February 2010

01 February

Its a cool, grey dawn…. There is a soft drizzle falling and it’s time for the Hippos to be meandering back to the fast flowing, full rivers. A big flock of guinea fowl have flown down just in front of the camp and are making a huge stuttering fuss. I am unsure what has caused the alarm, but it is a pretty continual frenzy of fussings!! The bird song is, as always, plentiful and melodious.

We were recently given gifts of ‘night-cameras’. All you have to do is attach them to a tree and whatever walks past will be photographed. There is no flash, just an infra red light, and last night we got a lovely shot of jackal trotting round the front of the “dining” area.

The bush really is quite beautiful at the moment with all the different greens in such a variety of shades. I must say I love this weather, but it is not ideal for guests as the mud is a pain when walking and one spends a lot of time indoors when it rains heavily.

The lions have been very obliging recently, staying around the camp, and very relaxed they are too, actually walking through the camp the other evening, chatting to each other in a very friendly manner with soft growls and hurrumphs as they communicated, walking along the camp paths. This had the effect of keeping our staff securely hidden in the geyser corner whilst the lions walked past. I confess to staying on my veranda until I heard the sounds of their conversation moving out of camp at about 8pm. One does not want to bump into one of them in the dark. We are also slowly clearing up the mess the elephants have made, breaking down trees and bushes, some of which are blocking the pathways.

06 February

We returned to Lusaka yesterday….

We finally did manage to get to Lusaka, but a very long day it was, as we got stuck not far from camp. It took us three hours and much mud slinging before we were finally unburied. Actually, it was a lovely three hour sojourn. I wandered through the bush with my camera, following a flock of white helmet shrike for a while. I found a beautiful bright red mushroom, lots of lovely, tiny flowers, a strangler fig starting up in a grove of moss on a very big brachystigea tree.

Chris moved his bag from the vehicle and went to sleep under a tree, despite my warnings of ticks and ants!. When we finally got out of the mud/water/sand moi took over the wheel, and at a safe and sedate pace we trundled towards Lusaka.

Along the way we saw a beautiful coqui rrancolin and several herds of shiny, fat sable. The Kabulushi stream had subsided to a torrent  which was flowing just under the bridge. After many colourful happenings we finally reached home at about 11.30pm, so it was quite a long day.

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