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Zambia News – May 2013

May 8, 2012 Southern Africa Bush Tails
Toka Leya Camp

After such a wet February, it turned out that March was a very dry month – we experienced an abrupt stop to the rains with a dramatic increase in temperatures which we did not expect. This increase was easily remedied with a visit to the Vic Falls, as the spray was quite spectacular this month. T he vegetation is still quite green and lush, but many of the waterholes have started to dry up and we are sure that the vegetation will start thinning out shortly.


Despite the fact that we didn’t experience much rain this month, further upstream seems to have received quite a bit, so the Zambezi River is still flowing strongly and the water level is high. March was also the month for Earth Hour, which we celebrated with the rest of the world. Although we always enjoy great sundowners along the river, we extended it into dinner under the stars, which went down really well with our guests who were all blown away by the experience. We also used this opportunity to give our guests a star – gazing session and talk. We initially thought that we would return to camp after dinner, but we were having such a good time that we only returned after midnight!
With the surface water starting to dry out in the bush, we have experienc ed great wildlife experiences right in camp as the wildlife makes their way to the river to slake their thirst. Moto Moto, the resident hippo, has continued to entertain our guests as he spends quite a lot of time out of the water during the day, calmly gr azing on the lush grass in front of camp.

Elephant herds have also come back into the area, and we had a herd of about 60 elephants frequenting the area. Whilst we have hoped to see them cross the river again, they have been quite sensible in avoiding the strong currents, a good call due to the small members of the herd. There is an abundance of food on our side at the moment, so there was no need for this huge herd to move off.

Rhino sightings have been really good this month and our guides are always proud when they find these special animals – a great testament to the conservation efforts for this species in the area. Many camp staff got the opportunity to see the dominant male rhino as he passed close to the camp on one occasion.

Downriver, the white – fronted bee – eater colony is probably one of the most photographed scenes as these little colourful birds come in to roost and all pose by their nests, taking in the last light of the day. The colours on the bank are so stunning and it’s been noted that gue sts have been asking to go back to this site if they are staying another night.