• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

The Luckiest Catfish in the Luangwa River – Part 5

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Life is hard at the beginning of November in the Luangwa River. Everything that lives in the water is having a really hard time as the river dries up and fish, hippo and crocs become crowded in to ever decreasing pools.

We were watching one such pool which had a hippo, a croc and 2 saddle bill storks in it and two African Fish Eagles watching from the tree above on the bank.

All seemed tranquil as the storks waded through the pool until suddenly one caught a catfish (not so lucky for the fish). As luck would have it the stork had the fish by its tail and needed to flip it around so it could swallow it head first. It strode to the shallows to start its juggling act and was being watched by its companion. The commotion caught the eye of one of the fish eagles who dropped down on to the bankside to watch matters.

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The temptation was just too much for the eagle who decided to launch a raid to steal the fish. The stork issued a cry and opened its beak to defend itself.

The catfish gratefully dropped in to the water and shot for safety in to the murky water. The two saddle bill storks fought off the eagle and ended up looking flustered and annoyed and the eagle retreated back to the tree to watch for another opportunity of an easy meal.

The South Luangwa at this time of the year is a wonderful place to be and with such dramas unfolding around you, it becomes a place to keep coming back to see the next instalment.

Call Peter on 01323 446550 or email peter@experienceholidays.co.uk for details of getting there and to plan your own bespoke safari adventure.

Photos by Peter Ellis

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