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michael-ibk

From Dawn Till Dusk - A Botswana Green Season Mobile

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Kitsafari

how wonderful to see those carmines flying around the car, although I always worry they don't out of the way in time as the car rolls forward. flashes of pink and red and turquoise trailing alongside the car - thanks Andreas for the fabulous video of the carmines!

 

I wish I was there too experiencing the joys!

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Towlersonsafari

Hurrah! what a splendid experience and thanks very much for sharing it. I can imagine the kori bustard grumbling quietly to itself in a slightly resigned manner as the bee eaters use it as a portable perch .

There are reports of peregrine falcons hunting in the lake district by using lorries as cover and to put birds to flight

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AndMic

@Kitsafari and @gatoratlarge thank you for your kind words. I was unable to catch the birds in flight and so I decided to try to take a video. In spite of the shaking car the video works well and made me very happy.

 

 

Thank you all for reading and enjoying this TR

 

Andreas

 

 

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michael-ibk

I am under orders to wrap up the Savuti part, so wrap-up time it is with more photos from our second day:

 

313_TR_Botswana_1313_Savuti.JPG.5d72620031fc8d5f2a69267204322692.JPG

 

We almost spent an hour at this lovely waterhole.

 

1985484323_306_TR_Botswana_1287_Savuti_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.d529a23c7d20f24d628dfc61062be0be.JPG

 

Two very handsome and relaxed Greater Kudu bulls gave us a good show.

 

284831243_302_TR_Botswana_1265_Savuti_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.dce982aa9ce11f4604f63440b8bc1079.JPG

 

Seeing them drink was not very surprising but they also seemed to like their mud. Which is not as weird as it may appear in the video, they are doing that for the minerals.

 

 

836239085_307_TR_Botswana_1289_Savuti_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.ad32cebce04f41ead9736ec6999828a7.JPG

 

1303349070_301_TR_Botswana_1262_Savuti_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.dd82cd81899b9919fe257f0267e326f4.JPG

 

990026490_304_TR_Botswana_1276_Savuti_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.6eecff83258b5c6b84df14622731ed68.JPG

 

This one found other use for the mud, he just liked to splash around in it. :)

 

511149810_305_TR_Botswana_1283_Savuti_Red-BilledTeal_(Rotschnabelente).JPG.5d1db756a74aa9f774fedbce423c837a.JPG

 

Red-Billed Teal

 

637107311_308_TR_Botswana_1290_Savuti_AfricanSpoonbill_(AfrikanischerLffler).JPG.fbc029ddbb7910af716b74219210ecc0.JPG

 

It also was very entertaining to see this Spoonbill do its spooning thing.

 

 

1951049928_311_TR_Botswana_1306_Savuti_Three-BandedPlover_(Dreiband-Regenpfeifer).JPG.bdb0d57b0d5949e2258468bdbf393fe9.JPG

 

Three-Banded Plover

 

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319_TR_IMG_2523.JPG.60cedcfcc05301f4a3ea8bfc52858181.JPG

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk

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michael-ibk

222561591_329_TR_Botswana_1402_Savuti_Rufous-NapedLark_(Kurzhaubenlerche).JPG.42adbc0cadb843ea4979d13d7b3ea778.JPG

 

A Rufous-Naped Lark singing its heart out. Another iconic "This is Africa" sound to me, so I´m a bit cross with Andreas he did not take a video of that. ;)

 

348_TR_Botswana_1470_Savuti_Impala_(Schwarzfersenantilope).JPG.a758f2ef4055d9737d813e8fa01832af.JPG

 

1827603129_342_TR_Botswana_1449_Savuti_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.e70d3f195e8cf926eaedbf0657f0b70f.JPG

 

741930556_344_TR_Botswana_1459_Savuti_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.6346de3fc8218888e3dc2e6760417680.JPG

 

Things promised to get a bit more testosterone-driven between these guys for a while but peace prevailed.

 

 

Our lunch was delayed more and more, and then this journey of Giraffe had the indecency to keep us hungy even longer:

 

1553272009_350_TR_Botswana_1477_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.4e3c8fadf222b07cc950d7a48143ca4b.JPG

 

They avoided the waterhole but seemed to fancy a drink at one of the puddles the rain from the last days had left.

