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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Some Sons Go on Safari

There was a conference in South Africa (cosmology, physics and philosophy for those who care) and it seemed mad to be in the continent without doing some serious walking somewhere wild and full of wildlife.

A bit of pre-Africa research revealled that there were parts of the Okavango Delta in Botswana where unarmed game walking was possible, so that one could bushwalk and look for game at the same time. 

It was the rainy season so it was dry. Reason: water in the Delta comes from Angola, and in the rainy season that water hasn't yet made it down. So the Delta was basically river channels and grassland. Ideal for some real walking and the odd bit of Mokoro (dugout canoe) based animal stalking.

Flying in from Maun in north-western Botsawana a light plane disgorged us into the delta, and we were all sent off on a boat trip before dinner. This is the kind of scenery you'll find:

PalmTrees, Okovango Delta

But soon we seriously rewarded: Elephant, a great breeding herd of them walking along the river side about to cross in front of us!

Elephant, Sunset, Chief's Island

Soon they were crossing only metres from the boats. Check out the little guy's eye through his mother's trunk:

Elephant Crossing the Boro River, Botswana

Soon the sun went down and the herd kept crossing:

Elephant Crossing after Dusk, Boro River, Botswana

After the herd had crossed, a huge female just stood ground at the rear for as long as we were there, presumably to make sure we weren't chasing the herd:

Rearguard, Boro River

The next days were spent largely on foot. One of the highlights was this next photo, which really needs to be bigger than the blog allows. Zebra, Giraffe and Elephant all together!

Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe: Floodplains, Okovango Delta

This photo of the Zebra looks better at blog scale:

A Dazzle of Zebra

The higlight of the next few days was a couple of days stalking Lion, resulting in us watching them try to take down a dazzle of Zebra, but sad to say there are no decent pictures of this. But gradually stalking groups on foot, always having to be mindful of safety (and very much dependent on our expert guides - thanks Luckson and Jonas!) and finally seeing wonderful dramas enacted in front of you is more rewarding that driving right up close to things.

The next stop was further North, in an area where we were driven around more. Here's a little story we found:

First, we saw a dead baby hippo encrusted with vultures:

Dominant Vulture on baby Hippo corpse

Soon after, a Hyena appears and shoos them away. He then puts his whole head and neck right inside the rotting guts of the hippo.

Hyena with its head inside the Hippo

And finally, having had her fill, leaves the rest to the vultures:

Replete Hyena walks away from the corpse

A little later we spy something in the grass. We've got lucky. Leopard!

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Much patinet stalking later and I catch her in regal repose:

Leopard Watching

But that turns out not to be all the big cats. Later we come across this guy:

Young Male Lion

And later we see him lying in a pose I've only seen before in Labradoodles:

Lazy Lion

Manage to catch some male Tsessebee locking horns:

Fighting Tsessebe

And here's one standing on a termite nest. I think he is a lookout:

Tsessebe, Termite Nest, Pom Pom

Here are a few guys techincally known as dinner; common name Impala

Impala Does

I'll finish with a shot of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, taken in on the way out of the Delta. Look for the little group of people on the top right (In Zambia) to give scale

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

1 comment:

  1. Wao great. I will appreciate you picture quality and the way you have portrait the nature beauty. Desert Safari Dubai is also a lovely place. Try it out. its totally opposite to the pics you have shared


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