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Marks

A Fleeting Glimpse of Zambia (SLNP, Livingstone)

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pault

Hmmm.... Reading the body language in your "rhino selfie" it would appear only one person was completely "willingly" turning their back. A family classic photo for the future I suspect.

 

Looks like a really lovely place for a walk in the photos.

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PCNW

Thanks @@Marks for and enjoyable 45 min. What do you suppose the age of the hippo was? Nasty as are injury on that hyena too.

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michael-ibk

Great trip report, Marks, very much enjoyed your writing and pictures. The Rhino walk must have been awesome, had i known about that option I certainly would have done it. Wedding in New Zealand? Is a ST member allowed to do that? ;)

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Alexander33

@@Marks

 

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here. I've long aspired to see South Luangwa. On my short list still!

 

And you are far too hard on yourself regarding your bird photography. I thought the hoopoe shot was especially commendable. I just got back from South Africa, and trying to get a good hoopoe photograph was one of my goals -- at which I failed yet again! (Funny how safaris turn so many of us into birders, as well, huh?)

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Marks

@@pault :P Thanks! And it was a great walk; not the wildest place by any means, but certainly moreso than anything I can easily see at home.

 

@@PCNW I have to confess I've no idea of the hippo's age and didn't think to ask at the time. Were you thinking it might be young? It does seem a little small(ish) in the daylight photos, maybe. But it's hard to say if that's my imagination or if I'm being fooled by the reduction in size from the carcass being eaten.

 

@@michael-ibk Well, you figure, attending a wedding ceremony would mean missing a game drive! ;)

 

@@Alexander33 Thank you - and you're quite right, it has even awakened an interest in birds at home for me. Hope you had a great time in SA.

 

Thanks all for your kind words and encouragement. I've still got a bit left to post, comprising a few Livingstone items.

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Big Andy

I think you need to look at image #4 in the above post, I'm fairly certain I can see eight rhino (or bits of) in that image so may be you did get them all at once.

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Marks

@@Big Andy Good catch! One rhino does indeed appear to have too many legs. I stand corrected!

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Kitsafari

Great picture of the mantis! love that pale colour and it looks big in the picture. how large was it?

 

and that is an awesome photo of the crocodile head. its enormous.

 

Congrats on the upcoming wedding. Hobbits for a honeymoon? the sceneries in the south island are heavenly. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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ZaminOz

@@Marks

Thank for the Mosi-oa-Tunya national park landscape and Rhino photos - had forgotten how much I enjoyed that small national park too. We visited the protected Rhinos in 2010 when there were only five of them. Glad to hear that they have multiplied.

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dlo

@@Marks

 

Great choice on New Zealand! I've been asked a few times if I regret mine but not for a minute, you will have so many unique memories especially in such a beautiful country.

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CaroleE

 

gallery_6118_1339_1242613.jpg

 

We spent some time with this elephant at the golden hour that evening, hoping that it would decide to stand while feeding in one of those classic elephant poses. While it had no need to do so, as it was just able to reach the foliage without expending such an effort, this was nonetheless one of our favorite sightings. The beautiful light, the tranquility of having no other vehicles in the vicinity, and the sheer presence of the ele itself all combined to create an excellent memory. I read Brian Jackman's Savannah Diaries in the evenings back in camp, and the following passage from it seems both relevant and evocative of the mood of this sighting:

 

At the end of the day we drive home in the golden hour when the light deepens to melted honey, transforming the browsing herds of puku into antelopes carved in amber, and on the way we encounter a family group of elephants marching slowly across a plain.

 

 

I really like this hippo shot!

 

Great Brian Jackman quote which so wonderfully describes your elephant encounter and also the joy of the golden hour in general.

 

Flatdogs looks like a great camp. I am sure I would have a problem tearing myself away from all those wonderful, wallowing, playful elephants. What a joy to have them so close.

Really interesting to see those pale impalas. Is that their general colouring in Zambia?

This already looks like a great trip and I have yet to finish your trip report! Great idea to switch engine and lights off on the night drive. We did that in Tarangire recently and it was memorable. Being enveloped by the night.

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CaroleE

 

I found myself rather fond of the way the landscape would fade into an indistinct blue haze further and further amongst the trees:

 

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Norman Carr's memorial. Hard to imagine a better place.

 

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And the camera trap set up for another afternoon/evening's work:

 

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A very beautiful and evocative description of the Luangwa landscape.

 

Thank you for pointing out the behaviour of the Yellow billed stork, I haven't had the opportunity to see them fish therefore always good to hear about such behaviour and hope that i am offered the opportunity to see it myself in the future.

 

The Norman Carr memorial is simple bit oh so appropriate. I hope I am so lucky to be able to have such a memorial or lay in such ground when I shuttle off this earth.

 

Great dragonfly photo.

 

One question if I may. Did you set up your camera trap near your tent and did you have to get permission to do so? Your results are inspiring me to look into the possibility of taken one of thse cameras on future trips.

