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@BRACQUENE thank you very much for all your encouraging comments, for us this safari to Zambia was the best so far - where will you go to in July?

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For our afternoon game drive Chris suggested to visit the bee-eater colony and see what is along the way. The first thing we saw when driving through the Luangwa River was a little pied kingfishe

I have been following safari talk for about a year and after our trip to Zambia my husband convinced me to join and write a trip report myself. The main reason for going to Zambia in October was

Here we go with part two of the morning drive:   Elephants at the Wafwa Lagoon           Zebras enjoying themselves at Wafwa Lagoon  

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Thanks for your kind words !

I will go to Mwaleshi in North Luangwa first ( I have started a topic on that Park ) for 4 nights pure walking  , going for the second time  to Tafika for three nights and ending in Mapazi Camp ( walking as wall ) in the extreme north of South Luangwa ( see trip planning for 2020 ) for three nights .

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Your itinerary sounds fantastic. I am sure you and your wife will have a lovely time. I am looking forward to your trip report especially of North Luangwa; you don' read a lot about this park.

I am bit reluctant about walking safaris, because I am not very brave. I feel safer inside a vehicle.

I read all about your remarkable walking safari in Ruaha and I liked your photos. They give a good impression of the park.



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Lovely! We were there the same time and must have passed each other in the vehicles! I'm so envious you found the pels. We spent all week looking for it.

Edited by roseclaw
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Just can't believe how wonderful these photos are!  I'm especially fond of

Carmine Bee-eaters and you can see every single feather! What a terrific trip

report.  I love following along.  Thank you :wub:

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@Zim Girl, @Ginny, thank you so much for your positive comments.

@roseclaw thanks a lot - yes, we could have met at the dogs sighting. It was in the morning of October 7 and it was very hot indeed.

Don't be envious, we didn't see as many leopards as you did.

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Next morning we started early as usual. I cannot eat a lot in the early morning so I just have a cup of coffee and a buttered toast.

We only had to cross the river to be in the park. We enjoyed that as it was always a nice beginning and ending of a game drive. It also gave us a head start and we usually saw no other cars during the first hour. The air was crisp and fresh (even in the suicide month) and I especially liked this hour with the beautiful light.



First thing we saw was a giraffe, hiding behind the leavesTopTen_LRC__DS18080_00001_960px.jpg.796f91565e743f36c65dced9625f289d.jpg


playing coy






an elephant crossing the river




impala eating a sausage tree blossom




handsome puku






solitary hippo in a lagoon together with lesser jacana?




For quite a while we watched the baboons, grooming each other and the little ones playing and doing their morning exercises













You scratch my back...




and I'll scratch ....








let's stick together














baboon sitting inside elephant dung and searching for fruits and nuts






Nile monitor






warthog up close




some more birds:


Marabou stork – Chris told us how you call the Marabou‘s neck pouch. I forgot, does anybody know it?




Abdim‘s stork- never seen that one before




saddle-billed stork




red-billed quelea




Pel‘s fishing owl – I believe on the same tree as the night before








towards the end of our morning drive - an elephant dusting himself






a cute baby zebra




Zebra portrait






On our way back to the camp we often saw this pied kingfisher, sitting on a stick in the river, having a good view from here





Drying out





Our game drives started at 6 a.m. and we came back between 10.30 and 11 a.m.


You can see on the photo, there is still much water in the Luangwa River.

This was a surprise for me. I thought there would be much less water in October




Our hut – the annex is the bathroom





We forgot to take photos from the communal area, which is very beautiful. You can find photos on the website.

The food was delicious. For lunch there was a warm dish with meat or vegetarian. As a starter you could choose from the buffet, there were salads, chutneys, freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit as far as I remember. The chutneys were spicy and some also hot, one of them very hot. They told me it‘s a zambian speciality and I like to try things. I forgot the name but it was so hot that tears shot into my eyes.

OH is more the meaty type. He sticks to the things he knows, so no salads or chutneys for him.



