Ginger and Garlic & The Punks

by Mary-Anne Bartlett on October 22, 2018

Many of you who have been to the Luangwa with Art Safari already know about Ginger and Garlic, the two dominant male lions of the Mfuwe area. 

We’ve known Garlic since he was a pale cub with white feet, and he’s now grown into a magnificent ginger adult, alongside his brother who was named Garlic as a fine companion to him.  Their pride had reached the splinter-point of more than 20 individuals, with a majority of male cubs though with many females, some with young, some pregnant.  Their battle with the Three Punks (three spikey-maned youngsters) from Nsefu has been on-going and terrible and, while we were there, resulted in Ginger and Garlic fleeing westwards downriver, leaving the Punks in power. 

Thankfully it would seem that the cubs are all safe.  Garlic and Ginger have been seen on some of the longer drives down to Chichele.  Meanwhile some of their younger females have defected and are now mating with the newcomers.  A new Mfuwe pride is established.

One of the Punks has a name. “Cut Throat” survived the trauma of a snare after the successful darting and removal by the veterinary team from Conservation South Luangwa only a week before I arrived back in the Valley.  I met Rachel, one of the team who removed it, she said his head had swollen so enormously.  Luckily the skin hadn’t broken, and there was no need for an anti-biotic.  Lions are amazing survivors. 

We saw and sketched him often. 

The lion lay on the river bank blinking occasionally as the carmine bee-eaters flew above him and into their burrows. 

Finding a sleeping lion on the first day of a safari is a gift – they tend to stay in one place for a while – so we all settled into our first sketches, looking at the line of his backbone, observing the way the huge paws crossed over each other, seeing the fullness of the extended stomach and noticing the bleached grasses caught in his still spikey mane.

Drawing and painting a large predator only metres from the vehicle is electrifying. It’s hard to control your own excitement and put the marks in the right place, you’re so awed by the experience. 

Suddenly, as lions do, he rolled over, all four paws in the air.  Shockingly he revealed a perfect pink scar around his neck, and I knew that this was the lion of recent social media posts – ‘Cut-Throat’.



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Lions in a Crocodile Soup

by Mary-Anne Bartlett on October 22, 2018

Yesterday started with the spoor of leopard, lion and hyena all within one metre of sand in the morning light. It was one of those amazing days that South Luangwa allows you to witness, as we saw scenes and sequences unimaginable to any wildlife documentary.

Shortly after seeing the footprints, we watched a hundred crocodiles feasting on an unfortunate dead hippo floating in the river.  Snouts and tails churned the water.

As they spun and tore, a lion (one of the “Punks” we’d seen the day before on our side of the river), watched hungrily from the far bank. 

Slowly, slowly the crocodile feast was moving towards him. The smell must have been irresistible.

Wading gingerly into the river he growled and roared at the crocodiles and was joined by a second male, both with tails aloft.

My camera jammed…

Together they climbed on the hippo and turned it, continuing to roar at the crocodile soup all around them.  Many of the crocs paused their feast and watched, some continued to snap and gobble, creating rings of ripples in the water.

Behind this gory scene a party of elephant bulls walked along the river sand and crossed the river to stand silently and sleeping oh so close to us as we drew them. 

The day continued with more breath-taking moments to paint – then on the night drive Pel’s fishing owl on the Wafwa, a nonchalant leopard wandering around the bush, a baby hippo close to mating lions right by the bridge.

Luangwa days are special.




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Home, bedazzled by zebras

March 23, 2018

In the deserts of Namibia, Mary-Anne and guests dazzled the zebras (or was it the other way round?), then blazed a colourful trail through Botswana and painted wet on wet at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This February’s Art Safari was an extraordinary journey – from the dry Namib desert to the Zambesi in full spate.  With […]

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Visit the AppArt Exhibition

March 23, 2018

Before heading off to Malta & Gozo with some of our lucky Art Safari guests in April, Art Safari tutor Roger Dellar is opening AppArt’s Easter Art & Sculpture Exhibition on Friday 30th March. Roger is one of many distinguished artists with work on view, AppArt’s Easter Exhibition and Sculpture Trail continues to grow in reputation […]

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“Can you organise something completely different after the Art Safari, Heidi?”

March 23, 2018

One of our India sketching guests asked Heidi to help her find a cycling extension for her February Art Safari with artist Maxine Relton.  After a comprehensive search nothing fitted the dates.  Not defeated Heidi organised a tailor-made cycling itinerary in Kerala, rustled up two more cyclists and flew to India to join her!  Everyone […]

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Art Safari is growing!

January 10, 2018

Thank you to New Anglia Growth Programme! Over the last years Art Safari has grown enormously, especially as we meet all sorts of new people (guests and colleagues in the art and travel world) who entice us to organise new tours around the world.  So you can imagine how full our computers, sketchbooks, shelves and […]

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Art Safari is world famous – we’re in the international news!

June 2, 2016

The first few days of our Dazzle of Zebras Art Safari stars on the news today – here we are capturing wildlife on Art Safari in Namibia in Euronews .  I hope you enjoy watching us! The piece starts in a cheetah sanctuary near to Windhoek where Mary-Anne Bartlett has been bringing artists into close contact with cheetahs (don’t worry, […]

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Art Safari hits the world news sites!

June 2, 2016

Watch Art Safari in China!  

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Travel Republic takes art to Zambia

February 3, 2016

It’s really nice to see that our Zambia Art Safari has been mentioned in the recent blog by Travel Republic as they make wonderful suggestions for how to take your interests and hobbies on holiday.  Where better than Zambia, and what could be better than painting and drawing wildlife and landscape in the sunshine? Read […]

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Resting Frigate

January 29, 2016

While we were sketching seascapes and islands from the deck in the Galapagos, sometimes the frigates would come and rest on the rigging, so close to us that it was possible to sketch them so very close.  Here’s one of Mary-Anne’s.  Their feathers had a wonderful dark red iridescence and their eyes were rimmed with cobalt […]

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