On our last morning at Lufupa we went fishing in the
Bert trying his luck with fishing in the Kafue River.
At 1010A we took off from the Lufupa Airstrip, buzzing the camp before turning north towards the Busanga Plains. Flying quite low over the plains, we saw quite a bit of wildlife from the air, as well as a large fish trap built in the style of a beaver dam, with a central outlet where the fish gets trapped in a cage. I also saw a flat, layered construction which turned out to be the racks on which the fish are dried. This kind of activity is allowed in the
An aerial view of the Lufupa Camp area with the muddy Lufupa River directly in front, joining up with the much larger and greener Kafue River in the background.
We reached our next camp, Shumba, after a short but exciting helicopter flight of about 6 minutes, across a portion of the floodplain, landing right in front of the very striking main building. The imposing main lodge and dining area at Shumba has a massive central bar, a large boma area with fire-place, overlooking the Busanga floodplain, and an innovative open-sided design which clearly works very well as we were there when the wind was blowing hard, yet there was hardly a whisper of it to be felt in the dining area.
The entrance to our room at Shumba
Part of the interior of our huge room at Shumba Camp
Lots of room and a massive double bed at Shumba Camp
Yet another view of the interior of the room
The view over the Busanga Plains from our room at Shumba
Part of the boardwalk which winds through Shumba Camp
Part of the lounge area at Shumba with the bar in the background
Looking out from the lounge area towards the fireplace & boma area
The plunge pool at Shumba
The lounge and dining room complex at Shumba
Both meals on this day were exemplary, the brunch consisting of corn cakes with a delicious filling, possibly avocado, sautéed mushrooms, a selection of sautéed peppers and a seed bread, finished off with a green salad. Dinner consisted of a broccoli curry, carrots and zucchini. Dessert was a fruit fondue. The starter was leek soup. The food was of 5-star quality.
Welcome back to camp!
The afternoon game drive was on the quiet side but we enjoyed it thoroughly with dozens of bird species, many hundreds of puku and lechwe, some buffalo, roan, a serval and genet on the way back.
A typical scene on the Busanga Plains
Sunset over the Busanga Plains
The combination of dust and smoke create an almost golden sun effect
Just a few minutes later, the light fading fast
Breakfast on the deck at Shumba
There were several choices every morning from 'porridge' (oats) to cereals, muesli, toast, muffins, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, juice etc.
On this day we went on a full day game drive to Musanza, a small Explorations Camp on the banks of the
Interior of one of the tents - used for the Kafue Rivers and Plains Explorations trip - at the Musanza camp site
Checking out some crocodiles on the opposite bank of the Lufupa River
The lounge and dining room tent at Musanza
Looking out towards the Lufupa River, from the lounge area
The camp site was built in an ideal spot along the river
Another view of the Lufupa River at Musanza
The Musanza site turned out to a real jewel: the perfect location right on the bank of the
The Lufupa River bank at Musanza campsite
More Crowned Cranes
Testing the wind...
On the way back we were treated to the sighting of the day, and of the trip so far, a female leopard and cub on a fresh kill. When we first saw them, both were lying at the base of a large termite mound which was overgrown with bushy vegetation. At first the cub ran off, but after about 15 minutes or so, responding to repeated entreaties from its mother, it returned. After exchanging a bit of mutual affection, the cub scampered off to gambol around the dead Puku, while the female leopard got down to another feeding session, attacking the carcass quite vigorously. There was no mistaking the power in those sleek limbs. After more than an hour, we reluctantly parted ways with the two gorgeous animals and set off back to camp. A very clear view of the Ross Turaco en route really made my day. What a bird, there’s every reason to describe it as bizarre, being mostly purple with a yellow bill and crazy red crest. We also had a pretty good look at a Bushpig, yet another new mammal for our trip list.
The female leopard which we found with a cub on a kill, not very far from the Musanza campsite
The leopard feeding on the puku carcass
It proved to be devilishly difficult to get a clear photograph of either of the leopards
There always seemed to be a twig or blade of grass in the way
Especially when I was trying to photograph the baby leopard
It was just a few months old but already acting just like a leopard, skulking around the undergrowth
A final look at the elegant cat before we had to depart back to camp
One of our guide Isaac's favorite spots on the Busanga Plains
Driving around the Busanga Plains can be a rather jarring event; hippos leave deep foot imprints in the mud towards the end of the wet season.
Dinner this evening was again 5-star all the way: a starter of vegetarian spring roll on a bed of fresh arugula; the main course being basmati rice with a lentil dhal. Vegan heaven.
A chilly morning at Shumba: we were all bundled up in as many layers as we had, for the morning game drive with Isaac. But before that we enjoyed a light breakfast consisting of oats with soy milk, toast, crumpets with syrup, fresh fruit salad, cold meat platter, muesli, corn flakes and rice crispies. Not to mention juice, tea, coffee etc.
Sunrise at Shumba
Bert trying to get a good photograph of the sun rising over the plains
Mornings in the Kafue were very chilly, the fire was a popular gathering spot
Kathleen checking out the floodplains from one of the 'Go Devil' boats which Wilderness Safaris use to get around the shallow water on the Busanga Plains.
Isaac was intending to take us on a short boat trip from the hippo pools, but our plans changed somewhat when we received word by radio of a large herd of buffalo, south of Shumba. Off we went bumping along the roads, littered with hippo footprints in the now mostly dry mud. Soon enough we came upon this sizable herd of more than 300 buffalo, with some impressive males, and lots of youngsters as well. They were eating voraciously on the green grass on the edge of the marsh, and some of them went splashing through the water. We had a good long look, took some photographs and then left them in piece, to return to the hippo pools.
Another view of the buffalo herd
Even lions are wary of taking on adult buffalo and it is easy to see why
A Pinkthroated Longclaw, one of the special birds of the area
A blackwinged pratincole - there were many of these rather unobtrusive birds in the area
Our 45 minute boating trip was fun and we got some excellent close up looks at hippo, who were very interested in our presence, especially when we ‘anchored’ in clear sight of them, enjoying our tea break while they were giving us the evil eye, not at all impressed with the new neighbors. We also marveled at the large numbers of open-billed stork in the area, many of which took to the sky when our rather noisy boat passed them by.
A hippo giving us the treatment at the hippo pools near Shumba
I never realized hippos had tongues that big
We passed by hundreds of Openbilled Storks in the wetlands adjacent to the hippo pools
Soon enough we found ourselves right in the middle of huge flocks of Openbill Storks taking to the air
More Openbill Storks in flight
A couple of Openbill Storks seemingly flying in tandem
An Openbill Stork doing a black egret impression
Later that morning we had to finalize our packing and reluctantly said goodbye to Ingrid and Rob, the managers at Shumba. They are running this camp like a Swiss watch, it is really spotless!