Things were starting to get serious here in South Luangwa. It seemed the rain would never arrive and the wildlife huddled close to every source of water available. Just as we began to think that Zambia would get no relief, the rain finally arrived and every animal breathed a sigh of relief.
Now that the Emerald Season is upon us, our guests have been treated to some lovely sightings. Things are heating up and as a result we are seeing plenty of animals exposing themselves as they stick to the shade or just going all out and wallowing like nobody’s watching.
Sightings of wild dogs have been plentiful, including a couple of very full and very sleepy ones just taking some time to digest. Even the hyenas, round and pregnant, can be seen cooling off in pools of rainwater, trying to deal with the heat. The lions (which appear to be everywhere at the moment) are doing what lions do best and that is show off their round tummies as they try to cool down.
The elephants seem happy and relaxed and can be spotted sleeping through the midday heat in the shade, using whatever slopes they can find as their makeshift bed so that it is easier for them to get up when the time comes. The impala took the rain as a sign to drop their young. It is always so special watching these little once scamper around with boundless energy and wobbly legs.
Just the other day we witnessed a fantastic elephant sighting at the point in the river, south of our Tena Tena camp, where we drive over it. Over 100 elephants were peacefully plodding up from the river using a hippo run. They were predominantly bulls with a few cow herds mixed in for good measure.
As they reached the bank they created a bit of a bottle neck causing the elephants to start tussling with each other for space. At one point, one of the elephants nudged another a little too hard with its tusk and it actually snapped off with a great, unexpected CRACK! It was quite a sight and sound to behold as I’m sure you can imagine.
It just goes to show that in South Luangwa, there is always something that can surprise and enthral you.