Afternoon game drive started around 3.30 a.m. We were still full from lunch so we skipped tea and started also early.


I spotted a leopard close to the road under a tree – everyone gets lucky sometimes! Chris told us that she had been attacked by baboons and you could still see a wound healing on her hindquarter. She was very shy and not comfortable with us, so she left and hid in the dense bushes.






In this photo you see scars on her nose, despite that she is a beauty




here she is crossing the road on her way to the bushes











Chris suggested to leave now and come back later to see if she got out of the bushes.


A tower of giraffes by the river










and then the leopard again, still in the bushes.


It was hard work for OH to get some photos through the branches but he managed










For sundowners we went back to the bee-eater colony. No more photos after the overload yesterday (light was fading) but here is OH and his favourite hobby :-)





The Luangwa valley is a beautiful place






last not least






This was the end of our second day at Luangwa River Camp and we enjoyed all of it.





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What I like more and more @Athene is that as we on safaritalk live in different time zones or have different sleeping hours there is always the chance to wake up with the follow up  of an interesting TR like yours ; I particularly loved the picture of the baboon sitting on the branch and the second Pel’s by day !

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More great observations. Slow paced but I like that - enjoying it day by day.


It's really rather like being there - maybe not quite as good. :D

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Thanks @Athene for the wonderful TR so far.

The carmine bee eater photo's are some of the best I have seen.

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@Athene is that glorious sunset view taken from the Luangwa River Camp? I will be staying there on my first three nights this June. Your TR adds substantially to my pre-travel excitement, I must confess. Your husband puts the bar high for photography in my first TR, quite a challenge. His pictures are a real joy to look at.

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@Athene wonderful photos! You say that you thought there was still quite a bit of water in the river. To add perspective on how much the water levels varies, just last week the river was so high, that it would have been flowing several meters over the heads of the giraffes in your photographs, while you could drive through the river.

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@BRACQUENE you are absolutely right. Safari talk gets you hooked. It is fantastic. It helps you finding new destinations for your next safari.

The baboon sitting on the branch was one of the pictures I took. So thank you very much for your kind words.

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@pault Sorry, you will have to wait a few days now for the next installment. OH and I have to catch up on work but I will continue as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for your comments - and you are right - being there is much better.

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@Hads thank you very much for your encouraging words, my husband will be pleased. The carmine bee-eaters were quite a challenge for him but we enjoyed every minute at the colony.

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@Bikoyes, it is an advantage when you have a private vehicle. You can stay as long as you want and you don't have to worry about the other guests. This was the first time for us as well.

The sunset view was taken at the carmine bee-eater colony. This is lovely place also for sundowners. I am sure you will see it when you visit the Luangwa River Camp in June. I really hope you like it as much as we did and I am looking forward to your trip report then.

My husband likes photography since he was teen. He always enjoyed and practised it for many years. For me being in Africa is a special feeling which is much more important than photography. It is a place, where I can relax and enjoy.

And thanks a lot for your kind words.

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Thank you very much @ForWildlife

It is difficult to imagine how high the river is now. There must have been substantial rain. Have you been there lately?

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OH and I will be busy in the next few days.


So here is a teaser for our next installment.


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Bush dog

Excellent pictures!

Abdim's stork is a migrant.  So, October is to early to find them there.  It looks more to me like a juvenile saddle-billed stork.

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I'm blown away by your amazing photos @Athene, you have managed to capture images that I would take a lifetime to achieve (if ever!) on one safari.  Looking forward to more.

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4 hours ago, Athene said:

Thank you very much @ForWildlife

It is difficult to imagine how high the river is now. There must have been substantial rain. Have you been there lately?

 Not recently but have a look at the facebook pages of Wildlife Camp South Luangwa, Edward Selfe Photo Safaris or Flatdogs Camp and check the photos. Unfortunately I haven't seen any photos from the more remote bushcamps except for Remote Africa Safaris, which is not far upstream from Nsefu sector where you were.

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And again lovely  photos! @Athene

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