Office Africa November 2013
It is no longer from the sunny banks of the Luangwa River that I am writing you today’s newsletter, but from about 11,000 km away, on the 6th floor of an apartment building in my home-town in Belgium – and today, under a particularly grey sky!
Our 2013 safari season is now behind us, camps have been packed and the new thatched roof of Kaingo’s dining area already finished. It’s always amazing how quickly everything gets sorted out at the end of the season! No to say that we don’t miss the bush already, I know I do!
So going back to our last newsletter, you are probably wondering if the rains finally came? The answer is yes, and NO! The camps closed on November first, without any major rain, at least not in our area. Then on November 2nd, when Yvonne and I were sitting for one last time in the Mwamba hide (the staff was about to take it apart), it started raining – not seriously, but the smell of wet earth was amazing.
Also amazing was the fact that for our last visit, the Mwamba-Kapanda pride was waiting for us, to say goodbye! All 8 lions were there, including the growing “survivor” cub!
It is only on November 3rd that the Valley faced its first real thunderstorm of the season, and I was glad we no longer had guests in camp. It was a deluge in only 30 minutes! In the villages, roofs came off and it didn’t take long for trails to be flooded.
Some of us had to leave the next day, and I was remembering the expedition of last year, when Derek had to tow us most of the way down. But this year, it was not as bad, and James safely drove us down to the airport, with barely any delay. Then it went dry again, it was only a tease. From what I hear from our friends in Mfuwe, the temperature is still quite high, and no sign of real rains. I think this will change soon, at least we hope so, as our staff is quite anxious to plant their maize!
I would like to share with you the pictures of two of our last guests of the season, Sue and Rob, who were with us for 9 nights, until closing day. In that time span, they had some incredibly interesting sightings, and I think the pictures summarize well what our 2013 season was like! Just superb!
First they saw lions, a lot of lions. Lions hunting for – or being chased by – buffalos. Including this amazing sighting of a male lion in full vertical stand, facing the furious buffalo.
Then they saw more lions. This time they witnessed a lioness trying to cross the river, only to be chased by a hippo!
And then, well yes, more lions. Hollywood cubs of course, whom we already met in last newsletter. These cubs were a joy to watch until the very end of our season. Wondering what’s up with them now…
They also saw leopards. At least once a day if I recall correctly.
And a leopard kill. Or to be correct, the unfortunate fate of a hare, running straight into the mouth of the leopard.
Then they spent time at our Hippo Hide watching Useless Croc. You may remember our crocodile trying to catch game coming down to drink, this was back in September and October 2012. Well it was back, and still as useless as before, from what our guests witnessed (who knows if hit really is the same croc of course).
It was 9 very busy days for Sue and Rob and I hope they will continue to share more pictures of their many sightings.
Another interesting moment is related by guest Phil Branham who was with us last August. It is this interaction between a tawny eagle and a blacksmith plover who attacked the bird of prey repetitively for over 10 minutes, harassing it for being in his territory.
It’s quite something to see the eagle’s expression on some of the pictures.
The tawny eagle finally gave up and flew off.
Another fight was caught on camera by guest Eleanore Avery, also in August. Eleanore and our guide Pat saw two leopards having a fight, while a hyena was lurking nearby (must be some food involved there somewhere!). One of the leopards took refuge up a tree.
Fantastic photos! Thank you Eleanore!
Finally coming from our long term return guest Peter Lemon are these great pictures of some of our staff, a great tribute to their hard work this season. Thank you to each and everyone of our staff, for their incredible work, and smiles!
I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of our guests to post your reviews on Trip Advisor, if you haven’t already done so. It will help us in keeping an up-to-date ranking, which depends on the regularity of new postings.
Please click on the icon below, for Kaingo and then Mwamba, and you will be taken to the relevant form. Thank you!
In our travel notes, we announced last month the impending government proposition of a 16% VAT charge on tourism packages. This has now become law, as the Staturory Instrument was published a few days ago; clarifications regarding the exemption on bookings pre-sold before 31 December are being sought by the industry. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any question.
Our domestic airline Proflight has changed some of its schedule for next year. Not all three flights Lusaka-Mfuwe will be operating on a daily basis anymore, and some days it may be more difficult to connect between Livingstone and Mfuwe, so don’t hesitate to contact us for exact availability and routes.
Every season we host a few photographic workshops hosted by professional wildlife photographers. A few openings are still available on the following tours.
C4 Images & Safaris will host an exclusive 7-day workshop (reserved to 3 participants) on June 7-14, 2014.
Isak Pretorius, who has already been with us on several occasions will host the workshop.
C4 Images and Safaris will be back on July 14th, for a 6-day workshop with Isak Pretorius and Judith Gawhen. Judith was with us twice this year.
At the very end of the 2014 season Oryx Worldwie Photographic Expeditions comes back from November 1st to 6th, with a photo workshop guided by either Marius Coetzee or Greg du Toit.
Both photographers have won numerous awards, with Greg du Toit winning the prestigious 49thWildlife Photographer of the Year award (co-owned by the National History Museum and BBC Worldwide).
Both Marius and Greg are return guests at Kaingo and Mwamba and we are delighted to count them amongst our avid supporters. Here are some great photographers from Marius, taken while on safari with us.
And now is the time to congratulate the winners of the November Picture of the Month competition.
We had chosen EXPRESSIONS as our theme, in search of photographs where animals not only had eye contact with the photographer, but also where we could feel a particular emotion. Well done to Richard, Sam and Phil for their pictures below.
NOVEMBER 2013 WINNER
By Richard Barrett, July 2013
Settings Nikon D4. 1/250 sec at f/10. Focal 400 mm. ISO 200.
NOVEMBER 2013RUNNER UP
By Sam Cox, October 2012
Settings. Canon EOS 7D. 1/500 sec at f/5.6. Focal 400mm. ISO 800.
NOVEMBER 2013 RUNNER UP
By Phil Branham, October 2011
Settings: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. 1/320 sec at f/4.5. Focal 420mm. ISO 160.
The last theme of the year will be NIGHT (entries to be received by December 20th, 2013)
Email your pictures (under 500kb please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that they must have been taken while being a guest at Kaingo or Mwamba.
That’s it for me, for now. The season is over, but I still have A LOT of pictures and mostly videos to sort through and edit before I can share them with you in our next newsletter. We will catch up in a month or so.