It feels like a long time ago – and I guess it was – but I won’t quickly forget the week I spent with Sharon, Denise and Dru at Norman Carr Safaris’ Luwi and Nsolo camps. Quite apart from beautiful surroundings in the camps, it was mid-September, the peak of the dry season when game viewing is at its best. And a bit of luck had given us some recent cloudy days which had cleared the haze generating golden light in the afternoons, right up until the sun dropped below the horizon.

Sharon and Denise are keen on photography, while Dru was content with the wonderful experience and snapping some memories on her camera. Sharon is fairly new to dSLRs and Denise has considerable experience in photojournalism, although on film not digital. We were lucky to have Friday Zulu as our guide (for the first time, I was the accompanying guide, rather than driving & guiding – which I really enjoyed!) because he has some experience with photographers and enjoys taking photos himself. And in between offering guidance and suggestions, I even managed to get some photos that I am happy with and they certainly tell the story of the week.

Almost before we had left camp on our first morning, we found a pack of Wild Dogs who had only recently started bringing the pups with them when they left the den to go hunting. We had been seeing the adults but not before seen the 6 pups from this year’s litter. Unfortunately the light was poor that morning, but we enjoyed a wonderful hour with them. Initially we watched from the vehicle but when they reappeared some way off in the bush we approached on foot and were rewarded with an inquisitive adult dog coming right up to us!!

That afternoon we enjoyed great general game sightings with excellent light. The grassy floodplain environment along the Luwi River is unusual and beautiful. It is very forgiving when the light is harsh because the grasses “soak up” the excess light and avoid dark contrasty shadows.

The following day, in the late evening, we spent over an hour at a waterhole that had been dominated by lions from the morning. Elephants were piling up in the bush, hoping to get access to drink, but were held back. Eventually, as it was getting dark, a brave cow brought her family out and they charged the lions, displacing them and allowing 20-30 other elephants access to the water!

That night, we visited a new hyaena den that the clan have moved into this season. There were pups of all ages and sizes and we watched for a while before deciding to turn off the spotlight for fear of attracting unwanted visitors who might threaten the pups.

Having seen so much, we chose to explore some new areas on our final morning. The decision was a good one as we caught up with the two males from the Luwi Pride who were lounging with a female. They too were displaced by elephants (something you don’t often see twice in a week!) but returned to the same place once the elephants had moved away.

To top off a fabulous week, we found the dog pack again in the afternoon and we spent a while with them watching the pups interact and create the original dog-pile!! Then, as one, they got up and moved off to the waterhole and began to hunt in that dusk period when it’s very hard for their prey to keep tabs on all of them when they’re running around and causing maximum confusion.

Heading home after dark, we enjoyed a wonderful serval sighting – such a beautiful cat and completely at home in the grassy habitat along the Luwi river.

This safari was arranged with UK agent Africa Exclusive who are very experienced in putting together safaris in Zambia and across the continent. They booked me as a private guide to accompany their guests. If you are interested in a similar arrangement, consider contacting Africa Exclusive and I’d be very pleased to join you. As you see, I offer advice and help with cameras, settings and equipment but I also document the guests’ trip which makes for great memories.

Here are a couple more photos from behind the scenes!