September has been another busy month for us in the camp and the hot weather has certainly arrived – if you are planning on visiting us in the next few months please do remember to bring hats, sunscreen and a sense of humour!
With the park being so dry it is even more noticeable on how many guests we are all receiving. Our guides have a great responsibility to our guests, the park and it’s wildlife. We pride ourselves on our guides etiquette in the Luangwa and especially here at wildlife camp.
Our guides will always try to get you the best view of the animals, but they must obey the rules of the park at all times. These rules have been put into place to protect the animals, the park and we the people entering it, ensuring we get to enjoy the area for years to come.
Off road driving is prohibited, but again our guides will always do there best to get you in a good spot for photographs while obeying rules of the park.
We have an understanding between all the lodges belonging to South Luangwa Safari Association that there should be no more than three vehicles on a sighting at one time, please wait patiently for your turn, and understand if you have to move off the sight when other vehicles arrive.
We also ask any of our self drive guests to follow the same ettiquite, if you are unsure of this please do ask at reception and it will be gladly explained to you.
There is a policing policy between all the camp and I have been out several times to see what is happening in the park and am pleased to say that I have nothing bad to report!
We would like you to have the best possible time with us here at Wildlife camp, and to leave the Luangwa National park with an understanding, love and respect for the animals and environment.
Please remember we are in the bush and not a zoo, sometimes we are in the right place at the right time and the most amazing things unfold!
On another note I do have to give all travelers a word of caution.
Visa waivers – these are now valid only for a period of 14 days. If you are staying longer than this it is easier just to pay for your visa on arrival for the full period that you need (up to 90 days are given, usually at 30 days at a time, these can be extended at immigration points but only on the day or day before they expire). If you are going to be exiting and re-entering Zambia –please make sure you get a multiple entry – otherwise you will be forced to pay again.
Unfortunately a scam has been noticed by a few travelers where on arrival a guest may ask for a specific number of days and less days are being put into the passport and then on their departure from Zambia they are being fined for “overstaying”. Please can everyone check the dates given BEFORE leaving the immigation desk.
LSA is working closely with our tourism board to highlight and hopefully prevent this happening again but I thought it better to warn everyone of possible problems.
On a more positive note – anyone who has been following the squirrels – I am pleased to announce the arrival of yet another litter (?) from the famous “Penny”.
September comments from Colleen;
Another month has flown by. The valley is heated up, our pool has been very popular over the last few weeks, as not only is it a great place to keep cool, but a great spot to watch the elephants, giraffe, kudu, puku, hippo, crocodiles and much more. As the valley heats up, it continues to dry out; the watering holes are becoming non existent forcing the animals to drink from the main river. Which is providing us with some great game viewing from our restaurant, pool, bars, or your very own chalet or tent?
It’s been another great month for sightings. With a few rare and fantastic finds. Some of our guests were very lucky to spot an Aardvark, this strange looking creature is rarely seen, its skin is strong and pink, like that of a domesticated pig, his nose too looks like that of a pig, but is very long. The aardvarks diet consists mainly of termites, it uses a very long sticky tongue to capture the termites from there holes.
The aardvark has very large long ears, which look out of proportion with its body.
The aardvark is a nocturnal, solitary animal so there is always a lot of excitement when one is spotted. The Local belief is that when an aardvark is seen it can bring either good or bad luck. I hope that it brought our guest lots of good luck.
Serval have also been sighted this month, again this is a very rare and exciting find.
The servals are a diurnal feline, that’s diet consists of a variety of small animals and fruit. It has a relatively short tail. The servals are solitary and territorial animals. I was very jealous that I had missed out on these great sightings.
The Lions and Leopards are very active at the moment, and are commonly been seen this month.
Our resident camp leopard graced us with her presence, in the car park during dinner the other night.
It was very exciting to see her again and so close to us.
Our bush camp was filled with excitement as 4 of our guests got to watch a cape buffalo being attacked by crocodile. The crocodile had been waiting in ambush, as the buffalos came to drink from the Luangwa. The Buffalo did get away, but I doubt it made it far as it was limping badly with a broken back leg. I did notice vultures circling in that area the following morning, and a buffalo carcass was found indicating one of the predators got it during the night.
Patsy was called to help SLCS dart and remove a snare from an Elephant. It was a successful operation and I am happy to report the elephant will make a full recovery. I am glad to say that our guides, SLCS and ZAWA are all working together to help protect and save the animals in and around the park.
Hope to see you all in camp!
Colleen and the Wildlife Team