Country : Zimbabwe (Mana Pools)
Distance : 45km
After another noisy night of belching, snorting and grunting from the hippos in the river and the Motley Crew in the tents, we rose to coffee and breakfast before heading off on a game drive through the park to Sapi pan (or Lungfish pan as it used to be known).
The first sight we had was of an elephant standing on its hind legs to get to the leaves high on the trees. We later found out he has been named Boswell and this stunt of his is unique in the wild. He has two hangers on that attempt to emulate him but are not always successful. When you consider the size of a full grown African elephant this is quite a feat!
While we were watching Boswell a group on their way out of the park let us know of a lion that had robbed a leopard of its kill. We shot through and just got there in time to see the male lion carrying off the carcass. Later that morning we joined a ranger and walked through the bush to the patch of long grass that he had settled in. Unfortunately no-one was prepared to sacrifice himself for the greater good by wandering around in the grass to find the exact whereabouts so we had to leave empty handed.
On the way to Sapi pan we went through an area that looked like a war zone with a mass of devastated trees. We learned later that this was the effect of a previous drought. In the midst of this Sapi pan is a jewel of an oasis with colour and bird life all around.
The trip continued to the start of the wilderness area then down to the river front where we stopped for a quick thirst quencher and a few pictures of a fish eagle regally perched on the top of a high tree.
We stopped of at the main camp for a picture and to gaze in awe at seeing the full width of the Zambezi river.
Back at camp some of us retired for a quiet siesta under the trees and others went off fishing. The siesta (and fishing) was rudely interrupted by a small group of lions that were tracking a family of warthog and ended up just outside our camp. They eventually settled under the trees less than a hundred metres from us which made for a wonderful photo opportunity.
Our next guest was Huberta the Hippo who lived in the channel in front of our camp.