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The Lion King, a grandfather lion of South Luangwa-- night safari with Jayjay

The Lion King, a grandfather lion of South Luangwa-- night safari with Jayjay


Night Drive with JJ
This was going to be John and Susan's last safari and so we decided to go and see what kind of luck we could have with sightings. They have been quite lucky especially with leopard sightings.Two other people were in the vehicle, Rachelle who works in the area teaching conservation education and Brooke who was visiting her.
The first animal we saw was an old male buffalo. JJ explained some of the herd dynamics of buffalo and basically this old man was on his own.
At the lagoon we saw two immature bateleurs. JJ explained you could tell the age of the bateleur by the color of their beaks. Up in the trees above them were a white faced and lappet faced vulture. Could not see any sign of carrion they might be eating on. John was happy to learn it was lappet faced---he thought the guide in Tanzania was calling it a leopard faced vulture and saw nothing leopard faced about it!

And this is a male zebra and this a female zebra...................
and how do you tell the two apart? Well it has been explained to us twice and I think I am catching on. You find the stripe in the middle of the belly and follow it up the back to the point where it forks. If the fork goes to white, it is male, black female. Haven't yet gone back to see if I am right.
Saw a nice flock of Lillian's lovebirds and a red necked francolin with one young. There were impala and puku moving about here and there. We headed over to the river's edge for our sundowner.
And the darkness closes in....................
After the sundowner, we headed out in the darkness with the aid of the spotlight. JJ likes to head into the bush traveling on little used roads. Fortunately he knows where he is going but not sure I could get us out of there! We came on a small group of elephants that seemed content to let us pass on through.

The Lion King...............................
or maybe the oldest lion in the park was the next thing we saw. He was still majestic in the size of him but you could tell he was very old. His nose looked like it had been in several scrapes as did his hide. He would look over at us and then open his mouth wide in a yawn and we could see how massive his mouth was. Don't know how many of his teeth were missing.
He sat there for a good long while and then got up and started to walk away. We followed him and then he sat down and JJ was making the sound they make when sounding off about territory and then he started making his own sounds. He can still put forth a good show.
From there we moved on. Saw a Pels Fishing Owl sitting on the edge of the bluff. What a treat! They are hard to see and we felt very fortunate to have gotten such a good view of him.
We continued on. We saw four genet, which we found out were related to the mongoose and not considered a cat. We also saw a civet, scrub hare, elelphand shrew, white tailed mongoose and swamp mongoose. They also spotlighted a flap necked chameleon again for us. This time JJ got out and pulled it off the branch and brought it over closer for us to see and then put it back.
As usual, it is fun being out in the wilds at night and hearing the sounds of the nightlife. We did not spot a leopard but as usual, it is all good.

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