A Travellerspoint blog

June 2018

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 Comments (0)

Botswana Day 6: Fire and Rain

Up again at 5a for our last morning at Lagoon Camp. We headed out with just us and Tim and Val. Graham and Anna didn't want to make the transfer drive again. Although it's a good idea in theory, the transfer drive really does put a damper on being able to search for anything not on the given route. On that morning, not much was on the route at all.

We did see some eland with babies but they were very distant and ran away before we could get pics. Three ostriches were out and about.
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We made it to the transfer point where we had to wait on the other vehicle. There were lots of decomposing bones scattered around (i.e., hyena food).
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Finally the other vehicle showed up.
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This little yellow-billed egret was hanging around watching the goings-on.
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Finally, we set off in the other vehicle with Jacob as our driver and two other couples (who did not shut up the whole drive). Once again, there didn't seem to be much in the way of wildlife for them to scare off so it was more annoying than anything.

We passed a couple of warthogs and a wildebeest before making it to Lebala Camp.
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We arrived at camp and barely had time to drop off our bags before lunch.
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We had lunch of egg and sausage casserole with various types of salads then headed back to our tent to take a nap before the afternoon drive. Our guide at Lebala would be Sugar and our tracker was OT. We'd be sharing the vehicle with Graham and Gillie, an elderly English couple. There was some sort of drama with Gillie and others in camp that we weren't involved in. Apparently, they assigned them to us for this reason. We got along with them just fine, however.

The afternoon drive started out just as slow as the morning drive. We saw a few of the regular suspects.

Wildebeest.
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Impala.
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Leopard tortoise.
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Various water birds poking about.
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Bee-eater.
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Then the sky opened up and it started raining. We scrambled to put on ponchos and cover the camera equipment. It didn't last long and when the storm broke, there was a beautiful rainbow.
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I guess the animals had watched the weather better than we had. Very few came out on the rest of the drive.

Guineafowl.
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Giraffe.
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Fish eagle.
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We decided to give up and stop for sundowners at a watering hole.
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After drinks it was back to camp for a dinner of corn fritters, chicken with gravy, and potatoes. We quickly discovered that this camp had the worst food of them all. We retired to our tent early as we were tired. In the not-so-far distance, we could see that lightning had started a fire on the Namibia side of the river. Mike spent a long time watching it, worried it would come our way. Thankfully, it did not, and we eventually fell asleep.
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Posted by zihuatcat 07:33 Archived in Botswana Tagged africa safari botswana Comments (0)

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