We have never seen Eland in the Kafue so were surprised to see photos of this kill. This feast on the Sishamba Loop was photographed by campers Gabi and Christoph. The Eland is the largest of the African antelope with males over 500kgs, that’s half a ton of meat and bone. This pride obviously fed very well and the leftovers were appreciated by hyena and vultures. Thanks for the great photos Christoph and we hope you both saw lots more on your drive south from Kasabushi Camp.
We have enjoyed a single pair of African Skimmers for the last few months while the Kafue River level is low. They are not part of a colony and we haven’t noticed any signs of off-spring yet although they prefer the high rocks in the middle of the river and not on the sandbanks. These near-threatened birds have enthralled us and many guests during boat trips around the islands near our camp. The Skimmers fish using their unique bill structure. The lower mandible is much longer than the upper mandible and is flattened sideways like scissor blades. As they skim just above the water they dip their bills which clamp shut when they touch a fish.
The Skimmers will no doubt leave us in a few months once the rains arrive and the river starts to rise but we are making the most of them while we can. Thanks Richard for these photos and we are glad you have such fond memories of the Kafue now you are home in Australia.
The Central Kafue National Park will soon be connected to Lusaka, other airports throughout Zambia and international destinations from 2018. Proflight will operate year-round scheduled flights to Chunga (CHU) airstrip commencing January 2018 and will peak with four flights a week (Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat) from 15 June to 30 October. The shoulder season (May-Jun-Nov) will operate twice weekly (Wed-Sat) and on a request basis through the wet season (Jan-Apr and Dec).
The flights will link Kafue with Kalabo (Liuwa Plains), Livingstone (Victoria Falls), Mfuwe (South Luangwa) and Jeki/Royal (Lower Zambezi). Proflight currently operate international scheduled flights to Durban and Lilongwe and the Kafue flights will be timed to connect with Lusaka arrival and departures. Interline partners include Emirates, Ethiopian, Hahn, Kenya, Rwanda and South African Airways.
Chunga airstrip is located within the Central Kafue National Park and a 30km drive to Kasabushi Camp.
Good news for us, the Kafue, Zambia and Proflight.
Since the big clean up after the floods we’ve been busy catching up with building work that needed doing before the season gets into full swing (now!).
We’ve just about finished (Andy is making the door right now) a very smart loo for bush camp guests to use while they enjoy our Round House for relaxing or dining. It’s been built to our usual standards with the touches that clients appreciate and of course we offer white 2-ply loo roll as we do at the campsite (little things!). We had a designer in camp this week and she was completely blown away by the artistic flow of the campsite and Bush Camp, the attention to detail and finish on everything from sign fixings to the sails of the Round House. It’s great when clients appreciate what we’ve built and the time we’ve taken to get things just right. Boyd is showing more and more artistic flair and has created lots of touches of his own and is discovering hidden talents, it’s good to see.
The chalets and Round House and grounds have all been worked on so every bit of the camp looks finished, smart and ready for guests. We’ll always be working on something but can, at last, relax and enjoy our home in the bush.
It’s less than a week since ‘the flood’ and life in the Kafue has returned to a semblance of normality. The Kafue River has dropped nearly two metres and a few rocks are peeping out of the water again. From now on our stretch of river will become more beautiful with every passing day. Our campsite has pretty much dried out and campers Kevin and Andrew from Cape Town are enjoying themselves this weekend; they spotted our resident male leopard last evening and Böhm’s Bee-Eaters flying above the East Pitch have kept them entertained this morning.
Our tented chalets are beautiful again, looking as good as new. They smell new too; Cobra (wax polish) and Linseed oil instead of river sludge and stagnant water. A lot of elbow grease has restored the warm reds and browns of the furniture and decks, Rosewood at its best. Kevin and Andrew have been blown away by our Bush Camp, its location and what we have created within it. They love the feel of the camp and their appreciation of the hard work and passion that we have put into it makes us proud. Their comments have renewed our optimism for the coming season and we eagerly await the booked guests that will enjoy it all from before Easter.
The contrast between the wet to dry season is part of the charm of the Kafue and the last few weeks have shown us what the Kafue River is capable of. But the dry season is almost here and although that brings other challenges it’s all part of the circle of life in the African bush and we now look forward to embracing it with a renewed optimism after such a wet summer.
Well the rain has not stopped since we got back to camp and the river has kept on rising. This is the camp this morning, the chalets are under water and the Peninsula campsite is well and truly flooded. The water is clean though so we don’t think there will be much damage once it drops, we had moved everything out of the chalets before we went on holiday. All we can do is sit it out and wait for the water to drop. The Luansanda is flooded so we are stuck with each other for company, trying to do jobs that need doing in between rain showers.
The water has risen about 2m since Christmas and it will drop just as quick we hope. Roll on the dry season, we miss the stars at night and sunshine! We hear our hippos but have no idea where they are, we miss them too.
After a well-earned break enjoying the coast of SA during February we finally returned to camp on Monday – a six day holiday extension in Lusaka waiting for the water to drop over the Luansanda and Sishamba crossings on the Spinal Road. In the four years we’ve been at Kasabushi we have never seen the Kafue River at such a high level. Apparently Zambia’s rainfall is at a 10-year high, we have had 800mm in camp since November.
Since the weekend the Kafue River has dropped a foot (30cm) and it appears to be on the way down for good now. We are now busy getting work done ready for our first guests this year and looking forward to the dry season.
The Kafue River flows into Lake Itezhi-Tezhi south of us and then into the Lower Zambezi and onwards into Mozambique and the Indian Ocean. Zambia needed the rainfall this year but we hope it starts to ease off now so crops survive and the park begins to dry out.