MARCH 2018

Zambia is still very wet.  We call this time our Emerald Season  because the land is green and alive.  The rains, though, started to trail off after our continuous deluge of February.  We had bright sunny days interspersed with some cloudy ones.  This made for some stunning photographs as the bush is clean, fresh and glistening with water drops.

Surprisingly this is an excellent time to see predators.  The grass is high and the ground is wet, so hunting or sleeping on the roads, is much preferred by our lions, leopards and wild dogs.  They do not relish lying or walking through soggy grass.  Wild dogs particularly like to hunt along the roads.

The Victoria Falls are full to bursting with the spray rising high up into the sky.  The walkways along the precipice opposite the falls are wet, with dripping trees and the spray rising up under raincoats.  Some of our visitors give up trying to keep dry and just enjoy the sauna-like conditions, changing their clothes afterwards.

The photograph above is by Zambia Carnivore Programme in Liuwa Plain National Park.  Liuwa Plain had, for many years, only one lioness named Lady Liuwa.  She was made famous by a documentary of her life on the plain.  Sadly, her time was up last year having lived for 17 years.  African Parks Foundation, which had joined in the management in 2008 had lightened Lady Liuwa’s last years by the introduction of more lions.  For her last years she lived as part of a pride and these are members of her remaining family.

Large parts of our parks are closed, some completely closed, because of the rain.  This does not mean that there is no-one there.  ZamParks rangers and the conservation organisations are operating intensively.  Where they normally do patrols by vehicle, sometimes they take to canoes or fly the vast areas.

 

From around the country on Social Media

Elephant Charge

Every year in September, Zambia holds the Elephant Charge.  It is a fun time for all participants and spectators.  4x4s and motorbikes, with battle-hardened drivers, test their resilience and skills, driving around a  hazardous course in the bush.  The main aim, though, is to raise money for conservation.  Over US$700,000 has been raised since 2008.

Here is a fun video from 2017.  Thanks to Alex Bowen!

LIVINGSTONE

Tongabezi Lodge

Condé Nast Traveller Awards – THE 20 BEST HOTELS IN THE WORLD: THE GOLD LIST 2018

The roots of this lodge run deep beneath the banks of the great Zambezi River, 15km upstream from the roar of the Victoria Falls. Almost 28 years since it opened, Tongabezi has grown organically, unhindered by corporate conventions. Its owners, Ben and Vanessa Parker, have lived and breathed this stretch of river since they married on nearby Sindabezi island in 1994.   Their home is Tangala, a warm, thatched family house adjacent to the lodge, and Vanessa runs neighbouring Tongabezi Trust School. Right from the start, the couple set out to employ locals and empower them in pivotal roles. The result is one of the happiest places to stay in all of Africa. …

 

The Victoria Falls Waterfront

With the huge amount of rainfall we have experienced in the last 6 weeks, the Zambezi is rising fast and Victoria Falls are PUMPING! Wow!

Tomorrow is the last day for the Safari Par Excellence Rafting High-Water season due to big water and swimming in the Angels/Devils Pool at Livingstone Island is now closed – you can still visit but no swimming until it is safe to do so once again.

But there are still amazing experiences on offer here with us in Livingstone …

It’s not called the Adrenaline Capital of Africa for nothing!

Image – 5,4,3,2,1…Bungeeee with Shearwater.

 

Kayube Estates shared István Lehoczky’s photo.

Taken by our Hungarian guests, who are staying with us this weekend. Nice photography

 

Livingstone’s Adventure

Sunsets are glorious at this time of year from the African Queen

 

AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

One of our younger guests taking a horse ride on the Resort.

 

Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge

We are always mesmerized by this magnificent fig tree close to Maluka harbour, the launch place for all our canoeing expeditions

SIAVONGA

Southern Belle

We’re sailing into a comeback! All aboard!

 

Flashback

From Pathé News, the building of Kariba Dam in 1958 when the Zambezi River flooded and nearly destroyed the dam.  The people who lived along the river claimed that it was Nyaminyami, the River God, who was trying to stop the construction.

COPPERBELT

Mindola Dam, Rokana Sailing & Boating Club

An excellent day was had by all yesterday at the Graham Mould Memorial Fishing Competition held at Mindola Dam. 14 teams participated, 35 people fished with 96 fish being caught and released. The largest fish weighed in at 2.25kgs and was caught by Eugene of Team Vasbyt.

KAFUE NATIONAL PARK

Mukambi Safari Lodge

A magical game drive this morning! Thank you to our guest Aleksandra for compiling this video.

Myriad waterways make up the Busanga Plains in the far north of Kafue NP that is seasonally flooded by the Lufupa River and its tributaries. Rapid transpiration and evaporation occur caused by the high temperatures in the region result in a cycle of rising and falling water levels.

 

 

The images show the dramatic change of scenery surrounding our Busanga Plains Camp. Inaccessible this time of the year but fantastic views from a helicopter!

Thank you Ntengu Safaris & DNPW for surveilling this area when no one else can.

 

Mayukuyuku Camp

One very large scratching post is a welcome relief for this elephant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful aerial view of Mayukuyuku Camp, the Kafue River and the national park.

 

Kaingu Safari Lodge

Friday night light.

 

Kasabushi Camp 

The Luansanda river crossing this morning, there is a bridge under there somewhere. Gutted that our first long weekend of the year has had the dampeners put on it and so many booked campers won’t get to enjoy the long weekend with us. But the campsite is ready for campers as soon as the water level drops.

 

 

 

We didn’t need to drive far last night to find these very vocal lions, they were flopped on the Spinal Road just outside our campsite. The old boy fell fast asleep while we were watching him, roaring to his mate just up the track from time to time. We left them to sleep around 8pm, no doubt they went off hunting later.

