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November 2007 Travel Zambia 21 Bird lovers love lovebirds Twitchers have been having a field day at Kafue’s Nanzhila Lodge (www.nanzhila.com), where small flocks of the endemic black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) have been seen on game drives throughout the last season. This tiny member of the parrot family is thought to occur naturally nowhere in the world outside southwestern Zambia, and birders eager for a ‘lifer’ are flocking to Nanzhila Plains. The black-cheeked lovebird is distinguished from the similar and much more common Lilian’s lovebird (Agapornis lilianae) by its darker face markings. Hollywood pride. In fact, the Mwamba pride has now split into two loose sub-prides, both of which are covered by the two Mwamba males, who are prolific breeders. The plot thickens. The Hollywood pride currently has two groups of youngsters: six who are six months old and three who are three months old. The former are almost certainly the offspring of the deposed Hollywood male, but the paternity of the three little ones – who were born around the time he disappeared – is less certain: they might well be the offspring of the Mwamba males. Derek awaits the fate of these cubs with trepidation, since male lions taking over a new pride habitually kill any youngsters that are not their own. The death of the Hollywood male has muddied the territorial waters, with the Mwamba pride now claiming large areas of the Hollywood pride’s former August 2007 brought the end of an era for the lions of the Mwamba district: the ‘Hollywood’ male was no more. This formidable patriarch had ruled over his pride – so named for their flirtations with film crews – since 2002. But he has not been seen since enduring a savage attack by two males from the rival ‘Mwamba’ pride. Derek Shenton of Shenton Safaris (www.kaingo.com), who has followed both prides’ fortunes over many years, believes he cannot have survived. This news marks the latest twist in a protracted power struggle. The Hollywood and Mwamba prides have long held adjacent territories along the west bank of the Luangwa, in an area that encompasses Shenton’s Kaingo and Mwamba camps. In recent years, however, the Mwamba pride has grown to a formidable size, its amazing 38 lions far outnumbering the 17 of the domain. Guests recently witnessed an epic battle, as the Mwambas chased the Hollywoods from a buffalo kill. Meanwhile other lions are viewing the action with interest: first, three big new males, which have recently been seen in the area; second, the Nsefu pride from the other side of the Luangwa, which have crossed over in the past and have recently been seen roaring their ambitions over the water. With the Hollywood male out of the picture, either of these interlopers may yet make a move on his former pride. Pride after a fall Power and passion, murder and betrayal: these are the ingredients of a torrid feline soap opera played out across the pride lands of South Luangwa. Mike Unwin reports on the latest gripping episode. DID YOU KNOW? Hippos were long thought to be related to pigs. But genetic analysis suggests they may actually share a common ancestor with whales. JULIET SHENTON / SHENTON SAFARIS NANZHILA PLAINS

22 Travel Zambia November 2007 Historic Zambia: Building on faith In the northwest corner of Zambia a remarkable construction stands as testimony to one man’s unshakeable faith. The Chinyingi Bridge, close to the Angola border and about 220km from the headwaters of the Zambezi, is the work and inspiration of Brother Crispin Baleri, a Franciscan brother who was sent to serve at the Chinyingi Mission in 1964. The Mission stands on the western side of the Zambezi. When Baleri arrived in this remote district he found that the only way across the river was by dugout canoe. Since the Mission served the community on both banks, and all supplies had to be brought across the river, this represented a major obstacle. Brother Crispin’s solution was to build a pontoon. But in 1971, after a canoe accident claimed eight lives, he decided something more permanent was required. Baleri had no training as an engineer, but before receiving his calling he had worked as a mechanic in Chicago. Inspiration came when he saw a picture of a ‘catwalk’ suspension bridge used for transporting goats across a river in Nepal. With painstaking research and the help of sympathetic individuals, he drew up detailed plans. There was little money available, but Crispin managed to obtain the steel cables and other building materials he needed as ‘surplus’ from mines in the Copperbelt, and employed six unskilled local labourers. Work started in 1972 and the bridge took five years to construct. Progress was slow: collecting materials often involved a 1,600km round-trip on atrocious roads. There were also numerous hiccups along the way: twice the supporting towers had to be raised when it transpired that even at maximum tension the bridge still sagged too low above the water; and at one point a fellow brother, of rather substantial frame, broke through the flooring and plummeted 15m to the river below, from where he was retrieved unharmed (the flooring was subsequently reinforced). But at each setback Crispin’s resolve merely redoubled. By 1977 the Chinyingi community at last had their bridge. It measured 310m between the towers, each of which stood 20m high, and spanned a 220m-wide stretch of river. Today this enterprising structure, also known as the Chalo Bridge, still stands strong and has a new pontoon bridge underneath it for vehicles. It remains one of only five bridges along the 2,574km length of the Zambezi, with up to 500 people crossing each day to and from Chinyingi Mission and its 52-bed hospital. In 1992 Baleri moved to St Bonaventure College in Lusaka, where to this day he serves the Franciscan community in the city. With thanks to Richard H. Miller Recipe: Ifisashi Ifisashi is a popular dish of greens in peanut sauce. It is usually served with nshima, the maize-meal porridge that is the staple food across Zambia. Meat can be added if available. This recipe serves four. Ingredients 1–2 cups raw peanuts, with shells and skins removed 1 onion, chopped 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped 1kg of chopped greens, e.g. pumpkin leaves or spinach, with stems removed salt (to taste) cooked cabbage (optional) leftover cooked beef, chicken or fish (optional) Directions Chop or pound peanuts into powder (or use natural, sugar-free peanut butter). Bring 4–5 cups of water to the boil in a large pot. Add peanuts, tomatoes and onion. Cook on high heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat. Stir in greens and add salt. Cover and cook for a further 15–45 minutes (according to greens used), stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until greens and peanuts are reduced to a thick sauce, adding more water if required. Adjust seasoning and add optional ingredients. Serve hot. Some key dates in Zambian history 1855: David Livingstone is first European to see Victoria Falls. 1923: British South Africa Company cedes Northern Rhodesia to British government. 1953: Northern Rhodesia and southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) join Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. 1960–61: Zambian people demonstrate against Federation. 1963: Federation dissolved. 24 October 1964: Republic of Zambia proclaimed; Kenneth Kaunda is first president. PATRICK WAGNER / AFRICANPICTURES.NET Ingredients sold at any Zambian market. ROBIN DALY / AFRICANPICTURES.NET