 

(Sorry for the multitude of recent replies but I am really enjoying this trip report. Be prepared, there may be more replies soon!)

 

Many thanks for the rest of the trip report, fantastic shot of the bushbaby I too thought is was a moongoose at first! Hippo kill would have been a bit too much for me as well. But again fascinating to see how much had already been eaten the next morning. Great video of the camera trap photos.

Mosi-oa-Tunya looks great, thrilling walk with the rhinos. Yet again so sad to see that they need 24 hour armed protection.

 

And last but not least many congratulations on the upcoming wedding. New Zealand...what a tremendous place to get married!

Edited by CaroleE

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Marks

 

I like the portrait with rhinos in the background.

What an image!

Wonderful that such a scene is possible.

BTW: New Zealand is surely one of the loveliest spots on the globe — both North Island and South Island.

Very glad to know that it will be the setting of your marriage.

Tom K.

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Marks

@@Kitsafari Thank you! The mantis (actually there were two) was at most 1.5 inches long. It would have been all too easy to accidentally trod upon them. Thanks for your well-wishes, too. We're planning to spend a bit of time on each island to see as much as possible...never enough time, though!

 

@@ZaminOz That is good news indeed that there are several more after only five years. While that management plan that I linked expressed doubts about the Mosi-oa-Tunya rhinos ever becoming a viable breeding population, who knows what the future may bring (especially if they were to import future stock as the report suggests).

 

@@dlo Thank you! Do you mean that you were asked if you regretted a "destination" wedding? If so, may I ask where you chose?

 

@@CaroleE Thank you for singling out that hippo photo.The opaque, reflective water really lent the scene a tranquil ambience. I am also curious about the pale impala - the SLNP variety were the only ones we saw in Zambia (barring some distantly-seen and bush-obscured individuals in Mosi-oa-Tunya), so I don't know if that's normal or not. I'm glad you've confirmed that they look different, though, as I had begun to suspect it was my imagination!

 

As for the camera trap, we didn't so much ask permission as ask advice re: where the best place in camp was to place it. We were most interested in seeing what came around the tent at night, and the staff confirmed that this should be a good area to get some activity. The first two nights, we placed it directly in front of the tent, facing outwards into the bush and the little mud wallow where all the elephants were enjoying themselves. For the remainder of the trip, we placed it facing the back of the tent - you can make out the tent itself in the nighttime photos.

 

Also, thank you for the congratulations!

 

@@Tom Kellie Thank you for both your compliments and encouragement as far as New Zealand goes. There are a number of interesting locations we are looking to visit. (I'm looking forward to hearing about your upcoming Sabi Sand trip. I hope you get your nyala - and zorilla, one of these days at least!)

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Marks

And now onto Victoria Falls. The water level is somewhat low at this time of year, but coupled with the dramatic gorge itself, still very impressive to us.

 

A small model near the entrance to the path:

 

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The Knife's Edge bridge is in a rather spectacular location.

 

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It became warped in this panorama:

 

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The Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zambia with Zimbabwe, is also the site of various activities like bungie jumping and zip lining.

 

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Even at low water levels, the river below was flowing at speed:

 

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Well, not everywhere:

 

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Marks

And now for something different...

 

@@Caracal gave us the excellent idea of visiting the Maramba Market in Livingstone, which is not a tourist curio market at all, but is rather a marketplace for locals to shop for food, clothing, tools, etc. We had worked out an arrangement with Chundukwa staff wherein we would shop for ingredients for that night's dinner, and the chef would prepare a local meal out of them. We ended up buying reasonably commonplace ingredients: fish, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and spices. But it was fun to shop in this setting; many locals thought it pretty funny that we would shop there.

 

Additionally, I have always wanted to try mopane worms, thanks for Alexander McCall Smith's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series of novels, in which the protagonist sometimes enjoys them. Finally, I had my chance. After looking through many stalls, the worms (actually caterpillars) were found:

 

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Eating them in this dried form isn't bad. They are a bit salty and crunchy, not unlike hard pretzels, with a perhaps fishy undertaste. But as I had bought a rather large bag, I knew that I had to do something more with them. Luckily I was able to find an excellent recipe on the internet when we got home (also lucky was the fact that they didn't raise any eyebrows in airport customs). This is the result.

 

First the dried worms had to be rehydrated:

 

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Then fried in oil, with a little secret ingredient of mine (I have no idea why the photo is upside-down):

 

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Adding some tomatoes and onion:

 

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Heavily dosed with paprika:

 

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The final dish, served with a side of homemade nsima made from white corn meal:

 

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This was much more palatable owing to all of the added flavor. I also snuck in some jalapenos at some point, as I like everything spicy.

 

While this was just a fun culinary experiment for us, the mopane worm is actually a huge source of protein for many Africans. I have read on various web sites that they can contain three times as much protein as beef.

 

Hopefully this post didn't turn too many stomachs ;)

Edited by Marks

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Marks

 

Now I've seen everything.

From the grandeur of Victoria Falls in an artful segue to rehydrated caterpillars with jalapeños and South African Smoke seasoning.

