News from Zambia – August 2018

The photograph above is of Lake Kariba at sunset.  Babblers greeted us to the newsletter.

Weather

The temperatures continued to rise during the month.  At the beginning of the month the temperatures were dropping to 8ºC but by the end of the month we were reaching 30ºC.  There has been no rain.  In Zambia we do get a lot of bushfires during this month as people clear land.  This is often done to reduce the risk of serious fire outbreaks when the temperatures are high.  For this reason, the atmosphere is often hazy and does not lend itself to good photographs.

The Parks

August is one of our busiest months, as with July.  The grass has been burned or has yellowed and fallen over; the deciduous trees have mostly lost their leaves so viewing of wildlife is excellent.

Tracks 4 Africa

Tracks 4 Africa gives lots of advice on self-drive travel around Africa.  They also have maps and tips for GPS use.  If you need advice on travelling to Zambia via other countries, their website is worth reading.  Click on the link to the right to have a look.

From around the regions from media

LIVINGSTONE

Flow in the Zambezi River has reduced a great deal during the month.  Now the Victoria Falls have distinctly divided areas where the water falls into the gorge.

Whitewater Rafting has started from the Boiling Pot.

Under the Spray, where visitors scramble over rocks, climb in a raft and paddle into the First Gorge, can enjoy standing under the falls.

 

Victoria Falls Waterfront

There are ALOT of elephants at this time of the year around The Waterfront, entrance to the Mosi Oa Tunya National Park, Sichango Road and Maramba River area.

*Elephant Etiquette 101*

Elephants have right of way at all times. Please drive slowly and keep your eyes open!

Please remain in your vehicle at ALL TIMES.

Never approach an elephant for a quick photo or a selfie (we see it daily!)

Don’t panic! Wait for the elephants if they are crossing or drive on if they are grazing at the side of the road when it is safe to do so and keep a safe distance.

No car hooters, no bridge banging, no fireworks and no shouting. THIS behaviour frightens the elephants and this is when they feel threatened and their behaviour is very unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Explorer Club Zamia

 

AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

For a special experience, AVANI has two bomas set in the woodland by the Zambezi River, where dinner is served.  The large boma can take large groups from a conference; a smaller one has a more intimate feel for couples and families.  I will be experiencing the small boma during September so will write all about it.

 

KAFUE NATIONAL PARK

Wild Ride

Laura Wright and Harry Rowland tell their story of the Wild Ride through Kafue National Park as Ambassadors for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

 

Wilderness Safaris

Our 2018 Busanga Plains hot air balloon season has commenced! Take a minute to allow this glorious footage from Namib Sky Balloon Safaris to introduce you to our slice of Zambian paradise from the air…

The Busanga Plains comprise 28 000 hectares of expansive grassland, the jewel in Kafue National Park’s crown. Ringed by miombo woodland, the plains themselves are a mosaic of grassland, muddy channels and hippo pools, palm islands and fragmented papyrus swamp.

 

Mukambi Safaris

Another misty morning on the Busanga plains – this place is magical, mystical and full of life …

Fig Tree Bush camp by night

Anthony Grote Photography

 

Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp

We have been seeing a group of 5 cheetah recently and here is a short clip of 4 of them. The day before this, the 5 of them were sighted chasing off a leopard!

The campsite at Nanzhila is closed.

For alternative camping facilities, there are Konkamoya or New Kalala.

 

Kaingu Safari Lodge

Recent guests enjoyed a bit of a singing and dancing session. It is something we don’t often do, but this evening and the mixture of guests just made it all happen! A mixture of entertainment from Zambia (obviously!), the UK, Chile and Austria. Here is Anna performing the end part of an Austrian folksong. Seriously impressive singing.

SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Kafunta Safaris

Sniffing something funny?   Photo by our guest Katrin Martin

 

The Bushcamp Company

For anyone who’s stayed at Kuyenda Bushcamp before, or is thinking about coming, here’s a fascinating look behind the scenes at what our amazing staff do each year to get camp ready!

 

Shenton Safaris at Kaingo Camp

 

Remote Africa Safaris

The last two weeks of action this August – Sausage Trees have started dropping flowers, all the antelope rush first thing in the morning to feed on them.  …

 

Thornicroft Lodge

Things get shaken up when young male lions are trying to take over a reigning male’s territory.

Our famous lions Garlic and Ginger are not spared the competitive intrusion as they increasingly need to prove their dominance against much younger males.

