Office Africa – Mid Season News 2017
What a wonderful start to the 2017 season we have had. Not only have we been blessed with exceptional sightings but it has also been an exciting opening for us due to the unveiling of Kaingo’s new rooms! This year marks Shenton Safaris’ 25th Anniversary and we wanted to celebrate it with a refurbishment of Kaingo and an update to Mwamba.
It has been such an exciting time for all the staff in the Shenton Family and it has been great hearing all the feedback from our return guests as well as our new guests.
We will be updating our gallery on our website soon but here is a quick peek at the new Kaingo…
As mentioned previously, our guests have been blessed with outstanding sightings.
The 9 wild dogs from the Kaingo pack have graced us with regular sightings thus far. The alpha female, who was heavily pregnant, has denned close by, which will hopefully allow us more special encounters throughout the season. It seems they are very comfortable in this area with many successful hunts being witnessed by our guests.
In addition to the Wild Dog den, our expert guides have located a Hyena den. They are currently active with three different sets of cubs. One set is estimated between 5-6 months of age, the other 2-3 months of age and the latest addition of just a few weeks! They are an extremely curious bunch and love to pose for the camera. We have a beautiful video of the interaction between the cubs as well as Mom. It is strange to imagine these cute little cubs will turn in to infamous bone crushers like their elders.
As usual our guests have been blessed with remarkable cat sightings. The Mwamba-Kaingo pride is exceptionally strong this year with 20 plus members, with the Numbu Boys seemingly still in control. We have also recently discovered some new members to the Mwamba-Kaingo pride and these tiny cubs have been viewed a couple of times, though the Mum is still keeping them apart from the pride.
Although the infamous Hollywood Pride is down in numbers this year, due to the young males coming of age and leaving, some of the females have been mating with the Numbu Boys and we are hoping to see some new cubs before the end of the season.
The lion dynamics are already unbelievable and we are yet to see what happens in the extremely dry months.
Our leopards always keep us on our toes. It seems that Chiphadzuwa has taken over the territory of her famous mother, Malaika. Which made us wonder where Malaika had gone? Patrick sighted her once earlier in the season far to the north of us. The reason for her absence was just discovered; Malaika had been seen with a 6 month old cub. After a few sightings of her and the cub we were sadden to find out that the cub had been killed.
Chiphadzuwa is flourishing in her mother’s previous territory of Fish Eagle Lagoon, although she is competing with some lazy male leopards who love to steal her kills. There was a great interactive sighting this month between Chiphadzuwa, Luambe, an unknown male leopard and a Hyena. Sadly Chiphadzuwa lost her kill again! Jules wrote a lovely blog about it and managed to capture some action on video.
We have also welcomed a new female leopard to the family. We have called her Mayi, which is the local term for Mother, as we also discovered she has two beautiful cubs, around 6 months of age. We were lucky enough to capture some interaction between mom and cubs on video. Lately we have been having more regular sightings of her near Kaingo’s ebony grove, and we’re very excited to see more of her and the cubs as the season progresses.
One of the easiest ways to keep up to date with all that is happening with your favourite Kaingo personalities is by reading our weekly Big Cat Round Up.
The Shenton family were in camp together for several weeks in June and they were lucky to witness a dispute between a father and son hippo in front of their home at Kaingo Camp this month. Jules wrote an interesting blog about Father/Son dynamics and the tendency we have to attribute human behaviour to our animals, which you can read here.
Guests at Mwamba got to witness some teenage bull elephants doing exactly what boys are known for, play fighting!
While the family was down, Jules was able to spend some time out in the bush getting reacquainted with her other love, photography. She managed to spend an early morning in the Hippo Hide watching the return of the hippos to the pod territory. Though it entails an even earlier start than normal, this is definitely worth experiencing whilst staying at Kaingo. With the water level of the Luangwa dropping we have now installed the lower level of the Hippo Hide, which provides a great low-level angle for your images.
Speaking of hides, we have added an exciting new addition to the Mwamba Last Waterhole Hide. This year we have included a lower level to the one side of the hide. This enables the more adventurous photographer a different shooting angle and a much lower approach similar to the lower level of the hippo hide. We can’t wait to see the fantastic images our guests achieve from this new angle.
It is always great to hear about our guests stay with us and below are a few messages left by guests who have stayed with us recently:
‘We have had a completely overwhelming experience, quite fantastic in every way. A huge thank you to all the staff and to Lyndie and Craig. Andrew, Patrick, Sandy and Sly – you’re all so expert, ably assisted by Innocent, Yorum and Nicholas. And the food is top class, just superb – thank you to the chef and assistants in the kitchen, not to mention Henry and Juston our trusty armed scout who accompanied us on walks. You’re all amazing, and we cannot praise you highly enough.’ Anson Paul, UK.
‘I can only echo Anson’s sentiments (and then some!) It has been an adventure of a lifetime and I am truly smitten by all the people, animals and landscape. This has been a first trip to Africa and I know Zambia and the wonderful people at Mwamba Bush Camp will be my first love. Thank you all so very very much.’ Alison Paul, UK
‘Kaingo far exceeded all hopes and expectations we had for a safari. The secluded and intimate location, the beauty and convenience of the lodges, the exceptional quality and cordiality of the guides, the abundant and well prepared cuisine, the attention to comfort and detail (for example, the cool or warm washcloths (depending on time of day) that awaited us after each safari), and the deep African connections of the staff all combined to make our days at Kaingo a most remarkable and memorable vacation, one our family quickly rated the best ever. (To provide context to this statement, it might be helpful to know we have vacationed in Asia, South America, North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and in one other African country.)
Any lodge can access the glory and beauty of South Luangwa NP, and the animals are spectacular regardless of the name on the jeep, but the factors listed above made Kaingo feel that we were getting about as authentic and natural a safari as we possibly could, short of actually moving to Africa and living in a tent. We had no idea one could develop such an intense fondness for a place and its people in only 4 days.’ Lehoczky Family, USA.
The African Hope Fund are hosting a raffle competition to help raise funds for their organisation. There is a 1 in 25 chance of winning a prize – which are fantastic! Click to learn more about the raffle and the fantastic work that they do and how one can assist.
Have you been to visit us recently? We’d love to read the review of your stay! Just click on the link below to the Camp that you stayed at.
Don’t forget that in between newsletters you can keep up to date through our blogs, facebook page and instagram account. We are constantly releasing new blogs, vlogs and images for everyone to enjoy!