March 2006

01 March

We have just come back from a camping trip to the Lunga river. We spent two nights away. Actually, we did not get as far as the Lunga, but camped along the way, as we thought the Lunga area might be too wet.

We saw Zebra, Hartebeeste (Lichtenstein’s), Puku, Impala and saw fresh signs of Buffalo, Sable and bushpig. We heard lions, leopard and a kudu alarm call. The area is still very wet, and in places one has to walk through shallow water, but is most attractively green and lush. It is good to be back – lions are roaring across the river and there is a hippo munching right outside my hut, the grass occasionally squeaking as he pulls it out.

An elephant came into camp last night, and although the rain had wiped away his spoor, his presence was advertised by a whole lot of leaves left scattered on the ground, the results of his snacking on the leaves of various different shrub and tree species whose different locations and flavours he must know very well as he comes here so regularly.

March 12 to Apr 2

Charlotte and Chris were away in Lusaka for the last two and a half weeks, and the camp was caretakered by a young couple. This was their experience:

Wow, what a month it’s been. We’ve had elephant in the camp, a few times and got some nice photos of them, really close. There’s also been plenty of hippo which have come through just about every night –  quite nerve-wracking when you come across them and they’re close. Naomi came around a corner one morning, on her way to the room, got too close to a hippo and was charged. Luckily enough she managed to get away and wasn’t hurt or anything. Needless to say, her view on hippo has changed a bit from ” I love hippo they’re such lovely things ” to “those bloody things are bloody bad news.”

As I’m writing this we’ve just had a lion roar. The last few days we’ve had them move in closer to the camp because the ground is starting to dry up now, whereas before it’s been far to wet.

Whilst Chris was away, we had so much rain that the Kafue came up really high. On the other side of the camp there is another river which also flooded so that we thought we were going to get closed in on an island. We’ve  seen some really BIG crocs lately. You don’t see them that often but every now and then we have come across them when we’ve been fishing. I haven’t caught any big ones lately –  Naomi has caught the biggest so far which doesn’t look good on my behalf. There is still the big one that’s waiting for me out there.

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