Sunday, September 14, 2014

Africa 14: River Safaris in Zambia

Our next camp was situated at the confluence of the Kafue and Lufupa Rivers in Zambia.

This area is in the middle of a huge game reserve.  We spent a leisurely day in these boats exploring the rivers.

Hippos often spend their days cooling in the river. We saw many of them. For the most part, they stay completely submerged, except for their ears and eyes,and sometimes parts of their backs.

Woe be tied to the poor canoeist who inadvertently ventures too close to a hippo. 

Hippos will charge. They will destroy the boat and kill the people inside.  In fact, hippos kill more people than any other animal in Africa.

At night, hippos leave the river and forage for food.  Here we see what our guides call a hippo highway.  It's an area where the hippos leave and return to the river.

Notice how the underbrush is beaten down and the bank is devoid of any vegetation.

They may be nearly invisible to the uninitiated, but if you are near a river, you can count on the fact that crocodiles are nearby as well. 

They also have been known to attack and kill folks in small boats.

There were many different kinds of birds along the riverbank.  Here an African Darter is drying it's wings after fishing.

We think this is a Blue Heron.

Motoring slowly along the bank allowed us to see this Brown-Hooded Kingfisher.

And this Openbill Stork.
And this Malachite Kingfisher.  Gorgeous little guy. 

Late afternoon brings wonderful reflections along the river's banks.
And more crocodiles.  Notice how well this guy blends into the bank.  If it weren't for our guides, we wouldn't have seen him.  Bottom line, as mentioned before: be very careful around a river's edge in Africa.

Next time, we visit Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

 Continue on to Post 15: Challenges in Zimbabwe, by clicking here


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