'Tis the season of festivities, families and friends, at long last’

Office Africa - Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas Everyone.

2021 is coming to a close and while not the easiest of seasons, this year was partially successful and the camps ran at roughly 25% occupancy over the season. It was great to get both camps open and keep everyone employed. While UK and Australian guests were sadly unable to travel we did host visitors from as far away as Russia, the EU,  Mexico and the US. With numbers of guests hugely down it was about staying in the game and adjusting to the new travel protocols to cope with the pandemic. Our staff were excellent in this regard and we thank Gerard, Catherine, Oliva and Tom as our managers together with our guides and junior staff for their efforts, patience and positivity in this regard.  

The BBC film crew comprising of Tom and Russell were a pleasure to have in camp. Always cheerful and positive they spent countless hours in the hot sun documenting the comings and goings of Chipazua who rose to the occasion and provided them with much to record. We are greatly looking forward to seeing her on the big screen when it does come out and thank our guests for their understanding in this regard during September  and October. We will all have a permanent memory of her beauty and grace when the series emerges in a year or so. We added to the incredible leopard sightings record we have at Kaingo and Mwamba throughout 2021. No one missed out on leopard sightings and most had multiple encounters with multiple members of our leopard family. 

Chipuzua was pregnant at the beginning of the season but the cub was never seen, we assume she once again lost it to the hyenas who perpetually haunt her, or to the lions or wild dogs who sometimes steal her kills. She was mating again towards the end of the season so we can cross fingers that perhaps 2022 will be the year Chipazua finally becomes a mother. Kuweeta, the female that is based directly around Kaingo bore three strong cubs who we had glimpses of from mid -August onwards. They were quite a lot for her to deal with and as she is a shy leopard by nature she was understandably cautious with her precious trio. We gave her as much space as she deserved especially into the late season when the Mwamba Kaingo lion pride moved in to the Leopard loop area with 4 young cubs of their own, which applied added pressure to her nearby denning location.

Interestingly through the filming presence we discovered out that Chipazua’s dry season territory is only 18km square, and Kuweeta appears to have an even smaller area.  These are extremely small as some leopards in marginal areas can have territories up to a thousand square kilometres! This confirmed something we’ve always known… we have a lot of leopard in our area!

Our first look at Kuweeta's new babies while dad overlooks.

Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you.
 ~ African proverb

As usual the lion prides did not disappoint. The MK (Mwamba /Kaingo pride) were dominant between our two camps right from the start and produced 4 very playful cubs in late July. The Hollywoods were also busy all season training their 3 yearlings to hunt. With the appearance of 3  beautiful looking nomad males looking to encroach over the last two months of the season, both prides had their work cut out keeping their young ones out of sight. Late season the Kapanda pride took over Mwamba waterhole and the Nsefu pride frequented the beaches opposite Kaingo. All in all  it was lion central.

The gorgeous M-K cubs playing under mums watchful eyes 

The Carmine bee eaters were spectacularly on time  - 25 August and are just leaving the nests now.
There were many elephant births this year – they have done well and CSL informs us that the poaching of elephants is as low as it has been for some time in the valley which is very good news.

Our hyena clan were persistent stealing kills but had enough hippo to feed on from mid October. Anthrax which is always present in the riverine soils contaminated the local hippo population with some thirty deaths by the end of October. A 6 week heat wave and the lack of early rains have made it very difficult for the wildlife which has now eaten all the foliage along the river. Waterholes such as the one at Mwamba are crucial to local wildlife populations. Our pump at Mwamba packed up about a month after closing and we had to scramble to fix it in order to continue to provide water to the wildlife in the area whilst we wait for the rains to set in. This is amongst the latest starts to the rains in recent times. Coming after the very heavy rains of 2020/21 the variance is huge and impacts wildlife massively making it hard for them to adjust their calving times. As in business, a steady predictable environment encourages productivity. The rains in Lusaka began last night and the forecast shows that we can expect rain for the next 10 days at least. This is promising for farmers and wildlife alike. 

The bank is alive 

Setting up our Carmine Hide

The staff looking forward to seeing the Carmine colony in full noise as they set up the hide 

The Mwamba-Kaingo pride in action!

All action at the Mwamba Kaingo hide

The M-Ks kill a young buffalo at the Mwamba hide only to be interrupted by the Hollywoods and then these bull elephants 

12 Days of Sightings 

A Safari Christmas Lion

Even the bush couldn't help but feel festive this year


We made the papers

Searching for answers


Guests still explored on foot

The first light 

Gathering at the waterhole 

Family fun 

The Hollywoods enjoy a day at the beach

From us, to you

This year was full of gifts

Don't look too happy 

The Leopards looking ready for .... not much 


One of the Valleys new borns steaming into Christmas 


The vibrant colours of the beauty this year displayed 

Above the treetops


Taking flight as the sunset

Keeping an eye on you 

A picture perfect moment 

we will be together again

When you look at the stars think of me

2021 was certainly challenging to everyone traveling to South Luangwa and we thank those who did make it across and in particular to Kaingo and Mwamba Camps. We have watched with tredipation over the past few weeks as Omicron has once again decimated travel to the region, incredibly irrationally considering the prior spread of Omicron around the world and the uncertainty of its origin.

We are hoping for better times in 2022 and extend our very best wishes for you and your families over the festive period and into the new year!


Safe travels until we meet again where the heavens meet the earth...


Salani Bwino


From myself, Jules, Jayabella, Saphire and the Shenton Safaris' Family 

Feel Good Safari News

- The Walk Luangwa team covered 350km in 17 days crossing into 3 national park. An outstanding effort raising money for conservation and community projects. They raised and impressive 11,015 dollars.

-  A frequent guest to our camps, Andrew Silent and friends, set up an E-book called "Tatenda" meaning "Thanks" helping to raise conservation funds.

- A final huge thanks to all our guests and extended family who helped us stay afloat by donating and funding continued road works for anti poaching teams throughout the season.
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