Thursday 10th October
Lions have an undeniable aura around them, they possess so much raw strength that even when they are taking part in their extensive daily comas, intimidation and confidence sits heavy in the air around them. This sense of strength is completely escalated when they are active and Sandy and his guests are right there in amongst it, experiencing it. They find themselves at Pelican Lagoon and the Mwamba-Kaingo Pride are on the move. Between the lions and a herd of grazing, impala sits Sandy’s vehicle and the lions are walking right toward them. They look straight through the game viewers and continue on their path with their gaze fixed solely on their prey. Roughly 20 metres on either side of the two lions are other members of the pride. They have taken up their position for attack and appear to have the odds in their favour. As the lions edge ever closer, the bark of an impala’s distress call echos through the valley and within seconds, the herd have darted to safety and the lions are too far for a last-ditch attempt at a sprint.
Friday 11th October
Although their first attempt at hunting was not successful. The next morning Sandy finds the M-K females with a buffalo kill, a beast significantly larger than the impala they were hunting. The lions tear into their kill, filling their bellies to that point of discomfort we always find lions in. As they aggressively devour the buffalo, slowly but surely the lions peel away from the kill to flop onto their sides and sleep the day away.
Saturday 12th October
Chiphadzuwa is arguably one of the best hunters in the area. What’s more, she is a beautiful leopard but quickly switches into a killing machine when hunting. Chiphadzuwa is on the prowl, her stealthy approach would make her invisible if it weren’t for the glow of her eyes. However, on this attempt, she isn’t in luck because her presence is given away before she even gets close. She will try again as the darkness of the valley grows deeper, we do hope she gets a meal.
Sunday 13th October
The nomad boys lay under a sausage tree in the morning heat. The only movement that comes off the boys are the flicks of their tails to deter tsetse from biting them. As we leave the lazy males, just 30 metres down the sandy track, a leopard lies confidently in a tamarind tree, it lays watching the elephants make their daily commute under it.
Monday 14th October
Two lion cubs, five adult females and a male dip in and out of sleep. The usually playful cubs appear tired in the October heat and only find the energy to torment eachother for a short while.
Tuesday 15th October
The sandy banks of the Luangwa River opposite Kaingo are occupied by a large pride of lions. We sit on the bank on our side and watch as the lions cannot decide whether they wish to lie in the mid-afternoon sun or the shade of the forest set just 10 metres from the water’s edge.
Patrick is out and finds himself with Fundi, the leopard looks hungry and slim yet his coat is clean and glossy. They follow the young male as he walks from camp to leopard loop before dipping into the thickets and out of sight.
Wednesday 16th October
The 040 is playing host to an unknown female leopard and she has made a kill. The leopard has dragged her impala away from a junction into the safety of a protected hidden bush, she feasts on her impala while we sit with her. However, when we return in the night, the leopard has gone and there is no sign of the kill. We can only guess that hyena visited her.
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