Sept. 25 – Another walk in the bush
Judy and I decided to do a bush walk with our guide, Bwalya, in the morning, and we were rewarded by getting up close and personal with a number of animals – as well as getting lessons on the different kinds of poop and how impala and rhino use their excrement to protect their territory. The male impala may have as many as 40 females in his harem, and during mating season he keeps others at bay by marking his land. The zebras had no fear, and let us get closer to them than many horses will allow. We also watched a herd of 12 elephants walk by and a giraffe graze in a nearby tree. And got to see a termite hill – one still occupied by a queen and thousands of workers and soldiers.
We visited another school that the local lodges are helping to build, and found superior conditions than in Malawi. Here there are brand-new buildings made of concrete with wood doors and smaller desks thanks to the generosity of tourists. The primary school has three sessions a day since there are so many kids. Because it was Sunday, we couldn’t witness classes, but the kids who board there followed us around, smiling and waving.
We then visited Project Luangwa Women’s Craft Workshop, where local women make textile crafts as well as reusable, cloth sanitary pads so young girls can go to school when they are menstruating! Talk about a way to honor women!
Because of my nasty cold, I skipped the evening game drive. Malcolm and Judy were lucky enough to see another leopard in the open just before sunset. After it went into the bushes, Bwalya took them to a place where maybe a hundred colorful, iridescent bee-eaters nest each night. After dark during the spotlighting drive, they saw two spectacular crowned cranes and many of the usual animals. As he made a sharp turn, Bwalya came to a halt. The headlights illuminated two lionesses lying in the road. After Mal and Judy took some photos, Bwalya inched forward to try to pass the lions, but when one bared her teeth, he backed up and found another route.