Office Africa – July 2016
Another month comes to an end in the South Luangwa National Park, or Valley as we like to call it, it’s bewildering that we are already in the middle of our 2016 season! July has flown by and graced us with amazing sightings, we could almost call July the month of ‘Carnivore Conflict’ but we’ll let you scroll down to read about it all. Winter has followed its course and the temperatures have risen towards the end of the month. We’re now enjoying comfortable days, and warmer nights where you don’t have to worry about layering on too much for your evening game drives. The Luangwa banks are still emerald green, though the water level continues to drop and the sand banks in the river grow each day. The areas inland have not dried up as as quickly as previous years, possibly due to the late rains, leaving the last lazy hippos in their own private, little plunge pools. They too will soon be obligated to return to the River, as with all the other animals, in their search for water. The second level of the Hippo Hide was installed, and our Guests have enjoyed observing the action on the water – at eye level!
In last month’s newsletter we promised you photographs of Mwamba Bushcamp and the surprise we had there, well we always keep our promises! Just two months ago we wrote of the monumental task we were faced with at Mwamba this year: removing the huge, fallen branch of an African Ebony tree.
Decay had set in to the bough and it collapsed, completely covering our bar and main dining area and it was fortunate that it occurred when no one was in camp. Losing that branch brought additional headaches too, for although we have gained a greater view of the stars during our dinners, we have lost some much-needed shade during the day. The Shenton Safaris team pulled together and came up with a solution: at the beginning of the month we put up a large sail. This sail gives us back some shading during the day and adds a lovely atmosphere at night, when it is illuminated by lanterns, adding to the ambience of our softly lit dinners, under a canopy of stars.
We are busy with some other projects at Mwamba, and will have more to report in the future. July has been a busy month for all our visitors at Mwamba, be they Human or other! The Wild Dogs have been spotted a few times close to the Bushcamp, and on one occasion two even ran through the main area chasing Bushbuck! We are receiving daily visits from the Elephants, particularly at night when they decide to indulge themselves on the Gardena Bushes. A crocodile decided to move into our Last Water Hole, which promises some interesting action for the months to come, when more and more of the game come to the Hide for water. We already have frequent visits from large herds of Buffaloes, Elephants and antelopes. We’re hoping that as all the other sources of water become scarce we’ll get to see the herd of Eland, that have been roaming the plains close to Mwamba, come visit us here.
We are so proud to annouce that both Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bushcamp have been nominated for the 2017 Safari Awards (The Good Safari Guide annual awards). All the Safari Awards Judged have been appointed by the previos years’ awards winners and finalists, and are unquestionably the most highly-respected, knowledgeable independent tour operators selling safaris. The judges sit at the head of the Good Safari Guide, ensuring that the lodges, camps and operations presented both in the Guides and in the Awards really are the best in Africa. We have been nominated in 9 categories for the 2017 Safari Awards. Voting is now open so please click here for Kaingo Camp and here for Mwamba Bushcamp. Some of the nominations that we are particularly proud of are; Best Guiding Team, Best Walking Safari, Best Ecologically Responsible Property and Best Value Safari Property
This season our guests have already borne awestruck witness to many instance of competition and as the season continues, we expect to see many more. Malaika and Chiphadzuwa will fight over the same space until something or someone gives. The Numbu boys will fight the Nsefu/Hollywood boys until their boundaries are marked in blood; it is the way of competition. Inter-species competition and intra-species competition both have as their base, the struggle to survive. This struggle includes day-to-day access to food, water, places to rest and of course the freedom to reproduce and raise offspring in a safe environment. Most intra-species competition occurs within territories; the area that is demarcated by means of scent and sign marking and defend against members of the same species (usually the same gender). Whilst most inter-species competition occurs on home ranges, usually a larger space that surrounds the territory and is where the day-to-day activities occur. Between the large predators it’s all about eliminating your competitor; competition between Lions and Hyaenas, or Leopards and Hyaenas here at Shenton Safaris are the most commonly observed, but Guests have also had great sightings of Lion and Leopard interactions too. Lions will attack and kill, where possible, any of the other predators that they encounter and this includes the smaller, more omnivorous species too. Lions have been observed digging Hyaena cubs out of their dens, whilst the Hyaena themselves will actively seek out the hidden places where a mother leopard has secreted her cubs.
Our Guests have had the chance to bear witness to all these types of conflict: A lioness climbing a tree to steal a carcass from a leopard, a leopard being chased up a tree by a pride of lions, Chiphadzuwa and Malaika up a tree and Hyaena’s leaping at them, one biting Chiphadzuwa’s tail! This list carries on and on, and every time we get the chance to relive our Guests exciting sightings through them. It’s been magical! One of the best stories we had was from a couple that had spent one of their nights on the Elephant Star Bed. They awoke in the morning to 15 Wild Dogs howling to them from the Nsefu sector, as the Kaingo Pack was underneath them. Imagine that! 21 Wild Dogs all around you howling back and forth at each other!
Send us your footage…
Shenton Safaris – Pictures of the Month
Because sometimes nature can be epic.
Have you been to visit us recently? Have some time free? We’d love to read the review of your stay! Just click on the link below to the Camp that you stayed at.
If you are visiting us this coming season, don’t hesitate to contact us with any question on what to bring, what to expect at the airport, how do our transfers work etc. If you are booked for a safari with us and feel tempted by the Sleep Out experience, there is still time to book a sleep out option. For more information and rates, you can email us at email@example.com, or inquire with your agent. We love hearing from you and it also helps us prepare to make your stay even better. You may also consider filling some empty space in your luggage with much needed supplies for the local communities. For an update on what is currently in need, visit Project Luangwa’s “Pack Something Extra” page.
Our next newsletter will come at the end of August. Most of our blogs are written by our guides, they are out and about with guests all day (remember we have three activities a day rather than the standard two), so they have a lot to share with you and the blog serves as a great representation of what you can experience whilst with us, so you will get the day to day essence of a safari with us.
2017 Safari Awards
We are so proud to announce that both Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bush Camp have been nominated for the 2017 Safari Awards (The Good Safari Guide annual awards).
All The Safari Awards Judges have been appointed by the previous years’ awards winners and finalists and are unquestionably the most highly-respected, knowledgeable independent tour operators selling safaris. The judges sit at the head of the Good Safari Guide, ensuring that the lodges, camps and operations presented both in the guides and in the Awards really are the best in Africa. Voting is now open so please click on the links below to vote for one of our properties.
We are very excited to have been nominated in the following categories for the 2017 Good Safari Guide Awards.
The Good Safari Guide award nominations are in and we have been nominated in 9 categories for the 2017 Safari Awards. To vote for us in this award please click:
- here for Kaingo Camp www.safariawards.com/lodges/kaingocamp/
- and here for Mwamba Bushcamp www.safariawards.com/lodges/mwambabushcamp/