Comments from Colleen…
Signs of the changing seasons are apparent, with the leaves starting to turn and fall. The temperature is dropping slightly, ensuring the mornings are cool and fresh. (please remember to bring along some warm clothing if you are coming in the next two months) The bush is starting to thin out making it a little easier to see through the thick mopane trees. The Tamarinds are dropping their fruit, which is causing large numbers of baboons and monkeys to gather under these beautiful trees.
The water away from the rivers is starting to disappear bringing the animals to the main rivers to drink. We have had a large journey of giraffe visiting the river in front of the restaurant this month. They have been arriving at dusk, ensuring we have beautiful sunsets with giraffe silhouettes. The sub- species of thorn croft giraffe are epidemic to the Luangwa, these beautiful animals are territorial and our camp is situated in this particular journeys territory. The Journey is a herd of around 14 adults and this season they have 4 new babies.
With the water levels dropping, the large pods of hippo and high quantity of crocodiles are easier to see. (Ensuring my toes won’t be touching the Luangwa’s waters!!) While I was in the park the other day we had a dead hippo float past us. There was a around 80 crocodiles eating the carcass, when it got to where we were sitting there was not much left of the hippo, but 2 very large crocodiles were tearing away at the last chunks of rotting meat.
No matter how many times I see the death roll, the sight still sends shivers up my spine. The sausages from the sausage tree (Kigelia Africana), are also dropping to the ground, these large fruits are a good food source for a large number of animals including the hippos, which on night drives can be seen munching away at the fallen fruits.
The Sharpe’s grysbok the smallest antelope in the Luangwa has also been seen on night drives this month, these shy small antelope which weigh between 7-8kg and have a shoulder height between 45- 50cm(adults), are rarely seen and is always a treat.
I spotted a Gymnogene, the other day; it was my first sighting of this magnificent hawk. It is very interesting as its facial skin changes from yellow to red, depending on its mood. I’m guessing red is for when it’s angry.
The drives have been very successful this month with a wide variety of game seen, including regular sightings of lion, Billy had an exciting morning drive, watching three lionesses take down an impala only 50meters from the vehicle. A large pack of 18 wild dog were spotted around the Lupunga and Mushilashi area. Leopards have been spotted stalking prey but this month we have not seen any actual hunts. The Hyena and our resident leopard have been around camp this month, keeping us awake with their bone chilling cries.
Our Bush camp has opened, and has been very successful with everyone leaving very happy and wanting more. The Bush Camp is a true African experience with no power and bucket showers, meals cooked on an open fire while you sit around listening to stories from the guide, scout, and cook you are sure to leave the Luangwa after experiencing all the smells, sites and sounds of the true Africa. We have also started our walking safaris. These are always a great treat as you get a chance to get up close to the flora and fauna. Our guides have a great amount of knowledge which they are always excited to share. There is so much to see, hear, smell and touch that is missed when on a drive.
Our Barefoot camp is still under construction. Tents one to three are up and running and have had several people enjoy the view of the meandering Luangwa. Tents four and five are almost done, and will be having there first guests in a few weeks. The bar and restaurant are still being upgraded with a new coat of paint last month and this month new cushion covers, and Herman and Oscar putting up mirrors and new lights and decorations. I can’t wait to see it all completed.
Patsy was away for 2 weeks at Indaba (the travel show in Durban) and the season ahead of us looks nice and busy – lots of return clientele so it will be great to welcome back some old friends and hopefully make many new ones!
We look forward to welcoming you to our camp. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.