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1998 Memories of Selinda and South Luangwa


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Recent posts about Selinda have brought back memories of my 1998 safari when I stayed 2 nights at Nkwali, 4 nights at Tena Tena 1 night at Vic Falls then 4 nights at Zibalianja before going on to Jacks Camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Am going to start with Zibalianja 'cos I've started scanning some of those photos and then back track so to speak to South Luangwa. Any quotes are from my Journal.

On 13th August  from Kasane we "fly low to airstrip at Selinda crossing amazingly dry country but see masses of elephant along the swamps which are surrounded by a strip of green vegetation before it peters out into dry scrub. When land at strip met by Mompati. Met at Zib by Lloyd & Sue"

Our Accommodation and view from tent







After tea we go for a "drive with Lloyd Sue and Mompati and see a magnificent sable antelope walking towards giraffe. A first. Then to lagoon for sundowners and 2 herds of elephant coming to drink.











"Lechwe by lagoon - a first. On night drive - see spring hare, genet, bat eared fox and a wild cat - another first. Dinner with Lloyd & Sue then to bed."





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Pretty sure that's the same tent, or at least the  same position, that we had at Zib in 2005.  On our first Selinda trip, in 2000, we had the tent behind this one, facing the opposite direction. 

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A story we heard about this tent while there was that a staff member on a previous occasion found a leopard on one of the beds. It had apparently got in via the rear ensuite enclosure which was not roofed.

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I remember meeting Lloyd and Sue when they were doing a "busmans holiday" at Jacks Camp.  My first ever safari in 1997.

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Thankfully no leopard in the tent on my visit @John M.!

@ElaineAustin 1999 I received a postcard from Lloyd and he was at Mombo Camp in Moremi but lost touch after that.


On 14th August:-

"Morning walk with Lloyd seeing giraffe, impala and examining tracks, trees and shrubs. Tea then find cheetah and two cubs about 6 months old being tracked by hyena looking for a cheap meal. A marvellous scene. Before that Olive Bush Snake crossing road - first snake sighted in Africa! A great morning and on way back to camp 2 magnificent bull kudus. Lunch with Sue and whilst writing this journal in afternoon 16 zebra wander past. Late afternoon drive with Woodhouses - see cheetah & 2 cubs again and then a little steenbok and leopard sighting. Night drive -springhares, Selous mongoose, genet,civet and almost at camp a serval- very unexpected."
















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I remember that bedding, thanks for sharing these images. It was also a time when the Zib lagoon was not filling due to blockages, creating those vast plains.  Old Zib is now underwater.

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Always enjoy your ventures into the archives @CaracalYou mentioned your first ever snake in Africa. Really!!! That surprised me. You had some earlier trips as I recall surely you must have come across a few. 

Funnily enough we probably saw at least half a dozen on our first trip way way back in 2002. I'd like to think Chris's fear of snakes attracted them😁.

Keep more of this coming.

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@Alex The LionThanks for that interesting update - hard to imagine Old Zib's now submerged.

@dloGood to hear from you and yes that was my first snake sighting - no sightings on my two previous safaris in 1973 and 1996 (well I'm not counting the snake pit near the Nairobi Museum!)


15th August 1998

On morning walk see 4 black backed jackals and some wildebeest




"At coffee break see reedbuck then walk to lagoon and on the way John finds another olive bush snake - see another sable. After lazy afternoon go for evening drive seeing ostriches, side-striped jackal, leopard sitting at base of a tree  and African rock python in tree. Then come across martial eagle at nest and shortly after that a herd of zebra & some giraffe being watched by a healthy young male lion. Spend some time watching him & watching zebras watching him. Stunning scenes of zebras in late afternoon sun kicking up dust. Then to water & sundowners & watch elephant drink at sunset. Another brilliant sight. Elephants heading back towards our vehicle. Lloyd taps on bonnet and points and they veer and file past car. Further look at lion after dark then see hippos nightwalking and a genet. Listen close up to the lion roar - an amazing sound."




























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16th August 1998

"Hyena around tent overnight. On morning drive see bat eared fox close up then watch cheetah and cubs for quite a while. Watch young Martial eagle taking off. Then track 3 lionesses. Magnificent animals and so close. Herd of 32 sable antelopes pass by and watch lioness watching 2 young sables walk past. 2 elephants drinking at lagoon and herd of kudu nearby. Magnificent morning."



