 

875522880_351_TR_Botswana_1482_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.622ee8e8b8d1b0a28c06e8d56d403e35.JPG

 

This is when they are at their most vulnerable so they were quite nervous and normally at least one would keep its head up.

 

1997955341_352_TR_Botswana_1487_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.3692855fe109fd038c3447488ce1e4e0.JPG

 

But finally thirst prevailed and they were all down, head by head.

 

607174961_353_TR_Botswana_1495_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.38155f42dbfd739c2d6cb4e37f25d7cf.JPG

 

1883258485_356_TR_Botswana_1508_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.3603827cd95429d6d3ee40878aa05056.JPG

 

 

Snippets from the afternoon:

 

535999892_362_TR_Botswana_1526_Savuti_Steenbok_(Steinbckchen).JPG.b3570666abcb847839ace319a58e633f.JPG

 

818681796_376_TR_Botswana_1580_Savuti_BlueWildebeest_(Streifengnu).JPG.036d4df38b4fce4e7c5f8dce716fe3cc.JPG

 

679382087_375_TR_Botswana_1579_Savuti_BlueWildebeest_(Streifengnu).JPG.e078346e4690231d214ae3532a66a64f.JPG

 

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1007043915_380_TR_Botswana_1600_Savuti_Black-BackedJackal_(Schabrackenschakal).JPG.1dffa8d937a9b930c6a63f611d2555e5.JPG

 

1747912586_382_TR_Botswana_1612_Savuti_SenegalCoucal_(Spornkuckuck).JPG.3d870c273aa1d72a8d9d58d6050290d4.JPG

 

Senegal Coucal

 

1889482041_383_TR_Botswana_1613_Savuti_AbdimsStork_(Abdimstorch).JPG.bb83794457949dcc6815a7c469e91f8d.JPG

 

Abdim´s Storks roosting for the night.

Edited by michael-ibk

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Atravelynn

Enjoyed the brief ride in the midst of the the carmine bee eaters!  So many drinking giraffes.  Must be happy hour!

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michael-ibk

We had a long travel day ahead of us next morning - while the distance between Savuti Plains and the Mababe Gate in the South of Chobe National Park cannot be much more than 60 or 70 km it is a long journey - especially in the Green Season when the roads are very difficult or even unpassable. We saw very few self-drivers, I only remember two, and pitied them all. Stop before every water puddle, test how deep it is (too deep!), then try to find a way away from the road through the bushes - really tricky stuff. Would have been a nightmare for me but Matambo just laughed and shrugged it off.

 

890124976_385_TR_Botswana_1620_Savuti_AbdimsStork_(Abdimstorch).JPG.4522e1725a28a647946895726146ca5d.JPG

 

Abdim´s Stork not just silhouetted in a tree. Intra-African migrants which the locals quite like - when they arrive rain cannot be far behind.

 

1343863427_386_TR_Botswana_1622_Savuti_Steenbok_(Steinbckchen).JPG.14af5e71c72a4b452828561c3840794c.JPG

 

An interesting little situation in the morning - this Jackal seemed to take an interest in a Steenbok. Would he try to attack it? Stranger things have happened in Africa as Doug likes to say.

 

494754461_387_TR_Botswana_1624_Savuti_Steenbok_(Steinbckchen).JPG.753c1fe1f0b0fe8462f5125c4c080127.JPG

 

103478563_389_TR_Botswana_1626_Savuti_Steenbok_(Steinbckchen).JPG.946e6d13b97e49641b7903286ccddbb4.JPG

 

2017385441_392_TR_Botswana_1631_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.9e45b731c560fbf864f74686cb3782af.JPG

 

We´ve often had pictures of Giraffes with some kind of skin infections on Safaritalk, this one looked particularly unpleasant.

 

397_TR_Botswana_1645_Savuti_Bateleur_(Gaukler).JPG.49fa038552ac7ef49e823bffd28d3234.JPG

 

A Bateleur, one of the coolest-looking birds of prey in Africa.

 

1916326367_403_TR_Botswana_1668_Savuti_CommonWarthog_(Warzenschwein).JPG.4e06cb7149300760b2f64d39ee84f206.JPG

 

257969407_410_TR_Botswana_1710_Savuti_CommonReedbuck_(Groriedbock).JPG.1cd7aa05f943a8e8ee978ae8a2cf1b85.JPG

 

A Southern Reedbuck, not the most common antelope. As I remember we only had a few distant glimpses last time in Botswana but during this trip we´d encounter quite a few, and all pretty relaxed. Very different from Hwange where they have even gone nocturnal.

