We were up and about at 0545 on Saturday August 15, for an early morning walk in the Chindeni area. Plans changed when we got word that a large pride of lions had been spotted in the Kapamba area. Off we went driving for about an hour, crossing the
Sunrise at Chindeni
One of the three males in the Kapamba pride. This was not the 'fleece-stealing' lion.
Two of the females in the same pride
We were alerted to the presence of the pride by this female, walking across the 'beach'
And then lying down
Starting to settle in for what may be a long rest during the warmer part of the day
To round off the morning activity, we embarked on a 35 minute walk through the woodland, with Peter discussing various interesting things en route, such as the fruit of the fried egg tree, animal rubbing/scratching posts, grape plant (vine-like plant which releases clear water when cut), tactics employed by elephants and warthogs to get rid of ticks, lucky seeds, a warthog home in an aardvark burrow, etc. It was a very interesting and relaxed walk, with a few small mammals scattering upon our approach.
Kathleen and I visited two other Bushcamps during the siesta break: Bilimungwe, a typical
From Bilimungwe, we traveled a fairly short distance to Kapamba. It is likewise a small 4 room bushcamp, with large open rooms (stone walls) with enormous sunken baths. Guests are able to walk in the
Part of the lounge area at Kapamba Bush Camp
The dining room at Kapamba
A bedroom (double) at Kapamba
One of the twin rooms at the same camp
Different view of a bedroom at Kapamba
The huge sunken bath at Kapamba
A solar oven at Bilimungwe Camp
A nice lookout point at Bilimungwe
Inside of a room at Bilimungwe
The dining area at Bilimungwe
The lounge and dining room at Bilimungwe
Tea was taken at 1600 and we then departed on an afternoon game drive. Today’s drive was quite the opposite of the previous day: almost right away we started seeing things such as elephant, several with tiny babies, kudu, & more. One of the highlights of the drive came very early: a stunning Painted Snipe male, in great light not too far from the vehicle. One could clearly see the golden sheen on the wings. As pretty much everywhere, the Painted Snipe is a rarely seen bird in the
We had several good sightings of elephant on this game drive
The elephant clearly wanted to protect its baby from any potential danger
And then one that got a bit aggressive with us
No harm done
Once it was dark, the drive got even better when we spotted two hyenas at the base of a large tree. Peter noticed that they were active and predicted that there may be a leopard in the area. Practically right away we noticed the remains of an impala high up in the tree, with a young leopard (unfortunately obscured by branches) feeding on it. Literally seconds later William spotted the eyes of a large female leopard in the grass below and behind the tree. With the vehicle repositioned, we had a relatively clear looks on the leopard, and I got some decent photographs. At one stage the leopard tried to get closer to the tree, was briefly pursued by one of the hyenas and then scampered away.
The leopard whose cub was feeding on an Impala in a tree nearby
Sunrise at Chindeni with the Chindeni Hills in the background
We went back to check on the previous night’s leopard sighting. The now rather smelly remains of the impala was still in the tree, but there were no leopards lurking anywhere. A mile or so further on, we parked the vehicle and went on a very nice, relaxing walk along the
Just another day at the office for our very capable guide Peter
Single file is the customary 'formation' for a walk in the bush, with the game scout followed by the guide, and the guests following.
There is always something to be learned from a pile of elephant dung
Taking a break for drinks, halfway through our walk in the Chindeni area
Standing on the banks of the river, we looked down on a crocodile nesting site, with the remains of some egg shells everywhere to be seen. Peter remarked on the breeding behavior of these massive reptiles; how the females lay about 80 or so eggs, keeping an eye on the site until the eggs hatch, and then transports the hatchlings in her mouth to a quiet backwater where they grow to fingerling size before going out on their own. It takes young crocodiles up to 3 months before they eat anything. They have many natural predators including other crocodiles, large fish, various birds, and the long term survival rate is only about 4 percent. On the way back to camp we encountered several elephants, including one which we had seen earlier, with a hole in his ear. I got a few useful photographs.
A last look from the elephant with the hole in its ear
By we said goodbye to everyone at Chindeni and took a short drive to the crossing point over the