We left Chitake for the two hours drive under the scorching sun to our camp on the Zambesi river, in the floodplains of Mana Pools. Temperature was significantly hot, but the nice breeze along the river and the shade of the trees helped considerably. For the next three days we roamed the floodplains in search for Lions, Wild Dogs, and Elephants.
We were lucky to find one of Mana Pools’ most famous bulls on our first day, who has learned to stand on his hind legs to reach for the foliage of the Acacia Albidia, typical trees of the floodplains. We spent a lot of time with him and the other Elephants that regularly follow him to take advantage of his ability to bring down branches that they wouldn’t otherwise reach.
Already on the first night we caught up with a pride of Lions feeding on a Buffalo. We found them again in the following days, and it was the most amazing experience walking alongside them across the plains, as if it was the most normal thing in the world! The weather didn’t help, but sightings were fantastic. Not many experiences in the African wilderness compare to the feeling of sitting right among the wild Elephants as they feed, completely relaxed a couple of meters away. After sometime it feels normal, but I couldn’t stop thinking how unbelieavable and surreal the experience is.
We also found a beautiful pack of Wild Dogs, and followed them as they started to hunt one late afternoon. We watched them advance all together with heads held low across the plains, until they identified a suitable prey, an Impala. They all started chasing it, but the Impala was quick and bounced off with huge leaps and escaped.0