Safari in Botswana, May/June 2007

We spent four days at Shinde Island camp in the Okavango Delta. The we spent four days in the Selinda reserve which is a savannah area further north; two days at Selinda Camp and two days at Zibalianja Camp. Our trip was organised by Safari Consultants of Sudbury, Suffolk.

This page is an introduction; the thumbnail photographs are links to larger versions. I used an Olympus Camedia Zoom C60 for general views, and a Sony Cybershot DSC-H2 with 12x zoom and image stabilisation for photos of animals.

Shinde Island Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Reedbuckjumping at Shinde Island, Botswana Reedbuck jumping. A lucky shot, it jumped into my photograph. (It might be a red lechwe).

Makoro in Okavango Delta, Botswana Makoro. We were poled around the narrows and shallows, seeing papyrus, reeds and water lilies, and many water birds.

Little bee eater, Botswana Little bee eater. We had landed during our morning makoro trip for a break and a cup of coffee. The bee eater was perched on a tree, stayed there as we approached, and even flew away and came back.

Leopard , Botswana Leopard. We had been for a walk for two hours with our guide Belipe. He was seeing fresh leopard tracks. We returned to the vehicle, drove down the track, and there was the leopard by a bush. Quite unconcerned by our presence it strolled down the track, across open grass by the track, and up into a tree.

Selinda reserve, Botswana

Lion cubs, Botswana Lion cubs. There was a pride of lions with at least three females and at least five cubs of different ages (there were some very young cubs we didn't see). The cubs were playing - these two jumped at each other.

Cheetah drinking , Botswana Cheetah drinking. We had been watching the cheetah just before sundown. Initially it was lying or sitting in the grass. After a time our guide BB drove our vehicle down by this water - and the cheetah came down and drank just by us.

African rock python swallowing spur-wing goose, Botswana African rock python swallowing spur-wing goose. We were driving round the edge of this pool on the way to look at a herd of red lechwe. Then we were confronted with this amazing sight - a snake swallowing a large goose. The head of the goose is already down the neck of the snake, on the left. The pink in the middle shows the jaws of the snake, dislocated and enlarged to fit around the body of the goose. On the right, the snake is coiled around the goose crushing it. This meal will last the snake a long time, possibly for months before it has to eat again.

Wild dog, Botswana Wild dog, Botswana. The pack of dogs were relaxing in the woods and were quite happy for us to drive up close and take photos. We were lucky as the dogs are rare and have a very large range. But for the few days we were in Selinda, the dogs were there as well.

Elephant chasing away wild dogs, Botswana Elephant chasing away wild dogs. We had seen the pack of wild dogs several times, and also had seen elephants which frequent this particular piece of woodland. We were watching the dogs when the elephants came back - and objected to the presence of the dogs. So the elephants charged the dogs, kicking up dust and trumpeting. The dogs took the hint, and departed to hunt impala.

Guide with rolled-up pangolin , Botswana Our guide Rain with rolled-up pangolin. The pangolin or scaly ant-eater rolls into a ball if in danger, with its head tucked under its tail. They are not often seen, and our guides said it brings good luck if they see one. In the past, if one was caught by a hunter it had to be given to the chief of the tribe. This one will not suffer from being picked up; we left it where we found it and it will unroll and go back to finding ants.

Copyright 2007 David Hawgood

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