Office Africa January 2016

Greetings to all our friends.

Here’s hoping that you all had a very Merry Christmas surrounded by friends and family, and that you are experiencing a wonderful New Year.

The world is currently undergoing an evolution of sorts, with many human conflicts scarring its beautiful features. In the South Luangwa National Park, struggles for survival often entail tooth and nail fights that usually end in victory for one, but wounds to both. Being in the heart of this park at Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bushcamp, we are blessed to be able to view these exchanges on a daily basis, as they happen.

We see many such struggles in our natural surroundings, as evidenced in this non-physical struggle between territorial males Tangua and Nyuma, for a female’s attentions: Tangua heard a female’s low-voiced call and reacted immediately, following it up in the hope of securing breeding rights._MG_9644 _MG_9650 _MG_9655 _MG_9661 _MG_9665 _MG_9671 _MG_9673 _MG_9680

The female watched anxiously as her `knight’ charged closer._MG_9717

Nyuma realised that his brother had reacted first and came at a run, calling as he raced to catch up._MG_9683 _MG_9692 _MG_9699 _MG_9700

This piqued the interest of the female,_MG_9714

but Tangua stepped boldly forward to reinforce his position of dominance,_MG_9728

and the conflict was averted by sheer force of presence._MG_9724

Sometimes conflict may stem from a fight over a preferred resting place, where cohabitation is not an option:DSC_4205


Sensing that the hyaenas will not happily share the shade and wet sand around a drying pool, the warthog changes tack and tackles the problem from another side. DSC_4206



He mulls over his next move . . .DSC_4210

. . . and then charges scattering them among the sand dunes.DSC_4211




Conflict over, he saunters to the pool with a satisfied swish of his tail.DSC_4218

Many species of birds are fiercely territorial, if only seasonally so and even against their own offspring. A territorial pair of Egyptian geese set upon an interloper, as the set-upon goose’s mate comes in to help._MG_9805 _MG_9806 _MG_9808 _MG_9810 _MG_9812

One of the defending pair sees the new intruder and confronts it: _MG_9814 _MG_9816 _MG_9819

Two battles now ensue, with one consisting of real aggression and the other reduced to a shouting match._MG_9820 _MG_9823 _MG_9838 _MG_9849 _MG_9851

Geese bite onto their opponents and hold them in powerful grip while beating at each other with stiffened wings.
_MG_9856 _MG_9863

The fighting intensifies until one overpowers the other and drives it away, vanquished for the day. _MG_9873 _MG_9879 _MG_9890 _MG_9899 _MG_9900

Fights over food, or `have-nots’ trying to steal from `haves’, are very commonplace:_MG_8899 _MG_8900-2

with the have not in many cases, failing to profit from the confrontation._MG_8901

While lions are in constant conflicts at mealtimes:Wenzel 4 Wenzel 5

And in a world filled by predators, many fights are in defence of one’s life:_MG_8605

Battles between breeding males form the core of experiences that you are likely to see on safari such as male Pukus clashing over nearby females:_MG_8411 _MG_8413 _MG_8414 _MG_8415

And fights between bull hippos over space or breeding rights are legendary in their ferocity.DSC_5963 DSC_5967 DSC_5974 DSC_5988 DSC_5995

Some of these `battles; are merely youngsters learning the tricks of the trade and they usually begin with a typical `sizing up’ of one’s opponent, DSC_5684 DSC_5697 DSC_5703

before getting down to the serious business of pushing and shoving and slashing. DSC_5748 DSC_5751 DSC_5752

Many serious fights between hippos result in serious injury to both and in some cases to the death of one or both. DSC_6115 DSC_6116 DSC_6519 DSC_6532

In order to establish a harem of his own, a young male zebra will have to `steal’ the daughters of another, older, established stallion. In many cases the action is staged for the benefit of the mares, with no real damage done.DSC_4234-2 DSC_4236 DSC_4237 DSC_4238-2 DSC_4239 DSC_4240 DSC_4241

Conflict over, the young stallion lopes away with his prize and life starts again.


Most conflicts are resolved before they even begin and in some cases a show of one’s weaponry

or a good, hard stare is worth a thousand battles._MG_9728-2

Hopefully the year ahead will bring more of you back, to the `peace and quiet’ of nature at its best in the South Luangwa National Park, where you can enjoy it to its fullest in the company of Shenton Safaris.

Once again we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

From all of us at Shenton Safaris, all the very best until next month.