Jump to content
Safaridude

Zambia Double-double

Recommended Posts

Safaridude
Posted (edited)

large.C06T4967-Edit.jpg.2b2688b7486856f9

A group of roan antelopes in the mopane-dotted plains area right next to the Nanzhila River.  The roan here are shyer than those on the Busanga Plains, but with patience, they are still approachable.

 

large.C06T4894-Edit.jpg.0827135f5464bb25

There are many southern reedbucks in the area.  This is a huge specimen.

 

large.C06T4789-Edit.jpg.bc17b35a0e709e37

Long-crested eagle

 

large.C06T4765-Edit-Edit.jpg.8cb181cb0e6

This fellow couldn't give a damn about us

 

large.C06T5599.jpg.41e85681c5c37cf97d8b9

Night drives can be very productive at Nanzhila

 

large.C06T5715.jpg.1153b92286993189970a6

Not a brilliant photo of a black-cheeked lovebird (left).  Black-cheeked lovebirds tend to favor mopane and Acacia sieberiana.  Along the Nanzhila River, and better yet in an area called Chilenje, they

can be seen fairly easily.  They are twitchy, however, and good photographs are hard to come by, at least for this photographer.

 

large.C06T4604-Edit.jpg.74364e1cfbbf8050

Lions killing a warthog in 2018.  Back in 2009 when I first visited the area, there were only tracks and glimpses of lions.

 

large.C06T4622-Edit.jpg.e44b9156b8e8bed1

The lioness in the very back had the most piercing yellow eyes I had ever seen.

 

large.C06T4669-Edit.jpg.6072bd08b6445088

Looks can indeed kill

 

large.C06T4689-Edit.jpg.80e6b8d3a49c2490

She was the most intense and watchful one in the pride

 

large.C06T4764-Edit.jpg.2f8ef8d91695ec70

 

 

large.CQ6T9831-Edit.jpg.5462a6349e6b57bd

Gentler eyes of Stephen, one of the DNPW rangers

 

Edited by Safaridude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude
Posted (edited)

large.CQ6T0018-Edit.jpg.9aeaf199bffbf0ef

Steve and Cindy Smith.  Much of the conservation success of the southern end of Kafue can be attributed to their hard work for the past decade-plus.

 

large.C06T5943-Edit.jpg.0103030c7efc650e

Warthogs in a hurry

 

large.C06T6469-Edit.jpg.70461a94adb5c3af

Nanzhila is the best place in Africa to see Lichtenstein's hartebeest.

 

large.C06T4395-Edit.jpg.326671f9177134b2

Part of the big group of cheetahs seen in 2018

 

large.C06T4389-Edit.jpg.d81da7cf5a2b6b32

 

 

large.C06T4379-Edit.jpg.eb67f665a69d6b4c

 

 

large.C06T6267-Edit.jpg.c1677f4cab01267b

A pond in the Chilenje area.  In the dry season, the Nanzhila River nearly dries up.  Leftover pools on the Nanzhila and ponds such as this one become the only source of water for the animals.

 

large.CQ6T0073-Edit.jpg.2647514908fa53d6

Benson

 

large.C06T6364-Edit.jpg.8f670a4652e26cd0

A lone bull roan in an area called Mafuta.  When re-growth after a proper burn occurs on Mafuta, the area is a magnate for wildlife.

 

large.C06T5135-Edit.jpg.87a2e8b0f12acb3e

A fiery-necked nightjar.  This mostly nocturnal bird is rarely seen during the day because of its camouflage.  Steve and Benson had to direct me for about a minute before I could make it out,

even though it was merely 40 feet from me.

 

large.C06T6327-Edit.jpg.4168b0768c2cd5e6

A view from the mess deck

 

large.C06T5288-Edit.jpg.dae88abdea8eccc9

A kudu feeding on one of the termite islands on the plain.

