Game Report: Zambia

September 17, 2012  By: Gretchen

Our friend Emily at Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia wanted to keep us in the loop now that things are in full swing for the season – here is their latest game report. Keep an eye out for new Zambia itineraries in 2013 where you can visit some of these camps!

As I sit writing to you this week, the office is slightly on the toasty side! The fan is whirring at full speed and all the loose papers on my desk are desperately trying to take off from underneath the various weights keeping them under control. Yes the heat has arrived! Evenings are no longer spent snuggling under the duvet but rather throwing the duvet to the other side of the room and waking up in the middle of the night wondering if you are dreaming about the heat.

But enough of that, secretly we actually all love it!

So what’s been happening? Well unsurprisingly it has been pretty flat out with the game performing at every single given opportunity. The Nsefu Sector has been living up to its name! Nsefu means eland and there has been a lovely large herd which are becoming more and more visible, although still rather nervous so they have been viewed at a distance. They are pretty impressive. The big males standing tall and easily making the landrover look rather small.

Lunga lagoon is once again a hot spot for all animals as the dwindling water supply provides a brief relief for all those passing through and residents alike. Great herds of buffalo coming down to drink, smaller but more frequent herds of elephants moving through and fish eagles keep their beady eyes out for the fish in the shallow waters.

We have Will and Lianne, a film crew, here for the year filming the camps so Rob and I “unfortunately” had to go out on an afternoon game drive with Bertie! As you can imagine we were not terribly upset at the hardship. People always say that working with animals is difficult but it has to be said on this instance the elephants did exactly what we wanted them to do, walking right in between us all.

From Nsefu, I had a rather excited radio call from Polly as she came back from a bush breakfast with stories of lions which was a real hit for everyone involved, and while sitting at the bar at Tena Tena, there was a thunder-like sound which turned to be a pod of some 30 odd hippos making a rather quick dash from their “sun loungers” back to the cool of the water.

Luangwa River Camp has had some great game viewing as well with elephants throughout the camp enjoying the shade of the trees and munching through the fallen ebony fruit. We’ve had regular leopard sightings in the park which are always a great highlight too.

Seeing as I have covered most of the camps, I am going to abandon Nkwali news for this week, and we are going to take a very fast trip up to the northern reaches of the park and sneak a peak at mobiles. This year we have really had some phenomenal sightings up there! I would in fact say that this year has been better than quite a few previous years with guests coming back so excited about seeing such varieties of game and all on foot. Lion, leopard, eland, wildebeest, hartebeest, elephants and all the smaller plain game. Rob and I are hoping to head up during the course of the week so I will get some more news from the team up there.

So I think that is it for this week but I will leave you with a photo on a lovely sighting of a female leopard and her cub that performed for the cameras for over an hour, so relaxed – it was a photographers dream!

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