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Safari: South Luangwa July/August 2011


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The drive back to Mfuwe in the wee hours was body numbingly cold as the wind chill factor increasingly seemed to be bringing on hypothermia! It was dark for most of the drive so other

than fleeting glimpses of elephants stepping out of the beams of the headlights (only to trumpet in loud indignation as we passed), the eyes of impala, puku and buffalo reflecting back from

where they rested beside the road, hippos waddling along the dry wheel ruts and porcupine scurrying ahead of the Landrover, not much was seen but the shadows of the trees made ghostly

by the headlights.


The sun was rising as passed over the Chichele hills and down to the flats of the Mfuwe area when we came across two young male lions out on a dawn patrol. They were intently focused on

their mission, and never giving us more than a cursory glance continued unwavering on their patrol. They strode inexorably on, rolling the earth beneath each stride as they had before our arrival

and as they would long after we had gone; unaffected by our fleeting visit.

A fitting end to our stay I thought.








Photos courtesy of Mrs ZaminOz:









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Thank you for a great report -it really creates the atmosphere and brings back lots of memories

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Part 5 – A photographic safari by Mast ZaminOz, aged 5


My wife gave our son her old camera to take on this safari as he often wants to take photos with our DSLRs. His camera is a 2005 vintage 5 mega pixel Canon Powershot S2 IS with 12x optical zoom.

I put in a 2 gb SD card and set the camera to I think 2 mega pixels giving him about 1000 shots.

What follows is a sample of what he came back with. Note that 95% of the photos (ie those that don’t have him in the frame) were taken by him:


New friends made in a quick stop on the road from Mfuwe Airport to the park gate and bridge:




South Luangwa regulars would recognise this sign:




Framing and the zoom were a struggle at first:










But he started to get the hang of it:




Ever the poser … the kid, not the baboon:















Night drive with Phillip and Onascious:










Composition improving:









There’s a monkey on our Landrover:







Edited by ZaminOz
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Mum in action:










Photos taken at Mfuwe Lodge:










Out & about again:






Takes better sunset photos than his dad:






Used to be a giraffe:




Dad gets to hold the camera while mum and son make use of the behind the baobab facilities:






Back on the road again:













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His favourite sun-downer/tea break perch:








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Composition and zoom work getting good:














Kuyenda birthday celebration (photo by Babette):






Big game:












Visiting the Kuyenda kitchen:





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Turning into a pretty good photographer:


























... The End ...

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Excellent work Mast ZaminOz! Would certainly put many an adiult to shame..... the birhday cake close-up, kitchen visit shots and the elephant by the tree, lion snarling (great timing!) and leopard shots in the last set particuarly impressed me. Nce shots of hte accommodations too! Dad appears to have sneaked a few of his own into your series too, unless those are self portraits?


Great ending to the trip report.

Edited by pault
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All of the photos in Part 5 were taken with his camera by him, with the obvious exception of those those with him in. These were taken with his camera by others (mostly mum or dad, but some by Babette at Kuyenda and by Onascious).

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This really gets the South Luangwa juices going again. Many of us think that to have children in camp would not be great, but to have MastZaminOz would be a pleasure! Thanks!

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Thanks @@marg

At first we have had resistance from safari companies to having Mast ZaminOz in bush camps with us, and the first time we took him (when he was 4) it was only my background of having grown up in the bush in Zambia that got us a "dispensation". However, now that he has been, those safari companies that have met him are happy for him to return.

Kids in safari camps is a tricky issue. If they are really interested in being there I think that it is not a problem at all. But if they are not interested in the first place, there is not much to entertain them.

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Register that handle now, ZaminOz!


Great TR.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Figured I could wait a while to read this considering how long it took you to write it up, ZO :P


All of you look so relaxed and happy and the writing and photos both reflect that - no hectic attempts at perfect angles and predator pursuits - and that has a charm all of its own. Some very beautiful images nonetheless. As was the case last time, Master ZO steals the show!


Very good to hear that the animals are spreading out because they are more relaxed and there's less poaching. When's the next one? And can we hear some more about Phil Berry & Babette please?

