to read the previous chapter of our Safari Diary An elephant named Boswell, Wild Dogs and a Leopard click here
26 September 2014
The topic of conversation when we gathered for our morning drive was noises that had entertained us during the night.
I’d heard hyaenas and lions but apparently at about 5am 2 wild dogs had run through camp chasing something or other.
The first order of business, therefore was to see if we could find either the dogs or the cats.
We followed dog tracks for about an hour without success. At various times during the morning we stopped to speak with other guides, all of whom seemed to be on the same fruitless quest.
Our morning was a bit like that. We didn’t find the dogs, or the lions and ended up spending time near long pool, where there was plenty of bird life and lots of hippos.
Canoeing on the mighty Zambezi
Instead of another game drive, this afternoon we’d arranged for Cloud to take us canoeing.
It was about 9 years since I’d last canoed on the Zambezi and on that occasion I’d been on the Zambian side, in Lower Zambezi NP. It had been a great trip and so I was looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with the river. We’d be canoeing with the current so it wouldn’t be too strenuous, mostly just making sure we kept clear of the hippos lurking all around us. There were 6 of us in 3 canoes, with 2 river guides. Cloud led the way with 2 people in his canoe and Julius brought up the rear with 2 more in his canoe. Rena & I were left to paddle our own canoe.
Apart from hippos, buffaloes and elephants we didn’t really encounter much other mammal life along the river but the bird life was excellent.
It took me quite a while though to become adept at putting down my paddle and extricating my camera from its waterproof bag. The first few attempts were so inept that not only did I fail to get the picture I wanted but the canoe veered wildly off course. Rena was not amused.
The best bit, for me at least, was when we left the main channel to weave through the islands in the middle of the river. It was so tranquil.
When we were within sight of the finish, Cloud brought all 3 canoes together and we were all able to relax as Cloud and Julius did the work.
As we reached the riverbank, we saw Love arrive with the Land Cruiser to pick us up. Julius would stay with the canoes until Cloud returned with the canoe trailer.
Our drive back to camp was briefly halted when we spotted a pair of lions a short distance from the road. The light had gone, so no photos, but we could see that they were engaged in mating.
The following morning would be our last, before we transferred through the park to Kanga Camp and, so we decided that we’d spend our last morning by the river, on the river.
Today we had put in just beside the camp and canoed down past the Mucheni Campsites. Tomorrow we would put in at Vundu Point and canoe with the current back to camp.
27 September 2014
Our morning canoe journey was less eventful than the previous afternoon’s. We saw far fewer hippos but a good selection of birds.