The South Luangwa National Park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, one of the last remaining unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa - a claim which is not an overstatement. Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector on a magnificent meander on the Luangwa River across which elephants often cross lies the historic camp Nsefu. The camp welcomes just twelve guests in six original brick and thatch rondavels with en-suite facilities, each room opening up to what can simply be described as the best view in the South Luangwa.
Nsefu has just reopened for the season until November with a pretty spectacular day 2 sighting...
"This is our second day of the new season. It is 05.00 a.m. and we are preparing breakfast along the riverside. Dawn is about to break and two guests are already sitting by the fire enjoying the early sounds of the bush.
Then one of our staff is looking across the river and notices a lioness coming towards the edge. She seems to get chased by other females. She wades into the water, looking very uncertain but to our amazement she seems to want to cross to our side. More guests arrive for breakfast whilst she is slowly moving towards us, stopping every now and again. Will she cross? She is obviously scared of the strong current and the high possibility of getting attacked by a crocodile. All the same, she keeps coming closer. Then she hits deep water, starts swimming and gets slightly pushed downriver by the current. She needs to swim hard now and comes ashore just at the last chalet which is a bit further down from where we are standing. As the light is getting better one of our guides all of a sudden notices the two male lions from the Nsefu pride standing upriver on our side, about 50 meters away. They are completely fixated on the lioness and it appears as if they want to welcome her.
Together with our guests we are standing right in between them. With all this activity going on left, right and centre we do not know where to look anymore, let alone have breakfast.
The male lions start walking inland towards our bar area whilst the lioness is waiting underneath a big tree which stands between the guest area and staff village. We are losing sight of the males now. The female does not make a move yet. At this point our guests and guides are eager to go out into the bush by car to see exactly what is going on and then, as we are waving off the last vehicle the female suddenly appears right in between the chalets. She seems to be searching for the two males.
A quick look tells her that they are not by the riverbank anymore so she turns around and disappears into the bush. What a magical way to start a new day!"