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Chapter two: Kafue


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One needed to rest,  The other one left heading in the direction that the female went earlier in the morning.












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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,

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, t

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 abo

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Bush dog

I really like this chapter two, as I besides like your chapter one @marg, very well documented by a photography of quality.

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@Bush dog...thanks!  I just looked again at your photos of the jumping lion.  It was taken in a different place as the water was deeper.  Our sighting was on September 18.


The lion that left the lovers had a gash in his right hind leg.


We skipped our coffee break as it was getting hot and headed over to Cheetah Loop.  The Knob-billed Ducks arrive in June.  The three that we saw are females.


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When we start the afternoon game drive, there is smoke in the distance.  We headed north to the Papyrus area where it is flat, wet and home to many birds.  Many Great White Pelicans.  A Hottentot Teal with a Wood Sandpiper.  The lechwe head to the papyrus grass for the night.


Fires were the big news.  There was one big growing fire.  Then, another started on the side closer to camp.  Evidence, the camp manager, some of the camp staff and the balloon crew went out to create a back burn.  When I asked him if he had done this before, he said yes.  Some one mentioned that the fires can be easily started with an elephant dung burner falling off of a vehicle and landing in the dry grass.  It was very smokey going back to camp.







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The next morning we could see flames from our tent.  Flames and smoke.  Hippos and a Rosy-throated Longclaw.







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It is amazing that only the day before we drove through areas of dry grass.  Now they were charred.  The Crowned Cranes were the ones taking advantage of the burn.







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Zebra, oribi and blue wildebeest.  As we head back to camp the fires are still burning.  They burn oddly.  The edges look like fingers.  And, the islands are green.








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Our last game drive...roan, Fullerborn's Longclaw, and a Wattled Lapwing nest in the middle of a grassy area.

Then we head over to the Kapinga area where we first see a nice assortment of birds in a puddle.






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It was just after 5:30 p.m. on September 19 when we spotted three lions across the field from Eric's home.  @Bush dog..how close to the time that you saw them is this?  The female was collared and with her were two young males less than two years old.  They were lying in the grass.  Newton was very excited as he had never seen them before this.  He thought that they must have come from outside the park but would have a difficult time staying here.  The Papyrus Pride would drive them out or kill them.  It's a rough life and there is an abundant supply of prey.










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We skipped sundowners and headed back to camp stopping to see two lionesses sleeping in front of BBC.  We gathered in the bar and had a slide show of the Papyrus Pride over the years.  Then, a surprise...dinner in our tent.

Shumba was the only camp that did not have barbequed toast for breakfast.  They have a real toaster.  And, the only camp that did not do communal dining for lunch and dinner.

Conversations with others: 

First, with other travelers.  It was agreed that subjects should not include the T or the B words.  Most of the other guests in the camps were from the UK and only four others from the US.  We tried although not always successfully.

Then, with staff.  There were many discussions about nshima.  It is everyone's favorite meal made with mealy meal and topped with whatever is available, then sauced.  And, one fun afternoon we talked with Mirah, the assistant camp manager, about how the women are able to carry things on the tops of their heads.  A demonstration followed.  When you stay in one camp long enough, you have the time to get to know them.  It is always a great learning experience for us.



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It's time to head home....vervet monkeys in the tree next to our tent send us on our way and after breakfast we head for the airstrip.  I always hate to leave.





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@margYou are bringing back so many pleasant memories of Kafue,however I will be returning later in September and October when it will be drier and with better game viewing.I particularly enjoyed the photo of the longclaw,a bird which I have never seen before.I can't wait to visit Kafue again.

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Bush dog



I saw the collared female and the two young males near Kapinga the same day you saw them but a bit later, between 9.30 and 10.00.  It was said to me, by the Plains Camp manager, that they were coming from an area near the western boundary of the park, not far from the rangers camp.


