Sunday, July 21, 2013 – Kafue, Zambia

The next morning we woke to a beautiful sight of mist rising from the Kafue River. After a breakfast around the campfire, we went on a morning game drive. The palm trees are Ilala Palms. Ilala means sleeping. The trees are so named because a beer can be made from the fruits and that beer makes you sleepy. The leaves of the Ilala palm are used for thatching and weaving. We saw hippos, warthogs, Ilala palms, sausage trees with their huge pendulous fruit pods, candelabra cactus trees, purple roller birds, saddlebill storks, puku antelopes, hadeba ibis birds, Egyptian geese, kudus, a beautiful brown-veined butterfly, a Senegal Cuckoo, oxpecker birds cleaning hippos, kingfishers, cranes, and storks. We were beset by tsetse flies, which were effectively chased away by burning elephant dung in a torch at the front of the jeep. It was surprisingly not stinky at all, and in fact a bit sweet smelling, but it sure kept the tsetse flies away! We also saw an ibis, a Scrambled Eggs tree (a cassia tree), red-necked francolins (which look a little like thinner guinea fowl), and yellow baboons. Yellow baboons and impalas have a symbiotic relationship and are often found together. Baboons will shake down fruit which the impalas can eat, and both can check and warn about predators. The baboons can see longer distances from their perches in trees, while the impalas have an acute sense of hearing to hear predators.
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morning mist rising off the Kafue River

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still life of sausage tree pods at left,
baobab pods at right

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Robert Chitenge makes toast at the campfire

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Marian Moran and Arthur Kay
sip their morning coffee

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Winston Padgett

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Marilyn Herel and Winston Padgett

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Monica Shephard and Arthur Luehrmann

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morning mist and reflections on the Kafue River

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a resident hippo

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purple roller? or a kingfisher?

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sausage tree with fruit pods

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purple roller? or a kingfisher?

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saddle-bill storks

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hadeba ibis

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Egyptian Geese

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hadeba ibis

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saddle-bill stork

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Brown-Veined Butterfly

hippos and oxpecker birds
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saddle-bill stork

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Senegal Cuckoo

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what bird? on top of a hippo

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what bitd?

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cranes? bustards?

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what bird?

cranes? bustards? storks?
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cranes? bustards?

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tsetse fly

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cranes? bustards?

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Arthur in front of a pod of hippos

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pod of hippos and oxpecker birds

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Saddle-bill Stork

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dead tree

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flowers of the Scrambled-Eggs tree (Cassia tree)

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yellow baboon

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Martha and _ make omelets

After the morning game drive we went back to camp where Martha “helped” the chef make eggs and omelets for brunch. Then Abi gave us a talk about poaching, and asked for our advice on how to cut down the problem. There is subsistence poaching where a person will poach to feed his family. There is also commercial poaching. A poor villager might be approached by a dealer in tusks and be offered $5,000-10,000 for a pair of tusks. This is more money than he would see in a year, so the temptation is huge. There are also too many people to even allow subsistence poaching. The people who benefit most from the presence of the animals are the tourists and the tourist industry, so perhaps they should pay the locals to maintain the herds.
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Abraham (Abi) Nyoni talks to us about the problems of poaching

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Ken and Laura Westray, and Arthur and June Kay

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June Kay, Marian Moran, Marilyn Herel, Judith Blecha, and Janet Shi listen attentively

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Polly Anna Randol, Monica & Scott Shephard

That afternoon, we went on another game drive. Golden showed us a frond from the weeping wato fern which is good for toothaches. We also saw elephants, pukus, hippos, and 2 rabbits. Martha was bitten several times by tsetse flies, but Arthur was not bitten. Polly Anna and Janet each got bitten. After nightfall we used an infra-red light to see a solitary male lion (the males are all solitary) in the bush.
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Abraham (Abi) Nyoni asks how we can stop poaching

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guinea fowl

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Golden holding a branch of a weeping wato fern, whose leaves are good for toothaches

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full moon rises

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full moon

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moon rise and acacia tree

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full moon

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solitary male lion

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Laura Westray, Marian Moran, June Kay, and Arthur Luehrmann on the evening game drive to find lions

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Then we came back to camp for a yummy dinner. On the whole we have been eating European-style foods, not local foods. Abi tells us that the average villager eats very little meat. He eats a lot of cooked ground corn (like grits) with spicy sauces.