Explore Natural Beauty

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Articles

Devil's Pool, Livingstone IslandWhilst Africa has some of the finest wildlife encounters on the planet, part of any safari is the spectacular setting in which its animals are found.

 

The cycle of life …

Rivers are the lifeblood of all of Africa’s animals. The Luangwa River runs through the middle of the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Fed by dozens of sand rivers that meander down during the rainy season, the Luangwa carves a tortuous course along the floor and, when in flood, rapidly erodes the outer bends, depositing silt within the loops. Eventually the river cuts a new course, leaving the old course to silt up, forming “ox bow” lagoons. Lush and emerald green, the oxbow lagoons are alive with grunting hippo, a myriad of colourful birds bedazzled by colourful flowers and flagrant water lilies. The countryside is spectacular in its rugged beauty and awash with natural colour tones.

The escarpment scenery is fantastic – Miombo woodlands, thick vegetation and a lush riverine forest occurs that is green all year round. And as summer peaks, the river subsides and life becomes hard for the animals of the Valley. Leaves begin to fall; branches bare cast dappled shadows onto the floor forest below. Grasses wilt and the dust begins to blow. Herds of antelope shelter under thorn trees, while predators skulk in the shadows; primordial drama abounds in every gorge. The mighty river is a trickle now – hippos defend the last remaining pools; crocodiles bask endlessly on the sand banks. Shimmering haze hangs thick above the river, lagoons are desolate places, bare faced, cracked open. Life is lost and animals are weak. Soon the clouds begin to build, skies become darker, and finally the rain begins to fall. And before you know it, the pans are full, ox bows come to life, clay becomes mud, grasses peer out and the river begins to flow. The cycle of life that is the magnificent Luangwa River begins again.

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