Safari Notes: Linyanti Bush Camp, Drive #1 – Botswana
The animals we spotted on the way to camp from the airstrip:
- African fish eagle – adolescents have brown still on their head and chest, adults will have fully white head and chest. We spotted an adolescent but I included an adult photo we saw later in the trip for comparison.
- Herd of impalas (all female and one male) then another herd of impalas (all male, often referred to as the “loser club”). Our guide said jokingly but not jokingly “they are running away from you!” to me being too excited and a reminder to stay quiet and regulate my voice – going to be so hard containing my enthusiasm!
- Many, many birds – including Zazu (Southern Red-billed Hornbill)
- Spotted many (maybe 50 or so) vultures perched atop trees and our guide indicated that a dead animal must be nearby – and then the most foul smelling scent filled the air – a few minutes later we spotted a dead water buffalo (so sad but the circle of life). We were hopefully that we would see more living animals the rest of the trip to make up for it.
- Among the vultures was a Marabou stork – one of the ugly five. The ugly five? We did not know this was a thing! The ugly five includes the warthog, hyena, marabou stork, baboons, and wildebeest. Time to start our ugly five checklist – marabou stork, check!
- Waterbuck – a type of antelope with special water repelling fury. We quickly learned there are so many antelope to identify! These guys have a white ring around their behind, said to help them see each other when walking in a line formation, especially at night. Another feature of antelopes in general is white around the eyes to help reflect the moonlight for better eyesight at night.
- Baby giraffe – we could not believe how well they blend in with the environment despite how large they are.
- Herd of elephants – it was amazing and so unexpected! While it was hard to see in the dark, there must have been over a dozen, including babies. We drove right through this breeding herd while I silently contained my excitment.
- Then on the way into the lodge, the road was blocked by another herd of elephants – we must have been within 3 feet of a large mom squaring the vehicle off and flapping ears – it was unbelievable.
- And of course the most epic sunsets during our sundowner