We have had a really great season. Over 70% of our guests this year had visited us at least once before and many more had been referred by past guests. There was a wonderful feeling of familiar friends at Kaingo and Mwamba Bush Camp during 2016. To those guests who joined us for the first time this year – welcome to the family; we look forward to welcoming you back in future seasons!
2016 was possibly the best game-viewing I can remember! Our game seems to be getting better year-on-year. We’ve been operating in this area for 24 years now and our presence, combined with the anti-poaching efforts of CSL and Derek’s firebreak networks in the back country, have encouraged the wildlife around our two camps to flourish.
As we approach our 25th anniversary we’ve decided to take Kaingo Camp and our logo through an evolution. To everyone who loves Kaingo and Mwamba for their authentic bush feel, fear not! Rest assured we are not planning to change the essence of the camp with this refurbishment, we are expanding the rooms and opening them right up to make them more spacious and give you a more expansive view of the river, Logo image to follow early next year.
We migrated to Kaingo en famille at the beginning of October. We had originally planned to be in camp for 2 weeks this October, but with the refurb demanding so much input from both Derek and I and home school being so flexible we decided to spend October and November in the bush. What a joy! October is my favourite photographic month of the season and whilst we’ve been too busy in camp to get out shooting much, our guests have been reporting phenomenal photographic opportunities.
In 2016 100% of our guests had spectacular leopard sightings. I get in trouble from our guides when I share percentages like this so I’m now going to duck for cover! As Derek and the guides always says there is so much in this beautiful wild place that is just as special to share as the cats. The cats are quite beautiful though…
The crew that has been here much of the season filming our lions has wrapped up and is off to cut the doco. There has been so much drama with the prides this year and we believe it’s going to make an incredible documentary. We’ll be sure to let you know when that comes out!
We’ve also had great dog sightings right throughout the season this year. The last three were found on a night towards the end of October at the mouth of Kaingo’s ebony grove where we watched them hunt impala on the beach.
The month of November is racing along bringing with it the first rain showers. Grass is sprouting, leaves are budding and we’ve witnessed the stunning Feretia Flush when the dry, barren stalks of the Feretia aeruginescens burst into star jasmine like pink and white flowers. Warthog babies are emerging for the first time from burrows and last night we saw the first Impala fawns. Having never been in the park this late before I’m excited to see what further treasures the bush has to reveal as we race the rains to finish this build.
And now, over to the team,
Our 2016 season has come to an end, and once again the South Luangwa has gifted us an exceptional 5 months!
The beauty of this Park never ceases to amaze us… as the water levels receded this valley has changed to arid landscapes, with the exceptions of the Kigelia africana – the beautiful sausage trees – that in this month shed their leaves to grow emerald foliage in record time. They are green beacons in a sea of beige that remind us of the rains to come. The predators flourish in October, as their prey struggle to find food and the strength to escape. The incredible sightings started in May and snowballed throughout our season.
At the start of the season we introduced Craig’s fantastic idea of the Big Cat Roundup, starting as a way to log and monitor the movements of the Big Cats in our area. It is now one of our favourites, keeping you in touch with the beautiful felines you meet whilst with us. Either our lions; Hollywood or Kaingo/Mwamba and the dynamics of their prides. Or our resident leopards; Malaika, Chiphadzuwa, Luambe and so many more. We enjoyed keeping you up to date with their movements and news in our short and sweet “Log Book” blogs.
This season was also the start of our #NourishedByNature campaign, and we have been overwhelmed with the beautiful photographs and moments that you have shared with us. Derek & Jules introduced this campaign to share their fundamental beliefs in sharing this beautiful location with the world!
Some amazing sightings this season…
Each one of us have certain sightings that have stood out, but here are just a few links to the blogs that we loved this season:
- In the beginning of the season there were a lot of territorial disputes between the Hollywood Males and the Numbu Boys, with Mwamba Bushcamp being the dividing line. Many times the guests at Mwamba got to witness this back and forth banter from the morning tea area.
- Our guests sleeping at the Elephant Hide were woken to 2 different Wild Dog packs on either side of the river being extremely vocal. The one pack was directly below the platform, with the guests watching from above.
- Being able to witness the Hollywood Pride take down a Buffalo from start to finish was an amazing experience for both Guides and Guests!
- Being able to watch a Hyaena attack a Leopard in a tree, managing to grab its tail, was a great moment that was able to be caught on camera.
- Watching the growth of the Carmine Bee-eaters’ Colony this year was outstanding. The photographic opportunities from this hide with the morning light hitting the bank is a firm favourite amoung guests.
And who can forget the amazing fight that happened between Malaika and Chiphadzuwa – mother vs daughter!
Every day that has passed has led to some life long memories. From all the staff at Shenton Safaris it has been an absolute pleasure sharing our piece of Africa with our guests. For those of you who missed out this year we hope to see you all in 2017 where we hope to help create life long memories of the true African bush.
It is always great to read articles about the amazing country that we live and work in. The Telegraph reports that the World Economic Forum (WEF) rates Zambia as one of the safest nations in Africa. In fact, it’s very nearly rated as safe as Great Britain.
October 2016 – Picture of the Month – #NourishedByNature
Because I decide when, not you!