Travel News Around Zambia
October 2018

The introduction to this newsletter is the Trumpeter Hornbill.  They are fruit-eaters and, at this time of year, are happily flying between trees to eat the fruit and seeds.  They are very common at the AVANI Resort. The photograph above is of the Zambezi River between Livingstone Island and The Royal Livingstone.

Weather

October is a month of change in the weather.  The days start warm, getting hotter by the day.  In Livingstone I recorded a temperature of 44ºC (111ºF) when visiting Taita Falcon Lodge on the edge of the gorge.  After reaching its apex temperature, the wind starts in blusters.  The first clouds are wispy, often racing across the heavens.  And then come small cumulus clouds like cotton wool.  Finally, the cotton wool expands and goes grey; it becomes overcast and small pockets of rain fall here and there.  We have a tradition in Zambia that we will always have one good rain shower before Independence Day on 24th October.  Not every place got rain but several regions have had that welcome downpour.  After the first rain, temperatures drop to a balmy 30-35ºC.  But it does get hot again, until the proper rain falls in November.

The Parks

The bush is drying up, the rivers at their lowest level.  The wildlife in the parks will visit the remaining water sources for a drink, making sightings by visitors much easier.  By the end of the month the trees have pushed out their new leaves, ready to make the most of the coming rain.  It is incredible how many shades of green there are.

There are lots of baby warthogs; the wildebeest will be arriving in Liuwa Plain where they will have their young.  The bats are expected in their millions to Kasanka National Park where they will stay for a few months, gorging on the available fruit.

The birds are putting on their breeding plumage and busy finding a mate and building nests.  There is a lot of chasing in and out of the trees. The migrants from north of Africa and from Europe are arriving.  For me, in my garden, I await the arrival of my Levaillant’s cuckoo who visits me every year – it is an intra-Africa migrant and will have spent March to September in West Africa, a journey of around 4,000 km.  In Lower Zambezi look out for the Osprey which has travelled, probably from northern Europe – twice as far as my cuckoo.

The Rivers

The Zambezi River is at its lowest now.  During October we had the Whitewater Rafting Festival held in Livingstone.  I went to Livingstone Island to see the Victoria Falls from there as most of the Zambian side is dry.  The Luangwa River is a mere trickle with waterholes along its length where the hippo vie for a bit of space.

 

The Safari Awards

The Safari Awards, sponsored by The Good Safari Guide, are more about excellence than just being ‘very good’ or ‘better than most’.  The results for 2018 were published in October.

 

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

The good news for visitors to Livingstone is that our side of the Victoria Falls has got a bit of water!  Between National Heritage Conservation Commission, Ministry of Tourism and Zambia Electricity Supply, less water is taken from the Zambian side for power generation.  This has allowed some water to come over our precipice, much to the enjoyment of our visitors.  So, well done, those people …

 

 

Meanwhile I went to Livingstone Island.  To read about my trip click on the photograph to the right.

Click on the photograph above to go to the story page

 

Zambezi Elephants

AWOZ Bernie was on the river during October and took this short video.  While the Zambezi is low the elephants are always crossing and re-crossing the river, in and out of Zimbabwe and Zambia, and visiting the islands in between.

 

The Explorer Club Africa

Safari Par Excellence and The Victoria Falls Waterfront co-hosted the Zambezi Whitewater Festival.  It was a huge success with lots of photographs, so I have put it on a separate page.  Click on the photograph to the right to read all about it.

Click on the photograph above to go to the story page

 

Doron Wallach‎ to Northern Rhodesia & Zambia Group, or (the NRZ)

G: Livingstone in 1910.  The Grill family were also the people responsible for the Capitol theatre.  Goodness knows where the canon went but it could be one of those in Livingstone Museum.

 

AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

The deck of the Royal Livingstone is under a huge Acacia albida tree.  At this time of year, the tree is dropping its seed pods, known locally as ‘apple rings’.  These seed pods are a delicacy for many animals, especially elephant.  While on the deck at the Royal Livingstone during October, three elephants crossed the river and came to eat the apple rings.  Guests at the Hotel kept their distance as the gentle giants enjoyed their feast and then moved further down the river.

 

Kayube Estates

For the few members of staff having to work at Independence Day there was a treat and our Junior wanted to have a photograph taken of the occasion to show the others what they had missed out on, he said.

 

Taita Falcon

I went for lunch at Taita Falcon during the month.  The view is spectacular down into the gorge.

Here are two photographs of the river, one in May when the water is at its highest, and the other this month when the water is at its lowest.

KAFUE NATIONAL PARK

The Mobile Safari Company

Serval pouncing on a rat

 

Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp

We’re into our final stretch of the 2018 season and what an awesome year of game viewing its been! Here are just some of the past months highlights below..

 

Mukambi Safaris

Ever seen a very happy crocodile!? I simply adore the smiling face on this riverside reptile.

 

Kaingu Safari Lodge

Rains!!! This a.m. Quite a decent downpour.

