Moonshine bright and early start for me today. It’s a good 15 kms slow going dusty road to ‘Lower Zambezi National Park’. There have been a few leopard sightings over the past few days, maybe today was my lucky day.
My camp spot at ‘Mvuu lodge’ was named leopard, I took that as a good omen. The morning started fabulously as a serial crossed the road in front of me. Too dark and too quick for a photo. Crossing the low lever ‘Chongwe River was no problem for Zimba, and a short while later we arrived at the gate.
This clearly wasn’t heavens gate.
The local gate wardens were extremely friendly and helpful, but couldn’t point out a leopard hot spot. They were extremely impressed with Zimba and took a few photos.
The warming sun rays were welcomed by all locals,
unless you are monkeying around.
Even the large Nile croc was too cold to move.
It was quite challenging to get to the waterfront, as canyons from last years flood were evident.
It looked and felt like driving on the moon.
A tiny Kingfisher sat long enough on his twig for me to take a photo. He needed to warm up too.
It was a quiet morning. Even the old faithful elephants were nowhere to be seen. Other giants were hard to miss. Baobab dotted the sandy, dusty even plains.
I parked Zimba next to them for a size relation. Just humongous.
Driving over a dry mud open plain, I saw 5 lions taking an interest on a herd of water buffalo.
What happens next is an incredibly exciting and moving story, which will be told in my next blog. I watched the ongoing for several hours, which was an unbelievable drama to witness.
It was close to lunchtime when I moved on. The meanwhile beating sun rays of the sun were too much to handle. Passing some more impressive Baobab trees, I found a shady spot a bit further downstream, for a well-deserved coffee break. The shortly before witnessed events between lions and buffalo were still stuck in my head.
This is prime leopard country. Since I haven’t seen one yet, maybe I am lucky again, for one to pass by. But that never happened. Quiet surreal not to spot a leopard. Maybe Zimba scares them off? As the sun lost its strength later afternoon, I went for another spot drive along the river. Not much happening here, not much else was happening anywhere else.
A lone elephant bull passed me on my the way out.
According to his markings, he just crossed the river and dusted himself dry.
Even though the glaze behind his eyes signals that he is in musth, he was as calm towards us as all previous elephant encounters.
Just a few more elephant photos. I showed the boys on the gate my photos from today’s events, which set them in oar.
The full moon came up first over Chongwe River,
and then later over the mighty Zambezi.
I followed the moon in the early morning on my way to Lusaka.
And completed the journey with another sunrise over a Baobab. They are just magnificent trees.