Barking baboons and slithering snakes at Luangwa River

Robin Pope Safari recently welcomed a new member to the team, Michael, and his first week was certainly a busy one!

Michael is currently hosting at Nkwali, and then will be scooting up to our Mobile Walking Safaris when we open that for the season in June. During his first few days, we decided to send him off to Luangwa River Camp to see the camp, meet the team and learn the ropes. In the true, unpredictable style of South Luangwa, it was not long until he found himself in the middle of the action. 

When you’re in the wild, barking baboons are often a good indicator signal before a leopard sighting. So, when Michael and few of the other guys suddenly heard the local troop of baboons going crazy, they poked their heads around the fence to see what was happening. While there was no leopard in sight, the baboons were not letting up and something was clearly agitating them.

With their curiosity piqued, the team began investigating. The baboons appeared to be looking at something on the floor and were tentatively attacking it. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a 3m long python, coiled tightly around a young baboon. The rest of the troop were attacking the snake in an attempt to free their comrade.

Michael and the rest of the team noticed that the python was a breeding female and made the decision to try and save her from the baboons, which were clearly not letting up. All the options were evaluated and finally, the decision was made to physically remove the snake from the area.

She was pretty shaken up, bruised and had a few superficial wounds, and by this stage was starting to lose interest in the food. Michael carefully picked her up and moved her to a nice quiet bush behind camp and away from the baboons, where she could lick her wounds, recover and get ready for her next meal.