Busanga Plains

Early Winter in the Busanga Plains

Our Collective

Isaac Kalio


As Shumba Camp gears up for the 2019 season, guide Isaac Kalio reports on the already amazing sightings in Kafue’s Busanga Plains.

Our Busanga Plains 2019 season is looking startlingly different to previous years. It’s drier than usual, but still very pretty. In fact, it’s more like August than May, vegetation-wise.

Winter is here, and providing us with beautiful misty mornings. The river still holds a bit of water for boating, and will support our hippos for some time to come too.

There is an abundance of wildlife on the plains, including roan, wildebeest, puku and lechwe, to mention just a few.

Really exciting news is that our resident Papyrus Pride’s cubs, born in September 2018, have made it through the rainy season. Princess and Killing Machine have six cubs between them, fathered by the nomads, Nervous and Scarface. Maggie and her two sub-adult cubs, plus her young sister, a daughter of Queen’s, are also around.

We all feared that Queen was too old to possibly survive, but she is here in excellent health and looking as spry as Princess. She has lost her left upper and lower canines, yet is still going strong.

She moves between the two groups, at times actually bringing them together through her efforts to practice pseudo-oestrus, along with Maggie.

Castor and Pollux, Killing Machine’s twin boys, have completely moved out of the area after their eviction by the nomads, who seem to have settled in very well and taken over the Busanga kingdom.

The two (now) ex-nomads, Nervous & Scarface, have completely settled in and taken over the Papyrus Pride.

Castor, Pollux and Shy were seen early in May month around Lufupa, about 70 km to the south of Busanga. We still haven't heard any news of the Beast, evicted early last year by the new nomads.

Watch this space for updates – because remember, Africa is not a short story…

For background info on the members of the pride, Isaac put together this very useful family history under matriarch Queen.

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