Southern Africa Bush Tails

Zambia News – September 2013

Toka Leya Camp

As it becomes drier, the bush is clearing up more and more and the general colours are turning from green to multi-colour hues. This as usual makes for good sightings as visibility is better than in the wet months. Weather-wise, we have seen a continuous drop in temperatures after sunset and in the mornings with a little wind in the afternoon, but the days are still really beautiful and our night skies are full of stars.

Wildlife Sightings
We have noticed that most guests arrive here with one thing in mind – the Victoria Falls. When they eventually get on to game drives they are astounded by the wildlife variety – and the animals are also so relaxed making for great photographic opportunities – that all come back raving about both guides and game. They really cannot believe how productive their drives are in such a small Park.

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Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is well known for its Rhino Breeding Project that has become a success, with three babies having been born in the last few years. We are all delighted that there are two other females that are expecting again in the not so distant future. This clearly proves that these animals, when left alone and under no stress, can actually multiply. We also feel that small parks like the Mosi-oa-Tunya, where these animals have 24-hour protection, are the only solution now to the survival of these giants whose population is under such persecution. We are really proud of the commitment of the wildlife police officers in our park who never seem to tire at all, their desire being to preserve the small population of rhino that we have in this part of the world.

Our boat cruises are always so much appreciated by guests.  Allowing for only small parties, it is the personal touch and knowledgeable guides which make these river cruises second to none. This and the general beauty of the mighty Zambezi is a memory that will live forever in all our guests’ minds.

With the mainland drying out, the traffic of elephants to the islands is building up by the day and it’s always an unbelievable sight to see these massive mammals go from one end of the River to the Island or at times crossing borders from one country to the other.

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Birding is best on the River, with a variety of birds ranging from bee-eaters to African finfoots, skimmers and other wading birds that frequent the waterways. On a few occasions guides have come back and reported the unusual sightings of a Pel’s fishing-owl which definitely is a highlight for anyone who has been birding or has an interest in birds.

With the winter here, we have also seen an increase of crocodiles lining the banks of the River as they try and catch the warmth of the sun. As usual we have seen that as the water levels drop, the concentrations of hippos rise in certain channels and we have been seeing some amazing sizes of hippo pods on the river.

 
Guests’ Comments
“Believe in Africa and keep stewarding the environment. Wonderful service and hospitality. Keep doing what you doing. Can’t thank you all enough.”
“Our very first stop was magical! Such beauty, amazing adventures you made us feel so welcome, safe, well cared for and well fed. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We will always remember you and hope to see you again.”
“A perfect start to our honeymoon. Gorgeous location and superb staff. Loved everything.”
Busanga Bush Camp

Location

Busanga Bush Camp, on the Busanga Plains, looks out on a landscape of open savannah grassland which extends for many miles. The camp gives you an ambience that gets you closer to nature and an opportunity to learn and share cultural diversities with the warm and friendly camp staff.

Sunrise & Sunset
From your bed you will wake up to a beautiful misty morning with the sun rising through the mist giving a spectacular golden light while the abundant lechwe nibbles the soft grass of the plain right in front of camp.

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In the evenings another spectacular spectrum of colours can be witnessed as the sun sets on the western side of the camp. From both the afternoon activity as well as from camp one can take in this impressive African show.

Temperatures
During the month of July, the minimum temperatures fluctuated between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius, however temperatures rose each day to the warm mid-twenties. Though generally characterised by winds, the month of July was less windy compared to most seasons.

Wildlife sightings
The month brought with it much excitement as the Busanga Pride presented us with three brand-new cubs. This is great news as the pride’s numbers have dwindled over the last few years. After losing a brother, the surviving Busanga male lion adopted a young male to form a coalition, which seemed like a good idea to protect his territory. However, another male has been sighted and has been heard calling on several occasions within the Busanga Pride’s territory. When he calls, the two Busanga males respond but have never made an effort to find out who is in their territory. The questions we ask ourselves are: where did this stranger lion come from? Is he going to join the two Busanga males to form a bigger and stronger coalition? We are all waiting to s ee what is going to happen in the coming months.

Staying at Busanga Bush Camp does not confine you to the Busanga Plains. We schedule full day trips to the tree line area at the bottom of the Busanga Plains. It gives our guests the opportunity of seeing and experiencing different landscapes and, what’s more, in the previous months has produced great sightings of leopard and cheetah.

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The huge herd of buffalo has continued to pay us visits at the camp. Guests always enjoy seeing these huge beasts grazing right in front of the camp’s main area. The Kafue lechwe and puku also patronise the camp premises. With all this game right at our doorstep it almost means that one doesn’t need to go out and look for it.
Guest Comments
“What a lovely place, I must have had the most exciting boat ride of my life. I still cannot believe how close we got to the hippos. Amazing” EG from New York
 
“Thanks to all you guys!!! We had a great time in BBC. What a wonderful staff, excellent food and never giving up drivers who wanted you to see all this beautiful wildlife thanks again” AR from Netherlands
“Sandy your knowledge of the plains was spectacular, Chips, Ned, Isaac the service was beyond our expectations. Thank you for sharing 3 days in paradise.”ES from Michigan
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