Jump to content

South Luangwa - August 2010


espn24
 Share

Recommended Posts

My wife and I went on the Robin Pope Walking Mobile Safari in 2010 in the South Luangwa. A spectacular experience that the pictures below do not fully do justice to. We should have invested in better camera equipment.

 

We started off with two days in Nkwali which is a fine camp right on the banks of the Luangwa River. Lots of elephants in and around camp and visible all day across the river. We even saw a pride of lions sunning across the river. The real highlights were a spectacular lion banished from his pride, the night drives where we saw two leopards hunting, a den of spotted hyenas, several porcupines as well as the pack of wild dogs devouring a puku that our guide spotted in the far distance and drove like a madman to find.

 

Nkwali isn't the "wildest" place and there is some car activity around, but its very comfortable and a great place to start.

 

Some pictures from Nkwali and around below.

 

 

post-6029-0-17584500-1377357570_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-02304100-1377357600_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-50026400-1377357609_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-55036200-1377357618_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-06128400-1377357624_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-16633200-1377357630_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-71405700-1377357643_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-60013900-1377357650_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-83012000-1377357670_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-65966700-1377357690_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-92355800-1377357702_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-66108000-1377357710_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After two days in Nkwali, we drove about 100 miles to north to the Mupumadzi river at the very north of South Luangwa. Truly wild territory without another human being for 80 miles. Robin Pope conducts their walking safaris here and the setting is brilliants. We walked for five days through four different campsites in varying terrain but always by the river. Once you are on foot, its near impossible to do a jeep based game drive again. Even in periods when there is limited wildlife, you are so much more alert and engaged. This is partly why there are relatively few pictures of this stretch. I would also note there is nothing more thrilling than being approached by elephants crossing the river, coming upon a lion or a herd of 200+ buffaloes on foot. We also saw some rarer animals in the Luangwa such as a spectacular Roan antelope (as well as a large herd in the distance) and the indigenous Cookson's wildebeest.

post-6029-0-51761000-1377358073_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-19459800-1377358119_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-90998500-1377358124_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-32872200-1377358133_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-12684600-1377358139_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-28960900-1377358146_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-06070500-1377358153_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-84188000-1377358159_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-72002300-1377358174_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last two days were in Tena Tena which is a stunningly beuatiful tented camp on the Luangwa in the Nsefu sector. I don't know why I don't have any pictures of the beautiful setting but you'll have to trust me. Huge amounts of hippos and crocs on either side of the river. Oxbow lagoons around the camp with tons of elephants, buffaloes, puku (possibly my favorite antelope), and good lion and leopard sightings, plus a colony of crowned cranes. One female leopard was particularly beautiful. Great game drives, but honestly. after five days of walking, it just wasn't the same again.

 

I will also say that overall Robin Pope runs a great operation. Our guide Keyala Phiri (Kiki) is possibly the best guide in Zambia and mixes exceptional guiding with a great sense of humor. The staff was friendly, the food was great and the emphasis was everywhere it should have been.

 

 

post-6029-0-69303100-1377358434_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-10946500-1377358441_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-82659400-1377358448_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-61158200-1377358456_thumb.jpg

post-6029-0-26746900-1377358463_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you had a great time :)

I was in south Luangwa with my family in August 2010 as well, but we were on the other side of the river at Mchenja and then further south at Chindeni and Kapamba. ( http://safaritalk.net/topic/6493-zambia-august-2010-safari-holiday/ )

Thanks for the trip report!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We visited there several years ago and also saw wild dogs, but they were in the Conservation area east of the river. Did you see them in the Park? From maybe seven trips to different parts of sub-Saharan Africa, it was the only place we have seen any dogs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just stumbled upon this....enjoyed the pics as I will go on my first walking safari in TZ and good to see what it possibly could be like.

 

Thanks for sharing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@ZaminOz - loved your trip report. Its simply a magical place.

 

@@USAnimalfan - we saw the dogs in the Park, and probably broke all sorts of rules to get there!

 

@@graceland - the walking safari was amazing. My wife can never get on a jeep again / I like a mix. Photography is very difficult, and the sightings are certainly fewer and far between, but the feeling of alertness of being at a level with the wildlife makes it unforgettable. I have to say though that when I see the pictures of walking in Mana, it seems like a huge wildlife concentration, even on foot. TZ may be the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like you were having fun wading! Just saw this. Lovely photos and nicely written too.

 

I have been hemming and hawing about my own Zambia plans for a couple of years now simply because I can't bear the idea of leaving anything out! But I think I'm just going to have to accept that it is probably going to take at least 3 trips to even scratch the surface of all these parks :)

 

Mana is a much smaller park than SNLP and yes, densities are probably higher. But most of all, I think sightings on foot are very productive because the wildlife is much more habituated to seeing humans on foot.

 

I too find it hard to envisage an all driving safari now. The perils of addiction...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Sangeeta - I understand about Zambia. In 10 days, I only saw a little bit of the South Luangwa. There are so many interesting parts of the park that we did not get to explore. Let alone the North Luangwa. which sounds wonderful or Kafue or Bangweulu or the Liuwa Plain, etc. etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing this. We have just come back from South Luangwa. It was good to see photos from Mkwali and Tena Tena (we stayed at both), but in particular to hear about the walking. We did 2 nights bush camping with walking in between and loved it.

 

It must have been amazing seeing the wild dogs - something we didn't manage. It is interesting that you saw Roan and wildebeest on the walking trip - we didn't see either in our area.

 

I agree with you about Puku - they really are beautiful animals. South Luangwa is a fantastic place with so much to offer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Game Warden - I am just learning how to put photos in the gallery + into text. I'm working on it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony - its interesting. The Roan and Wildebeest aren't really found in the main areas of the park. Robin Pope's walking concession is at the nrothern border of the park so you see some wildlife more common in the North Luangwa, like the Cookson's wildebeest.

 

 

Thanks for sharing this. We have just come back from South Luangwa. It was good to see photos from Mkwali and Tena Tena (we stayed at both), but in particular to hear about the walking. We did 2 nights bush camping with walking in between and loved it.

 

It must have been amazing seeing the wild dogs - something we didn't manage. It is interesting that you saw Roan and wildebeest on the walking trip - we didn't see either in our area.

 

I agree with you about Puku - they really are beautiful animals. South Luangwa is a fantastic place with so much to offer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@espn24 thanks for sharing some unique sightings. The walking safari looks fantastic!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy