January 2007

04 January

When I left for Lusaka after our New Year clients had gone, I saw nine Wild Dogs, lying about without a care in the world except for the odd tsetse fly  – a lovely sighting!!

12 January

On the drive back to the camp earlier this month we had such a wonderful start to the new year! We saw a truly magnificent male leopard walking down the road, totally oblivious to us, marking the trees with much stretching, tail raising and spraying while scraping the ground with his back paws. His mouth was open and he was making a rasping sound as he strutted along – great stuff! What a showman he was – before disappearing as if he had never been. A magical porcupine, appeared from nowhere, bristling himself to vast proportions before also disappearing into thin air again.

The bush continues to exert her magic. We went on a gentle drift down the swirling Kafue, drifting like a dragonfly, turning this way and that way with the current, enjoying the silence, the bird song and lots of hippo humour while seeing everything on the banks….

…. tangled greens, beautiful root systems mostly under water, an occasional one higher up on the bank still gleaming whitely in the early sunlight

…. the cinnamon glint of a bushbuck hiding in the dense shade,

…. lots and lots of Grey Hornbill’s swooping and calling from tree top to tree top, over the water and back with their ‘silvery’ sound. It is truly the season for hornbill’s. They are everywhere. While walking one flushes them out from nearly every tree, their call rather mocking as they fly away before one can take a photo

…. and fat, relaxed Puku and glamorous Impala, looking stately as they walk sedately through horn high grass with only the black horn tips giving them away.

Camouflage is the order of the day at this time of the year and it never ceases to amaze me how well everything blends in with the vivid greens and golds. It is a veritable feast for the eyes at the moment. The rains have held off for a couple of days now, so we have bright sunlight lighting up all the seeds on the grasses and the trees. There is -such a variety. We really are very lucky to live in this lovely area.

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