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TBTR: South Luangwa in November 2019 for my safaritalk pals


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LarsS

Today marks exactly a year that I last set foot on African soil. It strikes me as a surreal observation. I know it's been a massive luxury having been abled to travelled so many times the past years. But a whole year, 365 days, not having visited the continent feels like forever. The first time for me was Kenya, arriving on April 1st (no joke) in 2011. Since that trip I have visited at least once every year with never a full year in between. I was thankful for the opportunities and experiences, but in these times I feel even more grateful for having lived the life in the past few years. A year feels like such a long time, but thinking back to my travels I realize my memories are so alive. From the first trip to Kenya 9 years ago to my latest visit to Zambia last year, so many beautiful moments come to mind. In that sense, a year isn't that much when the places you travelled to have left such special impressions.

 

TBTR? "What does that mean?" I can hear you thinking. Well, it's not a hidden message, but stands for ThrowBack Trip Report! I think it's allowed to post an overdue TR in these times, right? Btw, if you were looking for hidden messages or hints, I can tell you there is one. Although the picture probably won't live up to the curiousity it might cause.

 

Over to the TR now. I had posted about my stay at Musekese in October/November 2019, but never got the time to write the second part of that trip: a visit to South Luangwa National Park. We stayed at Track and Trail River camp, on the banks of the Luangwa river and a short drive from the bridge. We stayed here in April 2016 as well, when grazing hippos on our doorstep woke us up every night. This time was going to be a totally different experience.

As you know, in November the dry season comes to an end with temperatures easily rising above 40C. I liked the pilot's weather update just before landing: "It's very extra hot!"

 

We stayed for three nights, they had little occupancy with just us, two other Dutch guests and a girl of a Lusaka family going on gamedrives. Everyday there were less people in the vehicle, so we ended up having private drives. The other guests were very enthousiastic about Vic, the guide, and he showed us why right at the start of the first gamedrive. I believe we were less than 5mins in the park before we had our first sighting SLNP is famous for: a beautiful leopard!

 

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LarsS

The leopard wasn't our first wildlife sighting though. That started right in front of our chalet. A hippo had died and there were many, many crocs in the river interested in the carcass. We arrived just after the feast had finished, but looking into the river, we could see crocs everywhere. That's about where this video (1 of 2) starts:

 

 

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS

 

I am always happy when someone starts or continues  a TR in these difficult months like everybody else is I am sure now on this forum ; but  even more when it is about Zambia and  especially when it is coming from you because in my first two months as a member of safaritalk ( tomorrow it will be a year I joined the community ) we exchanged a lot of thoughts and memories of our trip to the Kafue where we missed each other by a good month ; now , continuing with the South Luangwa part makes me curious even more and your video is already promising ; at 7'30 the rain and hailshower is something I experienced  in 2014  in Chicoko Camp in september ( which is rare ! ) biut we were eating in camp at the time so not soaked to the bones ;)

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safarigirl.se

Great to read another TR from you @LarsSlove the video and touring of the camp! It's never to late to write a TR! The baby warthogs are just adorable :wub: and of course love SLNP! I feel with you about longing to go back to Africa! We got lucky and went to Kalahari in feb 2020 but now it's just feels empty not having anything to look forward to :( but we are slowly making plans for 2021! 

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offshorebirder

Thanks for taking the time to post this excellent trip report @LarsS.   That is a very nice video - well edited and produced.

 

The hail storm looks scary, but I bet it cooled things down!

 

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Hads

Wonderful video thanks @LarsS. That was a decent storm.

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ElenaH

Wow! @LarsSwhat an awesome video!! I love it! And how good it is made! Respect!!  Excellent cut, beautiful scenes and very informative script. The animals presented very well. The music is excellent (where you have it from?) It has also the beginnig and the end and kind of tease... How you cut the film is just remarkable. One can get really a very good overview and details. I wish I can produce such videos in the future, too ;-) Thank you very much for sharing!! 

