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espn24

South Luangwa (April 2019) - My Perspective and My Six Year Old Daughters Perspective

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espn24

Just returned from an absolutely spectacular week in the South Luangwa. The park was relaxed, almost entirely empty, unimaginably beautiful and the game was everywhere. It was particularly special because it was our first time in the bush with our three year old and six year old, and I'm pleased to say they both dived in headfirst and loved it.

 

I will share the highlights and a bit more and my six year old daughter Aditi has asked to write her observations and post her pictures after that. 

 

- Robin's House at Nkwali Camp is perfect for families. Safe and flexible without sacrificing in guiding quality. And very competitively priced as well. Fred Phiri was a fantastic guide and much loved by the children 

 

- Offseason, whatever. It's true that unlike the last time we visited the Luangwa in the dry season, the game was widely dispersed and we had to traverse all open areas of the park to find it, but when we did it was spectacular

 

- Elephants were everywhere! We could barely turn a corner without running into families and herds. This was the most relaxed, substantial elephant experience I've had. Some rare sights seeing Elephants mating (our guide said first time in 18 years he saw it) and very young calves 

 

- Ginger and Garlic kept showing up, Just when you least expected them to and we saw the females of the pride on the hunt on a night drive 

 

- Two packs of wild dogs, one of which was seen almost every day. The most spectacular interaction was watching the pack of 14 trying to hunt an impala when a herd of elephant, trumpeting away, stopped them. They regrouped and were almost successful when another elephant herd blocked them. Seeing them at night on an impala kill also magic

 

- Three languorous Leopard sightings, watching them walk and stalk prey

 

- The general diversity of game -  push, impala, kudu, bushbuck, waterbuck, warthog, zebra, etc

 

- Days where we didn't see giraffe and then one day where we saw over 100

 

- Missing the buffalo until our last night when we got caught in the middle of a huge herd

 

- Night drives with civet, genet, rock python, porcupines, elephant shrews, bushbabies and scrub hare

 

- The general beauty of the Luangwa River with tons of hippo, crocodile and elephant outside our terrace

 

More to come! Thanks to everyone for their advice before the trip.

 

 

 

 

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Kitsafari

I'm very excited to read your daughter Aditi's thoughts and photos! 

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ZaminOz
14 hours ago, espn24 said:

It was particularly special because it was our first time in the bush with our three year old and six year old, and I'm pleased to say they both dived in headfirst and loved it.

Awesome! Can't wait to hear their views (through you) and your views of Luangwa with kids :)

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Zubbie15

Hi @espn24, just wondering if you were thinking of continuing this report?  It started with much promise, I’d be interested to hear more!

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espn24

Yes, things got away with me but definitely jn the next few weeks. 

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vikramghanekar

Looking forward to this trip report!

I am planning to introduce my 6 year old to Africa next year ! 

cheers

vikram

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espn24

Dear diary, my name is Aditi and I am six years old. I went on an amazing safari to Zambia. First we went to Johannesburg and I saw a Nelson Mandela statue. I had read all about him and how he fought for freedom and I had brought my book with me. Then we went to Lusaka. We were there for less than12 hours but we went to an Indian restaurant. At the hotel, we had Larium for malaria, which I didn't like because it didn't taste very nice. Then we flew to Mfuwe and my papa decided to go on a game drive the second we arrived. My little sister and I were still in my pyjamas and we had medicine to put in the freezer.

 

We saw so many animals, my favourites were the wild dogs because we have a dog at home, and the leopards are quite exotic. We saw three lions on the hunt and that was amazing. We so many elephants and impalas. One impala was very hurt. I asked my mama if I could help but she said no, because that was nature. During breakfast, lunchtime and dinner and when we played, we look out for hippos and elephants and other animals on the Luangwa river. 

 

Our guide Mr. Fred was very funny. He said we could drive a car whenwe were four years old. When my litte sister put water in her hot chocolate, he called it cold chocolate. He found a dead buffalo head and put it on my head. I can't wait to see him again.

 

I loved my trip to Zambia. I am excited to go back again. We saw many endangered animals and I want to protect nature. So remember, don't use too many plastic and never try to harm animals and never ever meet a poacher because they are very mean and should be in jail.

 

After Zambia we went to Delhi to see my grandparents and I lost my very special penguin. We took seven flights in this whole trip.

 

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espn24

That was narrated by my daughter. Her sense of wonder about the trip and the wildlife is infectious. I am excited to take them back. Here are some pictures. 

 

 

 

 

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Kitsafari
21 hours ago, espn24 said:

 

 

I loved my trip to Zambia. I am excited to go back again. We saw many endangered animals and I want to protect nature. So remember, don't use too many plastic and never try to harm animals and never ever meet a poacher because they are very mean and should be in jail.

 

 

 

 

It made me laugh, but I loved her little essay and yes how wonderful to see Africa through her infectious wonderment and awe. 

 

 

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wilddog

How wonderful to see through the eyes of a child. 

 

Your sightings were brilliant including the Wilddogs, my favourite too, and the 'exotic' leopard 

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BRACQUENE

Hello  @espn24 

Amazing  those two packs of wild dogs in South Luangwa  : it remains one of the challenges for my next safari in 2020 because until now I never saw them , but I have the impression from recent reports from Remote African Safaris that they are more frequently seen in Luangwa than five years ago , so fingers crossed !

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espn24

When I was in the Luangwa in 2009, we had one sighting of a pack of dogs and that was seen as extroardinary.

This time, we saw one pack five days out seven, and the other twice, so this is one data point, but it was an incredible highlight,

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