May 2009 Travel Zambia 19 People People Vakacha Vakacha Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani Culture These three birds are poking about on the shore of a Luangwa lagoon in search of a tasty morsel. But can you tell what they are? Here are some clues to make it easier: one is named after the colour of its head, another is named after the shape of its head and the third is named after the status it held in ancient Egypt. Name all three species and you could win one of fi ve copies of Zambia: the Bradt Travel Guide. Send your answer on a postcard to Zambia Bradt Competition, Travel Zambia Magazine, 4 Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Oxford, OX9 2NZ, United Kingdom. Or email your answer to competitions@ travelafricamag. com, putting Zambia Bradt Competition in the subject line. Entries MUST include your full postal address and daytime phone number. Only one entry per household. Entries close on 1 September 2009. BIRD BRAINS Win the Bradt guide to Zambia MIKE UNWIN Reader's Journal Linzi Summers visited South Luangwa in January for a special birthday safari. She and her group stayed at Nkwali ( www. robinpopesafaris. net), one of the few camps to remain open throughout the green season. Linzi's diary describes a day to remember. On my birthday I was asked what I would like to see. Every day we had teased our excellent guide Jacob with our requests, such as ' aardvark' and ' polar bear' ( just for fun). This time I asked for wild dog, even though I knew dogs had not been seen in the area since Christmas, three weeks earlier. These things always happen when you least expect them. We were all focused on a heron to the left when Jacob, ignoring the request to confi rm our ID, said " dog print". I leaned over the side to where Jacob was looking. Just one paw print? I thought you needed at least four for a dog. Not convinced, I turned back to the heron. " Two prints," said Jacob. We politely looked again at the dubious evidence. Then suddenly there was an alarm call. We all jumped to attention and Jacob took off. " Hold on tight," he said as he swung the vehicle around, and there on the horizon we could see impala with wild dogs giving chase. We bounced around, dodging deep puddles and ducking under low branches, as Jacob made towards the anticipated arrival area of the dogs. We came to stop and there in front of us were three, ... no four, ... no nine wild dogs, all waiting for the arrival of their hunting mates. We watched in awe as the dogs came back from their ( unsuccessful) hunt and were greeted with squeaky yelps. There were 13 dogs in total. They kept moving about but eventually all settled around the vehicle, taking absolutely no interest in us. We spent the next hour happily absorbing the scene before heading back. Mission accomplished. How could we follow that? Easy. Back at camp Jo, Robin and their team had laid on a special surprise birthday lunch. And what a magical setting! As well as the fantastic food, we had elephants wandering through the backdrop, baboons in the trees, and fl ashes of brilliant colour as kingfi shers and bee- eaters fl itted overhead. Linzi Summers is a freelance safari consultant. Contact her at linzi. summers@ virgin. net Birthday bonus LINZI SUMMERS LINZI SUMMERS
20 Travel Zambia May 2009 THE GIANT AWAKES Kafue National Park is Zambia's largest and boasts its greatest variety of wildlife. Yet years of neglect have seen it slip down the country's tourist agenda. Mike Unwin travelled this vast reserve from north to south in search of its secrets, and discovered just why it once again tops the to- do list of many discerning safari- goers. There is no better place in Zambia to see cheetah than Kapinga Camp, on Busanga Plains.