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LarsS

Thanks @BRACQUENE @safarigirl.se @offshorebirder @Hadsand @ElenaH! :) 

 

It really was a decent storm. The hail came down pretty hard. I had to laugh at the whole situation and the fact the hail stones actually hurt a bit, but overall we shared this experience with everybody in the car and just had to laugh how we tried to find shelter in an open car. I hardly had rain on safari, so a hail storm was something I never expected. Afterwards it was indeed less hot, in fact a bit chilly as we were wet.

 

And yes @safarigirl.se, the baby warthogs were really cute. We were just in time to spot the smallest of them before (s)he had to hide in the ground when the others went for a walk.

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LarsS

When writing a TR with photos and videos, I always have multiple considerations starting to write and post photos or start with the video. One way or the other, you always have told a part of the story. Hopefully I can entertain you with some additional stories in writing and photos.

 

Like I said in the video, there were a lot of crocs around in the river as they had discovered a hippo carcass. Mike, the camp manager, told he probably died after a few fights with another hippo.

 

How many crocodiles can you count in this picture? I'm guessing 6. Btw, if I were a goose and so many predators were around, I think I would keep an eye open to see where they are.

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These men still dared to go out in a tiny boat to do some work along the river.

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At the gate we were ofcourse welcomed by the baboons that seems to be the guards of all the trash. I wonder if it was the same baboon sitting in the trash can everytime we went in and out of the park. I remember this was also the case a few years ago when we visited SLNP.

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It was incredible how soon on our first drive we found the first leopard. It felt like we were in the park for less than five minutes when we stared into the eyes of this beautiful leopard up in the tree. Not the easiest spot to spot them, but the leopard did it's best to strike a few poses in what looked like a bit uncomfortable position. The breeze was probably worth it.

 

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Meanwhile another car had pulled over and wanted to have a good look at this leopard as well. Polite as we were we made room and gave them the view of this beauty. We didn't move far, about 50m as Vic spotted something in another tree. A second leopard! This one was really hard to see and the bush didn't allow for vehicles to come close. I suspect guide Vic had spotted the leopard when we were fully focussed on the first one. Unlike us he probably did take the time to look around for more animals.

 

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We were over the moon ofcourse. Vic told us the fact these two were close together, meant they were two young ones belonging to a female that should be around as well. We drove off, on the lookout for their mother. More cars gathered in the area, sharing spots and driving around to find the female. Together with other cars we spotted the female on the move, walking around between some bushes. We were the lucky ones once again. While other cars had sight of the leopard and our car, somehow we managed to disappear along with the leopard in the bush. It was quite funny actually. We did some zigzagging between the bushes and managed to keep up with the leopard. Other cars lost sight of us and couldn't follow. This ended up being quite a funny situation. The leopard decided to lie down on the bank of the river with only us as spectators. We heard the other cars passing on what couldn't have been more than 20m, but they never saw us or find the way to where we were.

 

Or may be that was just a 'you had to be there' kind of story and you rather see prove of our hattrick of leopards.

 

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After just over 20mins finally another car managed to locate us and we handed over our sighting. The drive continued and it was time to enjoy some smaller wildlife.

 

Not the best picture, but can you identify this bird?

 

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More colourful is this little bee eater. Such a pretty bird.

 

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It was slowly getting later and some animals started to prepare for the night. This big troop of baboons was a great sighting, they really took over the whole places and there just seem to be coming more and more the longer you were watching. They were very alert and probably aware leopards were closeby as they were on the lookout especially in the direction where we left the leopards.

 

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This hippo was enjoying a mud bath in a private pool.

 

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A lone zebra watched us pass by.

 

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As the sun started to set, we enjoyed the colourful sky...

 

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But also we became more alert on spotting nocturnal animals. We found one high up in the tree. And with 'we', I must say I can't include myself as it took me a while before I spotted this owl too.

 

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This was the last sighting in daylight. After this we had our sundowner and the sun made room for the night.

 

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LarsS

Our drive continued in the dark, with a spotter operating the flashlight. Sometimes driving in the dark can feel a bit like a mandatory part of the afternoon/evening gamedrive. This one was pretty productive though.

 

First we found a spotted feline on a tree: a genet looking for dinner.

