January 2006

21 January

We are now back in the bush after a few weeks in Lusaka…and the bush is looking great…. …it really is a sight to behold….everything is reaching the ’emerald’ stage…so green, and growing, growing…. trees, leaves, grass, reeds….and the river has risen tremendously, a lazy croc floated past shortly after we arrived…very big! and a loud commotion over the river with screams and shrieks…something had obviously disturbed a troop of baboons and, although we rushed down to the water’s edge we couldn’t see anything! The baby Hueglins Robins have flown from the nest on the lavatory cistern of River House, (we can now use the hut again!!!) but they are around the hut, the parent’s thrilling us with their glorious calls, and the babies around twittering….I will look out for them tomorrow, and see how big they are… Our great big camp elephant has left an annoying reminder of his visit last night…bending over one of the camp acacia trees, right near the library hut…I’m hoping we will be able to prop it up, but will assess that in the morning….luckily most of the acacias the elephants knock down continue to grow…but whether one wants all the acacias to be knocked over around the camp is a matter for debate…although the staff say the elephant is too big to discuss these matters with, even by the “clapping hands method” of dialogue!!!

24 January

We are having lovely rains, and I just thought you might enjoy this…..we went for a great walk yesterday….in gentle rain at times, through rushing, ankle deep torrents of water running off the plain to the Kafue river at others…. beautifully cool, and oh! so green!!! …. and saw a rare sight indeed….a family of Bush pigs, rare because they are basically very shy and mainly nocturnal, but also because the whole family were together- a sounder is what the family is called, and it consisted of the biggest male I have ever seen!, about three adult females, three ‘teenager’s’ and several tiny striped babies…too sweet for words, darting all over the place like little bumble bees….not nearly as well behaved as their distant cousins the Warthogs, whose babies behave in an exemplary fashion, and run off in perfect order with their tiny tails held erect like little aerials…..the Bush pigs were relaxing, making gentle snuffily grunts and soft snorts, in a well grassed area near an anthill, where lots of small lillies were growing in abundance, and when the sounder finally ran off, we went up to where they had been and found they had dug up the lillies and eaten the bulbs, leaving the leaves lying on the ground….messy eaters!!! We were lucky!!!

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