Did you know that an elephant poop looks like an overcooked loaf of bread? And that not only do they trumpet as a warning, they also fart to announce danger?
Just a few of the animal facts we picked up in South Luangwa as we spent three days trolling the park on foot and riding in seats bolted onto the bed of a 1972 Land Cruiser. We saw everything from a python trying to slither up a tree (on the walking safari: kind of terrifying!) to a leopard stalking puku, hippos scarfing down weeds as they floated in an oxbow, elephants tossing dirt on their backs, and birds picking bugs off water buffalo.
Also: Vultures, giraffes, crocodiles, kudu, antelope, warthogs, herons, zebras, civets, mongoose, baboons, green mamba, fish eagles, water buck, owls, a lilac breasted roller and an ant lion (the closest we got to the king of the animals, sadly). You get to the point where you start thinking, "Another elephant? Eh."
I have to admit I was also pretty taken in by safari tents with real beds inside, delightfully hot showers, and sitting at a table (with a tablecloth!) on the banks of the Luangwa at sunset, sipping wine (boxed wine, but still) while a guy brought around chocolate cake drizzled with cream.
On the drive back, we stopped at a fabric-craft workshop called Tribal Textiles, which provides employment for local folks doing starch-resist painting for bags, wall-hangings, bedspreads, and table linens. Their discount room was stripped clean when we left.