News from Zambia – September 2018

The introduction to this newsletter is the morning chorus along Lake Kariba.  You will hear the Fish Eagle joining in our wake-up call.  The Fish Eagle is Zambia’s national emblem, being depicted on our flag.  The photograph is of some ladies selling local fruit along the road through the Zambezi Escarpment on the way to Lake Kariba.

Weather

Although we had an unusual cold spat during the month when we even had some frost in Livingstone, September is the start of our hot season.  Temperatures generally reach mid-30s during the day.  This does mean that visitors have to take care to keep up their water intake.  Always have a bottle of water in your bag.

September is time for flowers on many trees and shrubs.  Driving through the countryside I am struck by the reds, yellows and pinks which appear on the hillsides during the hottest and driest time of the year.  We have usually not had rain for 3 months and will not see rain again for another 3 months.  This, of course, is a survival strategy for many plants.  By producing flowers now, the seeds will set and be ready to drop as soon as the rain falls.

With all the flowers around there is plenty of pollen in the air, and, if you are like me, you will find yourself sneezing quite a bit.

The Zambezi River

The Zambezi River is dropping fast still.  Whitewater rafting is at its best along the gorges below the Victoria Falls.  The Victoria Falls are drying up on the Zambian side.  The main channel of the Zambezi River runs on the Zimbabwe side and most of the water is channeled down Devil’s Cataract.  On the Zambian side, to see the majesty of the Victoria Falls it is a good idea to take a trip to Livingstone’s Island on the lip of the Falls.  From this point you can see the length of the Falls and the rainbows forming in the gorge on the Zimbabwe side.

The Parks

The parks are all very busy.  Wildlife sightings are good as the grass has died down and many trees have lost their leaves.  The Carmine Bee-eaters are nesting in the banks along the Zambezi and Luangwa Rivers.

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 Victoria Falls are drying up on the Zambian side.  A few trickles still persist but the basalt which reaches down through the earth’s crust is clearly visible.  It is amazing to see the plants which have managed to cling to the rock face even though they have been hammered by the force of water during the previous months.

I was also mesmerized watching the water cascading over the section known as the Armchair Falls … so I took a video of that too …

 

The River Club

Everyone has that ONE wild friend!

Meet Sox, a resident hippo at The Elephant Café. A young bull who looks like he might have a photography career coming up! This hippo is, of course, given wide birth and it is likely he will join a pod back in the Zambezi soon.  Photo c/o Anant Ganesh Patel

The Explorer Club Africa

The Victoria Falls Waterfront and the David Livingstone Safari Lodge have been linked with a new walkway along the Zambezi River.  The footpath weaves its way between the magnificent Ilala palms and over two bridges.  Now, guests can move freely between the lodges and experience both entertainment areas.  The Victoria Falls Waterfront is known for its lively bar where rafters congregate after a long day riding the rapids down the gorge or the David Livingstone Safari Lodge with its sedate, calming atmosphere to wind down from the heat of the day.  But, watch out for the hippos …

 

Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge

Last night’s sunset skimmer surprise, after a glimpse of an elephant on the island and a fish eagle standing on the river’s edge…

 

AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Bernie and I went to The Boma at AVANI during September.  You can read more about it by clicking on the photograph.

Livingstone Island & Devil’s Pool

It’s a Friday today

 

KAFUE NATIONAL PARK

Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp

Thank you Nick Atchison for this awesome collection of bird sightings from Nanzhila…birders, enjoy!

 

Kaingu Safari Lodge

Two sides to every story or a split personality? Thanks Stephi for the great pictures from Tuesday evening.

A bit more birding action from the last few days here at Kaingu Lodge. An unusual rock climbing Finfoot.

 

Mukambi Safaris

Mesmerizing to watch these Great White Pelicans fishing in front of our boma at the Busanga Plains Bush Camp. Back and forth in a rythmic co-ordinated dance.

Serval dashing off with its scaly prey – as captured by our guest Luc Baerkelandt this week – fantastic sighting.

Fantastic images from our Fig Tree Camp Manager, Laura Sinnema on a recent game drive from Mukambi

 

McBrides’ Camp

Beautiful bushpigs

 

 

 

Spider orchid

 

Konkamoya Lodge

Meet the African animal version of Zorro – the civet. Saving the day (and the night) at Konkamoya Lodge.

The 2 brothers blocked the road, and “posed” for some epic photos.

 

Zambian Carnivore Programme

It was a good morning for Kafue’s Twin Palm Pack and their pups–catching an adult female hartebeest and a bushbuck!! Video by M. Becker

SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Kafunta Safaris

Another stunning photo by our guest Katrin Martin! The black & white gives such a special feel to the texture and peacefulness of the scene.

Reaching up high to get those delicious treats! Petra Kurth

 

Wildlife Camp

The Wildlife Camp Zambia is truly a wildlife camp. With a pride of lions yesterday occupying some shelters and even underneath the elephant hide.

At no time were any of our guests in danger and this experience will be remembered by them for a very long time.

Elephants crossing the Luangwa in front of The Wildlife Camp at sunset yesterday. I never get tired off this.

 

Abdulaziz Adam

Wild Africa in Luangwa National Game Park.  Eastern.Zambia.

