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Botswana Day 7: Keeping Close to Water

By 6a we were off for the morning game drive with Graham and Gillie.
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We came upon a single, male wildebeest. Unlike the wildebeest in Tanzania we saw who traveled in herds, here the male wildebeest stake out a territory and live on their own. They wait for the females, who do travel in herds, to wander through. This guy was in need of a dirt bath this morning.
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We headed to the marshland and found some red lechwe. These guys stick around the water and when they get spooked by a predator, they run and jump into the water in order to escape.
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Impala.
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Kudu.
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Some large forms appeared ahead in the distance and as we waited for them to approach, we could see there were about 200 elephants coming down to the river for water.
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Several little babies were sprinkled amongst the herd.
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A monitor lizard was hanging around.
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Then around the corner, right by the waterhole where we had sundowners the night before, were three female lions and an older cub.
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The mom and cub got thirsty and wandered over to the waterhole for a drink.
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Then back to the mound to survey the horizon.
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The cub got bored with mom so tried to get some love from an older female.
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She wasn't having it.
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We decided to leave them to their mound as it was time to start heading back for lunch anyway.

Egyptian geese.
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Fish eagle.
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Before reaching camp, we saw this wildebeest with a baby that had just been born in the last few minutes. We watched it get up for the first time and learn to nurse.
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Nearby, a hawk was feasting on the remnants of the birth.
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Baboon and zebra.
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Something spooked the zebras and they took off.
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We made it back to camp and had a lunch of omelets and a very strange assortment of salads. The food at Lebala was getting worse by the day. During the downtime, we sat on the deck, downloading photos, and watching two leopard tortoises mate.

For the afternoon drive, we decided to spend some time with the hippos and waterbirds. We had not yet had much hippo time so this was a nice change. They are hilarious to listen to and watch their antics in the water.

But first, a flower along the way (a somewhat rare sight).
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Warthog and red lechwe.
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Hippo harem.
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Discord in the hippo harem.
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Various water birds.
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Kingfisher in flight.
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It was getting dark and time to make the drive back to camp. On the way, we stopped for a mother genet cat with three babies. She was moving them deeper into the bushes, one at a time. We turned the lights off so as not to interrupt her vision.

Dinner that night was a beef bourguignon with roasted potatoes and vegetables and fried bananas for dessert. We had a drink or two after dinner then retired to our tent for the night.

Posted by zihuatcat 09:09 Archived in Botswana Tagged africa safari botswana

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