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Athene

Thank you very much @madaboutcheetah, my husband will be pleased

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Athene

 

The next morning at the river - a hippo family

 

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We found a young male on the river, quenching his thirst.

 

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I only realized now; it must be the brother, he has got big scratch under his right eye. He was not to be seen on the kill yesterday but looking at his belly, he must have eaten.

 

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The lionesses were here as well

 

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After having had a drink she came up the bank to have a rest under a tree.

 

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Her daughter was already waiting for her.

 

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The young male had some more to drink before he joined his mother and sister.

 

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testing the water...

 

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one full belly

 

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His left eye also has been damaged and it makes him look a bit cross-eyed.

 

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Now some birds we saw at the river in the morning:

 

Pied kingfisher – such photogenic birds

 

Sitting, watching and dreaming

 

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a surprise visitor says hello

 

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….and gone – alone again

 

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Coffee break under a shady tree

 

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Black-headed herons

 

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Grey-headed sparrow

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Little Bee eaters

 

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„schnäbeln“

 

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fly-by

 

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That was the end of our morning drive.

 

 

It was a very hot afternoon. However, the heat was bearable during the game drives. Our spotter, I think his name was Peter, had forgotten his cap. So I gave him my cooling cap, which you can see in the picture. It is the kind of cap you wet and wring out to wear under a helmet when it is hot (US Army surplus). Peter was very happy with it and wore it all the time. I really didn‘t need it under my safari hat.

 

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This afternoon our first stop was the carmine Bee eater hide (I think it belonged to Zikomo camp)

In the picture is our guide Braston.

 

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Now just a few more photos of my favourite birds:

 

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Lilac breasted roller eating a grasshopper

 

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elephants coming up the bank of the Luangwa River

 

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another one

 

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portrait

 

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and in black and white

 

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The lions were back at the river shore

 

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Braston said they looked quite uncomfortable, because they had eaten too much.

 

This was just a small pride, more a family with mother, daughter and sons. As there were no other lions in this part of Nsefu, there were concerns that there could be inbreeding.

 

 

Saddle-billed stork

 

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Marabou storks and hamerkop in beautiful light

 

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Hooded vulture

 

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Ground hornbill on a walk

 

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Red-billed hornbill

 

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Sundowner at the river

 

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On our night drive we found another leopard together with her little cub. Heavily cropped photos as they were a long way away.

 

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She waited for her cub, which was afraid to cross the stream

 

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finally crossing

 

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not very happy, an angry look back

 

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Back to camp now.

 

As I said before, I usually don‘t like the heat. Even though it was very hot (around 40° Celsius in the afternoon) on the game drives I had no problems. But during the afternoons in the tent and also during the tropical nights, it was different. Tena Tena provided us with Kikois, which I used then (you wet them and wrap them around). They helped me to get a good night sleep. When I woke in the morning the Kikoi was dry.

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marg

@Athene...so happy you returned to your trip report!  The photos are stunning!!!!

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Ginny

@Athene   Your photos are just wonderful!   Loved the young leopard and the Roller with the grasshopper.

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Hads

Fantastic photo's thanks @Athene - the little bee-eaters in particular are superb.

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janzin

Just catching up with this report as I guess I missed it back in February when you started! Fabulous photos, I love the bedraggled little leopard cub and all the bee-eaters especially.

 

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michael-ibk

Striking photos, really wonderful. Particularly love the Leopard cub and the Bee-Eaters. And mating Pieds, not sure I´ve ever seen taht. Oh, that´s really sad about the little Bushbuck.

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Safaridude

Splendid @Athene

 

Especially the adorable leopard cubs.

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Athene

Next morning OH went for a walk and I slept in.

 

Pictures from OH's walk, which was not so productive from a photographic point of view but he enjoyed it and it is nice to get a different perspective.

 

Guide Braston and support crew.

 

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Can anybody identify this flower?

 

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Hippos

 

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Pearl-spotted owlet?

 

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Just one more CBE

 

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Thornicroft giraffe

 

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Pukus

 

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Elephants

 

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Broken tusk

 

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Face to face on foot with a bull elephant. Not for the faint hearted.