 

large.C06T5701-Edit.jpg.e0cf037cda77716c

Nanzhila is a great place to observe serval

 

large.C06T5666-Edit.jpg.2f5c1eeeddf828c7

 

 

large.348A0559-Edit.jpg.658a830cb5ce2f6c

Sausage tree near camp

 

 

 

Edited by Safaridude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BRACQUENE

@Safaridude

 

Brings back a lot of memories for me as you might know from my report on my Trans Kafue Sa

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BRACQUENE

@Safaridude

 

My emotions made me react to quickly : Brings indeed a lot of memories back from my altogether memorable Trans Kafue Safari in september 2019  : Nanzilha was a special place indeed  like being part of a family with Steve and Cindy and Shawn their son ; the cheetah " kill "  in the early morning  ; the honeybadger  by day ( I don't know if it is the same one ?) ; the porcupine at night !! and the Sable on the Busanga Plains 

If heaven would exist ! Thanks a lot 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude

@BRACQUENE

 

Thank you.  Agree on all fronts regarding Nanzhila Plains.  I did read your TR just now.  I am surprised you did not see sable or roan at Nanzhila.  Anyhow, it's one of those places that delivers something special if one is willing to work hard.  Many self-drivers who move fairly quickly through the area don't seem to see much.  It's a place you really need to spend some time at... then you get richly rewarded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
optig

@BRACQUENE I will undoubtedly make another visit to Kafue and will include 3 or 4 nights at Nanzilha Plaiins Camp as well as another stay at Musekese Camp

and it's satellite camp. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BRACQUENE

@Safaridude

 

Thank  you ; I must be honest : the extreme drought in 2019 made sightings not always easy and we were indeed not very lucky at the time  , although in variety we saw a lot ( see my report )  but not in numbers , not even in Busanga ( only two lonely male Sable ) or Musekese where if you read @LarsS or @Atravelynn a month later they had  amazing sightings of lions in front of the camp  : so next time I will return in the suicide month that's for sure  !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caracal
1 hour ago, Safaridude said:

Nanzhila Plains Camp is one of the few places where the owners (Steve and Cindy Smith) actually host.  This adds an extra homey touch to the place, and indeed for me and Benson the camp has become somewhat of a home away from home.

 

Loving this @Safaridude - after five visits Nanzhila feels like "a home away from home" to me too. Steve and Cindy were due to open a small tented camp this year near the lake and Musa River and I had hopes of returning next year and including that as well. Have to see what happens now. In the meantime I'm so enjoying this return through your superb photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kilopascal

One of the few good things about this bad situation is you putting out the reports of these two trips. Amazing photos @safaridude.  I haven’t been to Zambia yet but Kafue on the list. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AKR1

Another truly exceptional trip report. As others said, this is one of the few true treats - virtually going back to the bush- during these difficult times. Thanks very much for doing this, K. Keep safe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude

@optig, @Caracal, @kilopascal, @AKR1  Thank you.

 

@Caracal, I look forward to perhaps meeting you one day and sharing a Mosi at Nanzhila.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BRACQUENE

@Safaridude

 

Would gladly join you both there enjoying the view of the waterhole , reading a book of the library and observing the domestic fruit bat hanging on the ceiling !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude
Posted (edited)

large.CQ6T1374-Edit.jpg.ead41bbd0bdc05d9

 

Part II – the North

 

The air is thicker and more moist up north on the Busanga Plains.  Amongst a sea of grass, there are burnt patches giving off a sweet and spicy scent of torched swards.  The more north you go the wetter, with red lechwes, pukus, hippos and various waterfowl in abundance.  Whether it’s the layer of ground fog partially obscuring the morning lechwes or the hazy “Zambian” sunsets, the place just grabs you.  Lion sightings are always good, provided the plains are dry enough (usually from August on) for you to get to them.  Elephants are more visible and less cheeky than in the past.  Crowned and wattled cranes are guarantees.  With hard work, specialties such as rosy-throated or Fullerborn’s longclaws can be spotted.  Roan antelopes form unusually big breeding herds on the plains and are highly accommodating.  For sable, you need to get a bit lucky – the airstrip area or the tsetse-ridden road toward Lushimba are best – unless they come out to the edge of the plains (late in the season) to drink.  Leopard sightings are surprisingly frequent for such an open landscape (leopards like the sparse palm islands on the plains).  Cheetahs and wild dogs keep to the woodland and make occasional hunting forays onto the plains, trying best to avoid the lions.

 

I find Busanga Bush Camp (“BBC”) to be just right.  In fact in 2018, the place was humming – as well-managed as any camp in Africa, with great food and thoughtful, neither overbearing nor subservient, service.  Untamed wilderness and the well-run camps to match.  That's Zambia.

