Archive - November 2015

Hawkeye November 2015 November 02, 2015

Zambia doesn't have as many tourists as some of the better known African countries, such as Tanzania and Kenya. But need make no apologies to the other game rich nations. Elephants abound and having the opportunity to watch them in family units and in large herds gives one insight into the intelligence of these behemoths Having watched two females with a young elephant for 15 minutes, imagine our surprise when a tiny baby elephant stood up after napping on the ground, unnoticed. After nursing its fill, it lay back down below its mother and went back to sleep. Often elephants take a dust bath immediately after bathing in a lake. We were told that helps minimize the insects that bother them.

The Luangwa Valley is home to a large population of leopards. Note how well camouflaged they are in the bush. The female leopard in the field had successfully moved one of her cubs to a wooded area but when she returned for the other, some vehicles spooked her. The young one came down his tree but when his mother failed to pick him up he scampered back for safety. It was a couple of hours later before the mother felt it was safe enough to retrieve and move him.

Lion kills are never pretty but they are necessary to the life of the pride. We followed fourteen lionesses on the hunt one night. Suddenly the cry of their victim, an antelope called a puku, rang out. When we arrived at the scene a dozen lions were already feasting on the fallen prey. This was their first kill of the evening, but probably not the last as it wasn't enough to satisfy the hunger of all.