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Leopards, lions & wild dogs in Zambia

We had a truly great time in Zambia – the whole experience was great and all three Robin Pope camps were as good as, if not better than, we had remembered. Our three guides, Duadi, Betram and Thomas were all excellent. We saw and learned so much from them and would like to pass on our grateful thanks to them and to the three camp managers for looking after us so well. A special mention must also go to Kalima for his spotting skills and sharp eyes!

Here is just a snippet of what we saw and experienced:

Luangwa River Camp with Duade - two leopard encounters, the second with a very fresh baby puku kill; a lioness and two very playful cubs on the trip back to camp one evening who were travelling to catch up with the rest of the pride - we saw them later and counted eight adults.   {img_alt}

Nsefu Camp with Betram - a walk out to get close to six lions which had been resting on the sand, followed by a walk to see what the hyenas (we'd heard them calling a lot) and vultures were so interested in, which led us to a smelly elephant carcass.  The conclusion was that the lions had killed it as it was ill or infirm and left the remains for the scavengers.  

Being visited in camp after our evening meal by those same lions, one very bizarrely had picked up on the solar lamps from outside Maureen's room and was carrying it by the handle as it walked off into the bush. {img_alt}

{img_alt} Nkwali Camp with Thomas - lots of birds, but the highlight of the trip had to be six wild dogs which were hunting a young female puku in the water not far from the camp.  We must have spent a good hour and a half watching the drama unfold as one of the dogs (we later found out a female) took the plunge to swim across to and eventually catch the puku after three attempts, drag it to the bank and then kill and start to eat it.  

{img_alt} She chased off vultures and a fish eagle to protect the kill for the other dogs who were all too cautious to get into the water - not surprising as there was a crocodile lying in wait for them.  When it became evident they weren't going to join her, she found an alternative route back to them which avoided the crocodile and them led them back to the remains of the kill - quite remarkable.  We also had a hippo walk through the camp on our last evening while we were eating.

John and Hazel travelled to South Luangwa National Park on a tailor made version of our Rivers & Rainbows trip in early February's 'green season' - a great time to view wildlife in the park