 

Mayukuyuku Camp

Leopard sunning itself on the rocks opposite camp.

SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

The Safari Awards

G: I have taken a photograph from each website.  

Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs was awarded Third Place in the Best Value Safari Property

Time & Tide

Time & Tide did extremely well.  Chinzombo was highly commended for its design, came third place for its spa and was highly commended in the Most Romantic category.

Norman Carr

Norman Carr (part of Time & Tide) was placed third in Best Safari Guiding Team and highly commended in the Best Walking Safari.

Robin Pope

Luangwa Safari House was highly commended in the Best Safari House category

 

Wildlife Camp

Migrant pelicans flying in to join the buffalo for a drink as the elephants meander by …

Wildlife Camp had a colorful character, by the name of Charlie, roll into camp… driven by Laura Morrison, nicknamed Morri.

This 1958 Morris Minor has traveled from New Zealand to Scotland via ferry boat, driven thru France & Spain, floated over to Egypt, then driven thru Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, & Zambia. Morri will travel next to Botswana, Namibia, & finish in Cape Town, South Africa.

1 in 4 Kiwi’s (from New Zealand) get Melanoma (Skin Cancer) and this is how Laura’s father Neil died. Her grandfather, Charlie, had a Morris Minor like this one that her father gave to her. Laura’s collected donations go directly to CANCER SOCIETY AUCKLAND NORTHLAND DIVISION for cancer research.

Motorheads will note that the original numbers-matching engine block powers this blue beauty. There have been some modern add-ons like: an extra coil, a Mini distributor, a new carburator, & an extra electric fan on the front side of the radiator (it gets HOT in Africa).

 

Zikomo Safari

The Lilac Breasted Roller just one of over 400 bird species in the South Luangwa National Park

 

Remote Africa Safaris

Photos for second week of October.  Guide: Bryan, Camp: Tafika.  Posted by Bryan Jackson

October is a very dry time of year but it’s also the time when much flora come into flower. This Large leaved poison rope (Strophanthus kombe) has its beautiful flowers on display at the moment. The latex of the plant contains ‘Strophanthin’, a toxin which slows the heartbeat and was used by bushmen to make poisoned arrows many years ago. Photo credit, Bryan Jackson.

 

The Bushcamp Company

It’s that time of year again!

Wild mango fruit season at Mfuwe Lodge is never dull!

Taken this afternoon at Mfuwe Lodge.

… and the latest entry in the Mfuwe Lodge show-jumping competition is . . .

Photo taken from the Mfuwe Lodge deck this morning by Ian Salisbury

Best family portrait ever!

(and just a warning – there are likely to be many more photos of baby warthogs posted over the next few weeks, as they are the most adorable babies in the world in our opinion)

photo by Ian Salisbury

 

Gavin Opie Safaris – Nkonzi Camp

October is Zambia’s hottest month, so these animals are making the most of what is left of the river!

G: Not the best video from Gavin, but it does show how low the river is in October.

 

Robin Pope

How would you caption this photo?

Picture credit: David Rogers Photographic

 

Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust

A three-week old yellow baboon was found clinging to the dead body of his mother after she was killed by a leopard close to the Kapani Offices in Mfuwe. He was rescued by a night watchman and kept safely overnight. The next morning office staff at Kapani named him Norman after the late Norman Carr, the famous conservationist and founder of tourism in South Luangwa. After acquiring permission from Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Anna picked him up and took him to Chipembele’s animal rehabilitation sanctuary to begin the long journey of raising Norman to return to the wild. Anna and Steve ran into a major obstacle five days after Norman’s rescue, however. Norman slipped out of the front door and was whisked away by Galaxy, a 3 year old baboon reared by Anna and Steve as an orphan baby who has been living with a wild troop for 2 years. Galaxy ran away with Norman clinging tightly onto his underbelly. Anna and 2 members of staff ran after him but couldn’t keep up with the quick baboons, who disappeared into the bush. After a few hundred metres, Anna and Chipembele staff ran into elephants in thick woodland and were forced to turn back. Anna and Steve were heartbroken, knowing how milk-dependent Norman was and how unlikely it was that a lactating female would feed him. Surprisingly, Galaxy returned to the house with Norman after two nights and Anna coaxed Galaxy towards her to retrieve Norman. Anna swooped him up into her arms with massive relief! Although little Norman was very weak and exhausted, he was otherwise okay. What an adventurous start to this little chap’s life!

LUAMBE NATIONAL PARK

Luambe Camp

Thanks to our guest Joschka Voss who took these great photos of elephants during his recent stay

LOWER ZAMBEZI

The Safari Awards

Photographs from their websites

Time & Tide

Chongwe River House was runner-up in the Best Safari House category.

Royal Zambezi Lodge

Royal Zambezi Lodge was highly commended in the Best Spa category.