 

large.CQ6T1389-Edit.jpg.b17b7b1a112778fc

On cool mornings, a layer of fog envelopes the Busanga Plains

 

large.C06T3391-Edit-2.jpg.0f7b819f74393b

Busanga (as well as Nanzhila) is one area where you can count on seeing the endangered wattled crane

 

large.C06T2866-Edit.jpg.6ebb817e0555ce64

There are hippos in the channels that still contain water in the dry season.  This bull was not too happy with our presence.

 

large.C06T2834-Edit.jpg.0f5d708eb4c37d67

And he lets us know

 

large.CQ6T1273-Edit.jpg.69e88db03e8ddbe0

When the park was gazetted in 1950, there were fewer than 100 red lechwes counted (due to meat poaching).  Today, there are several thousand, all concentrated on the

Busanga Plains.

 

large.CQ6T0670-Edit.jpg.b944703c44c1ec71

A young ram chasing a ewe.

 

large.CQ6T1429-Edit.jpg.ef8e4cc67193ae13

A puku watching a lion watching the balloonists.

 

large.CQ6T1473-Edit.jpg.3e9ae0da4c4e64ba

This young male was seen in 2016

 

large.CQ6T1481-Edit.jpg.08a7c77ffb6675bb

 

 

large.CQ6T0128-Edit.jpg.09c44ae9827a9e6d

There is usually one big herd of several hundred buffalos on the plains.

 

large.C06T6717-Edit.jpg.ab9c2131e1eea2ba

 

 

large.C06T6948.jpg.2a5f58dff2095e626b357

The outdoor dining area at Busanga Bush Camp

Edited by Safaridude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude

large.CQ6T0210.jpg.80f6bf01759bf012f9548

One of the privileges of staying at Busanga Bush Camp (or Shumba Camp, also operated by Wilderness Safaris) is the balloon ride.  The staff fires up the balloon at dawn.

 

large.CQ6T1514-Edit.jpg.c30a2b800f682de8

A nice pod of hippos as the sun rises

 

large.CQ6T1631-Edit-Edit.jpg.ad5c29bf620

 

 

large.CQ6T0296-Edit.jpg.9f35abbc85686fb5

Flying over a dense woodland in the middle of the plains called Kapinga.  Elephants like to spend the daylight hours in Kapinga.

 

large.C06T3708-Edit.jpg.e54a08ba4bd69be9

The morning balloon ride normally ends near the western end of the plains.  In both 2016 and 2018, we continued on west toward Lushimba to look for sable.  This herd was found in 2016.

 

large.CQ6T1596-Edit.jpg.7fca60a4f18031a5

The herd seen in 2018 in the same area (toward Lushimba)

 

large.CQ6T1915-Edit.jpg.0fb8594274ac1ec2

Rosy-throated longclaw

 

large.CQ6T0733-Edit.jpg.ad63eb2f7e42ffd9

Fullerborn's longclaw

 

large.C06T6995-Edit.jpg.07ca80958fe6f6e1

Some elephants remain cheeky.  This cow gave us an enthusiastic mock-charge.

 

large.C06T6996-Edit.jpg.af9a12ff642b10c0

 

 

large.C06T7001-Edit.jpg.2dc2f4244e3bcc5f

 

 

large.CQ6T0805-Edit.jpg.f67173bcf0b327e0

A typical dry season sunset

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude

large.CQ6T0873-Edit.jpg.f783a14f5d44b677

Busanga continues to produce the tamest roan antelopes on the continent.

 

large.C06T7064-Edit.jpg.d16251c527c99353

Kafue lions grow healthy manes

 

large.C06T6619-Edit.jpg.f009a6a3792034ac

Puku

 

large.C06T3279-Edit.jpg.1e1ed47dcb924b76

Crowned cranes

 

large.C06T3035-Edit.jpg.30461b3ad56bbfa2

A scavenging yellow-billed kite

 

large.C06T6614-Edit.jpg.6a8f7f734bcd69d6

Camp bushbuck

 

large.C06T2593-Edit.jpg.bb0cf9c56cf310dc

A group of bachelor red lechwes

 

large.CQ6T0173-Edit.jpg.131425fd50ead1b7

A bush fire raging in the night

 

large.CQ6T0793-Edit.jpg.f9bb487f69d64459

 

 

large.CQ6T1357-Edit.jpg.dba3e3d10aefb273

Leopard seen at night

 

large.C06T2967-Edit.jpg.71db940a6242b3b9

It turned out she had a cub

 

large.C06T2939-Edit.jpg.792501d4bd61e015

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bush dog

@Safaridude

 

Great!  As you know, I was there just a few days after you left.  I think that young male lion was still there.  Indeed I saw two young males and their mother close to the balloon camp.  It was said to me that they were coming from the western part, somewhere in the area of the rangers station.

