September at Croc Valley brings warmer weather and more wildlife! As the waterholes and lagoons dry up, the animals start congregating closer to the river and we see more and more wildlife. Often that means that there will be sightings right in camp and this year we’ve had a bounty of them. Just in the past week, we had a pack of three wild dogs chasing a big male bushbuck through camp. They chased him through the river tents, through the campsite, and up the road. The buck took a turn and ran head first into the guinea fowl cage and then escaped. They then chased a female from the rugby field, through the dump to the eco tents, back through the dump. Unfortunately for the dogs, their hunt wasn’t successful this time – but with an impressive 80% success rate, wild dogs are among Africa’s most effective predators.
A few weeks ago, we also had a leopard stroll casually passed the pool while many guests were sitting and enjoying their dinner. She turned and walked behind the turtle rooms and back toward the mechanics shop. We were all so amazed no one managed to snap a picture of her – but she was incredibly relaxed. We also often hear leopards coughing at night in the campground and near the river tents. The sound of the African night is beautiful and wild.
This time of year the elephants often wander through camp browsing on our trees and bushes in the garden. The guests are always excited to see them as they troop through the grounds – and they are amazingly silent. We always try to warn our guests that we are living among wild animals – so they must take precautions when walking at night to their rooms and tents. Ask go with a watchman at night – and pack a sturdy bright torch to bring with you when you come to Croc Valley. And if you plan to camp, be sure all your food is properly stored in our self catering kitchen – the elephants have been known to break into cars looking for treats!
In other goings on, Mambwe celebrated it’s annual Malaila ceremony after covid had cancelled it for the last two years. Malaila is a ceremony in Zambia that is held to honour past chiefs, held in August by the Kunda people, near Mfuwe in the Luangwa Valley. The event was designed to preserve the country’s cultural heritage. This amazing ceremony brings together all the chiefs and people of the Mambwe district to celebrate the arrival of the Kunda people in the Eastern Province of Zambia and their settlement of the Mambwe area in the 19th century. Traditional dancing, songs, speeches and story-telling all combine to create an unforgettable traditional ceremony that is the highlight of the calendar for the Kunda community.
The Luangwa Safari Association (LSA) proudly sponsors the Malaila ceremony and donates the food for the event which is shared by the festival’s celebrants. Guests from Croc Valley attended the day long event.
So that is just some of this month’s news from Croc Valley. We hope you are able to visit us soon – Herbert can help you book your stay at email@example.com and arrange transport. We have enjoyed meeting so many people from around the world this month and look forward to see you in the months to come!