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Monday, October 4, 2010

Guest Entry from Ralf Lübbe-Scheuermann

Marius my friend,

Thank you for sharing this unforgettable two week Zambian safari experience with us. We’ve got the most fantastic sightings, incredible photographic opportunities and lots of fun together.

Perdita and I have done lots of safaris in South and East Africa, but we’ve never been to Zambia before. You told us many times: “one day, we have to do Zambia together” and now we did it.
Sausage Tree Camp in the Lower Zambezi area was a very nice and luxury start for a Zambia trip. We’ve spend the most of our time on the boat and made only one game drive on land to get an idea of the complete area. From the wildlife perspective to go out by boat was definitely the better photographic option. One big advantage of exploring the Lower Zambezi area with a small boat, is the very low photographic angle you can get, especially if you take Hippo and Elephant pictures. And of course nothing can beat the East African sunset light on the water, with all this incredible colours. For me as a “reptile guy” it was special to see all these big Zambezi Crocs, very impressive. I’m not a really big birder, so you can tell more about the fantastic birdlife of this area. But for all of us the first highlight was definitely the lunch on a sand bank in the middle of the Zambezi. To sit there for lunch with your feet in the water, very cool idea.


After three days of luxury, now our real bush experience started with the Mwamba Bush Camp in the heart of the South Luangwa Valley. We got a small charming “Bush Villa” in the middle of nowhere, for the proper bush feeling. The guys in the camp made the most memorable private dinner for us and the most spectacular cheese sandwich (it was so big, that you can kill a Lion with it) for my wife Perdita. This dinner was one of the most funniest evenings, we’ve had on the complete trip. Thanks to the Mwamba team.

Here we got our first Zambian Leopard and she was a relaxed one. The most people who take Leopard images in areas like the Sabi Sand forget, that not all the Leopards “dance and pose” in front of your car.

Our second camp, named Kaingo, was set in a stunning location on the banks of the Luangwe River. I’ve never seen so many Hippos in one place and the Crocs here are huge. You will find Hippos everywhere, even in places, where you don’t expect them. It looks very strange to see lots of Hippos out on the land, in such dry areas. To see a big Crocodile killing a drinking Puku and doing the death roll, was also very special (from the deck in front of our room!).

Marius, you have already spoken about the hides. Here you can easily get "top" low angle shots of Hippos, without any movement of a boat. These hides are really cool! If I have to set a photographic highlight of South Luangwe, it would be our Lion night sighting.


Marius, I agree with you, the wildlife in South Luangwe is absolutely stunning, you can compare it with areas like Mombo, but more wild. An absolutely “must be there” place.

We sadly left South Luangwe after to short five days, for the Kafue National Park.
After a flight from Lusaka To the Basunga Plains airstrip and a to short helicopter ride we arrived at the lovely Shumba Camp. On our flight we got a first impression of the “Zambian national sport”, burning. In the plains, you will find everywhere a small or a big man made bush fire. Later on our game drive I really got the opportunity for a “Lion in front of a fire” image. For me that was one of these “you only get once in your life” photographic opportunities.

This area is very good for night drives, but you have to be lucky like us. We got all the night specials from Caracal up to Serval. The opportunity of a helicopter ride was very cool and the pilot was specialised into photographic flights. If someone likes to take pictures during the flight, he can fly also without the doors, for pictures out of bird’s eye perspective.


My suggestion for all the wildlife photographers, go to Zambia, it rocks!!!
Thank’s again for your perfect planning and organisation.

Ralf

All images copyrighted Ralf Lübbe-Scheuermann©

2 comments:

Firefly said...

Super stunning shots by Ralph. I would love to experience this kind of trip.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Magical photos. I love the idea of eating in the middle of the Zambezi but hope there are no crocs nearby! Diane