Past Safaris

Botswana – August 2009

Where We Went

River Club in Zambia, followed by Linyanti camp and Savuti camp in the far north of Botswana and then lastly Jacana camp and Tubu Tree camp.

About the Trip

August is a good time of year for safaris in the region. At this time of year water levels are still quite high in the rivers, temperatures are quite moderate, and there are gatherings of wildlife around water sources in the drier areas.

We started out at the River Club, along the Zambezi River just upstream from the Victoria Falls, and were lucky enough to coincide our stay with the last lunar rainbow of the season. This happens only on full moons during those months that the river has lots of water. For the first time I managed to get a fairly decent picture of the rainbow. The Falls were spectacular day and night.

Linyanti Discoverer camp was our next base, and here we had an excellent sighting of a female leopard, feeding on a baboon kill in a tree. We also saw 13 African wild dogs, asleep in the late morning, but for me the wildlife highlight happened on our last morning there when we spend near to an hour with two lionesses and their two young cubs, who could not have been more than 7 weeks old. The cubs were still a little unsteady moving about, and one climbed on top of a fallen tree trunk, giving us some wonderful photo opportunities.

We traveled next to Savuti camp for two nights, and here we were witness to the spectacle of deep, clear water flowing once again in the river channel it last reached more than twenty years back. Northern Botswana is an area of change in terms of river flows, and currently there are big changes happening around Savuti. We enjoyed our best sighting of an elephant herd on the trip when we were literally surrounded by more than thirty of them for half an hour. We also saw kudu, giraffe and zebra on every drive.

We flew to Jacana in the Okavango Delta for the next two nights. We boated, went on dugout mekoro canoe excursions, and drove through the wide, inundated floodplains, with great sightings of herds of red lechwe antelope and a wonderful variety and number of water birds.

We boated to our last camp in the Delta, called Tubu Tree. Here we had a tough sighting of three young male lions that were tucked away in a thicket of scrubby trees, making visibility tough. Our persistence was rewarded though on the next day when we found the same lions out in the open floodplains, just after sunrise. We also saw a male leopard, spotted hyena, many zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, elephant and other creatures. One evening we went out after dinner with good supplies of steaming coffee and tea, and spent an hour under the stars, appreciating the brilliance of the southern night skies away from camp.

All eight guests had a good time, and we were all sad to say goodbye.

About the Author:

I am a guide and a photographer, with a deep interest in all things to do with nature. I am based in Cape Town, South Africa, but travel often to wild places whilst leading photographic safaris, and enjoying the outdoors.

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