ZambiaWritten by admin on October 31st, 2009
Tuesday 19 May
Due to time and funds we had decided we wouldn’t do much in Zambia, except for go to South Luangwa National Park. Yesterday we stopped off in Lusaka overnight and today at Mama Rula’s just outside Chipata. We had a couple of beers with Martin, a biker who we met in Lusaka who was biking around the world.
Wednesday 20 May
We drove the final 130km to South Luangwa today, which took 3 hours; the dirt road started off OK, but then became pretty crap. We arrived at Wildlife Camp and were initially given a room, which was very nice. Then we went to look at the campsite and asked if we could move, as it was a beautiful spot, right on edge of the river, overlooking a hippo island.
We were taken on an evening game drive into the Park. We saw an incredible mount, including elephant, wild dog, lion, hyena, leopard, hippos and much more. However, it was a little like being on the M25, especially when it got dark and the spotlights were turned on, as we could clearly see the convoy of vehicles that were driving the same circuit. When we found a leopard we were soon joined by a number of other vehicles and they all lit him up like a Christmas Tree, by which point Marc’s blood pressure had started to go through the roof, feeling stressed for the leopard!
Friday 22 May
Yesterday we had a morning game drive, where we saw less, but also fewer vehicles. We chatted to the owner and then relaxed for the rest of the day.
Today we made the very short drive to Nkwali Lodge. This was very luxurious, but without being over the top and with open fronted rooms overlooking the river. Shortly after we arrived we also had a look at Luangwa House, which is for exclusive use of groups of 4-8 and is seriously grand with its own staff and each en-suite bedroom in a unique style, like wood, glass, brass!
We had lunch and then went out for an evening game drive with our own guide. We didn’t see much, but it was very peaceful, as there were no other lodges driving the area and we stopped at great viewpoint for sundowners.
Saturday 23 May
Today we visited another lodge, before having a game drive to the more remote bush camps. On the way we saw a big male lion. When we got close to the bush camps we were met by staff and an armed scout in a small fibreglass boat that they poled across the fast flowing and hippo filled river; we didn’t feel very hippo proof! We had lunch t one of the camps before making the journey back.
We were going to have the afternoon off and give Kanga, our guide, a break, but then they told us the Wild Dogs had been just across the river in the morning, so 45 minutes later (allowing Marc just enough time to have a quick migraine) we were off again. This was probably our most enjoyable drive, as we found and then just sat with the dogs until they became active and then started hunting impala, which was very exciting. There was also a guest appearance from Robert the warthog, who had been orphaned and hand reared by one of the guides, so is semi-tame. He emerged from a storm drain and in a fairly surreal scene wandered around between the two vehicles of photographers with such confidence and total disregard for the dogs that they didn’t know what to make of him.