 

Potato Bush Camp

Canoeing down the Zambezi river is one of the highlights for our guests. Peace, tranquility, silence, adrenaline rush and sightings from an unusual angle all make for one of the most memorable safaris.

 

Mvuu Lodge

Well done to all our anglers who fished at Tiger Cup this past weekend. We thank you and all our sponsors for your valued support.

A huge thank you to those of you who bought juniors, we had a record of 9 junior anglers this year, it’s hard fishing for the kids and we are proud of each of them for their perseverance.

 

Anabezi & Amanzi Camp

Up close and personal with an endangered species is an honour.  Guests spotted this juvenile Crowned Eagle not far from camp

 

Baines’ River Camp

When all you want to do is nap, but your kid has other plans……..

Don’t be fooled – those short legs can move extremely quickly, making hippos very fast !!

KASANKA NATIONAL PARK

Kasanka Trust Zambia

The silver medal goes to the videos (we combined them into one) of a Mama Water Mongoose and her Kitten.

Camera Traps have been playing a bigger role in wildlife conservation over the years. They have given conservationists proof that rare animals are still breeding, the discovery that animals long thought to be regionally extinct are still around, and have even lead to the identification of new species.

In addition, camera traps are allowing NGOs like Kasanka Trust to showcase what is happening on the ground. It opens the window to allow others to experience and see things that many do not usually have the opportunity to enjoy.

NORTHERN ZAMBIA

Ndole Bay Lodge

A different kind of visitor to the lodge. A beautiful chameleon!

These species come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change color.

Chameleons’ eyes are independently mobile, but in aiming at a prey item, they focus forward in coordination, affording the animal stereoscopic vision

Elephants of Kala Bay.

The Kala Bay cruise is our most popular activity from Ndole Bay Lodge. You can view some game by the shoreline, throw in a fishing rod to try your luck and go for a short walk up the Kala Bay sand dune by the old Kasaba Bay Lodge which was a favorite spot of Kenneth Kaunda when he was president back in the 80’s

BANGWEULU

Will Burrard-Lucas

A prehistoric-looking Shoebill photographed in the Bangweulu Wetlands, Zambia.

COPPERBELT

Mindola Dam

This Saturday’s Game Park Trails will be officially safe and secure. The Commodore has spared no expense in hiring top Security dogs, Inspector Bumbeard and his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Wonky.

 

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage

Do you think Leila and Grace are enjoying their new group life? If you never heard a chimp laugh, make sure you have the sound on as Leila cannot control herself while Jack Is tickling her. Grace can be a bit jealous as she hates when she is left out, but she usually has her chance to play later too

WESTERN ZAMBIA AND LIUWA PLAIN

Zambian Carnivore Programme

The Liuwa pride of lions out in the plains. Photos by Shadrach Mwaba

 

David Hoskins‎ to BirdWatch Zambia

Liuwa Plains. Not the best pics, but one of the best places in Zambia for the big water birds, waders and rapters. Here are a few shots including Secretary bird, Marabou Stork, Wattled Crane, Crowned Crane, White Pelican among others. Peak season for Liuwa is mid-November to mid-January, until the sandy tracks become impassable. GPS essential.

 

African Parks

Prince of the plains of Liuwa: A young sub-adult lion recovers after an unfortunate and prickly encounter with a porcupine in Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia. This handsome two-year-old male lion is one of the cubs of Sepo, the female lion who was reintroduced to the park in 2011 – the quills will eventually fall out and he should be fine – just humbled from inexperience.

Photo: Daan Smit / Zambian Carnivore Programme

 

Zambelozi Island

Yesterday ·  ·

Sioma Falls

LUSAKA

Elephant Charge

Every year the Elephant Charge takes place in a location near Lusaka.  It is a ‘race’ around a tortuous track by cars and motorbikes in a location which is kept secret until the day of the event.

It may seem a contradiction that vehicles belching out fumes should actually be helping conservation, but they do.  The event raises thousands of dollars each year which is split between all the conservation organisations throughout Zambia.

Team Autoworld took first prize in the Gauntlet of the Elephant Charge

 

Elephant Charge is with Nick Hodgson and 10 others.

We were all still recovering from the Elephant Charge 2018!

Some more cool pics from volunteer photographers Keith Hempshall and Shaina Irwin. Thank you!

 

Lusaka National Park

Just to remind you that Lusaka National Park is open every day, from 6-18 hrs

 

Game Rangers International

The nursery herd orphans enjoy a mud bathing session as the visitors observe them from the viewing deck. Visitors to the Lilayi Elephant Nursery in Lusaka receive an educational talk about elephants and conservation, whilst having the special opportunity to watch the orphans drink their milk bottles and socialise with one another.

Flora

ZambeziFlora & Dabuyu Farms

 

Waterfalls

‎Nicko Wightman‎ to Zambian Waterfalls

Two smaller waterfalls on the Kalungwishi River in northern Zambia, the first two pics are of Kalonde Falls north of Luwingu and the the last pic is of Chimpempe Falls.