 

412_TR_Botswana_1719_Savuti_Tsessebe_(Sassaby).JPG.0f248296a6989e738f41f5cea29fc79c.JPG

 

415_TR_Botswana_1725_Savuti_Tsessebe_(Sassaby).JPG.61837338a29d2e81bc9eb7d668cbdc34.JPG

 

A nice herd of Tsessebes with young ones.

 

343146263_419_TR_Botswana_1739_Savuti_AngolanGiraffe_(Angola-Giraffe).JPG.c29533cc0ea56e8f259dbc6022738af1.JPG

 

420_TR_Botswana_1741_Savuti_Matambo.JPG.bf9ab618cb41f125430b54fea6880bac.JPG

 

Meet Matambo, our great guide and driver. I loved to chat with him at dinner, his childhood stories were just outrageous. At one point he told me that they used to roll in elephant dung as kids and then crept up to the Grey Giants and pulled their tail. Not sure if he was pulling MY tailleg but I´m inclined to believe him - he´s that kind of guy.

 

423_TR_Botswana_1744_Savuti.JPG.71cd235960003c32df60563210e3e094.JPG

 

1005833312_417_TR_Botswana_1732_Savuti_SouthernYellow-BilledHornbill_(SdlicherGelbschnabeltoko).JPG.4fa3946bee50714ec2210774db3a2737.JPG

 

1303830205_424_TR_Botswana_1748_Savuti_SouthernYellow-BilledHornbill_(SdlicherGelbschnabeltoko).JPG.426cbe14aa33a65d6a67c11d23ebb3c7.JPG

 

Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill. As you can see not a timid fellow - he was after our bisquit crumbs.

 

425_TR_Botswana_1753_Savuti.JPG.b8ff7e339f4a2f4168e57f3aba9a66e7.JPG

 

426_TR_IMG_2610.JPG.774f597f38f6b021b2aa648ce7472626.JPG

 

The long stretch between Savuti Marsh and the Pans in the South. A boring, hot and lifeless stretch through the bush. And did I mention it´s long? I think we drove here for more than two hours, very slowly because it´s not in a good state (not really visible here), and saw practically nothing.

 

50602292_427_TR_Botswana_1755_Savuti_Red-CrestedKorhaan_(Rotschopftrappe).JPG.d6a95dea965eef40d73d76c063630395.JPG

 

"I´m not nothing bastard!" Ok, Mr. Red-Crested Bustard. (Korhaan actually)

 

1173258340_429_TR_Botswana_1770_Savuti_BurchellsSandgrouse_(Fleckenflughuhn).JPG.a5b669d68ee13fd1c73ee0acc52ebbd5.JPG

 

Burchell´s Sandgrouse

 

433_TR_IMG_2613.JPG.797772ebb0c3bedfb59477ccc584b79c.JPG

 

Things got livelier again closer to the gate around the Gardenia and Ngunungu pans. This area had received quite a lot of rain. Made driving for Matambo even more difficult but there was much more to see. But we needed to move on so rarely stopped.

 

436_TR_IMG_6295.JPG.407b8e0cca756f3f5c4e8b1e951ee1a6.JPG

 

327155024_434_TR_Botswana_1785_Savuti_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.7a795bbb5ad1b1f8299498540776dc92.JPG

 

440_TR_IMG_2623.JPG.ca34305a6e21651f074d47aaf9484e12.JPG

 

441_TR_Botswana_1809_Savuti.JPG.5aa974365d4ac71ea7d5da632047d5eb.JPG

 

1389372078_444_TR_Botswana_1827_Savuti_ChapmansZebra_(Chapman-Zebra).JPG.590951455985809191b4006eddc0c7f5.JPG

 

690896044_445_TR_Botswana_1837_Savuti_CommonWarthog_(Warzenschwein).JPG.b6d8f5ac1b7b3ea497691c3694c03852.JPG

 

1282072002_446_TR_Botswana_1844_Savuti_CommonWarthog_(Warzenschwein).JPG.6949adc6251fc0ec04b2319389e906de.JPG

 

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449_TR_IMG_2629.JPG.90edbc845e575a92f1e0004b7493e3a0.JPG

 

It was almost 4pm when finally passed the gate and left Chobe. On to Khwai now - and back to @Alexander33!

