“The death of one is the triumph of another.” These words ring true when it comes to the laws of the wilderness in Africa and on a recent trip to Musango on Lake Kariba, Frances Jackson witnessed this first hand as part of an awe-worthy, action-filled stay at camp.
Her tale spans over four days and stars some of the biggest names and reputations in the bush; lion, crocodile and hippo.
She described the chain of thrilling events that took place in her Zambezi Traveller article. Her story set the scene which kept us wide-eyed and reading on, imagining the sights, sounds and heart-pounding that must have accompanied such an experience. We just had to share it:
“… The focal attraction was a young bull hippo carcass on the shoreline of the Garden of Eden – so aptly named by Steve and Wendy Edwards, owners of Musango Safari Camp.
Day 1. As we approached the dead hippo we watched one lion after another come down to the carcass. We counted ten, including three or four little cubs. Initially the lions just nibbled the carcass, not the ferocious feasting that I would have imagined. A few crocs lurked in the foreground.
Day 2. In the morning we returned, surprised to note that not much had been eaten, but the numbers of crocodiles had vastly increased. It was decided that a bit of human intervention could take place to assist the feast. The underbelly was slit open – how our guide stomached that exercise I don’t know.
We returned in the afternoon – the meal was well and truly underway. Their behaviour was quite orderly, as they slithered over each other taking turns to rip off chunks of meat, not a pretty sight. We counted no less that forty crocodiles close by.
Day 3. There was still plenty of the hippo to eat; the lions were not perturbed by us and both crocs and lions were eating together, although the lions appeared to be in charge. The youthful exuberance of one lion had him jumping on top of the carcass, playing ‘king of the castle’.
As we sipped on our cooling drinks, every one of us from child to adult knew that we were lucky to be witnessing nature in all her rawness.
Day 4: 06:00: Enroute to watch fish eagles we stopped once again at the scene. All that was left was head, bones and hide. Vultures were trying hard to get their share but the crocodiles were not very obliging. This was now their turf.
A pleasant diversion ensued as we headed up a beautiful creek to visit two fish eagles that over the years have become habituated to the occasional fish being thrown their way; an excellent photographic opportunity. We learnt that the call of the male fish eagle is higher than that of the female, and that the female is larger than the male.
08:00: Time to return to camp, and have another quick look at the hippo. Nothing! The crocodiles had pulled the remains into the water. The feast was over and for us it was time to head home. All together an unforgettable time in the wilderness.”
A little more about Musango Safari Camp:
This Zimbabwean Camp resides on its own private National Park’s island on Lake Kariba, just off the shoreline of the Matusadona National Park. It’s an exclusive owner-managed, 8 tented luxury safari camp run with the same passion that the Edwards hold for the wilderness it is set in. Lake views are part of the allure and the tented rooms are set in dense forest with panoramic views of the lake and the mountains.
Expect old-fashioned hospitality, expert guiding and a camp with a commitment to wildlife and the local people of the area. Steve Edwards, your host was voted as the top Zimbabwean Guide and one out of the ten best guides in Africa.
Activities offered at the camp include game drives, bush walks, boat and pontoon game cruises, cultural village trips, specialist birding safaris, tiger and bream fishing on Lake Kariba, fossil hunting and canoeing in the private concession creeks and on the lake, depending on how the crocodiles are behaving.
Guest Book Reviews:
Musango’s guests describe what a real-life experience at camp can be like when they share their feedback in the camp’s guest book. Here are a few first-hand reviews to get you even more excited about planning a trip to Musango:
“Authentic African experience ! Thank you for showing us our first black rhino. Exceptional food and service. “
“One of the most wonderful places on earth!”
“This is one of the best camps we have EVER stayed in in Africa !- The unique setting, ambience in the most wonderful of places!”
“This was by far the most exciting and interesting safari camp, a broad perspective of activities – can’t wait to return!”
“Africa up close and personal – wonderful experience on every front – Steve’s passion and commitment for conservation is an inspiration and example”