G: Such a great video. Thanks for sharing Abdulaziz Adam.

 

Remote Africa Safaris

A relaxed pack of wild dogs trot around us during an afternoon drive.

It’s the time of year when space in the Luangwa River is at a premium and whatever outlying water still in existence is usually occupied by at least one testy male hippo who’s been ousted by the dominant males in the main channel!

 

Thornicroft Lodge

How would you caption this picture?  Photograph by Frank Weitzer

 

The Bushcamp Company

When the sun sinks below the horizon, and daylight fades, many safari enthusiasts pack up their cameras. However, as Roy Sussman clearly illustrates, a lack of natural light need not mean the end of the photographer’s day. With planning, minimum intrusion, and creative use of artificial light, Roy discovers a new world of photo opportunities, skillfully capturing atmospheric scenes and exciting nocturnal action.

 

Gavin Opie Safaris – Nkonzi Camp

How much fun is this baby elephant’s bath time?

 

Robin Pope

Safari Diaries.  Baboons throwing a wild beach party at Robin Pope Safaris

How lucky was our Luangwa Safari House guests who got to see Ginger and his brother Garlic recently while out on a game drive?

 

Edward Selfe Photo Safaris

Safari Journal: my latest trip report – including this playful pair – now live on my website. Follow the link in bio for the full 16-night story.

G: Click on the photograph to see some amazing photographs taken by Ed on his website.

 

Zambia Carnivore Programme and Conservation South Luangwa

Early morning flight preparation CSL and ZCP.

LUAMBE NATIONAL PARK

Luambe Camp

Ed Selfe’s photographic trip recently captured some beautiful shots of a Pels Fishing Owl as well as some excellent carmine bee-eater sightings. “Carmine Coffee” is now underway and you really don’t want to miss out on this absolutely unique experience!

LOWER ZAMBEZI

Potato Bush Camp

He was so calm and let us admire him. An amazing moment in the bush…

Sausage Tree Camp

Taking pictures from a canoe. A unique perspective

 

Anabezi & Amanzi Camp

This week has been action packed with exciting sightings and we are thrilled to share these pictures from @mattfoyn who got to witness a pack of dogs hunting an impala!

 

Royal Zambezi Lodge

Where elephants like to take the stairs

 

Baines’ River Camp

Apparently one of the biggest fashion trends of the season is leopard print clothing….. Nailed it!!

 

Conservation Lower Zambezi

A visitor at CLZ’s operations room, asking for permission to come in.

Do elephants count as “Operations Staff”?

KASANKA NATIONAL PARK

Kasanka Trust Zambia

We have decided to start off Bird Month with the Böhm’s Bee-eater (Merops boehmi) as it a region-specific bird and Kasanka is extremely fortunate to be in one of those regions. This little bee-eater is one of the most geographically restricted bee-eaters in Africa.

Breeding season for these bee-eaters is from August-October, and unlike most bee-eaters, their breeding cavities are found in flat soil, with a burrow approximately 1 m.

Their diet is primarily made up of Hymenoptera (which includes: ants, bees, and wasps). Approximately 20% of their diet is made up of honey bees. They will also eat flies, butterflies and grasshoppers.

Despite being regionally restricted, the Böhm’s Bee-eater is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN as it has a healthy and stable population size.

NORTHERN ZAMBIA

Ndole Bay Lodge

An awesome catch from the Brennan family with a 24kg perch! Thanks for the great pic.

Visit Ndole Bay Lodge on Lake Tanganyika over a full moon to see the most amazing moon rises over the lake.

NORTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Shiwa Safaris by Mark Harvey

Abandon back !!!

Love the ox peckers but what is even more wonderful is the little Pied Wagtail in the bottom right going: “Oh, here they go again they never learn”

 

BANGWEULU

Bangweulu Wetlands

The water is receding everywhere and it is getting hot! Soon large parts of the swamp will be completely dry and animals will start moving deeper in the swamp. These Black lechwes are enjoying one of the best permanent ponds around Chikuni. And the best part is that you can now observe them from the deck of our new Shoebill Lodge! Check out our Services Page to learn more about the facilities on Shoebill Island!

COPPERBELT

Mindola Dam

A fantastic turnout at yesterday’s charity fishing competition. 26 teams entered (76 people fishing) with teams coming from as far a field as Solwezi, Ndola and Chingola on the day. It was great to see so many Junior fishermen taking part as well. A total of 259 fish were caught and released … some decent 20 pointers were landed but none were weighed in for the biggest fish prizes.

 

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage

Leila is feeling so at home lately that she even walks boundaries with the volunteers checking for fence defaults !

WESTERN ZAMBIA AND LIUWA PLAIN

Liuwa Plain National Park

As the dry season approaches in earnest, the once extensive streams and natural pans that cover the landscape during the floods, start to dry up and shrink.

Although a dire situation for the wild fish that inhabit these pans, these areas become a welcome fishing ground to large flocks of pelicans and Liuwa’s traditional communities.

This particular flock of pelicans were sighted at Kings Pool.

 

Angle Zambia

An extraordinary catch by Sam Crookes! Our new camp record of an 11lb Humpback Largemouth. The official world record is 8.5lb for this species … so it’s possible Sam is holding the unofficial world record! Congratulations Sam!