Monday, November 28, 2005

Big game country

Heat hangs heavy over the Luangwa Valley.

The sun has burnt away the dark clouds of the morning and has broken though. the atmosphere is dense. Humid. And hot.

No wonder the animals go to sleep all day and our game drives are organised for the early morning and late afternoon. We went on our first one this morning, in the cool greyness, after a night of rain.

Yesterday evening we had seen a troupe of eight elephants come up to the river, have a long drink then cross over to very near where we were sitting with binoculars and camera. An amazing sight. Further, we had seen hippos wandering the grounds on our first evening, heard a hyena and seen amny many monkeys clambering around the trees.

We went out for four hours, from 6 to 10 and in that time we saw: hundreds of hippos in the river below the bridge, many impala, nuku (a type of antelope), bushbuck and waterbuck, a Thornicroft's giraffe, with baby, a Burchell's zebra (oh so handsome) with a baby, warthogs, with babies, a mongoose, squirrels, an elphant shrew, Nile crocodiles, a hyena with babies and monitor lizards, fighting.

Oh yes, and we saw many many groups of elephants, many with young babies. many aniumals give birth just before the ariny season, which is just starting now... so that the young will have plenty of food, and shelter from the predators.

There were many birds too including: a massive ground hornbill, a red-beaked hornbuill, woodland kingfishers, lilac breasted rollers, long tailed glossy starlings, an eagle owl (massive), a pale spotted owl (tiny), vultures scavenging off a dead buffalo, carmine bee-eaters, little bee-eater, fire finches, blue wax wings, egrets, herons, crested cranes, tropical bulbuls, a woodpecker and many mnay more.

This evening we go out again, in the hope that we might see a big cat... lions were spotted this morning... but not by us!

In the meantime, we will relax in our lovely chalet and may have a swim in the pool her at the Flatdogs Camp. Relaxed, eh?

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