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I too just returned from South Luangwa, and I am re-living the experience through this great report.


Thanks ZaminOz.


And MastZaminOz is simply awesome!

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@@ZaminOz just finally finished reading the entire TR. Master ZaminOz is so darn cute, and showing signs of being a talented guide, so can I already book him as my guide for all my safaris in 20 years time?

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  • 3 weeks later...


I am sure he would be happy to know that there is a 20 year advance booking for Niyam & Mast ZaminOz Safaris

( @@africapurohit )

Edited by ZaminOz
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As I mentioned we had a private guide, so we didn't get to go on any drives or walks with Phil Berry as he was looking after the two other guests in camp.

That said we did spend some time (as you do) in camp between game activities socialising with the other guests as well as Phil, Babette and Onacious (our guide).

It was nice getting to chat with Phil, as we knew quite a few of the same people, and, as I learned, he actually grew up in the same tiny farming community on the Zambia/Congo border that I did!... Though a generation earlier.

He also had a great collection of old Africa books that he was trying to offload (as he had no more space for them) so I picked up a copy of a good book on the early days of the Kafue for my dad (unfortunately I can't recall the title now as my dad has it down on his farm).

But the real fun was at dinner and lunch with the contrast between Phil and Babette. Babette is very bubbly and a real character while Phil seems quiet and reserved but really has a very dry and witty but softly spoken sense of humour. So Babette would be trying to goad Phil into telling lots of bush stories while Phil did his best to down play them. Another fun dynamic in the mix though was Onascious. Onascious had started his safari career as a camp assistant at the old Chinzombo camp when Phil was running it, and had eventually been trained as a guide by Phil and also Norman Carr. So Onascious knew Phil well and Babette, giving up on persuading Phil to tell a story, would try to get Onascious to spill the beans on Phil... It was a very fun table to be around!

As well as all that they clearly run a very good and efficient camp. The staff seem very happy there and there seems the be a lot of humour in the day to day interaction between all the staff and Phil and Babette in camp.

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Thank you, @@ZaminOz , those campfire bush tales make for such great memories.


You need to start your own thread, btw, and each time you feel compelled to add something to that word association thread, we want a little snippet or a vignette or a little memory of your childhood in Zambia recorded on the ZO thread :)

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I am sure he would be happy to know that there is a 20 year advance booking for Niyam & Mast ZaminOz Safaris


@@ZaminOz as long as the guests will be happy to spend half of their gamedrives studying tracks and spoor, I'm sure it will be a great outfit! ;)

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good reading & viewing. Interesting to see areas of Sth Luangwa that i have not visited.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great way to commemorate your 2000th post, which has turned to 2188 at the moment.


What a way to turn 5! That's a birthday party to remember. The lion cake is adorable. Wasn’t there a cake contest a while back for safaritalk’s birthday?


That herd of running buffalo is as exciting as photos of them standing still.


The scrub hare at night are beautiful! Wonderful Elephant Shrew! I like the resident creatures at Chamilandu and love the ungrounded hornbill. That blue lantern photo is captivating.


The explanation for the lower concentration of animals at Chamilandu is very interesting and encouraging. Eventually, the numbers may increase along with sightings. Your photos indicate there is lots to see.


I finally saw you in post #49 or did I miss you earlier?


“I always find it somewhat melancholy setting off on the final game drive of a safari, trying not to think of the journey home, but also knowing that the outside world would soon be crashing back into our lives.”Well put.

Looks like the lions were feeling melancholy at your departure and came to bid you farewell.


MastZaminOz did well with his photography along with climbing the vehicle. Maybe MastZamin wins the prize for the youngest contributor?


Not only is this report useful to the ST readers, but it can serve as wonderful family memories. I bet “the monkey” is a whole lot bigger by now.

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Thanks for reading and thanks for your kind comments.

I first appear in one of the the birthday pics in post #5 and then the last pic in post #26 (far left).

Yes the monkey is a fair bit bigger now, but still a monkey and still asking when we can go back :)

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