Sables can also be seen along the road to the western boundary of the park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude

large.C06T3147-Edit-2.jpg.fe7085118f4da1

A drive toward Ntemwa produced a rare sighting... a Ross's turaco out in the open

 

large.348A0445-Edit.jpg.05b55e77ad586954

A long roan bull

 

large.C06T2536-Edit.jpg.e1778f3b8b98eed9

A sable bull.  This bull was associated with a breeding herd of 60+ that hung out near the airstrip.  One morning, perhaps two breeding herds temporarily came together, as Benson counted

101 (!) in the herd.

 

large.C06T2522-Edit.jpg.4aac10aab71f3ce9

A side view of the same bull

 

large.C06T2634-Edit.jpg.85560ac93c39458a

A red lechwe ram

 

large.CQ6T1315-Edit.jpg.55580a97ed825a1e

A bachelor group

 

large.CQ6T1815-Edit.jpg.d6cfc4ca7aa2c867

Two cubs playing with their food

 

large.CQ6T1788-Edit.jpg.346d18d5223c4a5d

Benson at breakfast

 

large.CQ6T1439-Edit.jpg.ac454d25a968d046

A lion found at dusk

 

large.CQ6T1621-Edit.jpg.7ae3f7fed4c9f495

Another cheeky elephant

 

large.CQ6T1720-Edit.jpg.dfe94ae9fa86beed

Leopard cub at night

 

large.CQ6T0365-Edit.jpg.0016018245f1b5f5

And that's Zambia for you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safaridude

@Bush dog

 

Another Zambiaphile I need to have a Mosi with...

 

I think we may be talking about the same road... the western boundary road or Lushimba Road.  The woodland there in the dry season (with the various colors) is absolutely stunning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kitsafari

thank you for the stunning photos, as always. So many awesome shots, but many of them so atmospheric and magical. South Luangwa will always be for me one of the most magical of places, and we so long want to return there, and probably combine North luangwa when we do. 

 

Kafue though had did not hold such great memories for me (except for the great time at Musekese), and is a place I would hesitate to return to. But your portraits of the place present such a marvellous side of Kafue that, maybe, I could be persuaded to change my mind.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bush dog

@Safaridude

 

Thanks, Ken, to make things clear.  Indeed, we are talking of the same road where it's also easy to see oribis.  I would certainly like to have a Mosi with you.  Perhaps, one day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Africalover

As always, fascinating photos and a wealth knowledge.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marg
Posted (edited)

@Safaridude...I must have been following you.  We were at Shumba Sept. 16 - 20 and @Bush dog was in the area at the same time.  Girls like Mosi too!

Edited by marg
wrong dates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caracal

@Safaridude - was that Honey Badger close to camp? I recall Sir Charles who used to make nightly incursions around and sometimes into the lounge/dining area.

 

Sharing a Mosi at Nanzhila is a great thought.

I've only visited Busanga once -  in 2007 when I stayed at Kapinga but I can readily relate to your atmospheric photos . Don't recall seeing Sable when I was there but I well remember splendid Roans in golden light, and the misty mornings and..........        Thanks.

 

PS For anyone reading this thread who wants to learn more about the history of Kafue NP there is an excellent interview that @Safaridude conducted with Steve Smith and the late @Peter de Vere Moss here!-

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BRACQUENE

@Caracal

 

The visitor’ s guide to Kafue National Park Zambia Peter de Vere Moss wrote published by the Kafue Trust in 2013 is still the Bible for a visitor to the Park ( even if there has been a change in some camps that are discussed in detail ) not easy to obtain nowadays but I found it on amazon and it has a special place in my heart and my library !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caracal

Yes it's a permanent part of my Africana collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy