Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 BEST OF BOTSWANA Photo Safari

Botswana - a name that has always brought to mind the romance of wild Africa.  This great trip certainly lived up to the Africa of old, in so many ways.

We were met at the Xakanaxa Airstrip in the Moremi Game Reserve by our guide Nkosi and expertly driven to our first expedition style tented camp amidst huge rain trees in the Xini Lagoon Region.  The privileged sightings from this camp included 2 lovely male cheetahs, a collection of ten different waterbird species fishing together at a small vanishing waterhole and a fantastic full moon rising/sunset scenario featuring a baobab tree.

After Xini we moved on to the Khwai area which is community owned.  Off-road driving is permitted in Khwai, which added to the excitement.  We had wonderful experiences with leopard here - one included a three month old cub at a kill with her mother, which was very special. Three baby hyaena entertained us when the early morning sun had lured them from their den and we were also lucky enough to encounter Cape Hunting Dogs up close which we managed to follow on a hunt until the vegetation and their speed defeated us.  The camp here was delightful - situated next to the Khwai River under magnificent leadwood trees.

The Savuti area of the Chobe Game Reserve was our next stop - a wonderland of marsh, forest, grassland and sandveld.  This time our camp was situated in a grove of Kalahari Apple Leaf trees and had a character all of its own.  It was here that we encountered the marsh lion pride - all beautiful specimens with two sets of young cubs.

I would like to thank the Letaka team for all their hard work and great organisation.  Our guide Nkosi was outstanding.  His knowledge of all facets of the environment in which he works was amazing, as were his driving skills.  His ability as a photographer helped so much in understanding our needs.  Pula, the chef and chief camp organiser was truly phenomenal - the food he produced in camping conditions was incredible.  He was ably assisted by Banda and Frans.

From Savuti we flew to the Chobe River Front for the final stage of our trip. Here we did early morning and late afternoon boat trips in a specially designed photo boat  which had been cleverly adapted for photographers. Thanks to the ability of our boat captain - Shar, we got great shots of white fronted bee-eaters and yellow billed storks at their nests, fish eagles, hippos yawning and elephants playing and drinking in the river, to name  a few.  Many thanks to "Guts" of Pangolin Safaris for all his help and assistance in making this so special.

The "Best of Botswana" Photo safari is different to all our others in so many ways - this is the real Africa, massive remote areas away from crowds of people. The light is amazing and the smells are unique.  

We will be offering a second departure in 2015 as the first departure is already sold out, please email us if you are interested in a space on the 2015 departure. 

Regards to all

Stu


Our camp in the Xini Lagoon area of Moremi Game Reserve 

The Dining tent 

Expedition style tent - en-suite (bucket shower) and battery powered light 

 Our stay in Moremi was made more special by the rising of a full moon on our third night

Cape Buffalo herd in Moremi 

Ostriches running through water in Moremi 

Giraffe and moon - Moremi

Dwarf Mongooses - Moremi

Male Saddle Billed Stork with small fish - Moremi

Zebras fighting - Moremi

A lucky escape from a Lion attack - Moremi

Cape Hunting Dog - Moremi

Red Lechwe - Moremi

Yellow Billed Stork and Hammerkops at the small pond - Moremi

A pair of Saddle Billed Storks arrive at the pond - Moremi

Moon rise and Baobab tree - Moremi

Our safari vehicle at Sunset - Moremi

Baobab tree at sunset - Moremi

Male Impala in early morning light - Moremi

Thinking about the new day ahead - Chacma baboon - Moremi

One of the male Cheetahs in Moremi

The male leopard we photographed on our first afternoon in Khwai

Female Impala leaping - Khwai

Young Leopard cub in Khwai

Warthog - Khwai

The female Leopard returning to her kill - Khwai

Leopard and her cub - Khwai

Leopard cub - Khwai

Leopard Cub - Khwai

A fork tailed Drongo dive bombing a Verreaux's Eagle Owl - Khwai

Hyaena cub at the den in Khwai

Female Leopard with her cub - Khwai

White Faced Whistling ducks - Khwai

Leopard - Khwai

Cape Hunting Dog greeting behaviour - Khwai

Submissive behaviour towards the Alpha Male - Khwai

Cape Hunting Dog - Khwai

Reedbuck - Khwai

Male Greater Kudu - Khwai

Cape Hunting Dog - Khwai

Open Billed Stork - Khwai

Lilac Breasted Roller - Khwai


Bull Elephant in the Khwai River

Little Bee eater - Khwai

Giraffe Drinking - Mababe Depression

Steenbok - en route to Savuti

Sunrise at Savuti

Impala - Savuti

Black backed Jackal - Savuti

Blue Wildebeest at sunset - Savuti

Fish Eagle take off - Savuti

Cape Buffalo running - Savuti

Lilac Breasted Rollers - Savuti

Lion cub chewing stick - Savuti

Lioness on the move watched by Impala - Savuti

Male Sable Antelope - Chobe River front taken from the photo boat

Coppery Tailed Coucal - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephant underwater - - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Tree Squirrels - Chobe River front

White Fronted Bee eater departing its nest - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants playing in the Chobe River - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Hippo Yawn - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

The special Pangolin Photo Boat - Chobe River front

Spurwing Goose - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Cape Buffalo - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

A male African Jacana with its two chicks underwing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants Drinking - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants playing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants playing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephant - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Hippo Yawning - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Yellow Billed stork landing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

White Breasted Cormorant - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

African Fish Eagle - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

African Darter - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat


African Fish Eagle take off - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat


3 comments:

  1. Fabulous images, Stu. Make me want to explore once more with you!
    Andrew Oliver

    ReplyDelete
  2. As always, terrific photography. I love the shots of individual birds taking off from their nests. I think that you could put together a killer coffee table book with only shots of birds in flight. I hope we can arrange another trip with you.
    Rob Shallenberger

    ReplyDelete