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Wild dog days in the South Luangwa Valley

Here in the Luangwa Valley life is scurrying along with its usual pace leaving no one sitting for too long or without any great gaps between animal sightings. Big and small we have been feasting this week on a wonderful variety of mother natures’ gifts.

From the small amusements of a rather strange possessed Bulbul which spends its lunch times ferociously attacking the wing mirrors of Rob’s car…it would appear that maybe it sees something really handsome and is after it. Despite the mirrors being tilted in, he continues his obsession over his reflection! Then onto a battle between an adult and an immature Martial Eagle involving some incredible mid-air acrobatic.

In camp, activities started a couple of days ago when I was happily spending some time in my container (a storeroom) when David the tailor shouted out at me, “Ems Ems – come quick”. So thinking that there was a problem I leapt like a gazelle out of the container only to come face to face with a cobra which he had found basking in the sun on the steps to his office and dutifully chased off! Both cobra and Ems scattered off very speedily in opposite directions! Nkwali has been surrounded by elephants which has been wonderful for game viewing but caused one or two other problems when it comes to getting around, as discovered by Obi. On the day in question, he strolled around the corner of a building into a large grey bottom, well you have never seen him retrace his steps quite so quickly!

As for game-viewing in park, well it has also been pretty nonstop but with one particularly successful morning viewing of wild dogs. Out on an all-day game, Daudi was in no rush to get anywhere fast so was quietly and gently taking his time exploring the bush, but it had not been long before he spotted a small pack of 5 wild dogs. The dogs looked rather active and slightly puckish so Daudi and his guests decided that they would stick around to see what would happen next. And indeed they were not disappointed as what was unveiled over the following couple of hours was some pretty exciting game viewing.

To start with the dogs decided to see if a close and easy treat of impala was going to be readily available to them; however they were disappointed by that so wound up taking in a little shade and water at a neighboring lagoon. Feeling rested and ready to go again and with a few little whoops and bounces of excitement they headed off using the combretums for cover. Staying put, Daudi and his guests watched the events unfold as the dogs then started to chase another impala straight towards where they were sitting.

The dogs took it down, making the kill just meters from the game viewing vehicle. After hearing some rather graphic crunching everyone decided to start the car up and head up onto the main road to see if they could get a better view from another angle, having done this and parked up in the shade the dogs then also moved into a cooler position right in the line of sight. Absolutely magical! By now all the excitement had got everyone a little ready for morning tea and cake so moving off to a safe and slightly elevated distance they parked off and had their cake whilst watching the dogs.

The other exciting news is that the Alpha female of the pack was looking rather round so hopefully in a few months’ time we will have some youngsters dashing around later on in the year.

Right, so I think that on that note there is very little else that is going to be quite so exciting to follow up with so I shall bid you all a fond farewell for another week and hope that everyone has a good one.

Experience Zambia at walking pace by heading to Robin Pope Safaris and booking some Africa time.

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