 

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk

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Hads

@michael-ibk and  @Alexander33 thanks for the feedback on the mobile Safari for families - The lack of things to do whilst in camp could be an issue as you mentioned.

Awesome report and amazing photo's of the Carmines.

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Atravelynn
4 hours ago, Hads said:

@michael-ibk and  @Alexander33 thanks for the feedback on the mobile Safari for families - The lack of things to do whilst in camp could be an issue as you mentioned.

Awesome report and amazing photo's of the Carmines.

Could budding birding skills be developed with binoculars for each youngster?  Budding young photographers could review their photos in camp.

 

The clouds add so much to the photos.  Very disturbing skin problems on the giraffes.  I am glad none of you tried the ele dung rolling or tail pulling.

Edited by Atravelynn

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Treepol

@michael-ibk and @Alexander33 what a fabulous mobile and your photography is superb as usual. Those hitch-hiking carmines are amazing!

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LarsS

Thanks @michael-ibk and @Alexander33 for composing a great trip report! I had to do a lot of catching up and admiring all the photos. You've both done an excellent job on what looks like an excellent safari as well!

 

You got to see a lot of different birds on this trip. The carmine bee-eaters look very beautiful! And funny to see them hitchhiking on the back of a kori bastard. If I could fly, I wouldn't think I would be hitchhiking on someone else's back. But I guess you can get tired of flying if you're doing it all the time.

 

Some great close-up photos you put in there. Especially the one of the leopard tortoise. Such great detail of their shell. Well done! Nice to see the making of as well. Never thought of getting out of the car for a better shot before. Worked out great for the tortoise and for the dung beetle as well. I now regret of not getting out the car at my dung beetle sighting, also in Bots if I remember correctly.

 

Great composition on the two headed yellow billed hornbill in your opening post, made me look twice.

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Zubbie15

Finally had time to sit down and fully catch up on this report, thanks @michael-ibk, @AndMic And @Alexander33 for such a compelling start. Lots of highlights, including the falls, the leopard and of course the Carmines.  We did a (landscape) photo tour last year, and the lead photographer was trying to convince us that a mobile safari in Botswana was hard to beat. I can see from this report what he means!  Like others though, probably  would need to wait for the kids to get old enough to appreciate it.  Looking forward to more.

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Peter Connan

Magnificent photography and wonderful sightings! You both did amazing work with the Carmines, and I especially love the tree-full of Abdim's Storks in the evening.

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Alexander33

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” —  Adaptation from Robert Burns

 

First, thanks to everyone for your generous comments and for following along.  I was all set to post the next installment, our arrival into the Khwai Community Area (a very different landscape from Savuti, by the way). However, we have had a freakish windstorm this afternoon, with intermittent electricity outages, and we currently have no Internet service — a bit reminiscent of our mobile camps.

 

For now, my charged up i-Pad is my lifeline. As as soon as service is restored, I’ll pick up the pace. @michael-ibk, you won’t hurt my feelings a bit if you want to proceed on without me. 

 

 

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Alexander33

Ah, service is restored!  Apologies for the brief post here, but it’s a start, and now I can get back on track.

 

                      

 

 

As Michael said, the drive from Savuti to the Khwai Community Area was long and often monotonous, but as we approached Khwai, the landscape turned notably more lush and green.

 

We chanced upon a small flock of Meyer's parrots beside the road. I’m not sure what they were feeding on, but they stayed just long enough to give us a few nice poses. 

 

 

606334509_MeyersParrotIIPSD.jpg.cd11719c508fd46825c9f160b3d370b2.jpg

 

 

2048246477_MeyersParrotIv_3PSD.jpg.ff1b2624c1f9c78755a588a548642af0.jpg

 

 

 

But the focus of that late afternoon was on elephants. As we made our way toward the river, we crossed a landscape that obviously had been well-loved by the elephants.

