Safari: Pom Pom Day 2

Posted by barb on Nov 24, 2016 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels |

Our morning started with breakfast and a greeting by the elephant grazing in our lagoon.

Morning Elephant

We would be taking another mokoro ride this morning. On our way to the mokoro site, we spied this herd of reedbuck …

Herd of Reedbuck

… and kudu.

Kudu

And then we climbed into the mokoros – Andrew and I in one, our other safari mates sprinkled between the other three canoes.

Mokoros

Andrew was feeling a little dizzy this morning, so our poler kept us closer to the trucks. The other mokoros headed off across the pond and down a channel. This left things very peaceful on our side of the pond.

There were loads of daylilies …

Water daylily

… and birds all over the place …

Silhouetted birds

… and a herd of elephants on the shore.

Elephants on the shore

Our poler spotted a reedbuck, and suspected it would start jumping across the water. Again, as if by magic, he perfectly predicted what the animals would do. A few moments later, with us in a good position to get pictures, we watched him jump and bound from the island to the shore.

Jumping Reedbuck

Jumping Reedbuck

As always, there were hippos in the water, too. We kept our distance, and they kept their eyes on us.

Hippos peeking

Before long, our safari mates returned.

Mokoros

We got back in our safari trucks and continued on our drive. The antelope were out in force today! We spied this herd of impala. Have I mentioned that the guides love to refer to impala as the “McDonalds” of the savannah? First, if you look at their heinies, there’s a vague impression of the giant “M”. Second, there’s one on every corner.

Impala

Before we knew it, our guide and tracker had found the pride of lions again.

Lounging Lions

And there was cuteness to be had.

Lounging Lions

Lounging Lions

On our way back to the lodge, we found this reedbuck who decided he didn’t want to be around us.

Jumping Reedbuck

Jumping Reedbuck

It started sprinkling a little, and these elephants seemed to want to be somewhere quickly – they were moving fast!

Elephants on the go

Then we returned to the lodge. After lunch, we retired to our tent for a shower and rest. The elephant we keep seeing near the lodge was never far away.

Lodge elephant

We did a little shopping at the curio shop and picked up a couple baskets. Camp employees weave traditional reed baskets and put them for sale in the lodge. By coincidence, the two I picked out were both weaved by Max, our guide.

And again, we were off on adventures in the safari truck. Our truck mates declared that they didn’t want to see the lions again. I tried not to be too upset that they didn’t bother to consult with the rest of us – you know, those of us who love lions and all the big cats. I tried to keep in mind that our guide would find amazing things no matter where they went in the savannah.

We headed to the other side of the lagoon from our lodge. There, our truck mates could see the birds – everyone else in our truck were birders. Andrew and I…well, birds are cool to look at, but I can’t tell most of them apart, and didn’t necessarily care if I was seeing the super rare wing-a-maurader or the very common flighty-mcflighterson.

Yellowbilled stork reflections

But our naughty elephant was hanging out near the lagoon, so I grabbed picks of him, the birds, impala, and hippos.

Elephant

Hippos in the lagoon

Crocodile in the lagoon

Elephant eye

Trunk

When our truck-mates had had their fill of the birds, we moved on and found this very picturesque reedbuck with a termite mound in the background.

Reedbuck

As we were driving around, we also spied a couple of very young giraffes in the bush. They were quite shy – understandably – so we couldn’t get pictures. Our guide guessed that the youngest one was only a few months old; the other was maybe just shy of a year. We moved on after the giraffes hid further in the bush.

Once again, the guide appeared to perform magic when they found a hyena den. From a great distance, he spied a hyena cub and took us straight there.

Hyena cub

And then there were two cubs.

Hyena cub

And a couple of mama hyenas – one nursing yet another cub, one just hanging out with the older cubs we spied first – and another pregnant hyena.

Hyena cubs and mama

Max explained that hyenas separate from the pack when they are in advanced pregnancy until after the cubs wean. Then they rejoin the pack.

Hyena cubs

Hyena cubs

We watched for a long time, and then had to head for a location for our sundowner. On the way we spied a wildebeest.

Wildebeest

And a pair of baboons in a tree.

Monkeys in a tree

When we found a spot away from the animals and at a vantage where the guide could keep an eye on things, we stopped for our sundown drinks.

Sundown drinks

Max, our guide, made Andrew look short. That’s quite a feat.

Sundown drinks

And again, we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Okavango sundown

On our drive back to the camp, we found some giraffes, silhouetted against the sunset sky.

Sunset giraffes

Sunset giraffes

Sunset giraffes

We did something a little different for dinner tonight. We were both tired of all of the togetherness, so Andrew had requested a private dinner. They had set up a table for us off to the side, away from the large dinner table. It was nice to be just the two of us and not feel like we had to be “on” the entire time.

Private dinner

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