Jump to content

My first TR - a return to South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks


Tdgraves

Recommended Posts

Tdgraves

Day 1 first evening in Nkwali

 

Food and lodgings excellent as always. It has already been mentioned on ST that the front of the rooms at Nkwali are open. There are thin curtains and at night they pull across some wrought iron gate, which are only solid to knee level. There were lots of bush noises as expected, but quite a lot of leaf noise by our room, we found out why the next morning...

post-37950-0-80023500-1383495832_thumb.jpg

Edited by Tdgraves
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 137
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Tdgraves

    69

  • TonyQ

    12

  • Soukous

    12

  • pault

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Afternoon drive   During our rest, we were treated to a display by two african harrier hawks (not sure if it was fighting or mating behaviour). A herd of elephants returning from a drink in the rive

You lot are insatiable!   Day 3 Tena Tena: Evening drive   We were paired up with a honeymoon couple from the UK. It was their first day and the bride was particularly tired after the wedding and

Day 10 Chongwe morning game drive   So after complaining about our late start, we were given Sam as a guide and we left at 6am. We were very surprised to find that we had a private vehicle, even mor

Posted Images

Tdgraves

Day 2 morning drive

 

The first morning drive from Nkwali. As the other guests wanted to walk, we got a PV for free – what a bonus!

 

gallery_37950_924_10470440.jpg

 

As you can seen from the above photo, we forded the river to enter the park again. There is a carmine bee-eater colony on the far bank, but the water levels were still quite high to get near enough in a vehicle to get any photos, but it was nice to see and hear them. We also saw some more Puku.

 

gallery_37950_924_5915233.jpg

 

As you will know from previous TRs, South Luangwa is known for its leopard and this drive again did not disappoint. Our guide knew his whereabouts as there had been some radio traffic. We found him in a tree, guarding what was left of his kill. However, no sooner had I moaned about the difficulty focussing through the leaves, than he had leapt down to give us a show!

 

gallery_37950_924_13828685.jpg

 

gallery_37950_924_8564451.jpg

 

We then drove up towards Chichele Presidential lodge, where we had to queue for a few minutes to see a mating pair of lion. And I really will have to learn how to upload video so that I can add this into my next installment. They were fast asleep under what little sahe they could manage with the remains of a zebra kill, as it was getting very hot. This shot also cunningly disguises her collar!

 

gallery_37950_924_8443373.jpg

 

We then saw the first of many Southern ground hornbills – anyone visiting here would assume that they are common.

 

gallery_37950_924_3257698.jpg

 

I then had a go at getting some quelea in flight (a very small flock mind)

 

gallery_37950_924_3901860.jpg

 

So that we could explore more of the park and not double back on ourselves, we got a boat back to the lodge. Just before we got to the waters’ edge, this guy circled over us, giving us a chance of practising bird in flight photography. Unfortunately the sun was getting high and he kept flying in front of us – temporarily blinding Chris (don’t look at the sun though a view finder....)

 

 

gallery_37950_924_5331501.jpg

 

The boat crossing was rather close to a pod of hippos, but they seemed happy enough.

 

Not bad for half a days' work. Now time for a well-deserved brunch!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see the park through someone else's eyes (and camera lens)

keep it coming!

Good to see the leopard on both drives!

And a clever bit of kit to get the night hippo shot - I remember the noise they made on the dry leaves

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

Great to see the park through someone else's eyes (and camera lens)

keep it coming!

Good to see the leopard on both drives!

And a clever bit of kit to get the night hippo shot - I remember the noise they made on the dry leaves

 

Thanks @@TonyQ it is a motion-sensitive camera. It was a birthday present for Chris. We didn't capture much on it, but it is interesting what appears in our garden...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

Keep em coming @@Tdgraves

 

i always find other people's trip reports and photos far more interesting than my own.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

thanks @@Soukous probably will be a few days until the next installment as I have the brother-in-law coming to stay......

Link to post
Share on other sites
Safari Cal

Great stuff, love that hippo shot and great to get the Leopard as well. Looks like that hippo came close eh? Never been to Zambia, might have to talk to Laura :D

 

Great TR, looking forward to the next instalment @@Tdgraves

 

 

For anyone in the UK, Simon King and Kate Humble are doing a 3 part wildlife show from the Luangwa River, Zambia on Monday nights. It's called Africa 2013: Countdown to the Rains, episode 2 is next Monday at 11:50pm... or on iPlayer to suit yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

Great stuff, love that hippo shot and great to get the Leopard as well. Looks like that hippo came close eh? Never been to Zambia, might have to talk to Laura :D

 

Great TR, looking forward to the next instalment @@Tdgraves

 

 

For anyone in the UK, Simon King and Kate Humble are doing a 3 part wildlife show from the Luangwa River, Zambia on Monday nights. It's called Africa 2013: Countdown to the Rains, episode 2 is next Monday at 11:50pm... or on iPlayer to suit yourself.

 

@@Safari Cal Get her to watch the show - I'm sure she will be hooked ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

The brother-in-law has gone now, so I have no more excuses (for now...)

 

Day 2 evening drive (Nkwali)

 

The "drive" began by boat as we crossed back over to where we left the vehicle. We were joined by a new couple in our vehicle and the couple who were walking in the morning were ahead of us in another. It was very hot.

 

We hadn't been going very long before we found this female leopard at the side of the road. The vehicle in front of us (also from Nkwali) drove straight past her and had to turn around to join the sighting...

