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False May 2008 Travel Zambia 23 Reader’s Journal MERLITH McKENDRICK This man- made lake, which covers some 370km2, lies inside Zambia’s largest national park. The dam that created it was built in 1978 and is packed with earth, making it less vulnerable to earth tremors. The lake is an angler’s paradise and plays host to an annual fishing competition. Do you recognise this place? Tell us where in Zambia you think the above picture was taken and you could win one of five 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 31 August 2008. GUESS WHERE And win the Bradt guide to Zambia Merlith McKendrick is no stranger to safaris, but South Luangwa has a special place in her affections. In September 2007 she stayed with her daughter at Tena Tena camp ( www. robinpopesafaris. net). Her diary reveals some of the highlights. There was a sudden eruption of movement, snarling and snorting. Over in a moment: it was lions one, impala minus one. We drove round the lagoon as fast as possible. I was so hoping the poor beast wasn’t suffering still. Suffering? By the time we got there it was already divided into five equal pieces with five contented lions gnawing happily and a couple of hyenas in the background realising that there would be nothing left. Talk about fast food. I was awoken by the rustle of dry leaves. Strange: why would the staff be sweeping up leaves at this time of night? “ Are you awake?” I whispered to Rona. ‘ Yes,’ she said, ‘ are you?’ We decided to investigate. The view in the moonlight was unexpected: we were surrounded by elephants! About twenty of them had come into camp and were systematically scooping up and eating the leaves. It is astounding how quietly such large animals can move around. We watched the carmine bee- eaters for ages – a crimson, twittering, fluttering crowd, hardly ever still for more than a moment. Below them in the river a crocodile lurked, hoping that a careless bird might flutter too low. Every now and then he would submerge for a while and then suddenly erupt vertically like an underwater missile, snapping as he came. Zambian artist Carol Aslin had a sell-out opening to her first solo art exhibi-tion at the Alliance Française, Lusaka, in April. Carol, who has previously worked in film and theatre, studied art in New York and London and now has a studio in Lusaka. Her work, mostly in pastel and oils, captures the landscapes, wildlife and people of Zambia with a rich intensity of colour and texture. See more of her work at www. carolaslin. com. Carmine bee- eaters MERLITH MCKENDRICK Blue wildebeest NICK ASLIN ARTIST GOES SOLO KONKAMOYA LODGE People Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani

False 24 Travel Zambia May 2008 VALLEY SERVICE In the south of Zambia, where the great Zambezi River slips out of the country and winds east toward the Indian Ocean, there lies a gem of a National Park. Once the domain of poachers, the last 20 years have seen a dramatic transformation in its fortunes, turning it into one of Africa’s crown jewels. Stephen Cunliffe, a former safari guide in the park, explains just what makes the Lower Zambezi so special. CHONGWE RIVER CAMP