A Lion Pride Begins?

A Lion Pride Begins - Mud Hut Mama

I’ve been wanting to write an update on our lions, especially since we believe there are cubs which would mean the start of a new lion pride, but my husband ended up doing it for me. He recently wrote this article for a local magazine and I wanted to share it here. Thank you Dorian for today’s Waterhole Wednesday, which clearly I am expanding to a wildlife series – whether or not we actually see the wildlife at our little waterhole! I have walked into lions many times over the years. Some of these encounters have been memorable, but mostly you just catch a fleeting glimpse as they disappear into the bush to get away. Contrary to public belief, lions are very afraid of people. It is […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: Camera Trap Photos

Waterhole Wednesday - Camera Traps - Mud Hut Mama

One day last week, at about 9am, we had a ton of vultures circling over the house. Then they landed in a tree behind the waterhole and waited and waited and waited. The vultures sat in the tree and did not drop to the ground or fly off in search of a thermal which suggested to us that something had made a kill close by and the vultures were waiting for their turn to feed. We were pretty sure there was a predator still on the kill and we wanted to know what it was. We checked the location of the leopards and lions online because they all have GPS tracking collars and none of them were very close to the house so we suspected […] Read more »

Boehm’s Zebra – Facts for Kids & Crafts: Waterhole Wednesday

Boehms Zebra facts and a craft - Mud Hut Mama

It’s been ages since we had a Waterhole Wednesday. The last one was in December when it was looking pretty dry around the waterhole. Well, the rain came, everything turned green and since there has been water everywhere in the reserve the popularity of our little waterhole has dwindled a bit. However we have been thrilled to have this herd of zebra around the house recently. When we arrived here, almost three years ago, the zebra were extremely nervous and it was difficult to get a good view of them so it has been incredibly satisfying to see how tame this herd has become. We can get quite close to them without scaring them off and one has even given birth close to our home. In […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: African Buffalo

African Buffalo: Waterhole Wednesday - Mud Hut Mama

This week we had a couple of buffalo hanging around our waterhole. We have a lot of buffalo in the reserve, our last count was about 900 animals and they sometimes gather in herds reaching up to 150 individuals. In other areas they can occur in herds of several thousand, however, the old males are generally not part of the herd and hang out in small groups or by themselves. These two old boys came recently for a drink. They are often referred to as the bank managers of the bush because they are always looking at you like you owe them money. When these two showed up at the house I started to wonder if I had gone a little overboard with my Christmas […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: A Leopard Relocation

A Leopard Relocation

As promised, here are a couple of photos from the leopard relocation: Our newest residents arrived safely from South Africa and seem to be settling in well. This one is being fitted with his tracking collar. Both leopards will stay in the holding boma where they can be closely monitored for about two and a half weeks before being released into the reserve. You can read more about this relocation over at the Steve Spangler Blog but I wanted to give you a sneak peek at these gorgeous felines. We are thrilled to welcome these two to the reserve, they will bring our  leopard population up to six individuals. Please check out last weeks post for some leopard facts and crafts. Read more »

More Leopards are Arriving Soon: Some Leopard Facts and Crafts

Leopard Crafts and Facts

While not exactly a Waterhole Wednesday, I thought I would share some news about the two leopards that will soon be relocated from South Africa to the wildlife reserve we live on here in Malawi. They were supposed to be here this past Friday and the girls and I have been busy learning about leopards while my husband prepares for their arrival. Unfortunately they have been delayed by a hold up with their release permits and will now be arriving this coming Friday. I’m a little annoyed about that because we had big plans for this weekend. There is a rugby tournament in Blantyre on Saturday that a friend will be playing in and it will have a fair like atmosphere with lots of fun […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: A Scrub Hare (Kalulu), an African Folktale and a Craft

A Scrub Hare, an African Folktale & a Craft

We have our first pet – sort of. An adorable immature scrub hare has decided to make a home on our back porch behind our cooking gas cylinder. As scrub hares are known to be skittish this seems to be highly unusual behavior and what is even more unusual is that he doesn’t seem to mind us much. We have begun leaving him water, which he really seems to appreciate, and we can get to within inches of him without him running off. The littles adore him (or possibly her – I really don’t know) and have named him Kalulu which is the Chichewa word for a scrub hare. I believe kalulu is the word for scrub hare in many of the languages in this […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: A Warthog and a Halloween Mask

Warthog, Waterhole Wednesday

Happy Halloween and Happy Waterhole Wednesday! We have had a warthog take up residence at our home this week. He has decided to make our waterhole his own personal splash pool. I don’t begrudge him that because it certainly has been hot but I think his frequent visits are making the water go gross faster than ever. The other animals aren’t coming around as much and seem to be drinking only out of desperation. I’ve nicknamed our new border Mr. Farty Pants and I think he plans on staying. Warthogs spend their nights in holes in the ground, often holes that have originally been dug by Aardvarks. Adult warthogs enter these holes backwards and if they are being chased by a predator they will quickly […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: African Fish Eagle

Waterhole Wednesday

This week we had a visit from an African Fish Eagle. These majestic birds hold a special place in my heart. They are the national bird of Zambia (my husband’s country of birth) and they closely resemble the Bald Eagle which is the national bird of the United States (my country of birth). We haven’t seen many from our home so it was a real treat to have this one come for a drink and stay for awhile. While he was happy to have the water we provided, he wasn’t thrilled with our company. Every time we went on the deck to get a closer look he flew off and sat in a nearby tree but would then come back when all was quiet. Luckily […] Read more »

Waterhole Wednesday: African Elephants


I thought you might want a glimpse of what we’ve been watching this week. These three came to check out our waterhole while the rest of their family fed in the background and they were not too impressed with our filthy water. If I’m remembering correctly the waterhole turned the same color green about this time last year (when the weather was just starting to get very hot). I think it’s a lot of rotten vegetation reacting with some funky algae in the hundred plus degree heat. It starts out with the surface looking really bubbly and sparkly. Last time it happened Boo came running in to tell me that the naughty elephants had put glitter in the water! The eles sniffed around for a […] Read more »