What a way to begin the week!

Tom K.

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michael-ibk

Marks, I can´t help but notice you didn´t tell how you liked your culinary Experiment. :P

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optig

I love your trip report and photos because I was in South Luangwa National Park in August for the third time. I stayed at Tafika for three nights, Mwamba for three nights, Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp and enjoyed it. However, I will not be doing any more exclusive walking safari because I feel I have done my share of it.

 

I have to stress that I did three days of walking safari in Mwalleshi Camp in North Luangwa National Park. So if you want to know where my trip report is, I have to say who wants to read a trip report without any photos.

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Tom Kellie

I love your trip report and photos because I was in South Luangwa National Park in August for the third time. I stayed at Tafika for three nights, Mwamba for three nights, Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp and enjoyed it. However, I will not be doing any more exclusive walking safari because I feel I have done my share of it.

 

I have to stress that I did three days of walking safari in Mwalleshi Camp in North Luangwa National Park. So if you want to know where my trip report is, I have to say who wants to read a trip report without any photos.

 

~ @@optig

 

I would!

Your impressions of North Luangwa National Park would be valuable to anyone like me who's never been there.

Others write trip reports without images, e.g. @@COSMIC RHINO, which are nonetheless interesting reading.

As I've never done a walking safari, your observations about it, pro or con, would be useful to know.

As pleasing as images might be, sincere, frank thoughts with descriptions of highlights would be most welcome.

Whatever's comfortable for you, but please do know that a brief written trip report about your Zambia safari would be a nice addition to Safaritalk.

Tom K.

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dlo

@@Marks

 

More great pictures I really don't need to put any of my falls pictures up as your's are so well done.

 

We got married in the Masai Mara in Kenya. I posted a story in another thread related to something that happened in South Luangwa so I might repeat it in my thread. There were a few disappointed people that could not attend but it is our day and we really wanted to get married there.

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CaroleE

@@CaroleE Thank you for singling out that hippo photo.The opaque, reflective water really lent the scene a tranquil ambience. I am also curious about the pale impala - the SLNP variety were the only ones we saw in Zambia (barring some distantly-seen and bush-obscured individuals in Mosi-oa-Tunya), so I don't know if that's normal or not. I'm glad you've confirmed that they look different, though, as I had begun to suspect it was my imagination!

 

As for the camera trap, we didn't so much ask permission as ask advice re: where the best place in camp was to place it. We were most interested in seeing what came around the tent at night, and the staff confirmed that this should be a good area to get some activity. The first two nights, we placed it directly in front of the tent, facing outwards into the bush and the little mud wallow where all the elephants were enjoying themselves. For the remainder of the trip, we placed it facing the back of the tent - you can make out the tent itself in the nighttime photos.

 

Also, thank you for the congratulations!

 

 

The impala defintely look different to me. I'm off to SLNP soon so I will look out for them and see if we can get an explanantion for their pale colouring.

 

Many thanks for the explanation re the camera trap. I am going to put feelers out and see if anyone is taking one to Zambia with them. I would try and take one but that 15kg weight limit is already a challenge with all my camera gear/binoculars etc etc (or I find someone with not as much camera gear and palm it off onto them for the journey!)

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CaroleE

@@Marks

 

I rather liked seeing what is normally hidden under all the water. And as you say a very dramatic gorge in itself.

Great idea to visit a local market, somewhat amazed you managed to get the mopane worms through customs. Well done for trying out the recipe when you got home.......I have a sneaky feeling the jalapenos, South African smoke sauce et al helped them be a bit more tasty and interesting. Great bit of info on them containing 3 times more protein than beef.

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AfricIan

"3 times more protein than beef". I vaguely remember hearing during our trip to Zim in 1997 (yes, that long ago!) that they were recommended eating for pregnant women - I wonder if they still are?

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Marks

Thanks all!

 

@@Tom Kellie It was quite a change of gears, wasn't it? The last post or two that I make here will be back to normal sightseeing endeavors, rest assured!

 

@@michael-ibk Well they weren't bad, especially when cooked, but they also weren't particularly remarkable in taste. As @@CaroleE has suspected, I was really just dressing them up with different - and familiar - flavors.

 

@@optig I'd also very much like to read about your walking safari if ever you get the chance to type something up. I know you are a big fan of SLNP and I'd love to experience your impression of it and North Luangwa. Many of the stories in the "guides" subforum are narratives with no photos, but no less engrossing for that.

 

@@dlo We can't let you off the hook that easily, I'll be expecting plenty of falls pictures when you get to that portion! And now that you mention it, I do seem to remember something about a wedding mishap you mentioned, but I don't know if I read the original story. I'll keep an eye on your thread.

 

@@CaroleE Hope you have a great time on your safari and that you find some space in your bag or someone else's! Please do ask about the impala - very interested.

 

@@AfricIan That's some memory, I definitely can't boast the same, haha. We are not planning to have any kids which in this case is a good thing, as she was slightly less enthusiastic about the worms than I was.

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