Friday, August 13, 2010

My Pops’ Visit Part 2

South Luangwa

Next stop on our adventure was South Luangwa.  The plane ride was awesome.  It was a little fifteen seater plane and Pops and I were right at the front.  I could reach out and touch the pilots.  Dad was convinced they had no idea what they were doing.  I loved being able to look at the front window of the plane.


We landed at the Mufwe “International” Airport.  Awesome! Smallest airport I’ve ever been to in the middle of nowhere.


We stayed at Kafunta Lodge…Highly Recommended.  This place was unreal.  Granted we had frogs join us every night but other than that I felt like I was in heaven.  We spent three nights in this glorious haven.  I had to keep asking myself, “Is this for real?”

I love having a schedule and I pretty much think we had the best schedule while we were here.  The morning began with a light knock on our door at 5:30.   At six we were out the door to enjoy a light breakfast.  At 6:30 we piled in a real safari vehicle and headed out to the park.  It was gorgeous in the morning.  Everything seemed so calm and quiet.  We rode around the park for the next two hours encountering all sorts of animals and then we’d take a tea and biscuit break in a very picturesque location.  The safari would continue for another two hours and then we headed back to the lodge.  We’d arrive around 11 and have a 1/2 hr break before lunch (I always took a quick nap during this time).  At exactly 11:30 the drums would play letting us know that our lunch was ready.  We were greeted by the friendly Kafunta Staff that made us feel like we were all related.  The food was amazing.  After lunch we’d have siesta until 3:30.  I’ve decided that a 4 hr siesta in the middle of the day is exactly what everyone needs in life.  I loved it.  I used this time to go for a little jog, use the Internet, and shower.  Dad slept.  At 3:30 the drums would play again and we would meet for a snack and head out on our evening safari.  Again, we’d ride around for a couple of hours, have a tea and biscuit break, watch the sunset and then finish off the last couple of hours in the dark watching the animals movements through a spotlight.  We’d get home at 8 and have a 1/2 hr before dinner.  At 8:30 we would sit on the veranda, eat incredible food, talk with awesome people, and watch and listen to the the hippos grazing in the pasture.  After dinner we’d retire to our lodge and quickly fall asleep with smiles on our faces knowing we got to do it all over again the following day.  Ahhhh…sweet bliss, my friends.


Rene, Pops, and our amazing safari guide Martin


Martin was always telling us some story about an animal that almost attacked him.  He was fascinating and hilarious.


Irma and Rene became our dear friends.  They are from Switzerland and joined us for most of our safari rides.  The trip wouldn’t have been the same without them.


Martin and Anka, the Kafunta owner.  A delightful woman from Germany.


Dad and I enjoying our biscuits.


Our first night out on Safari we encountered a pride of lions.  There were eleven in all.  We saw them all lounging around before it got dark.  Some were laying in the streets and some were laying the bush.  It was awesome to watch them.

This little fella was very obviously the leader of the pride.



After our tea and biscuit break, when the sun was down, we headed back to the lions and watched for the next hour as they hunted a buffalo.  At one point we were between the pride and the buffalo.  It was awesome to watch every move of the lions.  They were all in sync.  They all moved at the same time, turned their heads in the same direction, walked in a formation, with the leader behind.  We heard the lion attack and heard the buffalo get away.  We watched as the lions retreated in defeat.  The next morning we saw the leg of an impala that the lions had killed instead of the buffalo.  Certainly not the buffalo they had wanted but at least they got a kill.  AMAZING!!!


Elephant encounters!  The elephants were out to get us on this trip.  The first day we got in the way of this elephant and he was MAD!!!  I think Martin purposefully cut the elephant off so we could have ourselves a show.  I was terrified so mostly I just hid under the blanket and every once in a while would peek to see how close the elephant was to us. 


Showing us who’s in charge


Down on his knees


Flapping his ears waiting for attack


This elephant is angry


Another too close encounter to an elephant.  I’m once again hiding under the covers while Irma is chanting to me, “If you can’t see the elephant the elephant can’t see you.”  Martin, our safari guide, has now pulled out his camera and is taking pictures, as if he’s never been this close before.  In my head I’m thinking, “Get me out of here, we’re going to die.”


We did have some positive encounters with elephants.  The little babies were adorable.


Birds, birds, and more birds.  I’ve never seen so many incredible birds and so colorful.  My Dad takes amazing pictures.







The landscape…there are not words to describe how incredible African sunrises and sunsets are.  The terrain was spectacular.  Even without the animals this would have all been worth it to see the beautiful landscape.

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Irma loved the hippos.  Every time we’d get close to them she would mimic their sound.  It made me happy.


Reptiles and plenty of them.  I love crocodiles.  They fascinate me.



On our last morning of safari we saw one buffalo off in the distance so we decided to get a little closer.  We pulled up to see three buffalos and just sat there watching them.  Off in the distance we could see a few more buffalos trying to cross the water.  They started to cross the river and following them we watched a herd of 200-300 hundred buffalo cross the river.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 

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South Luangwa became a National Park because of this giraffe.  It’s only found in South Luangwa.





Is that a leopard I see?  Nope!  That would just be the kill of a leopard.  Is that the same thing as actually seeing a leopard?


Fire Ants



Jaron said...

Holy cow Heather! Incredible experiences you're having. Makes me miss the time I spent in Africa so much. Hopefully someday I'll get to return.

Brenna said...

You are living the dream Hed. Seriously, a dream! So happy and excited for you. Love these picturers - absolutely beautiful.
Words can't express how much I miss you.
Love love,

brenda said...

Your pictures are unreal! The stuff disney movies are made of.

I can just imagine traveling with your dad. Getting those bird pics must have been a dream for him. So cool you got to have those experiences together.