 

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In the afternoon we were back on the vehicle again. During a short rainshower we parked the vehicle under a big tree and watched the lions again.

 

The brothers

 

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After the rain stopped Braston suggested to go to the area close to Nsefu camp. He heard on his radio that a lion pride was just about to kill a buffalo. So we rushed to see some of the action. When we arrived the lions had already killed two buffalos within minutes. A vehicle from Nsefu camp and the italian film crew we saw a few nights before were already there.

 

Most of the lions were feeding on the first buffalo

 

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This lioness tried to protect the second carcass from the vultures

 

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As soon as she left the vultures came back in

 

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There was a constant growling and snarling which was rather scary for me to listen to. At one point one of the young males came towards our car and lay down right next to me. I could hardly breathe as he glanced up to me with piercing eyes and I asked Braston to move a little bit away from the lions.

 

 

 

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One of the young lionesses‘s eyes was badly injured but she stood her ground

 

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A young male tried to scare the vultures away from the second carcass

 

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In the end the lions gave up and left the second carcass, which was still fairly intact, to the vultures. It was a feast for the vultures

 

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We were told that this pride with no small cubs but sub-adults usually lives on the other side of the Luangwa river. During the dry season they cross the river to hunt in the area close to Nsefu camp.

The normally resident Nsefu pride with little cubs had moved a bit further into the sector but whenever they came back towards the river, this pride retreated back to the other side of the Luangwa.

 

We left the lions alone to feed.

 

This was a very exciting sighting and we were ready for our sundowners now.

 

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Close to Tena Tena is a hyena den with cubs. They are also cute when they are small

 

 

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a curious hyena cub sniffing at the tyre

 

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and Braston's shoe

 

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One last look at the kill on the way back to camp

 

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Athene

Thanks a lot @Safaridude

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AKR1

Great you are continuing the report. Splendid photography- complements to your husband. With your story telling a fun report. 

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Julian

Really stunning photos, so many superb ones, especially love the ones of the lilac breasted roller.

 

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Caracal

So enjoying following this excellent report with your narrative and such amazing photos taking the reader with you.

I remember Daudi and Braston from way back. Many great sightings and I'm including the hyena in that as I don't recall seeing them much if at all in South Luangwa -and  certainly not close up like that curious cub!

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Hads

Fabulous report thanks @Athene. That poor lioness with the injured eye.

Gee that young male has piercing eye's that's for sure.

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Athene

Today was our last full day at Tena Tena.

 

This morning there was a lot of excitement in the camp. The previous night, after all the guests had retreated to their tents, the two lion brothers had visited the camp. They found Bertram, the camp manager on his own at the bar area, clearing up for the night. Apparently he retreated as quickly as possible behind the bar, rang Braston who picked him up in a vehicle and took him back to his tent.... Whatever you do don't run!

 

This morning we planned a visit to the Salt Springs.

 

 

Fish eagles on our way

 

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On the way to the Salt Springs we passed Nsefu Camp again.

 

Yesterday‘s kill site was just about 100 m from camp. This morning the lions had already left, but we found vultures, hyenas and a yellow-billed kite at the two kills

 

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not much left

 

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Hooded vultures

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11879_00001_960px.JPG.2011d7712d5dd1935d6fbdc3fcdf8dfb.JPG

 

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Yellow-billed kite

 

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We didn‘t stay very long. On our way to the springs was a little group of trees, which was the territory of a leopard, Braston told us. We drove back and forth through this area, but unfortunatelly couldn‘t find him.

 

Instead we found a very cute baby puku.

 

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Near the salt springs - a small breeding herd of elephants

 

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Here's one of my photos :-)

 

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TopTen_TenaTena__DS11898_00001_960px.JPG.89fbb1e3f60ba2fce2bd97f4e2a56a85.JPG

 

 

Lilac breasted roller

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11919_00001_02_960px.jpg.f7ad11859bc910bedd46552c22527ff7.jpg

 

 

Crowned cranes

 

The salt spring area is an open grassland. Braston told us that the crowned cranes are especially attracted to this area due to the natural springs.

