A Travellerspoint blog

December 2018

Botswana Day 10: Dead Hippo Makes for Smelly Lions

It was rough to get up this morning as the nearby hippos were noisy all night long. It's a sound I enjoy and it's oddly comforting but after listening to it all night, I had enough. Mike was feeling better but had an awful headache so I set off without him again. My car mates were the same as the day before but Mr. Antarctica Louie was being exceptionally obnoxious. It's accepted protocol that each group rotates thru the three seats of the vehicle so that everyone has the opportunity to sit in the front seat and everyone has the not-so-great experience of sitting in the third seat. Louie didn't seem to think this protocol applied to him. It was his turn for the third seat and he refused. I disliked him even more. Tom and Chris graciously offered to sit there as Brenda and I were not about to let Louie off the hook.

The day started off with a couple of impala boys.
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A vulture eyeing something below.
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A giraffe.
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A mixed herd of tsessebe and zebra with some babies scattered throughout.
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Our guides heard about a cheetah family with a kill so we headed over to see if we could find them. We came upon a mother and two cubs with a reedbuck she had killed the day before.
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The cubs were playful.
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Mom was not.
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She was keeping a close eye on the kill.
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And trying to keep it hidden from other predators.
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She relaxed after a while and showed her cubs some love.
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I finally got a good pic of a red lechwe. I loved these guys. When they feel threatened, they head straight for the water. It's beautiful to see them bounding thru it.
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Some marabou stork and zebra were keeping them company.
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Mike was up and about when we got back to camp for lunch. He joined us for some lasagne and salad and then we spent the afternoon watching thunderstorms from the front porch of our tent. He was feeling better and came out on the afternoon drive with us.

We caught up with a mating pair of lions. They were taking a break at the moment.
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The rain had livened up all the animals like nothing I'd ever seen. This kudu was definitely showing his excitement.
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The birds were out.
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A leopard tortoise.
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And a giraffe with birds.
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The impala were also excited, jumping about.
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This one had a genetic mutation.
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Just as it was starting to rain again, we got a report that the Marsh pride had killed a hippo a good distance away. This particular pride was well-known for killing hippo so we voted to brave the rain and drive there. It took about 30 minutes. When we arrived, it was one of the worst stenches I've ever been exposed to. Between the stinky lions, the mud, the hippo feces, and the decomposing hippo itself, it was a lot to take. We got as close as we could stand.

The males already had their fill.
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It was time for the women and kids to eat.
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We stayed with the pride longer than we should have and it was a rough trip back to camp. The rains brought out huge, flying termites. We were driving pretty fast and the termites were flying right into our faces. It was horrible.

The termites had invaded camp as well. Since there was no electricity, they placed lanterns up and down the long dining table. All this did was draw the termites in. They were getting in the food and making a huge, disgusting mess. Finally, the guides took our rather forceful suggestion to set the lanterns off to the side. That drew the termites away from the table, at least, and still provided some light to enjoy tomato lentil soup, roasted chicken, and potatoes. After dinner, we returned to our tent to pack up for the next day's departure.

Posted by zihuatcat 11:59 Archived in Botswana Tagged africa safari botswana Comments (2)

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