 

368583694_KhwaiLandscapeI.jpg.7a8dd9f83804f6ac6ef44125364a7276.jpg

 

 

852107279_KhwaiLandscape.JBIPSD.jpg.7bb4051303925fa389423fbf3b0f6e7c.jpg

 

 

1461666273_KhwaiLandscape_JBII.jpg.7475983fa6e4097df291fd8a3389c842.jpg

 

 

612547080_Elephant.KhwaiIPSD.jpg.822b2468a195349bb101b1301dc23827.jpg

 

 

Tough guy.

 

1043068600_Elephant.KhwaiII.jpg.6a99655e93bf66cf46bd2a5f2f2293ac.jpg

 

 

876382173_Elephant.KhwaiIII.jpg.67843fb193b0d1839d8556fa6bd5acb5.jpg

 

 

The elephants were joined by other general game.

 

 

503684491_ZebrasI.jpg.b2bbbbaaf64c7f6ec67467099f44bea1.jpg

 

 

738989956_ZebrasII.jpg.ca5aa8742a472cc89b6feb054ef62db1.jpg

 

 

1587974175_ZebrasIII.jpg.8f84649a8010e3041c680facf64f631a.jpg

 

 

1121658051_ZebrasIV.jpg.83da56c3d59d5796969bc8e63d8c0ee7.jpg

 

 

Kudu.jpg.88835e69e0a6cf23e573d4c5fa10ea0d.jpg

 

 

Along the way, we passed (and smelled) an elephant carcass that had attracted its share of scavengers.

 

Vulture.Khwai.jpg.c2bfcebd471b2452442a8b48b167c25e.jpg

 

 

We’d encounter a lot more the next day.

 

And along the river, where we stopped for sundowners, this elephant offered us a classic scene of Botswana.

 

816289238_Elephant.KhwaiVI.jpg.e84924fea8494c1c330597feacde2225.jpg

 

 

1540893328_Elephant.KhwaiIV.jpg.5c7c92c609f816a6ecb06b3e7c3b2f0d.jpg

 

 

1208571956_Elephant.KhwaiV.jpg.a3de70417b5b2d9be4fa64adcc62ad0f.jpg

 

 

 

The next morning began in much the same way as the previous day had ended, with more elephants.

 

143631931_ElephantatDawnI.jpg.ec0665ae18c275bf6cc3f8c9591c43fb.jpg

 

 

624019486_ElephantatDawnII.jpg.9f1f97e778837ba868bef20e660383cc.jpg

 

 

726083037_ElephantatDawnIII.jpg.2ca2c8ae8bdf229da89f6010613e5a20.jpg

 

 

And that would set the stage for our next two days in Khwai: water. It would offer an interesting contrast to our more arid experience in Savuti.

 

 

 

Edited by Alexander33

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Kitsafari

@Alexander33 your wonderful photos of the meyer’s parrots put mine to shame. 😳

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Galago

It's rained heavily all day, it's so cold I had to switch on the heating (10th June :wacko:) so what better way to spend a gloomy afternoon than reading your wonderful TR with all its sunshine and brilliant colours. Carmine Kori is great, as are so many other photos. Looking forward to the next installments.

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marg

@michael-ibk and @Alexander33  Very much enjoying your trip report...especially the bird photos.  Thanks!

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Alexander33
2 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

@Alexander33 your wonderful photos of the meyer’s parrots put mine to shame. 😳

 

@Kitsafari

 

I’m betting not, but, regardless, you may wish to consider my approach when I’m not satisfied: back to Africa to try again!

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offshorebirder

Excellent Meyer's Parrot photos @Alexander33.   I have never been able to get such good ones.  

 

@michael-ibk - stunning photos of the Carmine Bee-eaters.   I know how hard they are to track / photograph so kudos on your shots.    And too many other good photos to name.  

 

Congrats on the HONEY BADGER gentlemen.

 

And thanks for sharing the photos and video of the Kudu drinking encounter.

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twaffle

Mind glowingly wonderful report (too prosaic word to use in this instance) and stunning photos.  Our ST GTG was a highlight and I'm sorry that I never thought to take a photo of us all.  I'm reminded that I have my own Botswana TR to complete so this will spur me on.

 

The giraffe with the bad leg reminds me of a thread some years ago where this was discussed although I can't remember what the cause was.

 

Doug is a great guide and this reminds how much I want to travel with him again.

