Monday, 9 September 2013


 We spent the first four nights of our Zambian safari at Tafika camp. A wonderful camp situated alongside the Luangwa river in the South Luangwa National Park.
Our lodge is pictured above and despite the en suite, open air facilities and lack of electricity was extremely comfortable. The sun beds were a nice touch, but there was no time for lounging. Despite an 05.30 wake up call every morning and two long game drives each day the early afternoon siesta time was spent watching the river and its inhabitants and the birds and animals which visited the camp each day.

Tafika is situated on a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the Luangwa river pictured above from the camp.  

 It's fair to say that the Hippo's are in charge here. The river is teeming with them. Their days are spent in the water and their nights are spent foraging for Sausage Tree seed pods and grazing very noisily on the vegetation in and around the camp. 

Our first encounter with these impressive but often grumpy beasts was at 06.00 on our first morning. We were unable to get to the breakfast campfire because a particularly large specimen had decided to park itself right in front of our lodge door. We were 'rescued' by a couple of the night watchmen who eventually persuaded the Hippo that it should be back in the river at that time of the day.
Here are some of the other mammal species seen in our first few days in South Luangwa.






While on a morning game drive we came across a large stampeding herd of Cape Buffalo and the more unusual sight of a Giraffe running in the same direction.

As the herd passed our vehicle we saw the reason why. At least four lionesses were snapping at their heels. It didn't seem like an all out attack on the Buffalo, more a test really to maybe identify a weak or young individual.

These Buffalo are big, heavy animals which would make a very good meal for the lionesses.

This one is licking her lips in anticipation I think.

I think Warthogs are great, especially when they run with their tails stuck straight up in the air. Carol says they remind her of bumper cars like that. I can see what she means. But I prefer the theory that their skin is stretched so tight that every time they blink their tails stands up.

Anyway, pictured below is a Hyena cub and remarkably it is living with its family in a den which is shared by a Warthog. I thought this was a tall story until I watched the Warthog emerge from the den closely followed by the two cubs.

Above and below are some pictures of a young Leopard cub. We had a couple of good sightings of it and its mother during the day and again at night. More pictures of them next time. 

Sundown over the Luangwa River, enjoyed with a Gin & Tonic sundowner.


Greenie said...

Phil ,
Really enjoyed that , hope parts 3,4,5,etc are posted soon .
Great Leopard cub and running Warthog .
Impressive Lion and Buffalo shots .
Cracking read , just needed a sundowner in hand to make it perfect .

Bob Bushell said...

That was superb, Phil well done.

Alan Pavey said...

Great experience Phil, look forward to the next instalment, great pics.

Chris said...

Wow this was probably a unique experience, both in terms of life style and photography... Wonderful first post on it... We want more ,-) Fantastic..

Mike Attwood said...

Wonderful stuff Phil thats what I call holiday snaps.

Marianne said...

WOW. Fabulous stuff, envy-inducing in the extreme. Off to seek out part 2 :)