact and spent the entire day barking letting us all know that the lion was there, then as soon as the sun had set he moved off roaring his little stubbly mane off as he wandered through camp full and contented with his day.

So, there you have it for this week’s updates. There is certainly plenty going on and never a dull moment. I look forward to updating you with more stories next week. Between now and then, have a wonderful week with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.

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