Our next destination was South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. When we arrived at our lodge the first thing we were told is not to walk around the campus without a guide.
This kind seemed extreme. But sure enough each morning we awoke to new friends: the first morning there were two hippos right outside our front door and the second morning a family of elephants traipsed right across the yard.
Everything but the lioness and cubs...
Elephants — maybe one in ten without one or both tusks. Cause is both congenital and poaching. But of course poaching elephants with the biggest healthiest tusks alters the gene pool and begins to favor elephants without tusks.
Giraffes — mostly living. We saw a freshly killed giraffe and awaited the lions to return for dinner but the smell became too overwhelming and we moved on.
African buffalo — (the ones with the horns that look like a curled mustache)
Hippopotami — wading, yawning, wallowing, and bellowing.
Impala and puku — small ungulates (leopard snacks)
Zebra — this species has only pure black and white stripes. (Some have brown patches and “shadow stripes”)
Male lion — probably an adolescent
Spotted genet — (cat family, spotted body like a leopard and long bushy ringed tail. Size of a Maine coon cat. Omnivorous. )
White tailed mongoose
Wart hog — (Pumba)
AND THE LEOPARDS — The South Luangwa is best known for its leopard population. Our first leopard casually strolled around the Land Rover, not more than 4 feet away. Our most leopardly leopard was asleep on a branch in an Acacia tree, just above his 1/2 eaten impala. The hyenas circled the base of the tree hoping for scraps to fall.