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Chapter 6: Stunning South Luangwa

John M.

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  My final chapter. Our last African safari:  Shenton Safaris’ Mwamba and Kaingo camps in South Luangwa NP, 2008.

  Six of us had the delightful, small Mwamba bush camp to ourselves for five days, then finished with two more days at its big brother Kaingo camp overlooking the Luangwa River. 

  I’ve lusted over just about every landscape I’ve seen in Africa. South Luangwa was no exception. The next few examples are led by what I think was Yvonne’s favourite image from that trip, because of the late afternoon ‘sunbeam’ on the one member of the small group of elephants seen near Mwamba camp.



  I like closeups as much as anybody, but images I call “wildlife landscapes” are a special attraction. By coincidence, the day I processed the next photograph, I received the latest edition of a wildlife magazine in which a photographer expressed a sentiment, which I share, in these words: “let the vibrance of (the wildlife) do the work for you and show the environment they live in for all to see”.


  Oxbow lagoon off the Luangwa River








  You can’t ignore the hippos on the Luangwa River.






  We wondered what the fish eagle was contemplating.


  Of course, we wanted to see the local big cats.



We saw Mwamba lionesses stalking a buffalo herd which was barely visible in thick bush. Maybe the dense vegetation caused them to abandon the hunt.







  At other times, much more visible buffalo.



  A difficult sighting, a leopard with a hidden kill at night.



  Then, an obliging leopard, roaming along the track.



  An animal unique to the Luangwa, Thornicroft’s giraffe: two males contesting mating rights.









  I don’t remember which was the victor.  Then, an unusual sighting: a big croc out of the water, moving one night across the track near Mwamba camp.



  Finishing on a high note: 












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Mwamba is my favorite camp of all time. Simple bush camp, only 3 reed chalets, excellent food and hosting, great hide and animals in camp at all times. Sublime. I hate the trend of over the top luxury, camps like Mwamba are rare.

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5 hours ago, Paul B said:

Mwamba is my favorite camp of all time. Simple bush camp, only 3 reed chalets, excellent food and hosting, great hide and animals in camp at all times. Sublime. I hate the trend of over the top luxury, camps like Mwamba are rare.

Couldn't agree more. The old Zibalianja in Selinda reserve, Botswana, was another. And I liked the small mobile camps I had in Kenya with Cheli & Peacock.


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  • 10 months later...

   A few more of Yvonne's photographs at South Luangwa.  Firstly, I found the winner of the giraffe fight :D





Chacma baboon and young



Puku suckling



Burchell's zebra



Tse tse lagoon



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  • 6 months later...

@John M., are those pictures scanned? I wander how they are actually good! Deep saturation and contrast. Good composition. You wer/are really a very good experienced passionate photographers with a practice! 

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@ElenaHThank you. The originals are RAW files because Yvonne used digital cameras on our later safaris. I  processed them in Photoshop for ST. 

   I didn't use digital cameras until after Africa. We both photographed in RAW.

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