 

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From here the spotter placed a filter on the flashlight, so all pictures suddenly look a lot more yellow/orange.

 

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Next up was not a nocturnal animal, but it was nocturnal behaviour: a tree full of African sacred Ibises. I like these kind of sightings, you're not on the lookout for birds in the dark. To find a tree full of them to spend the night, makes it a totally different sighting then it would have been in the day when you would have had a clear vision in better light conditions. This is not a sighting for the best view, but more for the experience that shows a broader aspect of how animals live in the wild.

 

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Again, another genet. It looks like it was just resting on the ground on this picture, but it disappeared quickly after we had stopped. I love to see genets. SLNP might be the best place to find them. This drive we spotted two and I remember having seen them on my previous trip to SLNP as well. In other placed I haven't seen them much.

 

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It was getting later, but there were no signs of active predators yet. Turned out that was because they weren't active yet. May be it was still to hot, may be they weren't that hungry. We managed to find a group of 5 lions, just resting on the ground. When we arrived they were having a look around.

 

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But as soon as they realized a car isn't prey, they lay down again to rest some more. We waited for a while in the dark, but there wasn't any sign they would be going anywhere.

 

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The lioness on the left must have been in a fight, having lost a part of her tail.

 

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Another thing I like about SLNP are the hippo sightings. Not only in the river, but you can easily find them at night wandering around as well. Sometimes they're scared and run off, which actually is a pretty nice sighting seeing these big animals run pretty fast. They run through to bush like a bulldozer.

 

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These hippos were very relaxed and grazing their way around. This made us think about dinner as well. Time to get back to the camp and enjoy a lovely meal!

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LarsS
17 hours ago, ElenaH said:

Wow! @LarsSwhat an awesome video!! I love it! And how good it is made! Respect!!  Excellent cut, beautiful scenes and very informative script. The animals presented very well. The music is excellent (where you have it from?) It has also the beginnig and the end and kind of tease... How you cut the film is just remarkable. One can get really a very good overview and details. I wish I can produce such videos in the future, too ;-) Thank you very much for sharing!! 

 

To come back at your reply: I usually think to myself I would love to take the high quality pictures you and others share on here. I'm always a bit jealous how good you are at photography. Therefore it's nice to hear it the other way around regarding editting videos :)  I'd like to create the time one day to get know my camera (or a new one) a lot better then I do know.
 

The music is most of the times the hardest part of creating the video and something I can really spend a lot of time on. Where to find tracks that suit the clips, vibe and are good for editting. I like to switch shots on beats in the music, which doesn't work with every track. I have two places I go out and find music: YouTube's audio library. Here you can find lots of copyright free music. But... there's a lot of music I consider rubbish you have to go through before finding suitable music. My other source is spotify. I listen to playlist with chillhop music, (nature) lofi and similar playlists. When I find something I want to use, I find it on youtube and use a youtube downloader or converter to have the music available. I'd rather not use this method to much, as it's most of the time not copyright free music, so I always go to youtube audio library first.

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LarsS

The next morning I was playing with my camera a bit to take a picture of the sunrise. I was pretty happy with this picture displaying the beautiful red-purple sky in the morning:

 

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What I didn't realise before I got home, was that I almost accidently shot something that could have been an iconic picture if I just had my camera ready earlier and realized there was this opportunity. A fish eagle flew over the river with the sun as a background.

 

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When we went on our morning gamedrive, we were happy to find giraffes just outside the camp gate. Wildlife so close to the camp, makes you really feel you're a guest in their environment. I love that.

 

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Before arriving at the road the entrance gate, we came across a small group of buffalos as well.

 

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Once in the park, my designated favourite bird welcomed us for what was going to be an eventful gamedrive.

 

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You can try to hide behind the bush, but I can still see you mrs Giraffe.

 

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Some were practising their skills in a friendly way.

 

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Another thought it was a bit scary standing all by herself with a vehicle around. So better find yourself some company then.

 

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But this one wasn't going to be scared easily and was investigating the skull of a buffalo.

 

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"Look mom, what I've found here!"

