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Kafue Current Affairs: July week 4

The Dandajena family from Newport, Wales decided at the last minute to add a short Zambian safari to their Vic Falls holiday itinerary. Time was precious and they could only spare 2 nights and as the nearest lodge in the Kafue to the Vic Falls, they chose Nanzhila. Our wildlife came out in force to welcome them with multiple sightings of wild dog, serval, genet, zebra, warthog, all the antelope species that the Nanzhila area is renowned for, as well as elephant and porcupine. Lions were roaring around at night and they left us some lovely feedback: “ Thanks for sharing your wonderful place with us, the fauna and flora was special. The food was amazing, the best service ever”.

Other notable sightings this week included eland, wild dog (again – second appearance in 3 weeks), a lot of sable and roan on quite regular basis.

Chalet 2 has a new hat! During last rainy season we had a direct lightning strike that caused the thatch to catch fire. Thanks to the quick action of the staff we were able to save the building and it now has a sparkling new thatched roof.

Are things starting to warm up a little or is it just wishful thinking? The nights are still chilly but the days do seem to be getting warmer and the grazers have started to seek the shade during the heat of the day. I understand that this year we’ll be under the influence of “La Nino” and that we may well have early rains? The impala seem to think so as they are already showing signs of pregnancy. We will have to wait and see!

Kafue Current Affairs: July week 3

1: There has been a lot of lion movement around and even IN camp. The Mafuta pride is 7 strong and very settled allowing quite close interaction. The Eastern Pride is at least 9 strong but more skittish, probably in light of their proximity to the Eastern boundary. The Mafuta’s in fact relaxed around our fireplace last week entertaining us all throughout the night with their roars!

2: Towards the end of July and early August the pregnant Litchenstein Hartebeest start separating from the herd to drop their young. A few have been born already. Most female Hartebeest seem to fall pregnant annually and it is not surprising to see herds nearly double in size nearly overnight. Warthog are another species that we can expect to start dropping soon. Plenty of food then for our cheetah, leopard and lion populations!

3: Most of the annual burn is now complete and we are starting to see a lot more Sable and Roan than in May and June as they come out on the grassy drainage lines enjoying the new grass.

4: DPNW have just completed most of the grading of the arterial road and loops in the area, including the bad sections between Dundumwezi Gate and the lodge and then the road north via Kalenji Track.

Two cracking weeks of game viewing

The last 2 weeks at Nanzhila Plains have produced outstanding game viewing with our valued guests discovering a variety of wildlife and bird species.

To visit and explore a remote wildlife wilderness is always special and when combined with unique sightings, it really does leave you with wonderful memories of the Southern Kafue.

Our run of great sightings began when 3 cheetah killed a young kudu just at the back of camp. The carcass was then visited by a leopard, hyeana, civet and a few more smaller creatures. However, most of these visitors were only caught on camera traps! But since then, we have seen lion (including a new large male), excellent cheetah sightings, wild dog, caracal, serval, civet and side striped jackal. This is in addition to some 12 different antelope species including sable and then elephant and hippo in the Ngoma Forest and up at the lake respectively.

What’s also important to remember is that these sightings are generally all from our single vehicle game drives and not from a fleet of jeeps all in radio contact with each other which shows you how productive things have been of late!

The bush is a stunning colour at the moment and our “Plains Road” for the dry season from Dundumwezi Gate is now open too.

Another piece of exciting news is the beginning of the Kenyan Airways Cape Town to Livingstone flight meaning connecting the Kafue and the Cape just got easier!

Lions and Lodge Openings!

We welcomed our first lodge guests of the new season, from Italy and Botswana this last week who left us a lovely message in the Guest Book:

“This is a very special place! Thank you Steve and Cindy and all the staff for everything…you give to this camp a very unique home feeling and a warm welcoming atmosphere! Thank you!!!!!”

The birding has been great with excellent sightings of black-cheeked lovebirds, racket-tailed rollers, a hooded vulture along with the normal array of residents so it remains one of Zambia’s premium birding destinations. Game viewing at this time of the year can be a challenge in view of the abundant water and high grass.

Perseverance is the key though and great sightings are possible at any time. Two young lions were found in the plains whilst the rest of the family was out hunting and we came across a recently vacated cheetah kill up by Chilenje Pool whilst lions and hyena are actively calling at night. A further pride of 7 lions have been active around the lodge for a few days now which has added to the excitement of being in the bush! They were seen near the campsite by some campers and around the workshops by staff and footprints also show they have been active between the lodge and chalets at night which is always a thrill for guests to know they really are in true Africa!

ABOUT US

Nanzhila is the closest true safari destination in Zambia to the Victoria Falls and enjoys nearly 3000 sqkm of the Kafue National Park to itself. An incredible variety of wildlife and birding species, as well as a magnificent location overlooking the dambo, make Nanzhila one of the most memorable safari camps in Zambia.

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Erroleen Williams
Cell: 0027 82772 0804 (7:00 – 19:00)
Email: res@nanzhila.com

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Steve and Cindy Smith
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