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11925_00001_960px.JPG.6a54e3d74eded5b2a153a4c66bae169a.JPG

 

 

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The spring... actually not that impressive

 

TopTen_TenaTena_DSCN7170_00001_01_960px.jpg.02ec747c4e0964944db6fbd5002f5692.jpg

 

the surrounding area

 

TopTen_TenaTena_DSCN7178_00001_960px.JPG.afe1fe29aa52635438de0c82aa445b19.JPG

 

Zebras

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11938_00001_01_960px.JPG.16648851793fd91ff8444a1b3040c8da.JPG

 

 

Fish eagle in the distance

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DSC7099_00001_960px.jpg.2d40231add428f63996ef30fa6c0d6ca.jpg

 

and giraffes

 

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TopTen_TenaTena__DS11959_00001_01_960px.JPG.16a4723f312b53a152896a8c4f8e0286.JPG

 

 

On our way back a vervet monkey with her baby

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11984_00001_960px.JPG.82df1b724b645770739287f7efaeae08.JPG

 

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11990_00001_960px.JPG.b612fc6fedf363919100745691f843e4.JPG

 

 

Another baby puku

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS11997_00001_960px.JPG.bbda443badfb43fcb6eb524c42ba425a.JPG

 

so pretty

 

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That was our morning game drive.

 

So far we had not been very successful at spotting leopards during daytime. But this afternoon we were lucky  :-)

 

In the forest - up and down trees

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS12017_00001_960px.JPG.e7ae4fae560e7f4f8a0a0cb7abbd9174.JPG

 

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She moved to a favourite lookout point where she could oversee a dried out lagoon

 

Light was fading fast.

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS12274_00001_960px.JPG.9c314fd5b43a300f0cda678b6152c744.JPG

 

She was tired - the eyes are closing

 

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TopTen_TenaTena__DS12311_00001_960px.JPG.b938f3cc1a83e7864e839d49034a83b7.JPG

 

how to sleep in a tree

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS12304_00001_960px.JPG.3cf988e07b747673ae844f9ca08a4dac.JPG

 

awake again

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DS12328_00001_960px.JPG.9531ad85d588c88e12def8f22c4ef2fa.JPG

 

looking for dinner

 

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perhaps not... maybe just have a lie down again

 

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We left her dreaming.

 

And just before we returned to camp we found wild dogs with puppies on the road

 

 

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On our last morning at Tena Tena we had a short game drive before the hand over to the car, which took us to Mfuwe airport.

 

 

Grey heron

 

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Saddle billed stork

 

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TopTen_TenaTena__DS12597_00001_04_960px.jpg.5447f94e3f19e01f8176ac1554e05e9a.jpg

 

 

Giraffes

 

 

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Impala stand off

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DSC8654_00001_960px.JPG.31c6a1e29bac7f89f1827fb40359fe74.JPG

 

TopTen_TenaTena__DSC8657_00001_960px.JPG.b96c5d7118d926af328f72b918cf2de6.JPG

 

locking horns

 

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and a final LBR

 

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Our next camp is Shumba in Kafue National Park. I'll continue in a few days time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Biko

@Athene Love the leopard pictures

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janzin

Fantastic leopard sightings! We actually didn't love Tena Tena but this report is making me want to give South Luwanga another chance. I think a private guide is definitely key.

 

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Athene

Thank you @Biko, for us it was the best leopard sighting we had so far.

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Athene

Thank you @janzin

I remember reading your trip report about LZ and South Luangwa after I had booked this safari. I have to admit I was a little bit concerned about Tena Tena after reading it. But I can't complain, Braston's guiding was excellent, we never were torn away from a sighting and he was such a nice person to be with. You should definitely give South Luangwa a second chance. :)

 

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marg

@janzin @Athene   It is interesting.  I remember Janzin's report and not liking South Luangwa.  There is a camp in Kafue that everyone raves about and we did not have a good experience there.  Our sightings in SLNP have always been very good.  

 

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Athene

@marg @janzin

There are so many factors and chance happenings that can influence these things.

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AKR1

Excellent leopard sequence! Nice sighting and photo capture.

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Athene

@AKR1 Thank you very much for your comments.  There was no other vehicle around and we enjoyed our time with her.

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