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michael-ibk

Many thanks @Hads, @Atravelynn, @Treepol, @LarsS, @offshorebirder, @Peter Connan, @Kitsafari, @Galago, @marg and @twaffle

 

9 hours ago, twaffle said:

 I'm reminded that I have my own Botswana TR to complete so this will spur me on.

 

And we are all looking forward to that continuation very much!

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michael-ibk

Khwai is well renowned as a predator hotspot, and it certainly did deliver for us as well.

 

633_TR_Botswana_2365_Khwai_Leopard_(Leopard).JPG.1d8741c2c8b878cd2172e21a410915ae.JPG

 

What do we have here you ask? A beautiful young Leopardess. :wub:

 

632_TR_Botswana_2355_Khwai_Leopard_(Leopard).JPG.77962f75107e9f3bd34350f4bb899e79.JPG

 

I would like to say that we (our guides) were carefully watching the environment and noticed Leopard-indicating behaviour on these Impala and then deduced from their line of sight where the Spotted Cat would be. Masterful tracking!

 

637_TR_Botswana_2378_Khwai_Impala_(Schwarzfersenantilope)_Impala_(Schwarzfersenantilope).JPG.0bfe1d1443a332e8c63942710fc86fa1.JPG

 

639_TR_Botswana_2391_Khwai_Impala_(Schwarzfersenantilope).JPG.3ad96731afbc1cf445a8ea5c9bf671bb.JPG

 

But that would be a blatant lie. Heck, those two Impala were not even close, just threw them in in honour of my "More Impala in reports" spirit. And we were told by other cars where to find this gorgeous animal. ;-)

 

Not much of a poser though, our Leopardess really did not do much except dosing, just opened her eyes now and then, and it was quite tricky to get an angle at all so all my photos are pretty much the same.

 

634_TR_Botswana_2366_Khwai_Leopard_(Leopard).JPG.21992b0065eb7df8b130c01eea529677.JPG

 

Which is the situation when you try to be "creative".B)

 

635_TR_Botswana_2369_Khwai_Leopard_(Leopard).JPG.302c6b701472e5ae71347982babd7ffa.JPG

 

631_TR_IMG_2774.JPG.7f0fb7224fae15e945f9a688500d60d3.JPG

 

We actually got into the best position when we were already driving away and just stopping for "one last look".

 

638_TR_Botswana_2385_Khwai_Leopard_(Leopard).JPG.035379a83435649ce8460b4cc77f480e.JPG

 

I´ve had my good share of Leopard sightings over the last few years but it´s not too many places where you see them in a totally relaxed state like this. You just don´t get Leopard sightings like this in Zimbabwe for example, as even Doug had to admit.

 

And the good thing was - this was only the beginning of a proper Leopardpalooza waiting for us!

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michael-ibk

But I´m getting ahead of myself.

 

494_TR_IMG_2671.JPG.db453f77a847d8529c9f0e79bbab2658.JPG

 

Khwai has to be one of the prettiest places I´ve ever been to. We were fortunate that the weather was very nice on both of our mornings out. The combination of incredible lush greens of all variations, small waterways meandering unhurriedly through the  landscape, lagoons, open plains, loose woodland - very soothing and classic Green Season Botswana as you want it to be. Vibrant, beautiful, full of animals and - best of all - few other people. Khwai was probably the "busiest" place during this trip but that´s only in relation to the others. We´d see a car now and then but had most sightings (even the sleeping Leopard) to ourselves, and the "worst" was about four or five other cars at a high profile sighting (which @Alexander33 will cover). Doug and Matambo told us it´s quite different in summer when it can be extremely crowded.

 

468_TR_IMG_2637.JPG.2b5b2b9b61bf9650155c0f090d606f6d.JPG

 

234350364_479_TR_Botswana_1948_Khwai_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.a3c02dbc3d816e5a6dba03f0579f8c65.JPG

 

460_TR_IMG_2631.JPG.324c213ee44b1c12a98ca58d6aff8e1d.JPG

 

977007038_469_TR_Botswana_1918_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.dfa2442f521a4397f43fe086cbc54bde.JPG

 

The Khwai Concession is a 1800km area which is situated in the northeastern Okavango next to (and not part of) the Moremi Game Reserve. It was formed by the local Khwai villagers and is managed by the Khwai Development Trust. The area used to be a hunting concession but is now actively managed as a conservation area. The villagers took over the area when they moved out of the Moremi region when the Moremi Game Reserve was formed.

