Office Africa – September 2016
It’s incredible how the time has flown past, one moment we are in August and then the next already at the end of September! In the Southern Hemisphere, September is the beginning of summer. Though the month started slightly cooler than usual we can assure you that this statement is definitely true, as the temperatures have already climbed to the higher end of thirty degrees Celsius in the last few weeks! Our Guests have been enjoying the use of our Kikoi’s, a light cotton wrap which we have for every Guest. Once the Kikoi is soaked in cold water and wrapped around your body, it keeps you cool. This added to the brand new installation of fans in all of our Chalets both at Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bush Camp, means warm nights have a refreshing relief! Last month seems a life time ago, the warm gusts that dry this land as they blow across it, have lulled us into a timeless state. The lagoons and tributaries have faded into pits of mud and banks of sands, concentrating the game to the final source of water, the gently flowing Luangwa River, to quench their thirsts as the days grow hotter. This fundamental water source has now become the location of our Mobile Hide, and we have been enjoying the viewing point as Elephants regularly cross, bathe and drink at precisely this location.
How can we speak of last water locations, without talking about Mwamba‘s Last Waterhole Hide. This month the Hide has truly come into its own, and surpassed all of our expectations with its constant amazing sightings. One of our favourites has to be the constant stream of Lilian’s lovebirds, every morning they flock to drink in the shallow waters to the Last Waterhole. Endless waves of green and red shimmering in the golden glow of the morning light. Lilian’s lovebirds, Laughing doves, Meve’s starlings, Red-billed quelia, Guinea fowl, the list of birds to observe is endless. All of them making use of the water to bath and to drink, giving our Guests wonderful opportunities to view, photograph and film these beautiful species up close. Other frequent visitors are the herds of buffaloes that come to drink, followed closely by their faithful companions, the Oxpeckers. Several predators have come and monopolised the Watering Hole as their hunting ground during this month, we are suspecting that it won’t be much longer now for the lions in this area to settle comfortable in wait for the buffaloes and wildebeest that come to drink.
Our Big Cats have given us more than we could have imagined, with amazing behaviour to observe. Undoubtedly one of the Guests’ favourite has been the lion cubs; there is nothing quite like watching lion cubs play, and how quickly they remind you of their true ferocity when they feed. The ever changing dynamics of the lion prides in our small section of the South Luangwa National Park has gifted us some fantastic opportunities. A part from the fantastic sightings of cubs, (in all age groups we must add) we have been amazed by the dynamics of the prides in our area. From lions mating, separate prides feeding on the same carcass, to oddest of all – the Numbu Boys tolerating cubs sired by other males.
From one Big Cat, to another. What would a Shenton Safaris’ Newsletter be like without mention to our beautiful leopards? Luambe seems to have the dominant male in our area, making sightings of Elliot very rare instances. We are still surprised to meet up with Shy Girl and her young male cub, as their territories seem to over lap. Malaika and Chiphadzuwa continue there struggle over dominance of the Fish Eagle Lagoon, the battle between mother and daughter still wages on. Last minute breaking news: Malaika has been seen courted by Luambe. Our two favourite protagonists took a stroll in the moon light to have a drink side by side, so romantic. Let’s hope Malaika has better luck next time round with her cubs.
The stars of the month are undisputedly the protagonists of our Carmine Bee-Eater Hide. Since the installation of the Carmine Bee-eater Hide in late August, the activity at the nesting sites started in earnest. This year has surpassed our expectations with the concentration of Carmine’s nesting. Hundreds have returned to their nesting sites on the banks of the Luangwa, very close to Kaingo Camp. Guests have been treated to specular sightings of these bird as they flutter along the river banks, excavating their nests, preparing themselves for the arrival of their young.
As we head into the final stretch of our season, knocking on October’s door, the game viewing is simply terrific. Though the South Luangwa National Park has a lot more to offer than just it’s Big Cats and spectacular birds. One of the most poetic activities one can do in the the SLNP is a Walking Safari. Where better then the location where Walking Safaris’ originated? Our corner of this amazing national park gives us prime locations for these amazing experiences. Apart from the river itself, the diversity of habitat is immense; from the beautiful ebony forests, to the mopani wastelands. The oxbow lagoons and dambos, and the mambo woodlands. What better way to experience these beautiful locations then walk through them? Maybe indulge in the cool under the Ebony Grove whilst having a Bush Breakfast, or look over the oxbow lagoons and the Luangwa River at a Special Sundowner? A trip out to the Baobab Forest has definitely been high on the list of locations to visit for several of our Guests, it is such a wonderful setting for Sunset Photography.
Many thanks to Ian Loney, Alan Fox, and Tinka & Pieter Louw for sending us their amazing photographs!
Proflight has a new direct route between Mfuwe and Lower Zambezi for 2017! So if you’re planning a safari next year, be sure to look into the daily direct flights between June and October! This is fantastic news for everyone, as it means that you spend more time in the bush, rather than in an airport!
- Daily P00620 Lower Zam-Mfuwe 08:30(RYL)/09:00(JEK)-10:30
- Daily P00621 Mfuwe-Lower Zam 11:05-12:35(JEK)/13:05(RYL)
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Shenton Safaris – Pictures of the Month
Because a stalker’s hungry eyes are the last thing you want on you.
Have you been to visit us recently? Have some time free? We’d love to read the review of your stay! Just click on the link below to the Camp that you stayed at.
Our next newsletter will come at the end of October. Most of our blogs are written by our guides, they are out and about with guests all day (remember we have three activities a day rather than the standard two), so they have a lot to share with you and the blog serves as a great representation of what you can experience whilst with us, so you will get the day to day essence of a safari with us.