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Our guide, Rocky Simachila

Home Sweet Chalet

Neighbors in the Camp

Thornicroft Giraffes

African Royalty

SOUTH LUANGWA PARK xx   Who would have ever thought that one of Africa's largest game parks was in Zambia?  As we flew to Mfuwe, there weren't many roads and there were certainly no cars on what roads we saw.  Our guide, Rocky, met us at the airport and took us back of a safari open-aired truck to the Wildlife Camp.  We saw animals before we arrived at the lodge.

There was no chance to recover from the trip upon arrival or even to photograph the hundreds of yellow baboons that swarmed the river basin. We were off for a night safari. The night safari actually started at four in the afternoon.  On the first safari there were giraffe, kudu, impala, puku, zebra, wart hog, Cape buffalo, crocodile, and seemingly endless kinds of birds.

The next morning we got up at 5:00 to prepare for a morning safari.  Fortunately, there was a little for everyone.  We saw great lions with their cubs.  Africa didn't have the same kind of safety precautions that America and Europe had.  We were really close to those lions!

We also were dangerously close to elephants.  But, that didn't happen until we came back to camp.  A mother and two young came around the dinner cabin for their own lunch. They were right next to the place and at one point walked on to the patio.  At one point a few hours later, the bull elephant trumpeting right on my back porch awakened me.  I'd never been so close to a wild elephant.

We took four safaris while in South Luangwa.  On one we came upon the most amazing herd of Cape buffalo.  There had to be at least a thousand of them.  They crossed the road on their way to a watering hole as we waited.  (What else could we do?)  I stood up in the back of the truck to take a photo and nearly caused a small stampede.  Okay, so I learned you were not supposed to stand up.

One great night sighting was a lion pair.  On the earlier sightings in the day, they lounged around lazily in the sun. But, when the sun went down, they went on the prowl.  It was really fascinating to watch them so closely.  I didn't understand why we were safe in an open vehicle, but for some reason lions stayed away from trucks.  Thank goodness!

Want more on South Luangwa?

MARTIN
 
Copyright 1999 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved. ARTIN