June 5th, 2014
My most memorable sundowner experience happened during my trip to Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. We were parked at a vantage point overlooking the river. In the river below we could see crocodiles and hippos. Suddenly we heard some commotion below, and then we saw that a crocodile had managed to capture an antelope. The noises! The splash of the water, the distressing calls of the antelope and then… silence. But we were not the only ones who had taken notice, more crocs and the hippos became interested. The razor backs of other crocodiles came gliding towards the kill from all directions and dangling legs were grabbed before the customary rolling began as the crocs attempted to rip the antelope apart.
Their feasting was interrupted when an enormous hippo came to investigate. Most of the crocs quickly disappeared but the original hunter, still holding the bulk of the antelope in his jaws, was not so willing to abandon his prize and stubbornly went snout to snout against the hippo. It was like they were having a staring contest to see who would blink first. The croc eventually lost as the more hippos started to arrive. He abandoned his kill and fled. But what surprised me even further was that the hippo, which I had thought was a herbivore, started to gently chew the antelope carcass.
If you think this was exciting, ask me about the leopard we then discovered had been watching us as we watched this!
March 5th, 2013
It was sheer excitement to plan another trip to Africa this past November. However, I was unfamiliar with my destination, Zambia, which borders Zimbabwe, Kenya and Botswana (three countries I have already visited). After a stopover in Johannesburg, we flew to Lusaka International Airport to connect to a charter flight on a Piper aircraft to our accommodations at the Royal Zambezi Lodge.
The private airstrip at the Lodge was newly paved with asphalt which is very rare. Most of the airstrips that border lodges are just a field of dirt and dust. The Royal Zambezi Lodge does charge other lodges for the use of the airstrip, as it is perfectly paved. The rangers patrol the airstrip for stray wildlife so as not to cause an incident while the aircraft is landing. (more…)
January 12th, 2013
In October, 2011, I was quite fortunate to be able to take a safari to Zambia and Malawi with African Travel, Inc. This entry is one of several that I will post about that unforgettable trip.
Friday, 21 October – Chongwe River Camp, Zambia
At 5am the camp staff woke everyone for the first morning game drive. Following the continental breakfast our group was assisted into the covered boat for a morning cruise down the Zambezi River to Tsika River Camp. This small camp located on the shores of the Zambezi has 3 chalets and a main lodge. In July 2010, Chongwe River Camp opened a purpose-built exclusive bush camp on the incredibly beautiful Tsika Island, allowing guests the option of a two- to five-day canoe safari along the lower Zambezi.
Located about 35 kilometers upstream from Chongwe, close to the village of Mugurumeno, Tsika Island Bush Camp can accommodate six guests in three bush rooms, each with en-suite facilities. (more…)