Thursday 22nd August
A more mysterious leopard surveys the water edge as the moon lights up the Luangwa Valley. In the distance, the river takes a lazy meander and the banks are occupied by a morpane forest. Tangu, the son of Mama Kaingo is a nervous leopard, he possesses a fantastic knack of seemingly disappearing into thin air. A true leopard. Tangu is hunting tonight, he uses the cover of night and the impala’s poor eye sight to his advantage as much as possible. However, it is not enough, the antelope have detected Tangu’s presence and they use their agility and speed to get to safety.
Friday 23rd August
The Ebony Grove and Hippo Hospital are teeming with big cat action. As the grove opens up to the sandy beaches of the Luangwa River, three male sub-adults from the M-K (Mwamba-Kaingo) Pride bask in the sun on the beach. Legs raised, eyes shut and bellies bloated, nothing is waking these boys from their slumber.
Amongst the trees, another cat looms. Mama Kaingo moves elegantly among the fantastic forest of trees. A small river bed cuts through the grove and impala graze amongst the dappled dusty late afternoon light. Mama Kaingo crouches low, her majestically patterned print looks groomed and glossy. The leopard proceeds to stalk her prey but her cover is blown soon enough. She rises from her position, lifts her tale to the sky and presents her white flag. She will hunt at nightfall.
Saturday 24th August
Saturday’s are for leopard. Syl meets Shy Girl, Mchenja Boy and Mama Kaingo in one day. What’s more, Mchenja Boy and Shy Girl are mating.
Sunday 25th August
Tangu is fast becoming a hunting extraordinaire. We think back to witnessing Mama Kaingo’s boy’s first kill. An earnest banded mongoose to impala’s almost daily. A thriving male that is turning into a streamlined hunting machine, Mama Kaingo has done well.
Monday 26th August
Tyson is a marvellous leopard to be able to spend part of your afternoon with. This enigmatic, furtive male is strong and beautiful. Yoram and his guests spot the male at base of a sausage, with him is a large impala kill. It appears that, although strong, the impala is too heavy to be taken up the tree so Tyson eats to try to minimise the weight before making another attempt.
Tuesday 27th August
Impala has been on the menu this week. Chiphadzuwa feasts on her impala kill, but unfortunately, it lays amongst the thickets exposed to scavengers. The courageous and confident cat takes a moment away from the kill to drink and reset but returns to multiple hyenas now devouring what remains. Their strength in numbers and more powerful builds mean this is not a battle Chiphadzuwa will take on.
Wednesday 28th August
Midweek blues beaten by the cubs of the Kapanda Pride. Just east of our bush camp- Mamba, two females lay resting in the midmorning sun. Naturally, the cubs have the ability and energy to overcome the heat to play, bond and socialise with each other. The cubs are growing larger by the day, their spotted coats grow ever so slightly fainter but their bellies still bulge with puppy fat.
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