Safari Notes: Linyanti Bush Camp, Drive #2 – Botswana
Morning Drive Notes:
- Right out the gate, Kevin spotted honey badgers which Ken identified as a mom plus baby. Apparently difficult to spot, and they actually do not give a f**k just like the meme.
- It was fun to watch Ken identify all sorts of animal tracks – they tell such a story! Also, hearing Ken state “mind the branches” at each tree (tree branches are the most dangerous thing on safari after all!) but sometimes the branches were a bit too intense and that machete made an appearance:
- So many birds! Honestly there is no way I can identify all the birds we saw but I will make sure to include pictures with their names. First up is the African Jakarta, also known as the Jesus bird since it can “walk on water”.
- The bugs were exceptionally bad on this morning drive – they went into any opening they could find – thank goodness I threw our buffs into our bags as they were critical to a more comfortable drive.
- Giraffes – spotted 3 in the bush but we could not get over how elusive they are! They blend into the bush so incredibly well even though they are so tall it is like they just disappear.
- Water buffalo in the far distance – would get closer look later
- Southern ground hornbill – our friend from Animal Kingdom Lodge! They are protected due to ineffective mating habits / mate only every few years / siblicide / males become infertile but still dominate the female market despite sterility.
- Warthog – very skittish, just trotted along
- Passed troop of baboons
- Ken got word of a leopard sighting so we booked it over to where it was spotted and we got to see her! Hiding in the branches, moving ever so slightly, she was perched in a tree and I have no idea how you would spot one – they blend into the tree so well. Then she bounced out of the tree and ran away from us into the bush – beautiful cat! I could not believe we saw a leopard!
- Hundreds of buffalo at the water – it was amazing to watch them as this enormous group. Water buffalo of all sizes and ages, with a few males starring us down on patrol, most grazing, several doing a water crossing. We sat here for a while and just wanted them roam.
- Waterbuck (male) – these antelope have white patches around eyes to help night vision (true of all antelope) and a white ring around the butt (known as the toilet seat) which is classic for the waterbuck. This marking is so that when they move in a group, they go in a single file line and can follow each other.
- Giraffe – but again, elusive! It literally saw us and did this side step into a bush and voila, gone.
- Lilac breasted roller – incredibly beautiful! In this dry, mostly earthy colors landscape this brilliantly colored bird really stood out. We were obsessed when we kept finding them trying to capture the perfect photo showcasing the beautiful colors – each feather features up to four different colors!
- African fish eagle with female waterbuck and southern hornbills in the distance
- Great white ygritte – their fishing technique has a crank in the neck that allows for spearing the fish.
- We stopped for coffee and a snack when a herd of wildebeest approached the water hole but turned away when they saw us.
- Elephant bull crossed right by the vehicle so we were able to get a great view.
- A troop of baboons – one had a baby on the back, others were picking up things for the ground and it was easy to see how dexterous they are.
- Little bee eater – more amazing colors! We learned that this family of birds reflects sunlight off of it’s brightly colored feathers to attract bugs and they are very accurate in catching them.
- Another African fish eagle
- Another warthog running away from us – I guess when you are on the bottom of the mammal food chain everything keeps you on your feet!
- Spotted a crocodile in the water
- A tower of 4 giraffes
- A few warthogs trotting away in the distance
- A herd of a dozen elephants, unfortunately moving away from us but still amazing to see.
- Greater kudos and their twisted horns (male) – another type of antelope that has large twisted horns and a camel hump. One a male has four twists of the antlers, it is a fully grown male.
- A tower of 5 giraffes- looked like two adults and three babies – got to spend a great amount of time with them.
- Southern carmine bee eater – another beautifully colored bird in the bee eater family that migrate here in the summer.