Restrictions on travel due to Covid19 means that no international tourists are coming into Zambia this year, with the result that many of the Camps and Lodges are running specials for local residents. We took advantage of this and went on a trip to the Kafue National Park with a large group of family and friends, staying at Mukambi Safari Lodge.
The lodge is situated on the banks of the Kafue River, just a short boat ride into the park where the vehicles were ready to take us on game drives or walks. We had the park to ourselves… never seeing another vehicle. After a good rainy season, the vegetation was quite thick so we had to search for the game.
As we set off early in the morning flocks of guinea fowl were scratching in the earth, birds were calling, monkeys were warming up in the trees and herds of Puku watched us drive by.
Vultures circling above us, and perched on trees, led us to a kill where 2 lions and 2 lionesses were feeding on a buffalo. There was a lot of interaction between them, but they completely ignored us parked close by. A few minutes later a side striped Jackal ran off with bones from a young buffalo carcass that we had missed in the grass close by … so 4 lions had killed 2 buffalo. Later on, others in our group saw the lions ambling away with full stomachs swaying from side to side, and then a leopard crossed the road in front of the vehicle.
We had a bit of excitement from a small herd of Elephant with calves who weren’t too keen to have us watch them, but we saw plenty of others who didn’t seem to care. A large herd of almost 1000 buffalo managed to stay hidden most of the time, but we saw their spoor.
The guides were very knowledgeable and also very good with the children, showing them tracks and signs of animals that had wandered by, as well as lots of small creatures, and birds.
We saw plenty of hippo and crocodiles while cruising on a pontoon on the river, as well as a flock of crowned crane flying overhead. Elephant and buffalo came down to the waters edge for a drink.
The staff at Mukambi were friendly and efficient, and very good with our large gang of young children. The food was delicious and we had comfortable accommodation. Bushbuck roamed around the lodge and the bird life was plentiful, with a slightly nutty, but beautiful, resident Giant Kingfisher.
A lovely few days in the bush.