Travel News Around Zambia
January 2019

In Zambia we call this time of year The Emerald Season because it seems that the whole landscape is green.  But, if you look a bit closer, you will see the birds in their brightly-coloured breeding plumage; you will see the colours of the rainbow after each storm; and the wild flowers blooming among the grass.  And, of course, some of our brilliant butterflies of which there are over 900 species.

The Weather

In the north of Zambia the rain has been falling heavily, filling the lakes and rivers.  But here in the south the rain has been intermittent and our crops are suffering, but not as bad as last year.  When I went to visit the Victoria Falls for a photograph the wind was blowing and the spray was hitting me and my camera.  I had planned to cross the Knife Edge Bridge for a different view, but the spray was falling heavily and I did not fancy getting soaked.  Also, there was a baboon on the bridge and I did not want to have a conversation with him.  (f you look closely at the photograph, you can see the baboon at the end of the bridge by the steps).  The baboons are, though, generally quite harmless, as long as you keep your distance and do not carry any food or sugary drinks.

The Parks

The parks are wet and viewing trails are limited.  The great thing about this time of year is that the animals do not like to lie down in the wet grass, so they are often found lazing on the roads.  The birds are all nesting and you will find them to be very quiet.  Either they are too busy feeding their chicks or they do not like to draw attention to their nests.

In South Luangwa the camps in the neighbouring Lupande Game Management Area are mostly open as are Mfuwe and Chichele Lodges in the park.  In Kafue the camps near The Hook are open; open too are the lodges around Itezhi-Tezhi and to the east of the park via Mumbwa.  Lower Zambezi Park is closed but the neighbouring Chiawa Game Management Area is open.

Kasanka, Bangweulu, Nsumbu and Liuwa Plain are open but self-drive have to be careful of road conditions – get the latest information.

Money

K11.80 = USD1;   EUR1 = K13.50;   GBP1 = K15.50;   SAR1=K0.85

 

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

It’s that time of year again when we can see the Smoke that Thunders – the Mosi-oa-Tunya.

 

Jollyboys Backpackers Lodge

It’s official Jolly people!  The award has arrived!

Best Hostel in Zambia 2019

 

Safari Par Excellence

The winning flip in the Zambezi White Water Festival 2018

G: Saf Par are reminding us that the White Water Festival of 2019 is fast approaching and that all teams should be entering.

 

Kayube River Estate

Some photos from us to you.

 

Munga Eco-Lodge

Lovely critters fluttering around Munga……

 

AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Unwind in luxurious serenity with a wide range of essential beauty and health treatments to choose from.

KAFUE NATIONAL PARK

Mukambi Safaris

Look out for the broad-billed rollers, which have arrived back in the Kafue for breeding season… loudly announcing their presence and bullying the locals from their perches to gain the best feeding and breeding spots.

as the storms roll in, there are some fantastic cloudscapes to be captured… anyone else see a witch on a broomstick in this one!?

The Kafue river is home to many a Giant Kingfisher… this one has caught a huge crab for breakfast.

 

Kelvin Lighton Mkandawire‎ to BirdWatch Zambia Forum

One of Zambia’s Endemics, found in Machile IBA and on the Southern part of the Kafue National Park IBA, Black-cheeked Lovebird, commonly referred to as Makwelekwele by the locals in the area

 

National Geographic

Excellent article on Kafue National Park

G: Click on the green button to take you to the article

SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Marula Lodge

I’d like to share some great photos and videos from our guest and friend Dunja Pietrasch over the next few days. She had such a lot of great and unusual sightings over 3 weeks in January!

 

Wildlife Camp

Sunsets from Wildlife Camp Zambia will take your breath away.

Lots of rain about and the river is getting fuller

Just a few minutes ago in camp !! Two Wild dog pups waiting for mom and dad who are out hunting in front of camp..

Kafunta Safaris

Unedited sunsets… The skies and colours are stunning at this time of year!

