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August winds
Newsletter / 31 Aug 2018

August winds

posted by Jennifer Coppinger
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The August winds have heralded the first wave of heat to the Luangwa. Chilly sunrises kick off morning activities but within a few hours the warmth of the dry season sets in for the rest of the day.

The upside of the warmth is the attraction of the Luangwa river to more and more animals which results in great GAME VIEWING. We’ve enjoyed fantastic sightings of stalking leopards, excited wild dogs seen on foot, porcupine, genet after genet, Meller’s mongoose, hyena cubs at the den, elephant crossing the river – even giraffe crossing the river! The latest addition, Pink nose’s small cub, has recently been seen and he’s still in great form. The three giraffe calves are coming on well and are frequently observed in our game viewing area.

A dead hippo in the area attracted a wake of vultures, a clan of hyenas and a sick lioness which created quite a bit of activity. We have had several great sightings of Verreaux’s eagle owl, a sighting of a Peregrine falcon catching a dove, Crowned cranes and a Pel’s fishing owl at the camp waterhole. Of course, we should not forget the welcome return of the nesting Carmine bee-eaters who have started excavating the banks for a new breeding season.

The wild dogs have been active throughout the park and we’ve been enjoying some great sightings of them. Keep up to date with our sightings on the Game viewing diaries.

We love welcoming our guests to the Valley so we can share this beautiful Zambian gem with them and we are always thrilled to welcome back familiar faces.

We’re lucky to have so many REPEAT GUESTS who share our love of the bush – the Luangwa seems to be an irresistible return-destination. Thank you for coming back! It was great to welcome back two such guests, Anni and Joss Forsyth, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with us this month. Coincidentally, they shared this special milestone with two other guests, Mike and Barbara Landreth, which doubled the celebrations over a perfect sunset.

It’s always good to get feedback to ensure everyone is on track and that we’re offering a good experience. Some recent feedback concluded that:

“In a world where safari camps seem to be in a battle to ‘out lux’ each other…
Tafika remains a beacon of authenticity.”

This is something we strive for in all of our bush camps and hope you continue to enjoy that approach. Please feel free to give feedback so we can always give of our best.

The second Tafika GARDEN is doing well and Isaac and Pedrigo show off the produce with pride (above). Their green fingers are producing amazing aubergine, endless pawpaw, peppers, green beans and bananas.

From our LOCAL NEWS – we were delighted to receive a visit from Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Mwanya this month who has recently been inaugurated, following the passing of the late Chief Mwanya last year after a long illness. Her Chief Advisor, Francis Zimba, accompanied her. We have known and worked with Francis for many years. Tafika is part of the Chief Mwanya community and we look forward to getting to know and working with the new Chieftainess.

Supported by the TAFIKA FUND, another successful ‘Football for Wildlife’ league took place this year. The finals for both men and women were held on the 12th of August at Mkasanga village – the home to most of our staff. The women’s final went into a shoot-out round after a 0 – 0 draw, resulting in the Chifunda Rhinos (North park) beating the Mwanya Wild dogs (South park). The men’s final saw the previous victors, Mkasanga Leopards (South park), come second to the Chingozi Lions (North park) with a final score of 3 – 2.

The league ended with much celebration which was joined by Alex Phiri (carried by the crowd on the right), our longstanding guide who helped organise teams in the North Luangwa – he’s now known as Man of the North.

John closed the event with a message about conservation and stressed the importance of the preservation of our environment in the local communities. The initiative continues to be well received. We’re happy to see how it enriches the lives of our surrounding communities and trust it continues to promote positive awareness for conservation of the Luangwa Valley.

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