It seems that the every month I want to write about changes, brought on by the absence of rain, in the valley around us. The river changes. The grass and trees change. Even the animals are different from one week to the next.
The Luangwa Valley
Change, in the Luangwa valley, is the one constant on which we rely to always produce what it promised. Another constant which August delivers year after year is a steady stream of guests making Wildlife Camp their base from which they can explore the loop-roads and sunset-spots which South Luangwa National Park offers.
Once again, Wildlife Camp staff – spearheaded by Dora – entertained guests from all over the world with wonderful safaris, over-night walking safaris and three course dinners to facilitate discussions about the park’s lions, leopards and lush landscapes.
In August, the two wild Wildlife kids, Byron and Tara, moved school and became part of Kafunta Primary school, complete with four students, three desks, two curriculum and one teacher – Jenny, all the way from Australia. They are very excited about their new adventure and what makes it even better is the 30minute drive to school which often delivers elephant, giraffe and antelope sightings.
News around camp
The two banded mongooses (not mongeese as commonly assumed) meanwhile has graduated with flying colours and are totally independent in their quest for food and survival. They made the old tyres in Herman’s workshop their den. They now only rely on humans for love and attention – something they get in abundance from staff and guests alike.
Godfrey, the constant gardener, decided to redo the small garden in front of the restaurant. 10 new pots and a wheelbarrow of new plants later the garden was set to become a masterpiece. However, two nights later, a large bull elephant discovered the newly planted juicy leafs and left the garden in disarray, pots broken and plants eaten.
Constant change? The roads leading to Mfuwe constantly change, whether for the better or for the worse. The road between Mfuwe and Chipata is also constantly changing due to road works. Even though the reparations have been going on for a while now, the end is not yet in sight. However, for people planning to travel to Mfuwe by car, please note that the Petauke road, as suggested by your GPS, might take you a couple of hours longer to drive than the ‘long-way’ via Chipata.
This month’s safari highlight was provided by Phil on a night drive towards Puku-plain. FIVE LEOPARDS IN
ONE NIGHT! Leopard number one walked right by the vehicle and produced stunning photos. Leopard number two sat in a tree scanning the environment for a potential meal but soon decided to go on the hunt and disappeared out of sight. Leopards number three, four and five were all hunched over a freshly killed Impala. What was strange about this sighting was that it was not a mother-and-cubs scenario but rather a male with two younger leopards. It goes to show that Mother Nature always produces a constant stream of surprises.
The pride of 17 lions which we know so well is in disarray with more than one male trying to take over Sleet’s territory. Hopefully by the end of September we’ll have a report on exactly what is going on in lion-land. Remember, their actions can be followed daily via the Sleet fan-page on Facebook.
From the whole team at Wildlife Camp, Warm Regards.