Edited by Caracal
Some photos needed deleting
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16th August 1998:

Lunch - I'm in blue shirt, Lloyd Camp at head of table and his lovely wife Sue in the red shirt:-



On afternoon game drive see 5 Roan antelope - then waiting by lagoon watching crocodile eat barbel fish with fish eagle on bank wanting a share.Then drive around lagoon to find the 3 lionesses sprawled around and then surprise surprise Sue, Mompati & Billy with table set up under the stars. Pre dinner drinks with sun setting - beside lagoon full of hippos and hippo noises. One lioness walks past table to drink at the lagoon whilst we're having a superb dinner and a herd of elephants are drinking nearby. A magical African evening.


















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Wonderful to read - thank you for sharing these notes and photos @Caracal

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Many thanks for your encouraging words @offshorebirderand also thanks to those posting likes.

17th August 1998:

After 7am breakfast say goodbye to Sue and go for shortened game drive with Lloyd & Mompati. Down to lagoon where pregnant lioness was on her own. Come across in response to overnight roaring of male lions. Other two lionesses too young. Also elephants & baboons drinking & 2 roan antelope. Start driving to Knob Hill to find other lionesses & see lechwe & lone tssessebe then get radio call about wild dogs. Drive over & find 7 dogs 4 males 3 females including the yellowish dominant female who was pregnant. Mompati transfers to Wayne's vehicle to try to track another pack's den for Wayne's filming. Then to airport and departure lounge under the tree with a strong wind and dust blowing everywhere.























The "Departure Lounge" with Lloyd Camp centre John in the green shirt hat and sunglasses and the Woodhouse Family


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i was trying to see what differences there were from 1998 to the 2019s (last time we were travelling non-stop to Africa) and really there weren't any. maybe except the attire as clothes have become more durable and cooler and comfortable. 

but the wildlife, the landscape remains the same. 


thanks for sharing the journey in sepia nostalgic tones @Caracal

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Really enjoying this @Caracal, many thanks for delving into your archives!

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That's an interesting observation @Kitsafari- it hadn't occurred to me but yes I think you're right about the clothes.


The South Luangwa part of the trip in August 1998 was 2 nights at Nkwali and 4 at Tena Tena.

On 5 August 1998 we caught an evening BA flight from London Gatwick to Harare and "then after waiting on plane for an hour a short hop to Lusaka." At Lusaka airport there was a "great friendly atmosphere"and we were greeted with a huge smiling Zambian lady" who wore a vibrantly colourful dress with matching headscarf. I momentarily thought I was going to be hugged and enveloped in her embrace but at the last minute she realised that we weren't leading a party of medical missionaries who were on their way to a community in north west Zambia and so with a beaming smile she sashayed off to find her target. We then discovered that "Zambian Express - Zambia's main airline - had gone belly up the day before."


To be continued:




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  • 2 weeks later...

6th August 1998

"We were asked by numerous people if we needed help and eventually a pilot John came up & assured us he would get us to Mfuwe by the end of the day. Later Jack turned up from Proflight and we get driven in an old Jeep to the Proflight Hanger. 11/2 hour flight somewhat bumpy. Met at airport by Dowd. Driven 40 mins to Nkwali Camp beside Luangwa River. Great setting. Rick - Yank photographer living in Vic Falls on flight with us. Only other tourist in Camp is Pat from Adelaide who's been in Zambia for something like 5 weeks. Our room is by the river bank in a marvellous setting. Meet Nicky.

Put our things into room then go on drive leaving at 4pm. See impala, puku, warthog, Thorneycroft giraffe - various birds - stop for sundowner - then night drive seeing civet, genet, porcupine, grysbok, elephant shrew, elephants and when we got home saw bushbuck whilst having our evening meal. 


IMG_20221010_0001.jpg.46b1df78473453c6065c90ee17acd802.jpg  IMG_20221010_0002.jpg.044d6b95ed56cb02a4737359b2ce2bee.jpgIMG_20221010_0003.jpg.78b0f59e6becda9edd40f539ad36839b.jpg








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7th August 1998:

Wake up at 5.30 & see sunrise over river at breakfast - take boat over river - plenty of hippos grunting & crocs around.

Gunbearer Bwosti. Impala, puku, giraffe, baboons, warthog (elephant in distance) - skirt round slumbering hippos.

Tracks of lion, leopard, impala middens (males dung heap) rain tree that as young shrub gets diseased leaves to protect it till adult- red buffalo weaver birds in baobab with nesting community.

Hippo dung scattered - story that hippo got all hair burnt in bushfire  and went to go in river- asked croc if OK and croc said  "Ok if you don't eat fish" - hippo said wouldn't and would always scatter its dung so croc could inspect to check.

At lunch jacana and bushbuck come down close to table.

Meet Jo Pope.

Whilst sitting outside our room in afternoon see pair of fish eagles and also tree squirrel.

