Welcome to another glimpse into the goings on here in the Zambezi Valley over the last month. The cooler temperatures have meant that game drives having been leaving a little later than normal but with blankets and hot water bottles at the ready none of our guests really felt the chill as we headed out in search of wildlife.
The month started off very positively with a record number of leopard sightings being enjoyed almost nightly by our guests and guides. The lion had moved out of the area and this gave the smaller predators a chance to move around more freely. The guides were fortunate to watch leopard hunting impala, on a few occasions although unsuccessful it is always astounding how this cat can literally disappear while you are watching them, using all the cunning and camouflage available to outwit their prey.
Later in the month we spotted a leopard female and her approximately three month old cub as they rested in the warming morning sun. The little cub although still shy provided us with a great lbeit distant view as he rested in the open on a high ridge.
There have also been some great sightings of some of the larger herds of buffalo that have started to use the areas on the valley floor with regularity. It is always fun sitting amongst these large bovids as they move to or from water. The noises, smells and sights are a truly African experience.
Lion sightings have been simply outstanding this month, with roaring filling the evenings in camp and the pursuit of tracks and lions following on game drive in the morning.
The two GMA Males have been very active in their territorial patrolling and we have been treated to some great sights as they spent alot of their time in the company of a lone lioness along the Nkalange Channel. They were joined by two sub-adult members of the GMA Pride, These two or three year old lions are in great condition and completely at ease with the game vehicles.
These were not the only lions that were seen, the large Central Pride that has their core territory alot further east from us, was also seen with regularity and it was always a special sighting as the pride is made up of 4 sub-adult lions, 1 sub-adult lioness and 4 adult lionesses. There are also 2 pride males and as reported last month there are also new additions in the form of 6 cubs. That is a total of 17 lions!!!!
If that was not enough the best was yet to come, we received reports that a large elephant bull had died close to one of the dambos in the east of the park. We decided to investigate and were pleasantly surprised to find the entire Central Pride at the carcass. The elephant appeared to have been killed in a fight with another bull and the lions were taking full advantage of this huge meal. The pride is still feeding on the carcass and the photo opportunities are amazing.
We will be seeing alot more of this sighting in the coming days and should hopefully be treated to some truly special photographic opportunities.
General game sightings and birding have been really good of late with Zebra, Waterbuck, Kudu, Impala and Baboon being seen regularly. The morning light has provided some unforgettable images of our feathered friends.
Hopefully that has left you wanting to come and explore this wonderfully wild and completely untamed piece of Africa with us.
The Chongwe Guiding Team.