Photo Safari Report: Namit & Usha | Nkhonzi Camp | 20 - 23 Oct 2015

12th November 2015

I can't believe it's come along already...but the end of the season is here and we have had our first massive rain storm which has left the ground sodden and the roads very slippery!

What follows is a collection of images from a 3-day photo-safari with 2 guests from India, Namit and Usha, who joined me at Nkhonzi Camp for the last few days of the season. As the end of the season always is, it was dramatic and when I look back on the photos, I am astonished at what we saw!

It all started when we went to look for a pack of dogs who had been seen regularly in the north of the park. We set out from camp, and immediately bumped into a completely different pack of dogs, drinking from the waterhole behind the camp. They were in the distance, so we jumped out of the vehicle with the scout and walked towards them. I left my camera in the vehicle as there were other things that I had to concentrate on (!) but we managed to get to within 20m of them while the 2 pups played together and the adults roamed around, seeking out something to hunt. We followed them, and stumbled over a hyaena who was following the dogs in the hope of an easy meal. After a while, their long legs and superior fitness showed and we returned to the vehicle - a wonderful start to the day.

We set out in search of the other pack, and didn't have any luck before lunch. But after lunch, we found them resting in a disused warthog burrow. The pups were out and about and we enjoyed a couple of hours with them as they played and investigated things!





















As it grew dark, we set off in search of other things, and found some Marabout storks settling in for the night. The warm sunset colours behind them made a beautiful silhouette.



The guests were very keen to see leopard, and I scouted an area where I know a beautiful female can often be found. She was quickly located with the help of some puku, so we added a red filter to avoid disturbing her hunting.





As is usual when we are watching, we didn't watch her make a kill, but left her in peace. She seemed to have swaying teats underneath which would suggest she was feeding cubs and that makes it even more important that we don't restrict her chances of feeding.

The following morning, we set out to look for a pride of lions we had spotted in the dark the previous evening. We quickly found them by following fresh tracks and enjoyed a good couple of hours with the pride. The small cubs were staying close to mum.....



....while the sub-adults played together.





In the end, they all headed to a waterhole and settled down in the shade. It was a treat to see the whole pride approaching us across the sand.



And even better when the pride male got up and walked through a ray of morning light!



In the end, they all settled down to sleep but the cubs kept coming to check in with Dad, not that he was particularly pleased to see them!



Out final sighting of the week was a large bull elephant who we sat with for a long time. It was very dark by this point, so I decided to use a very high ISO, a slow shutter and try to recreate the old photos that were taken on film.



And so ends another great season in the Luangwa. I am already looking towards next year, and bookings are flooding in. I already have most of August and September booked up so if you are interested in a safari with me, please get in touch as space is filling up!

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