Photo Safari: Serge & Juliette | Nkhonzi Camp | August 2015

28th August 2015
Our first evening drive appeared to be a leopard-based event! Always good for photographers who always go weak at the knees at the opportunity to take shots of these spotty beauties. And it's not hard to see why when we get sightings such as this.

After seeing him in the early evening, we returned to the area after dark to see if he had any luck hunting...he hadn't but we were lucky to see him stalking and chasing warthogs.



Here he made a chase towards a warthog who was just appearing out of a burrow.



His efforts were somewhat hindered by the arrival of a hyaena who did its best to disrupt the leopard's concentration - the leopard was pretty clear with his attitude towards the hyaena!



Eventually, he wandered off to try his luck elsewhere.



We decided to check back with him in the morning, hoping that he might be feeding on something he'd killed in the night. We found him, but he was still on the ground, wandering around, apparently looking for a meal. It's probable that he did make a kill in the night - leopards eat all sorts of things including birds, small rodents and reptiles, so he could easily have snacked in the night, but not had any luck with the big prize of a large mammal.







We left him in peace, knowing that our presence would not help his cause!

Later on, we came across a group of 5 hyaenas, resting in the shade. We weren't sure why they were there because there was no sign of a carcass or den, but they might have finished feeding in the night.





Returning to camp, a small eagle took off from a dead tree, and showed the long narrow tail, small face and feathered legs that leave no doubt that it's Wahlberg's Eagle....my first sighting of this intra-African migrant of this season.



And there was still time for my favourite bush activity....taking shots of a Lilac-breasted Roller in flight. The light was perfect for this one, so we kept our cameras ready and waited for it to spot an insect on the ground and launch off to grab it.







That afternoon, we took a drive to a different area - the grassland floodplain along the banks of the Luwi River. It gave us lots of elephants, and a a good sighting of retreating honey badgers, but the highlight was a lovely zebra foal with his mother in the long grass.



In the dark, we seaarched for Lesser Galagoes (Bushbabies) in the miombo forest around camp. Their movement is best described as a kid's bouncy-ball with a mind of its own. They spring around in the trees, often leaping 3 or 4 metres with no apparent effort.



The game around camp is becoming much more familiar and we are now seeing some of the more unusual mammals that our camp will become know for - Lichtenstein's Hartebeest, Eland, Common Duiker, Sharpe's Grysbok and Common Reedbuck are now seen almost daily at the spring south of camp. There are few (if any) camps in the Luangwa that can claim to see these unusual antelopes so regularly.



On our way to Lion Camp, we stopped for our tea break along the river as a group of 6 juvenile giraffes appeared on the sand opposite. We enjoyed 30 minutes watching them messing around and occasionally getting a fright from a crocodile resting in the shallows.







Out of the bush, a hippo and her calf appeared and crossed the shallow water seeking a place with water of suitable depth for a small calf to rest without having to swim all the time!



And to top it all, we spotted a large male lion near to Lion Camp. He was alone - the rest of his pride were in a nearby glade of trees - as he had killed a small hippo and was feeding on it alone!





It is amazing what can be achieved in a short time in Luangwa - if you would like to experience it for yourself, please give me a shout on the contact form.

Comments

Photo comment By Flavia: What a lucky safari!

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