The anticipation for September to arrive is almost getting to be too much to bear. Why? Obviously, because it is when the Southern carmine bee-eaters have already begun establishing their colonies on the north-facing wall of the Luangwa River. This is not a spectacle we ever plan on missing. Year on year, we launch one of our final hides, one dedicated solely to the southern carmine bee-eaters. Our specially built hide is set upon an aluminium hulled boat, moored in mid-stream. The only way of getting to this hide involves canoeing from a bank to the hide that sits just 10 metres from the colonies. A true representation of our #GetClose philosophy.

Southern carmine bee-eaters

The southern carmine bee-eater colonies can run up to two metres into the banks of the Luangwa River. These migratory birds are often drawn to bush fires due to the fact that the smoke and heat draws out insects allowing the birds to circle high out of dangers way but close enough to exploit the fleeing insects. These master hunters then use a technique named hawking, this is the process of hunting from a perch, catching the insect midair before returning to a perch to kill the insect through hitting it against the branch. A technique particularly needed for bees in order to remove their sting.

Southern carmine bee-eaters

Southern carmine bee-eaters

As exciting times approaches it is an experience you will not get anywhere other.

By Anna Mansfield of Kaingo and Mwamba Camps in Zambia

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