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Safari Sunday: an elephant in a river

Posted by barb on Jul 30, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

On our full day at Kwara Camp in the Okavango Delta we took a boat trip to an island meant for birders. On our way there, our guide spied this guy down a side channel. He was not happy that we were there. He kept a close eye on us and the whole time we were there, and swished his trunk through the water.

Elephant in the water

Elephant in the water

Elephant in the water

Elephant in the water

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Safari Sunday: who needs Shark Week when you have crocodiles?

Posted by barb on Jul 20, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

On our boat cruise on the Chobe River, we spied crocodiles eating *something* down the river. It wasn’t until we got close that we realized it was an elephant’s trunk. (Which explained the elephant carcass we saw without a trunk up the river – phew, stinky!) It was fascinating to watch them eat – there were at least 5 crocodiles going at it, and at one point one tried to make a break with the trunk. The others were fast on his heels, though.

We moved on down the river, and on our way back, spied these crocs again, still going at it.

Crocodiles eating a trunk

Splashing crocs

Splashing crocs

Hello crocodile

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Safari Sunday: African painted dogs

Posted by barb on Jul 16, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

After our morning mokoro ride, on our last day at Kwara Camp, our guide found a pack of the wild painted dogs hunting. This pair was lounging after the pack had snacked on two baby impalas (you can see some blood on their faces). The babies were a mere appetizer for them, and after a short rest, they set their sights on somewhat larger prey across a lagoon. We weren’t able to follow, because the land belonged to another camp. Just as well – I didn’t need to see them take down an antelope!

A pair of wild dogs

A pair of wild dogs

Vicious!

Wild dog

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Safari Sunday: rock paintings

Posted by barb on Jul 9, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

We stayed at our last camp, Nxamaseri (pronounced with a click for the ‘x’), for their proximity and day trips to Tsodilo Hills. The hills seem to arise out of nowhere and contain ancient rock art. The site is of great cultural significance to the Bushman. In fact, when we mentioned our next stop to our Bushman tracker in Nxai Pan, he repeated the name with a tone of reverence.

While there we saw paintings of exactly what you might expect in Southern Africa – giraffes, zebras, buffalo, antelope and rhino. However, we also saw a penguin and whale! Likely some traveler who wanted to memorialize the unusual animals they’d seen near the ocean.

Rock paintings

Rock paintings

Rhino painting

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Safari Sunday: a morning mokoro ride

Posted by barb on Jul 2, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

On our second morning in Kwara Camp, we opted to go out on a short mokoro ride around the lagoon. Mokoros are flat-bottomed canoes that are used as transportation throughout the Okavango Delta. They are propelled by a poler who stands at the back of the canoe. That were traditionally made out of the trunk of a straight tree. However, due to the growing tourist industry, modern mokoros are made of fiberglass.

For our morning trek, we only went half-way around the lagoon. Our guide noticed a hippo on the other side of the lagoon who was known to be aggressive and was sporting a new scar. He decided to turn us around – better to just give that hippo a wide berth, than risk his wrath.

Morning mokoros

Morning mokoros

Morning mokoros

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Safari Sunday: a silly mama lion

Posted by barb on Jun 25, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

During a drive in Chobe, our guide knew of a place where a couple of mama lions would “stash” their cubs for the day – then in the morning or afternoon, the would call the cubs out to let them run around and get a look at how they were doing.

We popped by that location early in the day, and found the mamas, but it was looking like rain, so they were not going to call out their cubs. (At least not until later in the day, which we *did* see!) However, we did catch this girl rolling around.

Lion=

Lion rolling over=

Silly lion

Silly lion

Stretch lion

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Safari Sunday: Morning traffic in Chobe

Posted by barb on Jun 18, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

On our morning drive into Chobe National Park, we had to stop for some…um…formidable traffic. It’s clear who has the right-of-way in the park – I wouldn’t want to honk at a mama elephant, anyway.

We also watched a hyena running down the road – its normal morning patrol for overnight roadkill.

Morning elephants

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Safari Sunday: a giraffe in the Nxai Pan landscape

Posted by barb on Jun 11, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

Our last “animal” camp was Nxai Pan – a salt pan to the south and east of the Okavango Delta, where we had spent most of our time. This desert-like area felt a lot like New Mexico – hot with big skies and vast landscapes. We spied this giraffe on one of our morning drives.

Giraffe

Giraffe

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Safari Sunday: a waterbuck and cattle Egret “friend” for Best Friends Day (later this week)

Posted by barb on Jun 4, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

On our second night at Waterberry Lodge in Zambia, our evening river cruise included seeing this pair along the shore. The cattle egret tags along to pick off the insects kicked up as the waterbuck walks through the grass. We watched them (and some friends) for a long time, following them down the bank.

Besties!

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Safari Sunday: Greeting elephants

Posted by barb on May 28, 2017 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels

The elephants that we saw at Nxai Pan were all bachelors. The family groups, which we had been seeing at our other camps, had recently moved in toward the middle of the Pan, because the rains had started. Those parts of the park were not accessible from the roads we had to say on.

Unlike the family groups, who stay together essentially at all times, the bachelors go off on their own, then come back to rejoin the group as they please. The elephant in the left on this pictures was just returning to the group, and we caught the greeting. This is apparently common.

Elephant greeting

Elephant greeting

Elephant greeting

Elephant greeting

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