YEAR END NEWS FROM #ZAMBIA’S KAFUNTA SAFARIS
|Kafunta Safaris – Newsletter
Welcome to our Newsletter!
We hope you had a merry Christmas, and that you are looking forward to festive New Year celebrations!
We already wish you a wonderful 2018, and we recommend adding an African safari to your new year resolutions!
The Cowan family was home for the entire month of December and shared many good moments with the staff, including Christmas celebrations and our traditional Luangwa Valley carols.
Lovely Green Season
As it has been raining since late October, the bush is surprisingly green for this time of year, and it is lovely to see the vibrant colours, the spring flowers and the flowing Luangwa.
Drives are stunning at this time of year.
Ron & Anke defied the muddy roads to check on Three Rivers Camp, and had this great sighting of wild dogs on the way back.
Wild dogs have been seen throughout the month!
Lions & Cubs
On another drive, Ginger surprised us with part of his family.
What a beautiful way to end the year, and the season, as we will close Kafunta River Lodge in just about a week!
A well deserved break for all
The rainy season brings some challenges when the roads get super muddy, but it’s part of the fun. The fact that we can sometimes get stuck or delayed due to the rain is compensated by lower rates. The downpour doesn’t seem to bother this elephant!
Go Wild & Do Good!
Talking about the green season, we have a very special action at the moment. Book your safari for a stay in April or May and we will give back $100 per adult to Project Luangwa to help our local Malama community.
This is a great opportunity to experience South Luangwa with its stunning green coat while doing good at the same time. And the longer you stay, the more we give!
One thing that we love about the green season is to finally see the mighty baobab trees with foliage and flowers.
Look at these photos taken at various times of the year.
Earlier in the year we received the visit of Spanish travel blogger Antonio Ruiz, of Naturaleza y Viajes. Antonio shared with us some stunning leopard pictures. For our Spanish-speaking readers, you can enjoy his blog here.
More Wild Dogs!
More recently, although I had already talked about this sighting in our last newsletter, we were introduced to the pups of one of the wild dog packs. Guest Mike Galtry forwarded me new photos of several of his sightings.
Meet our guest… Eric LeGo
This month I’d like to introduce you to French wildlife photographer and travel agent Eric LeGo. A few years ago Eric, together with renown photographer Tony Crocetta founded Let’s Go Travel to combine travel, nature, adventure and photography. Eric was again with us last October and I asked him a few questions.
Kafunta: You lead photographic safaris, as accompanying professional photographer. How may times a year do you lead groups, and where do you go?
Eric: This year I led 8 groups of photographers, to the Falklands, Japan, Namibia, Botswana, Finland, Svalbard and Zambia.
This was your second time in South Luangwa. Why do you come back to this particular park?
It was my second time bringing a group to Luangwa, but I’ve been here three times before on my own. I particularly like the atmosphere of this park, which is quite different from what we find elsewhere in Southern Africa. First of all there are less people here, which is great, and I find the banks of the river just magical, something is always going on. The wildlife is extremely varied, and at this time of year (Oct) the Carmine Bee-Eaters are a marvel for the eyes and ears.
Also this year we had 21 encounters with leopards in 9 days! It’s exceptional, I don’t know of another park where this is possible. And on top of that we saw a pack of 18 wild dogs, many lions, elephants, antelopes and far too many birds to count.
The photographers in my group were truly impressed, and several are already talking about coming back.
What do you like about Kafunta River Lodge and Island Bush Camp?
I find Kafunta to be the perfect balance between a very confortable lodge, ideally located and the feeling of being alone in the bush.
Some other lodges are too luxurious and seem out of place in the bush, some other are too basic, taking away from the pleasure of being on holidays. Kafunta is perfect for me, not too little and not too much.
What is your focus when you lead these groups, what are you especially after?
I lead passionate photographers, whose main goal is to capture great images. Therefore I try to spend as much time as possible in the park, early in the
morning (we usually leave before the other guests) and in the late afternoon – so we can take advantage of the soft lights found at sunrise and sunset. I take the time to stay longer at each sighting, in photography patience is our best friend and it’s pointless to move around all the time. It’s not uncommon to navigate less than 10km on a game drive, and still obtain fantastic photos.
What was the best sighting or experience on this trip?
One afternoon we came across a female leopard with two young cubs just across the river from Kafunta. We stayed with them for a long time, and when we
finally left them, we drove only about 100m before bumping into 2 male leopards having a stand-off! That was 5 leopards within a couple hundred meters from each other! It was my first time experiencing this in more than 30 years of African travels!
Will you come back?
Yes, it’s already booked and in fact I already have 2 participants signed up for 2019!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
This year’s trip was just exceptional, we saw so much wildlife in excellent conditions. This was made possible by our Kafunta guides, Abel and Chapuma, who were incredible throughout our stay. Highly qualified, they were always attentive to our needs and very professional. I can say that the success of our safari was their doing.
In return, we thank Eric for his trust in our services, and for agreeing to share his thoughts with us.
Have a look here to find out what are Eric’s next travel dates to Luangwa.
Shortly before Christmas we sadly had to wave goodbye to our last volunteer of the season: Madita.
Madita was a huge help to Lisa throughout her 3 months with us, and we would like to thank her
for her hard work and ever-lasting good mood! Good luck for your future studies and adventures!
That’s it for this year!
Wow, 2017 has been amazing, it’s gone by so fast with too many pictures to share each month!
The lodge will close on January 5th, and will reopen on March 29th 2018, just in time for the Easter holidays.
Thank you to all of you – our past & future guests, our readers and our worldwide travel partners – for your continuous support and enthusiasm!
I wish you a very happy New Year, and before we know it I’ll be back with more news and images. In the meantime stay connected by following us on Facebook!