Liuwa Plain National Park

It was now August 23, that last day of my visit with Njamba. I was up when it was still dark but the sun came up shortly around 6:00hrs. I had a shower and got dressed and sat on my little porch watching the chickens peck at the grass wondering which one was missing if we ate it for dinner the night before. I munched on some dried blueberries I had brought and threw a couple to the chickens but they ignored them. While sitting there I realized that my guests

probably didn’t have a towel so I took my wet towel and hung it over a chair in front of their chalet. A little later I heard Mamma & Ngebe talking so I knocked on the door and gave them my wet towel and some soap. I hope I didn’t offend

giving her a wet towel, but I think she understood.

Our driver Max & WV guide

 extraordinaire David showed up and we proceed to the pontoon boat to cross the Zambezi River towards the Liuwa Plains national park. We bought cream cookies on the way for breakfast and brought the left over’s (in the pots, stowed under the seats) from dinner the night before as our lunch. Jami & I sat up on the bench seats close to the driver and Njamba, Ngebe, Mamma, Mwualuka & David sat along the bench. Mamma was being bounced around so I told her to put her foot on the opposite bench to keep her in place. After lunch I told her to sit up front and I sat bouncing in the very back with Njamba. All the better to have those sneak peaks at each other. He was very shy and smiled a lot.

After confirming the names of who was entering the park as I originally thought Mr. Kazaka, Kufuku & Mutiowa were coming and now we had Mwualuka & mamma, we were on our way. We waited for the pontoon boat to arrive on our side for boarding. It was a rope pull pontoon and Njamba helped pull it back to the other side.

We drove for quite a while until we reached the park and started seeing animals. I had heard that the Wildebeest migration was no more as a lot of the animals hadbeen killed off. What a surprise. There are single male Wildebeest lying or standing about every acre ( see caption)

male Wildebeastacre or so. They stay there all winter waiting for the females in their heard to return in the spring. The females do a migration toAngolaevery year to warmer grasslands and return toZambiaduring the rainy season to mate & bear there young., Gideon, our guide with a big rifle, said that he was there the day before and there were only the males. We saw thousands. It was quite the sight to see. Big males running and encircling their herds to lead away from us. Dust filling the air like smoke. I am so fortunate when it comes to animals as somehow they are drawn to me and I them and I have had many special experiences with animals. We saw Zebras with foals mingling with the Wildebeest.

We spent a considerable amount of time parked about 30 feet away from a pack of about 10 Hyenas. They are nocturnal so they were lounging by a small water whole, basking in the sun. Gideon explained that it was best to keep quiet so they would not feel threatened and run and they would be used to the vehicle for future visitors to view. You can tell the difference between a male & female hyena as the females are bigger and keep their tails between there hind legs. They have the strongest jaw in the animal kingdom and eat the bones & all.

( see video) It shows black at first but please be patient. Thanks

There is a story in Lozi culture that the Litunga,( Lozi King) planted his walking stick on the plain where it grew into a mutate tree (palm tree). It stands all by itself on this massive plain where you feel like you are at the end of the earth. There are a few areas of trees you can see in the distance, but mostly flat grassy plain. The lions are in those trees.

We had our lunch by that palm tree. It was good to stretch our legs as we were in the vehicle from6:00hrs to3:00pm.

We saw many flocks of beautiful big birds called Fish Eagles but there are no elephants or giraffe in Liuwa as there are not enough trees.

We bounced and roared our way bay to the guest house with Njamba and I sitting in the rear of the van. We were sharing the little knob to lock the back door as something to hold onto as there were no handles we could grab. He was so polite and when we touched hands accidentally we both said “sorry”. Every time we went over a big bump, I would involuntarily squeal and Njamba would laugh. At one point I showed Njamba how to do a loud whistle with four fingers. I told him as I do with all the children I have taught how to do this “If you practice for one day straight you will get it.” David was great entertainment for us all by singing and telling us a true story of his encounter with a python when he was about 8 yrs old. Apparently a python will bite and hold on for dear life and then start to encircle you to suffocate you to death. David was walking with his dad and they stopped by a tree for his Dad to speak to someone. David sat down in the shade for a rest. His dad didn’t say anything but motioned David to come quickly to him. David did as his father asked and he had David jump onto his back. When David was perched on his dads back, his father pointed to the three metre python that was perched in the tree David had been sitting under. His dad proceeded to walk backwards, facing the tree until they were safely in the village. It was not until they were a safe distance from the python that David started to shake. He has a great respect for pythons now and was very grateful to God that he was spared.

I let them all look through the binoculars and showed Njamba how to take a picture with my camera. Mwualuka got to use the video camera and the result is quite comedic on screen.

David did a video in the van. He is very good at asking the right questions as he used to do video for weddings. He asked if I had a message for my husband Carl. I said” I Love You and miss you and wish you were here”.

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