A bachelor pride of three young males has entered their territory and tried to challenge ‘the old kings’ on several occasions. A few days ago, our guests witnessed an incredible scene when the three youngsters attempted to fight Ginger and Garlic, chased them through the bushes and made them flee into the water until they eventually found safety on the opposite river bank. During the afternoon drive the three young males were found waiting along the riverbank for Ginger & Garlic to return. A few kilometers away Ginger and Garlic’s females (along with their 3 cubs) were feeding on a buffalo carcass, but the scene was found abandoned the next morning, some lionesses (with bruises) and only one cub was spotted around the area. Until now we can’t say for sure what happened that night, but we still hope that all cubs are well and alive. Good luck, Garlic and Ginger …   Photos by Heike Hochberger

 

Conservation South Luangwa

Chillis, chillis and more chillis!

It has been an excellent year for the chilli farmers of the Luangwa Valley. To date we have purchased 5,574 kilograms of chillis from the farmers participating in our chilli farming programme…….WOW!! And we have more coming!! We project that when all is said and done we will have harvested and purchased close to 9 tons of dried chillis amounting to K180,000 paid out to the community.

Congratulations to all the farmers choosing to plant “elephant friendly” crops, like chillis, which are less attractive to elephants. This human-elephant conflict mitigation programme creates a safe income for farmers, as chillis are not consumed by elephants. People CAN live in harmony with wildlife – this is one way we are working with communities to make this happen!

LOWER ZAMBEZI

Potato Bush Camp

Big brother or rather big cats watching us cruising past on the mighty Zambezi river. Photo by Kim Hiles

Sausage Tree Camp

Isn’t he just GORGEOUS……  pic by Ryan Wilmot

 

Royal Zambezi Lodge

Tree climbing lions! A Royal Zambezi Lodge guest caught this video clip of some playful lion showing off their strength and agility in a different way, tree climbing. Whilst leopards are generally the masters of this skill, lion enjoy tree climbing sometimes too. Video Cred : Muriel Roughan (Australia)

 

Mvuu Lodge

Thank you to Emmely for sending in these lovely photos she took while staying with us at Mvuu Lodge on the Lower Zambezi.

KASANKA NATIONAL PARK

Kasanka Trust Zambia

Since the early burning was a ‘hot’ topic, we wanted to update everyone on it. We finished all of the early burning within the last week of July. We’ve been able to take pictures of areas that had been burned so everyone can see the new growth that has been able to start to appear. We will be happy to continue posting additional photos of the regrowth cycle if people are interested.

NORTHERN ZAMBIA

Ndole Bay Lodge

It’s always summer at Ndole Bay.

 

Quentin Allen

Mwasha Falls, Mukubwe River, Northern Province, on the Kawambwa Mporokoso Road.  Turn at Munanga for 40 km then right on the Mofwe rd for 25 km then turn to Kaungo village; cross the Mukubwe River and turn right get a guide to the falls. from the diary July 2006 . The bridge over the river was not complete when we were there.  We tried to cross by car in the river but nearly turned it over so we backtracked and waded across as we were already wet and got a guide to the fall.

NORTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Shiwa Safaris by Mark Harvey

…… but my mother thinks I am beautiful!!

Marabou Stork about to go fishing! I have never seen the second gular air sac on the neck blown up before!

 

Remote Africa Safaris

Carmine bee-eaters are just starting to form breeding congregations and will soon start excavating nests in carefully chosen river banks. The soil needs to be sandy enough for them to dig but sturdy enough not to collapse on their burrows. These burrows can be up to 3.7m long!

SIAVONGA

Lake Safari Lodge

My new header is Lake Safari Lodge.  It is a popular place for weekends with lots of fun for families.  It also offers excellent conference facilities.

 

Eagles Rest

Eagles Rest has leased out most of its accommodation to Razel Bec, the company involved in the repairs on the dam wall.  They do have one room still available and their campsite is still open.

As you can see from the photograph the lake is back to its high level.

 

Southern Belle

During August I visited Siavonga to go on a cruise on the Southern Belle.  The story of the trip is on a separate page.

Click on the photograph to go to the page about my trip

 

Tamarind Lodge

Not far from Siavonga and along the Zambezi River gorge after the dam wall, Tamarind Lodge has found a pretty spot.   Opposite the site are huge hills on the Zimbabwe side; hippos wallow in the river.  It is known for its good fishing.

The lodge is self-catering with all the pots and crocks you need … and some staff to help with the washing up!  The chalets are ensuite, facing the river.

There is also a campsite.

The Tamarind boat can be hired for fishing or a river tour.  According to their website, guides are available to guide walks up the hills to enjoy the scenery.