I went back to South Luangwa for the weekend. This time I stayed in a different lodge – Mfuwe Lodge. It was quite a bit bigger than Chikunto so there were more people around but the drives were still with a maximum of 6 guests and some of the drives there were just two of us. I was a little bit worried that I was going on safari again a bit too soon after my last trip and that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much but I was wrong!! The lodge was located in a great place by the rather dry river bed and there was quite a lot of activity to observe around there. I had a couple of elephants right outside my cabin on both Friday and Saturday afternoons and both days I heard them rummaging around as I woke up from my siesta.
The drives took different routes from the ones at Chikunto, I saw most of the usual suspects that I had seen three weeks ago but the new twist on things was that several of the animals had had babies. It was great to see mini versions of elephants, zebras, warthogs, impala, lions etc
I got some great shots of lions and elephants especially, we didn’t have such good sightings of leopards as my last trip but we did see a leopard trying to stalk a couple of impalas. It was hiding in the grass for quite a while, almost invisible, waiting for an opportunity get closer and make an attack. Unfortunately for us observers and the leopard, the impalas moved on and survived…as far as we know. See below how well hidden the leopard was!
The pride of lions we saw included six cubs and I saw them on Saturday morning having a snooze as well as Sunday morning, when they were on the move.
Those lions definitely knew who was in charge.
One of the main attractions of Mfuwe Lodge, is the fact that the elephants often walk through reception in November on their way to the river. While I didn’t get top see that exactly, I did witness an elephant come dawdling in to the front garden part of the hotel, eating a few mangoes and then lying down for an afternoon nap under the mango tree.
I also managed to get some nice shots of various birds over the weekend too.
Other highlights of the weekend included seeing some wild dogs again, including one who seemed to be waiting to play fetch with someone…
We later saw the dogs tearing through the bushes just before sunset chasing down some impalas. It seemed like we were going to witness a kill but they were extremely fast and it was impossible to keep up with them as they kept running through bushes and across gulleys and we had to give up just before sunset to crack open the gin and tonics.
All in all it was a great second trip to South Luangwa for me and I definitely had no regrets about going back again so soon. A lot of the other guests were regular safari goers and avid photographers so it was great to hear about their experiences and stories. The staff at Mfuwe Lodge were great and though there were more guests than at Chikunto it still felt like the staff and management were attentive to all the guests. Next time I might try a combination of staying in a lodge and also in a bushcamp (or two) to get a different perspective and maybe do a couple of walking safaris. I have hundreds more photos that I could put on here, I think I will have to sort through them all when I get back home to Spain and decide what to do with the best ones.