Each evening just after sundown, we hear drumming in the distance. It is coming from the surrounding villages. Elephants, despite their seemingly calm demeanor, are not the mild mannered gentle giants one might think. Mostly without malice, they create chaos as they lumber through villages eating anything and everything. And just due to their sheer tonnage, they topple thatched huts, chicken coops, water storage... anything that lays in their path. So at dusk the villagers position drumming sentries to deter the foraging giants.
This morning at breakfast a cheeky monkey dropped out of a tree, dashed into the dining area and grabbed Robert’s boiled egg, then his brother grabbed Shweta’s toast!
In the middle of the night we were all jolted awake by the most raucous cacophonous howling and screeching. It sounded like one of the baboons was being ripped to shreds. Just a normal family squabble.
Of all of the places I’ve now been on safari, the South Luanga was the only park with night game drives and walking safaris. The walking Safari was great for learning about the environment. We spent time talking about animal poop. But the most fascinating lesson from our guide, Abo, was about what happened last night. This environment is very sandy so every morning he could read the animal tracks and the drag lines. He pointed out the lone Zebra tracks the three Lions that following the zebra. Further along he pointed out where the Lions had dragged the zebra into the dense thicket. And his best guess was that the whole party was still there!
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.