 

476_TR_IMG_2643.JPG.058eeca47666ade3276c1503b088ca40.JPG

 

477_TR_Botswana_1941_Khwai.JPG.ac719c3c441da4b21657effe314a9b75.JPG

 

A terrific place to have a sundowner, and that´s just what we did when we arrived.

 

478_TR_Botswana_1942_Khwai.JPG.27c11e7740881f6c9d222d98a9f6faf6.JPG

 

Cheers, guys!

 

Peter was a bit reluctant to show the Elephant carcass the Vultures were gathering around but I have no such qualms - it was a incredibly smelly and gory mess.

 

2124632873_471_TR_Botswana_1922_Khwai_White-BackedVulture_(Weirckengeier).JPG.33daa21b0a4275a9194aa78d4281a4f4.JPG

 

1516520356_472_TR_Botswana_1923_Khwai_White-BackedVulture_(Weirckengeier).JPG.1dff49438789345a1098b5ed3fa09b4d.JPG

 

1720586352_470_TR_Botswana_1921_Khwai_White-BackedVulture_(Weirckengeier).JPG.b888d03211ca2ca181c85e4f368333e1.JPG

 

It was actually a relief to see so many Vultures. It´s a well-known fact all of them are declining rapidly, and I was commenting several times in Savuti about their total abscence. A good bunch of them was obviously here, hundreds of them gathered around the cadaver.

 

116045234_473_TR_Botswana_1929_Khwai_HoodedVulture_(Kappengeier).JPG.cf934add206fbc6ea1bcc8d8a30f15e5.JPG

 

Not the prettiest birds but they have an important function in the ecosystem. Mr. Marabu as well.

 

1152101465_474_TR_Botswana_1932_Khwai_MarabouStork_(Marabu).JPG.9171884ca95b1e1fdbaa8b3ad2d2b71a.JPG

 

496_TR_IMG_2672.JPG.72ee4ecc2aa23c0cbe65c358b7a3ca12.JPG

 

1280000949_488_TR_Botswana_1967_Khwai_CommonHippopotamus_(Flusspferd).JPG.584209ca457d662b95a76317e7020694.JPG

 

Khwai is Hippo central, we saw several of them out grazing.

 

493_TR_IMG_6414.JPG.3f031ab922fd58103ea4dbe7b5491268.JPG

 

And of course there were some nice birds for me. Familiar ones ...

 

484_TR_Botswana_1957_Khwai.JPG.5111381568005990002e222b1b17a016.JPG

 

Grey Heron

 

492209625_489_TR_Botswana_1968_Khwai_SouthernRed-BilledHornbill_(SdlicherRotschnabeltoko).JPG.21c8187b7faf0a2f856cbc1770ee495c.JPG

 

Southern Red-Billed Hornbill

 

And also some specials like this Rufous-bellied Heron:

 

1928462936_491_TR_Botswana_1971_Khwai_Rufous-BelliedHeron_(Rotbauchreiher).JPG.edf5536904d59497989eadccd737b804.JPG

 

A specialist only found in habitats like this, and not a bird very often seen, so I was delighted about this sighting.

 

492_TR_IMG_6403.JPG.318b61e8ea69fc0ecaeecdd4154290c3.JPG

 

1118519928_495_TR_Botswana_1977_Khwai_HelmetedGuineafowl_(Helmperlhuhn).JPG.dca134848864aeb54d5814f88ad70500.JPG

 

An unusual position for a Helmeted Guineafowl during the day. But a whole bunch of birds was very nervous and excited, repeatedly giving warning calls to each other, quite a loud hue and cry. We thought Leopard, and Doug and Matambo tried to find it but nothing ever came of that, and it could just as well have been a Snake or Mongoose.

 

1757191464_463_TR_Botswana_1906_Khwai_ChapmansZebra_(Chapman-Zebra).JPG.2ee32072adeb4e41b3a63aa536ad4463.JPG

 

490_TR_IMG_2669.JPG.d0791c8a146e2e758335b71e1cfae3ac.JPG

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk

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michael-ibk

Elephants were a constant presence, and we spent a lot of time taking photos of them.