My sighting of the leaping lion was on September 21, early in the morning.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m a little (lot) late to your trip report, but I really appreciate your posting it and learning about an area of which I know very little.  Thank you. 

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I just binge-read this installment @marg - wonderful trip report.


So much lion excitement in camp!  


Thanks also for including good good photos of the camps and surrounds.   The scene from the deck at Shumba is gorgeous.



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You had such great lion sightings in Kafue. we didnt see any when we were there last year. 

That fire seemed so close to camp. I would have been stressed over  it!


I had enjoyed wonderful your trip report, Marg! thanks for taking time to share it. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yet another lovely Kafue trip report, thank you for your stories and great pictures @marg! And what an experience it must have been having dinner together with lions and then have to hide behind the bar as they walk through camp. Must have been amazing and very special!


Great to see you got on the balloon as well. Flying so low, an enthuastic pilot and to finish it off with a champagne breakfast was an experience I'll never forget and you probaly neither. @CDL111 I truly believe it's the best birthday gift. I gave it for my wife's birthday last year and she was so excited. She'd been on a balloon before, but said this was so much more special than the times before as you got to glide through the wilderness so low.


The photo of the huge group of crowned cranes looks surreal, so many of them in one place.

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:58 PM, marg said:

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



I like how the adult hartebeest holds it legs in a way it forms a heart, how appropriate.

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Tom Kellie






~ @marg


In order to fully load all of the images in your trip report, the past three hours were needed, due to ongoing “foreign” Internet interference here.


It was certainly worth the effort. As @Bush dog wrote, your Kafue trip report was “very well documented by photography of quality”. I wholeheartedly agree.


The above two images stood out to me. The first, showing red lechwe from the air is so well composed, with lovely morning colors.


The second, with the lion on his back, looks like my Pekingese, Yubi, when he's in a playful mood in the morning.


Seldom have I enjoyed trip report photography as much as I enjoyed yours. Whatever you used to photograph, the results were highly appealing, both in camp and on game drives.




The many oribi shots throughout the trip report were a highlight, as I've never seen them in full daylight, only once, at dusk.


The wildflowers you photographed were a nice touch. African wildflowers bring color to areas otherwise lacking in differentiation.


I've seen such immense euphorbias on the downward slope into the Great Rift Valley when travelling from Nairobi to Narok and beyond to Masai Mara.


The lion with a puku in camp — what a sighting! I liked the shot in darkness.


The Shumba camp images were attractive. Was there a telescope provided there?


One of your roan antelope images looks like the “pushmi-pullyu” in the Dr. Dolittle books.


The African figures decorating the balloon caught my attention. Very nice!


In two of the images of the balloon being inflated there's a small dark balloon. It wasn't clear to me what that's for, as I've never ridden in a balloon.


The female red lechwe on the Busanga Plain made me think of llamas a little bit. You saw so many of them.


Such a wealth of bird life. Looking over your photos, there were birds everywhere. I've never seen a knob-billed duck. The wattled lapwing nest was a special highlight.


I like the name ‘Papyrus Pride’. In several of the images the lions look as if they're resting in a freshly mown field.


One image of two hippos out on the ground was fascinating. That showed a side of them which isn't always apparent while they're submerged.


Fires on a game drive would be an unusual experience. I've never seen anything like that in Africa.


I'm glad that you explained what “nshima” is, as I'd never heard of it before.


As comfortable as your home in the desert is (I like your local wildlife shots, e.g. the bobcat), I hope that you'll return soon for another safari, and then a trip report.


Thank you for preparing one of the finest trip reports I've ever read, in terms of both the photography and the text. I learned quite a lot from it.


Tom K.


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  • 3 months later...

 quick update...a blog on the Wilderness website tells of the demise of the fig tree.  It did not survive a winter storm.  @Bush dog...did you see this?  I wonder where the champagne will now be poured after the balloon ride.  Guess we will find out next year!

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@Tom Kellie.....just caught up with your reply.  Thank you very much!

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