Safari: Kwara Day 3

Posted by barb on Nov 23, 2016 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels |

We had something different this morning – a mokoro ride around the lagoon with our truck-mates after breakfast. Our guide, tracker, and another tracker prepped the mokoros – flat-bottomed canoes that are driven by a poler. They are common in the Okavango Delta as a means of getting around.

Prepping the mokoros

Carlos explained the safety protocols for the mokoro ride. As is custom, he did not have a gun, but he had a noise source that should scare away any wildlife if anything got too close or charged us.

I was the first to get in. This was my view of the shore as we took off.

Taking off in the mokoro

Then our truck-mates took off.

Morning mokoros

And finally Andrew and Kevin (another truck-mate).

Morning mokoros

I got up close and personal with some of the water-skipping bugs.

Morning mokoros

And the view was to die for.

Morning mokoros

We could only do half the lagoon. Carlos spied a hippo on the other side of the lagoon, a male hippo who had a new scar across his face. He knew that the hippo could be dangerous, particularly with a new scar, so we turned back before we got anywhere near him. It was still a gorgeous and peaceful ride.

Then we got back on the road after our mokoro tour of the lagoon. In case you were wondering how good the roads are…take a look!

On the road again

We found the pack of dogs hunting.

African wild dogs

African wild dogs

We lost site of them only for a couple of minutes, but by the time we found them again, they had already killed and devoured a baby impala. What’s that he’s got in his mouth?

What have you got there?

Oh, an impala leg, of course.

Running off with a baby impala leg

Thankfully, the pack started to set their sites on somewhat larger prey across the lagoon.

Wild dogs on the shore

Wild dogs crossing a channel

Our guide knew that they would need to jump a channel to get there, so he got us in position to see it. Then, as though he could see into the future, the dogs did, in fact, jump the channel.

Wild dogs crossing a channel

Though, they couldn’t quite make it in one hop.

Wild dogs crossing a channel

After they’d all jumped over, we moved on. The other side of the channel was, apparently, land that belonged to another reserve.

I have a hypothesis that every little pond has a hippo in it. And we found a little pond, with this guy.

Hippo in a pond

But, he wasn’t too happy that we were near his pond. He headed away from us – keeping his mouth in the water as long as he could, which seemed a little weird.

Hippo in a pond

Then he stood up, let us know he was unhappy …

Hippo in a pond

… and walked off to find another plot of water to wallow in.

Hippo leaving

Then we continued to drive around. We found this giraffe…who I swear looks pregnant (our guide agreed).


And we found this group of ostriches.


They got upset with us a moment later.

Running ostriches

Down the road we spied another giraffe.


And if you look closely, there’s a bird on its head.


By then it was time to drop one of our truck-mates at the airstrip and go back to camp for lunch. As Andrew and I were walking back to our tent, this is what we saw:

The moment you notice elephants right next to your tent

So, we took to heart the safety briefing we’d had at every camp, and we backed slowly away. We called our guide to take a look. It was a family group with a couple of adult females, a couple of young ones, and an adolescent male. Turns out Carlos knew this family group, and was confident in walking them away from our tent a little bit. When they were away from our doorway, we snuck in.

Carlos to the rescue!

The adolescent male was keeping an eye on our tent. We could see him from inside through the “windows.”

Elephants outside our tent

I stood out on the balcony for a moment and watched. I was rewarded with this:

Elephants outside our tent

And this:

Elephants by the camp

We packed up our things and returned to the lodge, where the baboons were having a great time. If you look closely, you can see a small limb hanging on for dear life – this mama had a baby with her.

Baboon in the lodge

Then we headed to the airstrip. Yes, this wooden bridge is a working bridge. We didn’t end up using this one, but were told that in the rainy season they need it. There was another such bridge on the reserve that we did use on a drive, though.

Yes, that's a working bridge

The comforts of the airstrip:

Kwara airstrip

And the view from the strip was pretty good!

Zebra by the airstrip



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