July has been a whirlwind of a month. We have had a fantastically busy month with the campsite booming, chalets and tents full and plenty of game drives going out every day!!
The camp has been buzzing, with a multitude of different cultures, characters and languages. Dora has been putting her talents with languages to test. I’ve heard her chatting away in German, French, Italian and possibly a few others!!
We have all enjoyed the month of July with every person that leaves with a smile, making our days that much better.
Out in the park has also been interesting with some fantastic sightings. An old elephant had passed away under the shade of a sausage tree. The vultures and hyenas have been gorging themselves silly. The vultures are so full that are unable to fly away, so they just sit in nearby trees waiting for the meat to digest, before they fly into the carcass to do it all over again. We spotted the white backed vultures, hooded and a few lapped faced vultures. There were also a few of the Marabou storks strutting around as they too gobbled on the feast. I will admit that although it was extremely fascinating to watch, not everyone enjoyed the horrid smell.
I was let off my training wheels as a guide, as I had completed my accompanied drives. I ventured into the big park, with my first lot of guests, and with out my security blanket of having either, Phil, Sly, Billy or Andrew in the vehicle with me. We had a few amazing sightings; a large pride of lions resting on the road, 2 brown snake eagles less than 10 meters away calling each other as well as a brilliant sighting of a Scops owl, the smallest of the owls that live in the Luangwa. The tiny owl, sat on the branch less than 3 meters from the vehicle and posed for the clicking of the camera. We also got to see a few unusual sightings; a terrapin was sunning himself, on the carpet of nile cabbage in one of the lagoons, and the perfectly hidden flapped necked chameleon which I managed to spot as we drove past on a night drive.
The best sighting of the month was of a female leopard, which killed a large male puku in the middle of the day on an open plain. She then tried to drag the Puku to the safety of a tree and the scrubs. But it was too heavy for her. So she first ate as much of it as she could of the Puku out in the open and then tried to drag it again. She was still not strong enough and so for the rest of the day she sat by the kill watching it and protecting it. She finally lost the battle to the hyenas once night fell and they stole her prized kill.
This month, SLCS organized a fun run to bring the community together. It was a great idea and a fantastic day. I stupidly thought that I could run 10km with out doing any training.. The good news is I survived and managed to run almost all 10km, with out having to stop!! I am walking a bit strangely at the moment but was much relieved to find I was not the only person suffering from stiff
muscles. Trying to train for a running race here, is almost impossible especially this time of the year when all the elephants are in around camp eating the Tamarind fruits and then winter thorn pods!
Anyway that’s all from me. Until next month
Colleen and the Wildlife Team!
Hey all, Kyle here. I’m Patsy’s son and have been doing a bit of work experience here at the camp for school. Growing up here has given me a great appreciation for wildlife and I have had a lot of experiences that holiday makers will envy. I have seen a lot of the staff going from cooks or even waiters to becoming one of the elite guides that we are privileged to have at our camp. I have seen countless guests and friends come and go, and seen almost all of the local wildlife (can’t seem to find that last aardvark). I think we have the best view in the valley, and hate going back to school where the sunsets are never as nice. Having worked a bit with the staff, I have seen that life isn’t all glitz and glamour here, and we all have to work hard to keep the pristine environment going. I have seen life here from a different view and now appreciate my home a little more. So, next time you come, make sure to bring all your friends and family here, or they’ll never forgive you for leaving them out in a unique experience, as every sunset and game drive is as different as the stripes on a zebras behind.