 

379816679_453_TR_Botswana_1873_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.29075ec4efbd2460ab9f978d8cdedb50.JPG

 

My favourite sightings occurred on the first morning. Elephants in water is just such a beautiful thing to look at, and couple that with the early light and the beautiful surroundings - doesn´t get much better.

 

503_TR_IMG_2673.JPG.e41d2d45f66846a8900aaae17064ff75.JPG

 

872138715_504_TR_Botswana_1986_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.e3bfda15b3d5d9e97c1222472368c328.JPG

 

999451298_505_TR_Botswana_1989_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.3967e4f7270bb673ee4f335d31289d98.JPG

 

 

506_TR_Botswana_1991_Khwai_Impala_(Schwarzfersenantilope).JPG.34bde7d9a4fe310b5cb2d620202f3a2e.JPG

 

509_TR_IMG_6443.JPG.de1fd09f0861cec903c5b8ca0cf71050.JPG

 

Impala respect, remember?

 

851295325_507_TR_Botswana_1992_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.145235065996e33896c566f68a33b5c6.JPG

 

106402541_508_TR_Botswana_1993_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.2dce9e9192f00c95d7044d8131ef0fe2.JPG

 

This one was obviously going "Hi, how do you do mate" here. Not to us though:

 

510_TR_IMG_6444.JPG.5904aec4a9ad8f8e7c1ad354e7c2f583.JPG

 

And this one was just happy being in the water:

 

1473952245_511_TR_Botswana_1996_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.2108d0a46907af11d5116470b3e2e0d5.JPG

 

834429632_512_TR_Botswana_1997_Khwai_AfricanSavannaElephant_(AfrikanischerSteppenelefant).JPG.f534f646cada849bc02756237813fa5d.JPG

 

Once I´m through with animals I will start on my ID skills with plants. Don´t wait for that to happen though.

 

513_TR_IMG_2680.JPG.9a087882697a463a8385689f2f5a93e8.JPG

 

502_TR_Botswana_1984_Khwai.JPG.33c2eadecee1bfac97135b2c0fee3513.JPG

 

514_TR_IMG_2688.JPG.5fd20a51d523bb54e2cee8cdc0ccc840.JPG

 

516_TR_IMG_2695.JPG.e9cbf37f364b5a29ab72246354a3e1a9.JPG

 

515_TR_IMG_2690.JPG.e102966dfc4ca4486eb19d2a46f69ffa.JPG

 

1162334645_499_TR_Botswana_1981_Khwai_GoliathHeron_(Goliathreiher).JPG.ea4f52986ffef74b8d8581ae9f5f9a92.JPG

 

500_TR_IMG_6434.JPG.32ecf0222ce112257b753fb2b1e74341.JPG

 

Goliath Heron. A bird I normally see once or twice on safari, this time they were all over the Delta.

 

517_TR_Botswana_2003_Khwai_Impala_(Schwarzfersenantilope).JPG.e5e3028e23b12031fc938232736572cd.JPG

 

198550630_531_TR_Botswana_2069_Khwai_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.c2f2a99f8760037164c8c19ebc00d258.JPG

 

12408521_533_TR_Botswana_2073_Khwai_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.a335d05391ce327598f332d857c59d1d.JPG

 

407661321_536_TR_Botswana_2077_Khwai_GreaterKudu_(GroerKudu).JPG.029ebc025267ce00764d84f2db708d87.JPG

 

No idea what spooked all these guys.

 

1167932654_519_TR_Botswana_2013_Khwai_SpottedHyena_(Tpfelhyne).JPG.1a396a1f959abf5dd4e5c6758693fa8a.JPG

 

Certainly not this Spotted Hyena, it was not much into wasting energy, the rotten Elephant seemed to be good enough for them - it´s often said how advanced their sense of smell is. I really doubt that, nothing with even a barely working olfactory organ could stand to get close to that decaying stink bomb.

 

1964244630_518_TR_Botswana_2008_Khwai_SpottedHyena_(Tpfelhyne).JPG.693facb3d47991b293cfbbb925953b0c.JPG

 

1747641557_520_TR_Botswana_2015_Khwai_SpottedHyena_(Tpfelhyne).JPG.e01093b8f34cad4fcf80d4bee0133b9d.JPG

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