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South Luangwa & Lower Zambezi Trip Report June 2021


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linjudy
Posted (edited)

@Kitsafari, I read your report before our trip - it was really inspiring!! I've yet to see a buffalo/lion interaction. Something to aspire to next time, although part of me does not want to witness what you did.....

 

Yes, I loved everything about Mwamba. Sounds like it is a bit less rustic? There is now a concrete floor in the bedroom area, but the bathroom is still dirt. The hide was available, but not much action this time of year, so we visited only for a short time.

 

We just went, about a month ago, in June. I think everyone was surprised that it was so hard to find lions. Of course, they were still there, just hard to find. I think the pandemic has changed animal behavior. They seemed more skittish and less habituated to seeing trucks. Also, given so few tourists, not as many people out looking (the entire time we were at Mwamba it was just us and another person from Lion camp). That said, I've never seen so many leopards, so it more than made up for fewer lions. If there was a disappointment in our trip, it was that we saw exactly one very poorly lit carmine bee eater.

Edited by linjudy
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Marks

I enjoyed reading this trip report. I'm glad you were able to share it! You mentioned capturing the elephant charge on video--is that something you would be open to posting here? (Apologies if it's in the Google photos link--I can't get that to load on my work computer, but I can try later if so.)

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linjudy

@Marks, no, the video was not in the google photos. I uploaded it youtube. Link here.

 

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linjudy

The video was taken by my husband, who was sitting on the side of the elephant (incidentally, he was also on the side of the impala collision :). Here you can see how close the elephant got to him in a photo I took.

 

 

DFEA5FC5-410B-4507-8CC1-F834D3DADCB0_1_201_a.jpeg

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marg

@linjudyI chuckle, sort of, watching your elephants.  On our first trip, at our first camp some years ago in South Luangwa we had so many mock charges that I was frightened of ellies.  I did not tell my husband until much later.  Our guide told us that one charged a vehicle and the tusks went through the back of it.  And, in three trips to the area, although August/September there have always always lions.

 

Thanks for the report!

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linjudy

@marg, we've also been "mock charged" many many times. But this was a "real" charge according to our guide, and it certainly felt like one. It was weird that he didn't signal at all (flap ears, trumpet, etc). Just charged. I was pretty nervous around elephants rest of the trip :). I feel that the Zambia and Botswana elephants seem more aggressive than the East African ones, but that's based on very small sample size? not sure if true?

 

As for lions, I do think it was unusual to not see them for so many days, even in June. Everyone chocked it up to the pandemic.

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Whyone?

My 2p's (or cents!) worth on the charge is that it was a fairly gentle warning.


My understanding (and experience) is that when an ele charges with serious  intent, the ears get laid flat against the side of the head and they just keep coming!

Edited by Whyone?
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wilddog
3 hours ago, Whyone? said:

My 2p's (or cents!) worth on the charge is that it was a fairly gently warning.


My understanding (and experience) is that when an ele charges with serious  intent, the ears get laid flat against the side of the head and they just keep coming!

agree with @Whyone? but nevertheless when they mock charge it is seriously unnerving. It looks to me like a comparatively young bull 'flexing his muscles' as they say. Lovey video capture. I bet the family were impressed. :)

 

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linjudy

@Whyone?@wilddog, yeah, as Willie said, "teenager in a bad mood, behaving badly" :)

 

Nevertheless, unnerving and I def. had a bit of an adrenaline rush. I do NOT need to be part of a serious charge, ever! Because we had these senior guides to ourselves pretty much the entire trip, we heard many stories of close encounters, esp. while on walks. Great stories but I do not need to ever experience them personally!

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Toxic
12 minutes ago, linjudy said:

Nevertheless, unnerving and I def. had a bit of an adrenaline rush.

I bet!!  Nothing prepares you for the scale and size, even teenagers.  The fact we're like fleas to them :o

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Marks

@linjudyThanks for adding the video--that will definitely get your blood pumping! Kudos to your husband for keeping a steady hand on the camera.

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linjudy
Posted (edited)

My husband does videos and I do photos, and he is not as fast as me in getting them organized :). So that elephant video is one of the few I have.

 

However, here is one that Chiawa posted on their facebook that showed the hyenas feeding after killing the impala that ran into our car. Of course, they conveniently didn't say anything about the collision :)

 

https://www.facebook.com/chiawasafaris/videos/498375034708570

Edited by linjudy
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