 

Conservation South Luangwa

Beautiful Luangwa in the rains.

Big herds of elephants gathering, stunning views and an unpredictable river!! Amazing.

 

The Bushcamp Company

There have been some great sightings recently near Mfuwe Lodge of the big pack of wild dogs!

This is the same pack that is usually based down at our Bushcamps; they come north for the rainy season.

photo by Bushcamp Company guide Suzyo Zimba

LOWER ZAMBEZI

Tusk and Mane Safaris

Pure joy and constant chuckling from us all on the game viewer as we watch these rascal Ratels scratch and dig up the Lower Zambezi for insectivorous, reptilian and small Mammalian treats! We are lucky to have a solid population in this magnificent National Park

 

Winterthorn Lower Zambezi

Self-Catering Lodge 17Km from Chirundu on the banks of the Zambezi river. Clean, comfortable, furnished accommodation, that sleeps up to 8 People in 2 air-conditioned rooms.

 

Mvuu Lodge

These majestic animals enjoying a relaxing afternoon at Mvuu Lodge!

 

Lower Zambezi Fisheries Management Project

These large mayflies emerged with the rain last night. The nymphs crawl out of the water, shed their last skin and emerge as short-lived adults. They mate, lay their eggs back in the water, and then die. Their larvae can, depending on the species, take a few years to mature. Mayfly nymphs are an important food source for many species of fish, and some species are very sensitive to pollution and therefore serve as valuable indicators of river health.

 

Salim Lee‎ to BirdWatch Zambia Forum

Comb Duck kickboxing. 2018-12-29 Lower Zambezi.

 

Alma Macdonald‎ to BirdWatch Zambia Forum

Male African Emerald Cuckoo. He arrived yesterday Zambezi River.

The African Emerald Cuckoo is an intra-Africa migrant and is found between West Africa and Southwest Africa.

NORTHERN ZAMBIA

Ndole Bay Lodge

The public Ferry boat – Stella on Lake Tanganyika. It Travels between Mpulungu to Nsumbu a few times a week. It has had an upgrade and now can do the journey in 4 hours (used to be 6 hours) and costs around K60 per trip. A cheap way to get to Ndole Bay and make the trip you have always wanted to do. We will do a free pickup from Nsumbu (must be prebooked).

KASANKA NATIONAL PARK

Kasanka Trust

The last few months marked another successful migration for our straw-coloured fruit bats. This season they arrived earlier than normal and also stayed longer! We are sad to see them go, but we are sure that they will be back again in October 2019.

LUSAKA

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Little Lani, the latest elephant orphan rescued in Zambia

BANGWEULU WETLANDS

African Parks

‏One of the world’s oddest birds, the aptly named shoebill, is thriving in Zambia’s Bangweulu Wetlands. Come and stay in the newly launched Shoebill Island Camp to witness this iconic giant first hand.

LIUWA PLAIN

Zambian Carnivore Programme

With the rains the Liuwa Plains have started to flood, and wildebeest have all congregated in the South. Last month, at the onset of rainy season, 5 of the 7 hyena clans we monitor in our core study area shifted their communal den site. Shifting of den site at this time of the year is most likely related to flooding, as well as prey availability in the nearby vicinity of the den. These photos, taken by field researcher Sandra Martens, are of the Mutata Clan communal den. Mutata Clan shifted their den to the elevated non-flooded grasslands where the wildebeest graze from during wet season and where everyone can stay relatively dry!

A last trip up north in Liuwa before the rains and floods close it off yielded amazing news–7 new cheetah sighted! A mother and three cubs and another group of dispersers! This further emphasizes the importance of connectivity between Liuwa Plain National Park and the Upper West Zambezi GMA, as well with the broader linkage to Angola’s Mussuma system to maintain viable populations of cheetah and other species. Photo by Daan Smit

 

Time + Tide Africa Safaris

A handsome face peering through the lush green season foliage at Time + Tide King Lewanika