March 13th, 2009


African Dreams- pt. 3- "South Luangwa Pics"

Finally! I got the pics to upload. I noticed something in scanning in all of the pics I took on the trip. My wildlife photography skills certainly got better as the trip progressed. I was a little disappointed by the quality of the Luangwa pics compared to ones I took later. *shrugs* I did find some good ones, however, that I hope you enjoy.

I should mention something sad about South Luangwa. I found an old guidebook from the '70's that said the park was famous for its large black rhino herd. There were a few thousand rhinos in the park. Within 20 years, however, the entire herd had been poached to extinction. I have also read that the elephant herds had also felt the pressure from time to time. This was somewhat surprising since we did see quite a few elephants. On the other paw we DID come across a carcass of an elephant that had been poached just outside of the park boundary. We essentially followed a cloud of vultures to the stinking corpse. It was a rather sobering experience.

And now pics and stories! I'll lead off with one of those crocodiles I saw from the bridge leading into the park. There were quite a few basking in the sun.

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So I think that should cover S. Luangwa. I suppose I should mention something about insects. This park has so much wildlife because of the tsetse fly. Because the flies were so prevalent, very little development for livestock was done. I was a bit concerned because they carry sleeping sickness which is fatal to humans. And yes, I was bit MANY times. Those fuckers are worse than horseflies! Fortunately there was no occurrence of the disease going on, so the risk was minimal. The flies prefer large bovines. When you're walking around, they don't bother you. When you're in a vehicle, however, you are large like a buffalo so they will attack. It was really weird. The other insect I should mention are bees. I had to learn to not swat at bees that were bothersome. This was Africa. ALL bees were Africanized a.k.a. killer bees! There were also mosquitoes which is one of the deadliest animals in all of Africa since they spread malaria. Unfortunately malaria is now resistant to quinine in Africa so I had to take some meds with some nasty side effects. Fortunately they were mild in me but suicidal tendencies is one. Could you see me running at a 15' croc yelling, "Eat me!"

Stay tuned for more pics and stories!