 

gallery_37950_924_7922143.jpg

 

 

We also revisited the mating lions, who, being lions, weren't doing very much and the light was fading, but I managed to get an extreme close-up.

 

gallery_37950_924_3909168.jpg

 

The mating was obviously over as the female got up and moved off. We followed her to a waterhole and we stopped for sundowners on the top of the hill and took in the view. As you can see, it was exceedingly dry.

 

gallery_37950_924_940430.jpg

 

After drinks, we caught up with her again in front of Puku ridge. She walked right in front of us to where a hyaena was waiting. There was a bit of a stand off, but the hyaena mock wandered off, before following her along the path. It was too dark to anyting other than take in the moment (and anticipate a fight, which never happened!)

 

The rest of the night drive rather paled into comparison after that, but we did see a grysbok and a genet quite close.

 

Now time for a shower and dinner.

Edited by Tdgraves
Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

i don't know, 9 days off and I forget how to add photos into the text doh! now i need chocolate :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Tdgraves - love the leopards... those beautiful green eyes.

How dissappointing, just grysbok ....

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

what I should have mentioned though is what a surreal experience it is fording the Luangwa at nicht with only the spotlight in the dark...

Link to post
Share on other sites
SafariChick

Don't give up - more please! And if you put a video on youtube, I think you just copy and paste the link into a post and we will at least be able to click the link but @@Game Warden can embed it for you too

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful leopard photo - those eyes!

And very close to the lion

Keep it coming

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

ditto, keep it coming, I'm hungry for more

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

@@TonyQ and @@Soukous gosh you guys are impatient! It's been less than 24 hours since my last update!! Voracious TR appetites

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

Indeed, that's what it is like on safari, we expect game drives twice a day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

Dinner that night was interesting - a hippo tried to join us! Unfortunately no-one had a camera to hand. the guides and night watchmen managed to persuade it to go somewhere more appropriate (as it wasn't wearing a tie) ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Tdgraves

Day 3 morning drive transfer to Tena Tena

 

As we were transferring, we had a private drive again, which was longer than usual. It was the only time we entered through the Mfuwe gate and we didn’t see much in the way of traffic. In terms of game, it was also pretty quiet as well (no leopard....hard to believe, I know), although we saw a huge herd of buffalo.

 

gallery_37950_924_4540596.jpg

 

 

gallery_37950_924_4193311.jpg

 

 

gallery_37950_924_6399001.jpg

 

We spent a long time looking over a drying lagoon as the various birds were taking advantage of the rapidly dwindling hiding places for the fish and frogs to hide in. Unfortunately the sun was directly in front of us and we were looking downhill, but interesting nonetheless.

 

 

gallery_37950_924_1828603.jpg

 

 

 

gallery_37950_924_7672308.jpg

 

We then got up close and personal with some very obliging eles

 

 

gallery_37950_924_4958087.jpg

 

We then crossed the river into the Nsefu sector, by driving across....it was very shallow! We had our coffee break under a tree overlooking the river and spent ages trying to get the quintessential hippo fighting shots

 

gallery_37950_924_8002269.jpg

 

 

gallery_37950_924_5338026.jpg

 

 

Then it was time to get into camp as it was getting very hot – even the Hammerkops were resting

 

gallery_37950_924_6415745.jpg

 

 

Just before we got into Tena Tena, a flock of pelicans flew over – I have never seen them in the wild before

 

gallery_37950_924_1358575.jpg

 

Time for a cold drink and a cold shower

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

@@Tdgraves more please :) pretty please

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tdgraves

You lot are insatiable!

 

Day 3 Tena Tena: Evening drive

 

We were paired up with a honeymoon couple from the UK. It was their first day and the bride was particularly tired after the wedding and travelling. They had both been to Zambia years ago with family and were excited to be back.

 

We were near a drying lagoon when the guide stopped. I saw a Bataleur sitting in a tree, so assumed that was why he had stopped, but, oh no, you guessed it, a leopard!! Not only that, but she was going the classic legs dangling over the branch pose (we have waited five years for that). However, it was getting close to sunset, but you can’t have everything!

 

gallery_37950_924_1475680.jpg

 

There was a heron posing in front of the sunset behind us, so what more could we want?

 

gallery_37950_924_6621590.jpg

 

We decided to have sundowners nearby and to go back to her after sunset. We had a lovely elephant "drive by", where a whole herd walked slowly passed the vehicle – magical.

 

We returned to her tree and she rewarded us by activating. She had a look at her kill, sat down again and then decided to leave the tree for a drink. So I decided to attempt spotlight/night drive photography. I usually leave this to the other half as the 7D has a better sensor, but I was quite pleased with my first attempts.

 

gallery_37950_924_9447387.jpg

 

OK, maybe not the first one...

 

gallery_37950_924_6696088.jpg

 

 

gallery_37950_924_7508696.jpg

 

We then proceeded to have the most epic night drive ever. I think the honeymooners thought we were joking when we kept telling them how amazing it was. A pair of porcupine, bushbabies (the guide NEVER sees these....), honeybadger, mongoose, another porcupine, elephant shrew, etc. etc.

 

We returned to camp most satisfied :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
twaffle

Wonderful trip report, love the photo of the heron and the sunset especially.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Second vote for the heron sunset - and the leopard!

The photos at night did come out well (The first night one suggests a new thread on photos that didn't quite come out as we wished? - reminds me of the experience!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Game Warden

Haha, the b&w leopard's bum needs to go here as well... ;)

Link to post
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
×
×
  • 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