Our itinerary for this trip began with two nights at the River Club in Zambia. A cultural visit to Simongwe village and a walk around the Falls kept us busy there. We also did a sunset cruise on the Zambezi too. The next day was our transfer day to Botswana. Along the way we spent the midday on the Chobe River, taking in some wonderful viewing of hippo, crocodiles, buffalo and many waterbirds. A herd of young male elephants also put on a show for us by playing in the river in front of us. We flew into Linyanti Discoverer camp for the next 3 nights and our best leopard sighting came before we even reached camp. A female leopard was feeding on an impala she had killed and we had a good, long sighting of her feeding and resting. Three lions were feeding on a giraffe, and we visited several times during our stay. Five hyaenas, and many vultures took over when the lions walked away, and reduced the carcass to some bones very rapidly.
Savuti was our next camp and the first summer rains began falling. On our first afternoon, just minutes after the rain stopped, we found a lioness with 3 young cubs. We watched them till dark. Still at Savuti, a wild dog sighting of a pack of 12, and not long after we arrived there, the resting dogs were chased by 3 lionesses. Luckily the wild dogs were alert, and managed to run off without any incident, other than getting a nasty scare. After two nights we flew to Jacana, deep in the Okavango.
There we enjoyed some boating and water birds in great variety and number, as well as some interesting mekoro (dugout canoe) trips to some of the nearby islands. A game drive on the Jao flats produced still more waterbirds, as well as herds of red lechwe antelope, and the local lion pride asleep on the grass one morning.
We spent two nights at Jacana, then boated to Tubu Tree camp. Water levels in this concession rise and fall through the course of a season, and ours was the last boat transfer to take place. The water is just getting too low for boating. Any transfers between now and April next year will be by aircraft or by vehicle. Tubu is a dry Delta area, with game drives being the main activity. There were herds of zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and impala. We saw a leopard in a sausage tree, and another highlight was a flock of 54 wattled cranes flying to roost in a floodplain. We also saw big troops of baboon, and had some strong birding to end off another successful safari.