Well, we are half way through the year!! We cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, the cool evening and morning temperatures however keep reminding us that it is winter in the southern hemisphere. The cooler temperatures have led to us leaving a little later in the morning as the sun is only rising well after 06h00 in the morning. However it has been a little easier getting out of a lovely warm bed when you know that there is a special sighting out in the bush waiting for you!
The ongoing territorial dispute between two different male lion coalitions raged on this month with neither pairs taking a back step. On a night drive we were lucky enough to view a confrontation between the two pairs that has seemed to have settled the dispute for the time being. The older, GMA Males, chased the younger challengers for over a kilometre roaring and ensuring that the challenge to their territory would not be taken lightly. Since then we have not seen the two younger males in the area and the guides all feel that the older males have succeeded in defending their patch.
The sighting that we all enjoyed was seeing the new cubs of the pride that occupies the central part of the reserve, this pride is made up of nine lions and the new cubs were seen at their den site with their mother in attendance. We only managed to get a glimpse of two little lion cubs which are estimated to be about a month old. It is believed however that there are two lionesses with a total of six cubs. The pride has their core territory quite a distance from us but when there is the chance we will be making every effort to go a look for these brand new additions.
There were two sub-adult lions spotted just upstream along the Chongwe River, these two cats spent the day resting on the shady banks of the river before heading west again. We believe them to be members of the GMA Pride.
As mentioned earlier, we have been very fortunate when it comes to leopard viewing this month and have had phenomenal luck in finding these spotted beauties. On one occasion we spotted a young female who had recently killed an impala and was resting in the boughs of a large Nyala Berry Tree. This leopard was seen on three consecutive nights as she finished off her meal.
The Lower Zambezi National Park must rate as one of the premier elephant viewing destinations in Africa and this was once again proven this month with elephant viewing being the highlight of many excursions out on safari or even relaxing in camp.
On the 23rd of the month we had full moon here in the valley, however this was no ordinary full moon which in itself is something quite breathtaking but this was a yearly occurrence that is called the supermoon. The moon’s elliptical orbit around the earth meant that this full moon was the closest to earth this year and this meant that the full moon would appear 16% larger than a normal full moon. Sitting on the river as the large red planet rose over the dark waters of the Zambezi was breathtaking.
We will see you again next month with more exciting tales from the bush!
The Chongwe Guiding Team