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Trip report: South Luangwa Photo Safari 1-8 October 2018

As nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts we are constantly looking for new adventures and destinations.  Destinations that will take your breath away.  Places that are wild, undisturbed and still fairly unspoilt and exclusive.  South Luangwa is one of those places.

During the first week of October, three guests and myself travelled to South Luangwa, spending the first three nights at Tena Tena Camp and then the next four nights at Nsefu Camp, both in the private Nsefu sector.

South Luangwa has been documented as having some of the highest densities of predators in Africa, so naturally this was going to be our main focus during this safari.

After landing at Mfuwe airstrip, we started our road transfer to Tena Tena Camp which started off through the local villages before entering the game management areas and eventually into South Luangwa National Park.

Eager to explore the beauty of South Luangwa, we briefly stopped at our Camp before heading out on our first afternoon game drive.

We could not have asked for a better start to our Safari as a few minutes into the drive we came across a pack of Wild Dogs, causally resting in the shade of a big Mahogany tree.

The days in the Luangwa Valley during October are very hot, with temperatures ranging between late 30 degrees Celsius and early 40’s but this is also some of the best time for game viewing, with the seasonal water sources having dried up, forcing the majority of the game towards the Luangwa River.

As the Lioness kept on approaching the small group of Buffalo Bulls, they eventually panicked and started running through some fairly thick bush.  Naturally this triggered “hunting mode” for the four Lions who had been waiting patiently, and before we knew it we were in pursuit of witnessing something special.

After an incredible three nights at Tena Tena it was hard to imagine how we could possibly top what we have seen, but yet again Nsefu did not disappoint…

We found the Female Leopard by herself on a few occasions, patrolling the surroundings of Nsefu, looking for a potential meal.  She had stashed the Cub away as she went about her business, leaving us puzzled as to where this much sought after Cub could be.

On our second to last morning we again headed out, hoping to find this Leopard and Cub that we have invested so much time in.  It was the sound of a troop of baboons as well as Vervet Monkeys that alarmed us that there must be a predator in the area.  Finally our hard work paid off as we found the Female Leopard and her Cub with a fresh Impala Kill in a Sausage tree.  Again what unfolded was to date one of the best Leopard sighings I have ever had.  We spent the entire morning as well as the afternoon with the two of them, giving us incredible photographic opportunities.  From feeding on the kill, to playing on the ground, it had EVERYTHING!

Apart from incredible predator densities, South Luangwa is also known for being home to the Migratory Carmine Bee Eaters who nest in the banks of the Luangwa River.  We had the luxury of having access to a nearby hide and although these incredibly fast moving birds proved to be a challenge to photograph, they provided us with endless entertainment and thoroughly tested our photographic skills.

Everything you read about South Luangwa and all the fuss that is made of this incredible destination is true.  It certainly has stolen my heart and I cannot wait to return in 2019.

If you love Predators, if you’re looking for diversity, and if you want to experience a wild, undisturbed destination, then click here and join me in 2019 for what will be another amazing experience.

Click here to watch the full video of our amazing trip.

Thank you South Luangwa, it was an absolute treat!

Johan

 

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