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An excellent variety of wildlife

An excellent variety of wildlife

An excellent variety of wildlife

Feedback from Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp in Kafue National Park, Zambia.

We recently spent a wonderful weekend at Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp, which is situated in the south of the Kafue National Park in Zambia. We were guests of owner, Steve Smith, and camp managers, Brad and Ruth Keast.

The camp has three thatched cottages and three luxury safari tents, all en suite and overlooking a dambo. The main entertainment area is on a raised platform beneath a huge Jackelberry tree, which always has an array of birds singing and generally just being very busy.

We went on game drives with Smith and were delighted to record sighting 23 species of mammal 24 hours; there are not many places where this happens. The highlights were good sightings of serval and civet, plus a honey badger which scampered across the road into the long grass right next to the vehicle.

We saw a large herd of roan and sable antelope standing together, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and Defassa waterbuck. This species of waterbuck, with its white rump patch, is only found west of the Great Rift Valley, ranging from Ethiopia, west to Senegal and south to Zambia. In total we recorded 11 species of antelope.

By the time we left we had seen 25 species of mammal ranging from the multimammate mouse (don’t you love this grand name for such a small creature) to huge bull elephants.

Nanzhila Plains satisfy the keenest twitcher; we recorded 87 species in two days. A lifer for one of our group was the Sooty Chat, and for me the Purple Roller. We also saw the Lesser Jacana and our American friends saw the Blackcheeked Lovebirds the day before we arrived.

We had a wonderful sighting of a Wattled Crane. After being spotted she suddenly disappeared.

Peering into the green grass with our binoculars we saw what looked like a rounded pile of grey ash. As we moved closer she lost her nerve and gradually unfolded her beautiful grey and brilliant red wattled head and neck to reveal herself, then gracefully stood up and slowly sashayed off, looking very regal. We decided she must have been sitting on eggs, so left her in peace.

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 07, Dec 2011)