 

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"Well. that doesn't look good. Let's get out of here!"

 

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The fish eagle might just be the most majestic bird?

 

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And the kudu the antelope with the most majestic horns.

 

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The drive continued and we spotted something moving between the bushes: elephants! We couldn't get to them, luckily they did come to us!

 

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From one grey giant to another: a pod of hippos in the luangwa river.

 

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And there was a croc that seemed to be floating on the water.

 

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Nice sightings along the river and we took our time to enjoy them, but that actually wasn't why we drove along the banks of the river. We wanted to find the carmine bee-eater. So we stopped when we found the colony. What an amazing sight to see all the activity of one of the most beautiful coloured birds I've ever seen.

 

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While we watched the birds for quite some time, there were three pukus relaxing on the other side of the car.

 

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So one thing we didn't expect to see, was this lion relaxing in the bush as well. All the time we watched the birds, he was just 20m away. Then we realized our guide came out of the car to tell us something about the carmine bee-eaters just before...

 

The lion was interested in anything around him and clearly wanted to be left alone. We stopped and he just turned over to show us his back and fell asleep.

 

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Only now it was time to find a spot for a coffee break. What a productive start of the day!

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BRACQUENE

@LarsS

Classic Luangwa pictures with a fabulous sunrise 🌄 Thanks for sharing !

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michael-ibk

Very happy about this TBTR! Love the video Lars, takes me right back. You really do these very well. I confess I often skip videos in reports but always watch yours.

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LarsS

During our coffee break we had plenty sightings to talk about. We felt so lucky and knew we still had some gamedriving left. Not too much, as our stop was a bit late due to all the wildlife. One thing I sometimes can't get my head around, is that you go on a drive to find all kinds of (dangerous) animals and when it's break time, you just wander off a bit to find yourself a bathroom. I feel comfortable, but I also know I'm not a guide or ranger. Being out of sight of the group is often a moment I wonder by myself 'what if an elephant shows up, or a cat or...'. Surely it must have happened sometime, right? It's not that I'm scared, I'm just aware.

 

The picture below I showed to some friends at home, who have never been on safari before. Some of them were scared for me. "Why would you go so far away from the car?" or "I'm glad you're home and I didn't know this upfront."

 

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After the coffee break (I actually should say tea break I guess), we visited two waterholes. The first one, the smallest of the two, was home to numerous pelicans and a few marabous.

 

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The second waterhole was large, large enough for a whole herd of buffalos to come for a drink. I counted over 200 of them at the waterhole, as I counted conservative, it might have been in the direction of 300. One of the biggest herds I've ever seen. They arrived about at the same time as we did. So we just stopped, parked the car and watched them come out of the bush, get something to drink and leave for the bush again.

 

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It looked like an innocent happening, a huge herd of buffalos visiting a waterhole. It would turn out to become the most dramatic sighting of our visited to south luangwa. As the buffalos started to walk into the water, the mud appeared to be a big danger to them. We saw several buffalos getting stuck and having trouble to move. Most of them had to push real hard for two or three times, but would get out. The buffalo below was less lucky. It wasn't that far into the water, but the dry ground must have looked miles away at some point. We actually only have one picture, but there's more footage in the video above, in case you hadn't seen it. You can feel the struggle of the buffalo and see how it fought for it's life. As spectators we were so relieved the buffalo managed to get out. But I could feel the pain and stress watching the buffalo falling through his legs. Even now, when I see it again, I feel really uncomfortable and it's a moment I'll never forget.

 

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It was time to head back to the camp now. The only animal we spotted inside the park was this crocodile.

 

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Returning to the camp we found out the giraffes were still there and enjoying the surroundings.

 

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Fresh goods were being delivered, we couldn't wait for a tasty lunch!

 

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LarsS
18 minutes ago, michael-ibk said:

Very happy about this TBTR! Love the video Lars, takes me right back. You really do these very well. I confess I often skip videos in reports but always watch yours.