Night drive with Jason - also Pat & Rick. Elephants into park - sundowners with sunset over lagoon - 2 lionesses in spotlight.





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Thanks for sharing your memories of Selinda and South Luangwa @Caracal It is very interesting to read how these places used to be. I have never been to Selinda but next year will visit the South Luangwa valley again. For me it was the best safari we have had so far. Have been to Luangwa River Lodge and Tena Tena. 

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Will you be including a return to Tena Tena @Athene?


8th August 1998:

Sorry mate but I'm going to have to gently move you - need to get dressed !



Jason drives us to Tena Tena. See elephant just outside camp after a shortened morning drive up to hill & valley full of impalas, puku & baboons like Garden of Eden. Drive to Tena fairly hot. Pat & Rick come with us for the drive. At Tena Tena  say goodbye to Pat & Rick and meet Alex, Celeste & Chris. Guests we met were Gill from New York, Rex & Jill UK and other Aussies Malcolm & Cheryl from Port Douglas & Sue from Sydney. Go for drive with Chris & Tom. Nice family of elephants . Sundowners by lagoon. Leopard on way back- 2 honey badgers - another leopard crosses path. Slender mongoose. Dinner by campfire.








Just noticed this next zebra looks different seems to be more like white stripes on a black background if you know what I mean













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The frog pic reminds me of finding a green tree frog on the toilet seat in the middle of the night in Darwin 🙄

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So far we have never been in the same camp again@Caracal

Even though we liked Tena Tena a lot, next year we will be at Nsefu, Kaingo and Chindeni. 

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I'm not familiar with Chindeni but I'm sure you'll enjoy Nsefu and Kaingo and I'll look forward to hearing more in due course @Athene


9th August 1998:

After breakfast drive to Salt pan & springs. See warthogs crossing road. Herd of eland - puku head & remains - hippo skull. Crowned cranes in nos. Huge buffalo herd, elephant, banded mongoose, slender mongoose & lots of birds. Interesting trees including ebony where white due to stork's nest. A great morning and on way back a huge herd of buffalo and more elephants. Quiet afternoon at camp talking to Malcolm, Cheryl and Sue & spending some time in bird hide.

Sundowners at camp with champagne & nibbles & a great sunset. Taken for night drive by Sanford who heard leopard call & baboons barking and we agree to try and track it.  Off into bush & stop & listen. Point out Southern Cross to Gill. See Scops Owl, hyenas, buffalo bulls close in bush and have an enjoyable drive. When get back there's a small band - enjoyable dinner and dance with Alex and Gill. Back in room find mouse in bag  then listen to night sounds, lion roaring, hyenas whooping, baboons barking.

























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  • 3 weeks later...

10th August 1998:

We set off with Robin Pope, David & Jacob. Gill from New York, Ann Marie from Copenhagen and Rex & Jill from Lewes UK were also in the vehicle. Herd of kudu, baboons, impala, more kudu etc. Stop and walk with Robin Pope – examine tracks, termites, dung beetle stories- wide birdlife. Bushbuck, impalas, puku, baboons, warthogs galore, elephant, buffalo. Search for leopard without success after call and bushbuck alarm. Tea in beautiful ebony grove. Great walk. On drive back elephant – 5 young ones aged 12 to 11/2   grazing.

Relaxing lunch joined by warthog in camp. After rest during afternoon when warthog wandered past tent go for night drive with Gill, Ann Marie and Paul aka "Doctor Death".

Hippos, crocs, bushbuck nervously trying for drink but wary of crocs. Injured baby hippo. Elephant walk past. Sundowners in front of another great sunset – night drive with great sightings of genet plus 2 honey badgers & 2 hyenas.

Dinner at camp and then see Jupiter & its moons through telescope.

PS Paul aka "Doctor Death" was a retired doctor from Texas. He was a regular visitor to Robin Pope's camps and had been nicknamed "Doctor Death" by the staff as he always witnessed a kill on his safaris. We were to meet him again in 2000 when the staff were concerned that his title was under threat as he was nearing the end of his safari and hadn't witnessed a kill. However we were watching an elephant strolling slowly along a dusty track that was being keenly followed at its heels by a cattle egret that was pouncing on insects and grubs disturbed by the elephant's feet. So keen was the egret on looking down for food that it neglected to look up and got flattened by a fall of elephant dung. There was a consensus that this qualified as a kill and his title was saved!


Robin Pope, Ann Marie & Rex



On the night drive


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18 hours ago, Caracal said:

So keen was the egret on looking down for food that it neglected to look up and got flattened by a fall of elephant dung. There was a consensus that this qualified as a kill and his title was saved!

Haha absolutely counts as a kill and certainly the most unique one he ever had! 

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