zikomo mapMy first stop in Luangwa was Zikomo Lodge. It is further north of the main area and, because of that, was quieter in terms of vehicles. My map still needs alot of work, but you can see the main area clearly and Zikomo.

It was the end of the season and some of the seasonal lodges were already getting ready to pack up for the
rains. When the rains come the Luangwa River fills and floods huge areas. It is paradise for the wildlife
but not so great for vehicles. The black cotton soilbecomes impassable. Fortunately ZAWA has been
working on many of the main roads and they are useable all year round.

Zikomo Lodge is new. It only opened this year. It is within Lupande GMA with South Luangwa
National Park just over the river. It was really good for the soul just to sit and watch the wildlife
as it came down to the river to drink. The birds – geese, bee-eaters, storks and waders were
constantly doing what birds do best; paddling through the shallow water looking for
something to eat; the carmine bee-eaters sat on their perch diving down now and again for a drink or dive-
bombing some unfortunate insect, catching it and bringing it back to their perch. They tapped it on the branch to kill it before gobbling it down.  The lodge has a canopy of riverine trees, most notably the Sausage Treeswhich were in flower. The birds were in and out fussing over pollen and the insects.

zikomo dance groupAs soon as I arrived at Zikomo I was entertained with a play by a group called SEKA – Sensitization and Education through Kunda Arts. The play was one that they often perform to help educate children and adults around Luangwa on conservation. The actors took on the roles of the animals in the park. There was, of course, the bad guy in the form of a poacher. It is extremely well done.

The rest of my time at Zikomo was spent on drives in the park and GMA. One evening we went for a long drive with Ephraim, the guide, intent on finding us some lions. We did finally find them by spotlight, arriving back at the lodge at 9pm. The staff then told us that a pride of 6 lions had walked through the camp!

zikomo chaletzikomo bedroomZikomo has 3 chalets and 4 more on the cards for next year. There is also a campsite. The camp has some good reviews and I am sure will take its place on the Luangwa scene.

From : Thelivingstoneweekly