Thanks @michael-ibkthat's nice to hear! I always try to keep the videos short and interesting for anyone, which sometimes can be hard as I have to leave most of the footage out of the video. Glad you appreciate it. :) 

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LarsS

Track n Trail has many comfortable spots in camp to relax. Not only in the main area where they have to hammocks, but also along the banks of the river you find hammocks and sunbeds. Very convenient to enjoy the view and rest a bit. Needless to say we were fully re-energized for the afternoon drive. As you can see I was the first one that was ready to go out :) 

 

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The first sighting was just over the bridge, warthogs with little ones, of which one was particularly young and still pink.

 

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Just look how small it is, even compared to the other youngster.

 

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The warthogs were about to go out, but the pink one was too young to take on a walk. The parents took off quickly, resulting in all children to go hiding inside their denning hole.

 

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Then out of nowhere the two other youngster ran out and headed into the bush with their parents. Did they take the little one inside? Was there a call from the parents allowing them to go with them? I didn't notice anything. The little one was taught well to stay inside, we didn't see it anymore.

 

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A red-billed hornbill

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And then, an impala who didn't hope to be photographed like this.

 

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Ofcourse this meant a leopard couldn't be far away. It took us a few seconds only to find the right tree where it was resting.

 

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Having seen leopards before, we didn't stay long and kept this sighting in mind for the way back. Our guide Vic wanted to find us the wild dogs. To have a chance of seeing them, we had to drive almost all the way to Puku Ridge Camp or Presedential Lodge.

 

Driving along river, we found a few hippos.

 

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And some elephants with wet socks.

 

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A little while later, we also became a member of the Wet Socks Club. Without a warning, the clouds opened the gates and it started to pour down on us. Vic quickly parked the car in a direction most rain would miss us. But that appeared to be an idle hope. The storm got heavier and the wind blew the rain horizontal in all directions through the car. An open car is nice when it's dry and you see wildlife, but they offer little protection in rain. Rain that even turned into hail at one point. I was excited by this weather, it was the least I would have expected on safari. Everybody could see the fun of it, so we laughed a lot while getting soaking wet and the hail stones hit us.

 

Luckily there were raincoats in the car, so we put them on quickly and put our gear in our bags.

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After a minute or 10 I think it got dry and we continued our drive. The bush was wet, so what animal would be more appropriate to spot then a waterbuck?

 

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The elephants walked around like nothing happened.

 

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The more we drove, we noticed other parts of the park were significantly less wet. Dark clouds were always visible, we were hoping they wouldn't cross our path again.

 

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When we stopped for our sundowner (an inaccurate name for this occassion) I looked at my shoes. Somehow I managed to keep one foot totally dry where the other one was soaking wet. That shoe wasn't even dry the next morning.

 

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The sundowner was on a hill near the Puku Ridge camp and Presedential Lodge. The landscape was stunning and I could picture it to be a good environment for wild dogs. The weather conditions probably made them hide somewhere, just as a lot of other wildlife. It was quiet after the rains, but we still had a good time exploring new areas of the park. And we had to drive all the way back, so who knew what we would find.

 

We found some new species we hadn't spotted on the previous drives, so that was very nice!

 

First, there was this mongoose:

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And next a chameleon:

 

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We decided to get back to the impala and leopard we had seen on the way in. Together with us, a hyena arrived at the same moment. The impala was still on the ground, so the hyena enjoyed a free meal.

 

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The leopard could only watch from it's tree. He didn't looked to bother it, maybe the leopard was pretty well-fed already. If not, I would assume he would have dragged it into the tree.

 

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Time for a shower, dry clothes and a hot meal!

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The next morning I put on my shoes, one still a bit wet, to go out for the morning gamedrive.

 

There was a fishing party going on here:

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You could notice it had rained, but the bush looked to have dried up much as well. The weather was good, but still it was quiet in the park. Seemed many animals were still hiding somewhere.

 

We found these waterbuck:

 

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We headed to the river to try our luck there. At least there would be birds here.

 

Couldn't get enough of the carmine bee-eater:

 

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A giant kingfisher:

 

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Funky hair for the picture:

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And ofcourse crocodiles:

 

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We headed back into the bush again, but there wasn't anyone around.

