A stroll in the bush

Sorry for no recent updates but the internet over here is simply not good enough to cope with a basic text email never mind uploading a photo. However, my friend Jos has done some great sketches…talented lady, check out her website!
I spent the last week or so in Luangwa National park which is in the eastern province of Zambia. I was camping with Manny Mvula which has been amazing experience.  Manny used to be a senior guide (game ranger) in Luangwa National park so going out on driving and walking safaris with him was a privilege for me to say the least. Here is a‘snippet’ of what I have encountered, photos to follow as and when. For those of you who didn’t click on the link to Manny’s Elephant encounter posted previously, you simply have to check this out!!!
My nights…
– Elephants keeping me awake at night feeding off trees around my tent an bumping into the tent poles.– Hippos passing through camp at night Bellowing and Farting as they pass my tent (very very noisy and smelly)
– Lions Growling and Hyenas calling (Whooping) as they pass through camp
My days (walking with Manny)…
– One day we were charged by a male leopard
I have to say was so scary, intimidating and BEAUTIFUL all at the same time… the noise that came out of his mouth was Stunning… a combination of  a growl, a hiss and a spitting noise all coming from the deep back part of his mouth, the noise just echoed so deeply from his throat that it rattled your bones… it’s hard to explain but you’ll know what I mean if you’ve experienced this sound.
On another day we were out with an armed guard (ZAWA Scout) when we came across a lioness who walked right in front of us (30 metres away). She just looked at us and kept walking. My instinct was to walk the other way (sensible option) but Manny decided we should follow her (not a sensible option). We lost her in the long grass but continued to track her and then 30 mins later we found her back in the pride all lying under a tree hiding from the unbelievably HOT sun. 43 degrees here most days and the temperature is still rising. There was a male, 3 females and 5 cubs.  At first they didn’t see us but then they smelt us and all sat up and just stared at us. We were approx. 100 metres away which in lion terms is 10 seconds away if they decided to attack… just enough time to throw 203someone else in front of me before I climb the nearest tree and scream for my Mom he he… you only need to outrun someone else in your group not necessarily the lions he he. Anyway we slowly retreated and they just sat there and watched us walk away… A great and heart pumping moment. Seeing a pride of lions from a safari vehicle is one thing but seeing them on foot is completely different.
201copy – On the same walk (approx. 4 hour walk) we came across what we thought was 2 male buffaloes.
They didn’t see or smell us at first so Manny decided we should make a noise so not to startle them. We made some noise and the two of them looked up and just stared at us, they were really close, approx. 30m away. Anyway we slowly started to walk past them trying not to get too much eye contact but keeping a look out just in case…when all of a sudden another buffalo that we hadn’t seen EXPLODED out of a nearby bush and charged us. Our armed ZAWA Scout guard stood his ground but we were204 running away in all directions looking for cover … I dived behind a tree and under a bush waiting for the gun shot which I pleased to say never came. Well trained and very brave guard! The buffalo had turned away at the last second.  We crawled out from under the trees and bushes and continued on our way giggling and laughing like little girls as we went… loads of adrenalin in our veins he he.
309 copy

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