Zambia (1): Day Fourteen : Mwaleshi Camp to Buffalo Camp
After an early breakfast at Mwaleshi around the camp fire we set off on a – quite chilly at first – walk in the direction of Buffalo Camp, seeing a large herd of buffalo along the way, together with our first sighting of the Cookson's Wildebeest ().
We were then met en-route by the camp truck, containing our luggage and which then drove us the rest of the way to Buffalo Camp (). In stark contrast to Mwaleshi, Buffalo is a very basic camp. But somehow it had just the right ambience for a bush camp situated in a remote area like this. Safari camps and lodges are actually quite artificial constructions in the context of the African bush, and, although creature comforts are welcome, there’s nothing to beat authenticity.
After lunch we set off on a walk crossing the river just outside camp, but, after following up on some vultures, suddenly came upon a large pride of lions feeding on a freshly killed buffalo, down a slope just ahead of us. The pride just went berserk, most of them boiling up the slope at us, with two of the females leading the cubs off to one side for safety, so they were obviously taking it all quite seriously.
The scout simply confronted them, holding his rifle at the ready, keeping them down below, while we backed off slowly shouting at the tops of our voices, until the scout rejoined us, smiling broadly: all in a day’s work to him, but a moment of supreme fear – and joy – for me. Regrettably the sole photograph I was able to take totally fails to capture the drama ().
It was then somewhat of an anticlimax to stop for sundowners before going on a night drive, following a further epic sunset ().
At one camp we were told about a mouse that regularly raided the tents at night for whatever it could find to eat. On one occasion it made the mistake of stealing some laxative pills. The following night it returned and stole some Imodium. Henceforth it was known as 'Einstein'.
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