 

McBrides’ Camp

The picturesque Kafue River

SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

N’cwala Ceremony from Zambia Rising

Zambia Rising Project’s goal is to improve the quality of Orphans and Vulnerable Children services with strengthened systems and policy framework for coordination, planning, implementation; and monitoring and evaluation.

A member of Zambia Rising staff visited the N’cwala Ceremony of the Ngoni people near Chipata and uploaded this video for us all to enjoy.  Their comment was: Such cultural heritage. Such beautiful ceremonies. We all belong to every tribe. One Zambia. One Nation

Thank you for sharing.

 

Flatdogs Camp

Today I went to a meeting in the South Luangwa National Park about a new campaign #KeeptheLuangwaFlowing to try and keep the Luangwa as a free flowing river forever (no dams). On the way in I found some of the reasons why it is so important we protect this incredible riverine habitat and its famous floodplains. Many of you will recognise Ginger and his pride, but not many of you will have seen the Luangwa this full!

 

The Bushcamp Company

Just a few friends hanging out together!

photo by Burrard-Lucas Photography

Zungulila Bush Camp, part of the Bushcamp Company was listed by Interior Design magazine as one of 4 Global Glamping Hotspots for 2018

After one of the company’s walking safaris, retire to a tent with a private bamboo veranda and en-suite bathrooms. Better yet, take a soak in a freestanding bath, which is handmade in India from copper sheeting and zinc and offers views of the Kapamba river and natural springs—and the wildlife that enjoys them.

 

Kafunta Safaris

A video posted on National Geographic: Watch how these elephants chase away one of the stars of the bush – Ginger the lion and a lioness he was mating with! Make sure your sound is on to fully enjoy the incredible sounds!

Video: Hans Korn

 

Robin Pope Safaris

Game viewing by boat

Boating through the flooded oxbow lagoons and flowing channels allows you to venture into areas that would normally be inaccessible during this season. This is not only a great way of exploring the scenery, but also a superb way of getting up close to wildlife without disturbing them.

 

Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust

Meet Super Trooper!

On the 13th March Anna was given a tiny baby yellow baboon who had been rescued by a Wildlife Police Officer after finding him clinging to the lifeless body of his mother. It is not known how she died. He was in a very poor condition- emaciated, dehydrated, weak, cold, covered in rashes, had bruised eyelids and had a writhing clump of pinworms in his groin. He was taken back to Chipembele where, under veterinary advice, Anna administered medicines and nurtured him. He was so weak he was unable to stand, sit or even lift his head. He developed a fever and it was uncertain whether he would survive. However on the third day he turned a corner and slowly recovered to full health! He was given the name Trooper, a name very fitting to his spirit! Trooper has met several of the semi-wild monkeys and baboons previously hand-reared at Chipembele and they all surround him and gently touch him with great curiosity. Like most babies, he sleeps a lot but demands milk every 30 minutes during the day and every 1-2 hours during the night, so caring for him is intense work. Steve and Anna will care for Trooper 24/7 for the next few months until his very gradual rehabilitation to the wild can begin.

 

Tribal Textiles

Our new Mfuwe shop Tribe has a ‘Conservation Corner’ where all the products sold directly benefit local community education and conservation programmes. From the Zambian Carnivore Programme and Conservation South Luangwa – CSL, to Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust – CWET and Birdwatch Zambia, there are fun and interesting products available to buy that support all these great initiatives. And just because we’re in the middle of the bush and Zambia is a land-locked country that doesn’t mean we don’t love the ocean too! So we’re very happy to let you know that we’ve also started stocking the fantastic 4Ocean bracelets that raise money and awareness to help fight ocean pollution. Once you’re done shopping you can put your feet up, enjoy a cappuccino made with freshly ground Zambian coffee beans and read about all these amazing organisations and their work.

So if you’re in the South Luangwa be sure to come see us and do a spot of shopping with a cause!

 

Conservation South Luangwa

Luangwa Wafwa from the air this week.

 

Zambian Carnivore Programme

The Manzi pack ranges widely over South Luangwa, yet primarily in the woodlands and floodplains bordering the river, emphasizing the importance of the Luangwa and its watershed.  Photos by Edward Selfe

LOWER ZAMBEZI

Conservation Lower Zambezi

CLZ is fortunate to have had the expertise and input from Invictus K9 in setting up and maintaining the DNPW Lower Zambezi Dog Unit. Since the inception of the unit in 2016, we have seen numerous successes. Invictus’ dedication to conservation is making large and positive imprints all over Africa and we look forward to continuing to work with them to protect wildlife in the Lower Zambezi ecosystem.

LIUWA PLAIN NATIONAL PARK

Time & Tide King Lewanika

Sky

NSUMBU AND LAKE TANGANYIKA

Nkamba Bay Lodge

Tanganyika Angling Competition 2018 – Nkamba Moments

 

Ndole Bay

Kalambo Falls on Lake Tanganyika:

The Kalambo falls are known to be the second highest waterfalls in Africa and the twelfth in the world measuring about 221 metres high. Besides its majestic beauty, the site has one of the longest history of human occupation in sub-Sahara Africa.

KASANKA NATIONALP PARK

Kasanka Trust

We had a very special visit from 12 elephants at Wasa Lodge today!

We had a wonderful Fishy Weekend at Kasanka! Thanks so much to Gemma Stotter for some amazing pictures, Briony Brennan, Mana Meadows and Nicola Greene for coming! Mofya Brighton is learning fast and will be guiding fishy visits in the future.