The Zambezi River
Elephant Back Safaris
Horse Back Safaris
Open Vehicle Safaris
White Water Rafting
Tiger and Fly Fishing
Elephant back Trails
CITIES & TOWNS
In depth synopsis
TOUR & SAFARI Co's
Very prolific along most of Zambias rivers,
lakes and dams. It is the only reptile that shows any maternal instinct. In September,
when the water is low, the female will dig a hole and deposit between 45 and ninety eggs,
perfectly timed to hatch before the river rises and floods the nest site 3 months later.
She will guard the nest site against predators (monitor, honey badger and even hyaena).
After three months the young emit a small squeaking sound from the eggs. She then removes
the topsoil which they would be unable to penetrate without her help.
The unborn young have a bony tip on their
snouts to help them cut through the tough shell which soon after birth is absorbed and
disappears. As they break through the shell she collects them in her mouth and carries
them to water. Even though she continues to care for them for several weeks after
hatching, only one percent are likely to reach maturity. Small crocs feed on insects and
other invertebrates, medium crocs on fish, mostly barbel (catfish) and only the larger
ones take mammals coming down to the rivers to drink, often as big as a buffalo. They will
readily attack a person in the water and many local fishermen have
prey to their
jaws. The slender snouted crocodile Crocodilus cataphractus, occurs sparsely in the
Luapula / Bangweulu area.
rivers and lagoons, these enormous lizards can grow up to a length of almost two meters.
They are sometimes spotted on overhanging or partly submerged trees along riverbanks. They
live in holes in the ground and forage on crabs and insects, but often raid birds nests
and crocodile nests.
COMMON WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS IN ZAMBIA