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marg

Chapter two: Kafue

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marg

We were lucky leaving Mfuwe late that afternoon.  Proflight had run two flights from Lusaka and we departed thirty-five minutes early.  We stayed at Latitude 15 and were very pleased.  It is a nice hotel with interesting artwork and accessories.  The staff was great and we had a nice casual dinner in the Other Side bar.

In Lusaka the work being done at the airport and on the roads is part of the Belt and Road Initiative.  Chinese signs were many.

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marg

The next morning we went back to the airport to fly to the Lufupa airstrip.  The plane was a newer Cessna and the flight took only one hour.  Phil was waiting for us and drove us to the river.  Kolo, the camp manager, met us with the boat and we headed up the river to the next landing followed by a short drive to Musekese.   Just after we climbed into the boat we had our first Kafue sighting...a large bull elephant close to the river.  Our tent.  And, solar lights.  Each time we go to Africa we see a different type of solar light.  First it was Mason jars, then Luci lights and now these which we also had at Tafika. 

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michael-ibk

This brings back nice memories - we were in the same tent last year. Looking forward to reading about your Musekese experience.

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marg

@michael-ibk...this does turn out to small world doesn't it?  I will get going this weekend.

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AfricIan
13 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

This brings back nice memories - we were in the same tent last year. Looking forward to reading about your Musekese experience.

 

Is Leadwood the official ST tent?

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marg

@Africlan...it sure looks like it!

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Galago

@marg I've just returned from Musekese and what a great camp it is! We were at the other end from you, in Fig. And there were two other ST'ers there - @ElaineAust and @stokeygirl. So it looks as though all four rooms are official ST rooms! Looking forward to reading more of your TR. 

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marg

@Galago...thanks!  I will look forward to reading your TR as well.

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marg

Photos of camp where we had lunch and dinner and around the fire where we had morning coffee and before dinner beverages.  And, photos of visitors.  On the second day at lunch we watched a herd of about fifty elephants arrive at the far end of the dambo.  There had been a fire several months before and this was the first time that a big herd of elephants had come back.  They came only one day while we were there.  Kolo, the camp manager, is great!  Happiness was a 5:15 wake-up and the weather was a bit better.  Warm during the day and cool enough to sleep under the covers at night.  White-headed Robin-Chat.  Black-capped Bulbul building a nest in the main tent.  And, monitor lizards.  We watched one covering eggs at the base of a big tree as we walked to the vehicles.  Another came to visit in front of our tent.

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marg

We got to our tent at three with barely enough time to empty our duffle bags and get somewhat settled.  The first afternoon we spent on the boat looking for birds and anything else:  Batleur Eagles, terapin, Reed Cormorant, Malachite Kingfisher and Green-backed Heron.  Sundowners were on the boat and then we drifted down the river dodging hippos.  We had a short game drive taking us back to camp and spotted a leopard on the way.   It was a beautiful evening.

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marg

The second afternoon was a repeat except that we went in the other direction on the river:  Half-collared Kingfisher, Hadeda Ibis, Aftican Darter, baby croc., Egyptian Geese and  a Yellow -billed Kite.  It was another beautiful evening.

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marg

Termite mounds....they do look like cemetery markers and it was the first time we had seen them like this.  Dry termite mounds in trees were also a first.  There were tsetse fly traps and they must work.  We were afraid after South Luangwa that they might be worse.  But, no.  They were not a problem.  The Giant Euphorbia was a surprise.  And, so were the flowers.  We had seen Mexican poppies prior to Kafue, but here we saw several small plants with flowers.

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marg

A few more birds:  Red-necked Spur Fowl, Tawney Eagle parents and a nest with two chicks (we could not see the chicks), Grey Lories mating,  Racket-tailed Roller and a Lizard Buzzard.

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marg

And, a few others:  Lichtenstein hartebeest, oribi and zebra.

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optig

@margYou are bringing back my own very warm memories of Kafue.However I will visit again  in October than July when I did because it is drier and the game viewing is better.Again I plan to visit in combination with Liuwa Plains. I can't wait to stay at Musekese. And yes i stayed in the same tent tent that you did.

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Galago

@marg Great photo of the Racket-tailed roller and I love the way the light on its tail reflects the red leaves. Aren't the euphoria trees weird? They look like they've been translocated from an entirely different landscape!

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CDL111

Enjoying part two, nice to see some birds, like you we have never see a termite mound in a tree. 

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ForWildlife

Beautiful!

I believe the lizzard buzzard is a dark-chanting goshawk.

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marg

@Galagothanks and the euphorbia's...   The only other place in Africa that we have seen them is when we have been at Pamushana in Zimbabwe.

@ForWildlife...another thanks.  I check on the Sasol bird app and you are correct.  Unfortunately we were given a wrong identification on a game drive.

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marg

Lions!  The best experiences that we had were in camp.  The first night after the drive we got out of the vehicle.  Then we were told to get back in it.  Lions were in camp!  When the guys went to set the table for dinner,  there were two lionesses on the deck.  In a little bit we were allowed to return to camp.  By then a male lion had taken down a puku in front of the deck.  They are two brothers with two females and two four year olds.  The males and the young ate and the females watched.  We had dinner watching them eat right in front of us.  At one point one of the females got up and started to walk toward camp.  We went behind the bar. She walked through camp on the other side from our tent.  We returned to the table.  Later the other lions went through camp in the same direction.  I called the males four paws and three paws.  "Three" had a foot caught in a snare and lost a paw.  We heard them roaring at night and spotted "four" one evening by following the  roars.  The last night at dinner four paws walked right in front of the deck and went through camp in the same direction as before.  He met up with "Three" and we listened to them roar.  We did not talk.  Or move.  Or take photos.  So, these wonderful happenings have no photos.  We looked for them on game drives but other than the one night we found them only the last morning.  "Four" was walking by the dambo.   Seeing puku looking in the same direction we found "Three" under a tree.  That afternoon we saw him again.  

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marg

correction...the young lions were four months old not four years.

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marg

on the road again.....We are up early and are on our way at 6:15 with Phil taking us first to the boat launch and then up the river to meet the driver who will take us to Shumba.  Phil and Ason, a guide trainee, sent us on our way.  It is a five and one-half hour drive sometimes on a very rutted and bumpy road.  At times we were along the Lufupa River.  The kopjes are large and dark and look like elephants. The scrub hare along the road is a first sighting not at night.  We dressed in long sleeves and long pants to help avoid the tsetse flies, but they were not a problem as we made only one quick stop.   The plains are beautiful and so unlike any other place that we have been in Southern Africa.  We arrived at camp just before noon.  The last stop.

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Edited by marg
photos out of order

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marg

Camp

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marg

Tent number six, our home.

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marg

Our first game drive and not far from camp...roan.  It is difficult to imagine what it must look like when water is covering nearly everything.  Newton, our guide, told us that he really likes June because the game viewing is done in a boat.  There were still little rivers with scary bridges that had to be driven over.  And, puddles.  Some large enough for hippos but all attracting birds.  Juvenile Saddle-billed Storks, hippos, Long-toed Lapwing.  And, of course another beautiful sunset.  Our first day on the plains.

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