Zambia (1): Day Twelve : Mwanya Bush Camp to Chifunda Bush Camp
After not seeing very much wildlife for the last couple of days, we heard lion very close during the night and the following morning found tracks within 20m of our hut ()! We had also heard hippo and hyena close by.
After breakfast (baked beans) we left camp for the four hour drive (over similarly uncomfortable roads, mainly through Mopani woodland) to Chifunda Bush Camp (), the second of the ‘ItsWild’ portfolio of camps (the third was too far away to usefully fit into our plans).
After lunch (baked beans again!) we rested on our beds () until late afternoon, when we once again went out on a decent walk. During this walk we spotted an elephant which was apparently in 'musth', i.e. a state of sexual arousal, since it was discharging a characteristic thick tar-like secretion from the temporal ducts on the sides of its head ().
However our guide informed us that this is not a totally reliable indication, since females can also show this behaviour. He explained to the lady guest who had enquired about this that the only reliable indicator of musth was known as GPS. This turned out not to refer to the app that you probably have loaded into your SmartPhone, but rather to 'Green Penis Syndrome', wherein the penis turns mint-green in colour and dribbles a mixture of secretions (no picture to illustrate this, I'm afraid!).
Before our evening meal (not baked beans this time) we then enjoyed a leisurely sundowner session on a pontoon () situated on the nearby river. An early night then ensued, since we were due to travel into North Luangwa National Park itself on the following day.
As an introduction to the relaxed attitude that can operate in Africa: on an earlier trip I visited Zambia (which does not require a yellow fever certificate), followed by Tanzania (which does), and somewhat carelessly had omitted to bring my certificate with me. Surprisingly, I was told that I couldn't depart Zambia for Tanzania unless I had such a certificate. Accordingly I was sent to the airport's first aid department to be vaccinated on the spot.
On grumbling that this wasn't really necessary since I was in fact already covered (and not looking forward to what is not one of the pleasantest of vaccinations), the nurse said "That's OK then", and proceeded to issue a certificate stating that I had been vaccinated (several years previously) - "20 dollars please" - which was then quite happily accepted by the airline departure desk! Needless to say, on arrival in Tanzania itself nobody was the slightest bit interested in seeing this document.
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