 

Time for a break. Remember the days you could stand within 1.5mtrs from somebody else? ;) 

 

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After the break we slowly drove back in the direction of the gate, but it remained quiet. Those rains the night before really had quite an impact on our sightings this morning. Or were we just unlucky?

 

At the end of our drive things got a bit better, starting with these zebras:

 

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This one was particurlarly young:

 

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A little later we drove through leopard country, and we watched the trees to find something else than a branch sticking out of it. That's quite hard from a moving vehicle with hope and imagination playing your mind. But this definitely is not a branch:

 

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Because I know branches don't come together with legs:

 

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The leopard looked relaxed, but this didn't look that comfortable to me. The leopard is wrapped around the branch.

 

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We finished the drive with the warthog family at their den site. Love how they showed affection:

 

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At the end of the morning my shoe was dry again as result of the warm weather and wind in the vehicle. But we had to act quickly to make sure all our clothes and shoes stayed dry. While we were relaxing and reading a book, the wind became really strong. The announcement of a thunderstorm coming in. At first it looked like it would literally just blow over, but then... the floodgates opened!

 

The chalets of Track n Trail have windows and a front door that will always allow air to breeze through. It's a short of mesh (is that the right word in English?). Which is great to keep the temperature and atmosphere good inside the chalet. It's less when it rains and storms like this. Luckily we were at the chalet, because our bags were just in front of the door and the wind was blewing the rain straight into the chalet. We moved them to a dry spot and then just watched and enjoyed the thunderstorm. I've only got one picture, but in my next video you'll get a better picture of the weather.

 

You can see the water on the floor and the wooden blinds being blown inside. That spot on the left right underneath the window was where my wife's bag was, open ofcourse. Wouldn't we not have been there, everything would have become soaking wet. I guess that wouldn't have added to the mood. ;) 

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We hoped it would be a heavy thunderstorm and clear up again. The worst weather didn't last that long, but it didn't clear up either. Rain and drizzle continued and we started to worry about the evening gamedrive. Would we be able to go out? If so, what would we see? Would we end up in another heavy thunderstorm if we would go out?

 

We went to the main area to check with our guide and the staff. What should we do? Vic just wanted to go out, but we were hesitant as it continued to rain. Half an hour later than planned, we decided it was dry enough to head out into the bush. Not go in too far, so we would be able to head back as soon as weather would become too bad. Besides, the best wildlife sightings we had weren't deep into the park either.

 

Unsurprisingly the first sighting was a bird, this coucal:

 

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Followed by this leopard on the move: moving to hunt or moving to find a drier spot?

 

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Meanwhile it was raining again, making it hard to take a decent picture of video.

 

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I didn't put this one in because of the leopard, but because of the tracks of our vehicle. It shows how wet the bush was. This is the track of only our car, the top layer of the soil had become muddy and slippery. But the car managed it.

 

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This leopard is where the wildlife sightings stopped. We didn't gave up, we just couldn't find anymore animals. We drove pretty far away too, further then we intended when we left. Ofcourse at that point the rain became heavier again. We skipped the break with drinks and decided to drive back. That's when things became tricky from the start. We headed into an open area going through a ditch and we almost got stuck with the car. The ground was so slippery, we hardly managed to go up a bump of about 50cm high. I thought it was wise to go back, but we couldn't go back either. With a huge effort and smoke we got onto the flat open area. Turning wasn't an option, so we had to stick with the muddy track in front of us. I think we all were a bit suspicious about it.

 

It was dark, it was raining and there was nothing to see. The spotter used the flashlight with one purpose: watch the road and look for the best route to drive. The road disappeared and there was only mud, water and pools in front of us. The back of the car would break out every now and then. Sometimes we just slid through the bush instead of driving. It was only a matter of time before we got stuck again. The first two times weren't that bad. A bit of backwards and forwards and we were out again. The 3rd time (or 4th in total) there was a lot more trouble. Despite everything, I liked the adventure. But this time I knew we were in trouble. I could tell by the car not moving an inch in any direction. And I could tell by looking at the guide and spotter. I realized how far we were from the gate, how inaccessable the area was and that help would take a while to find us, if they would be able to find and reach us.

