Greatest game drive ever?
Alex Paul – “ My third visit to Nanzhila. Once again many thanks to Cindy and Steve for their welcome and hospitality. Under their watchful eye the wildlife goes from strength to strength and has increased notably since my last visit”.
Read below to hear about arguably our greatest game drive ever! Steve Smith picks up the story:
“Our guests for this drive were Alex Paul from England, (on his third trip to Nanzhila in recent years), Ann Thompson and Mark Sheddan, both from Florida in the USA.
Cheetah are always a special sighting, and although the Kafue NP is the best place to see them in Zambia, an encounter is by no means guaranteed. Ruston Shikanyenu, on duty as spotter, was the first to see them, in the shade of a termite mound some 300 metres away. The mother and her two sub-adult offspring seeing out the last of the days heat.
Not 1 km further we had our next feline encounter. This time a solitary leopard on the road ahead. These are shy and elusive animals at the best of times, so to see one during daylight hours was a special treat, particularly for Mark (who was on his third game drive ever!). The leopard seemed to be in hunting mode using the waist-high grass at the side of the road as cover and as soon as he entered the grass he disappeared from view. Alex was not too perturbed by the brief sighting – he’d been on a drive two days earlier on Mafuta Loop and encountered a very obliging large male.
Earlier in the day we had come across a bush pig carcass. Strangely, although having the tell-tale puncture marks in the throat area it was uneaten and seemed abandoned. By our arrival late in the afternoon vultures were in attendance but the carcass largely intact. Closer scrutiny of the surrounding bush revealed a large male lion quietly observing us. He seemed in no rush and was not particularly hungry so we decided to continue and return after dark to see if he had developed an appetite. By the time we returned he had moved off and although we had glimpses of him in the spotlight he showed no further interest in the bush pig. No sooner had we departed we encountered the two lionesses that form part of the Chilenje pride. Each lioness has cubs, which on this occasion were keeping a low profile.
The highlight, for me anyway, was definitely the Wild Dog which we encountered along the track not 10 minutes later. They consisted of two females and were accompanied by 4 pups. We had the pleasure of accompanying them down the road for the next 2kms as they searched the surrounding bush for their next meal. This was my first sighting of the pups. A previous client had reported seeing a pack along with 7 pups in the general vicinity. It seems likely that they are the same dogs, and if so begs the question about the whereabouts of the missing 3 pups.
Add into the mix the elephants we left at the lodge, reedbuck, kudu, impala, sable, zebra, wildebeest, grysbok, duiker and warthog also encountered along the way, here ended the most memorable of game drives!”