 

Would we spend the night in the bush? I assumed we would. Time passed away without making any improvement of getting out. Vic tried everything and then some more. I don't know how, but with an ultimate effort, lots and lots of smoke and a roaring engine, we started to move. Vic pushed the car far over its limits and got us out. What a relief!

 

After that ultimate push we didn't have any problems and drove back to the camp. Hardly any animals, but what an adventure! The closer we came to the gate, we started to recognize the area. But as it was dark and we just wanted to get home safe for a hot shower and dinner, there was no reason to pay too much attention. Wildlife wasn't there to be found, so no reason to get those cameras out of the bag. Or was there?

 

Vic stopped the car, I thought he went to check on the car as he did before. Instead he pointed to the left. I was sitting on the wrong side and couldn't see anything. I was surprised my wife got her camera and quickly took a few pictures. I leaned forward. We ended the drive spotting a Pel's fishing owl! And he was gone. It was a short sighting, but a good way to end this drive.

 

Back in camp the barman, I believe his name was Michael, explained us the greatness of this sighting. How some birders only come to find that owl. He told about guests that only went out for half an hour, they had spotted the Pel's fishing owl and just went back to camp to toast on it. When Michael told this, I felt a bit like a thief. Like we stole a sighting of true birders who probably would have appreciated this sighting way more then we did. I do realize how lucky we were to spot it and I always like seeing owls (even though I'm always the last one to find it).

 

I hope I'm not making any of you, my safaritalk pals/pel's, too jealous.

 

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Edited by LarsS
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12 minutes ago, michael-ibk said:

Thief!!!<_<<_<:angry:

 

;)

 

I'm so sorry @michael-ibk! It's a "my friend went to Zambia and all I got was this lousy photo" sort of situation. ;) 

 

Hope you have seen the Pel's fishing owl or will do so in the future (and take better photos then we did!)

Edited by LarsS
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My second video of our South Luangwa safari, including the rain and storm when we were at our chalet as I mentioned above. No footage of the evening gamedrive adventure, as I protected my gear against the rain.

 

Also footage of the next morning showing how we ended our stay, which was way more satisfying then the thunderstorm :)  Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

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The next morning was the last morning of our stay. We would take a flight in the afternoon, so we could go for one more gamedrive. The weather cleared up, so we were really eager to go out and say goodbye to SLNP with some good wildlife sightings. What better way to start your last morning with an elephant in camp? Walking towards the main area for breakfast, I noticed one elephant was enjoying the leafs from the camp's trees. I stood there and watched it for a few minutes. A sighting like this on foot, I really soaked in the moment. The elephant came closer and in the end we were having breakfast watching the ellie between the buildings.

 

Who doesn't want to wake up and enjoy breakfast with a view like this?

 

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Full of excitement we jumped into the car. However, not the same car as the night before. The drive the night before had taken it's toll on the car, it was in the garage being repaired. That's how hard the conditions were to drive through the mud.

 

Giraffes were the first to greet us when we were driving in the park.

 

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A second group of giraffes were standing beautiful in the morning sun.

 

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The star of this mornings gamedrive were the elephants. They were really all over the area. Wherever we went, elephants were around.

 

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But there was more to see than giraffes and elephants. I really like the variety of wildlife you can find in SLNP, big or small.

 

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This hippo was a bit late to return to the river. Apparantly he had a mud mask at the bush spa and the appointment took more time.

 

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I believe this is a Tawny eagle, am I right?

 

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But this bird's name, I don't remember.

 

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We had a nice monitor lizzard sighting right next to our car.

 

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You can't go on a gamedrive and not find a crocodile ofcourse.

 

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A crowned crane is always a nice sighting:

 

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And last, but certainly not least: new life!

 

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South Luangwa delivered great wildlife sightings and amazing experiences and adventures with the extreme weather conditions. Definitely not a standard safari. The moment we left, we were already thinking about when to come back again.

 

:) 

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