Safari Notes: Linyanti Bush Camp, Drive #3 – Botswana
Evening Drive Notes:
- Water buffalo – probably the same group as we saw this morning but just seeing them in this large a group was still amazing
- Warthog – very skittish, just trotted along – these guys are so hard to photograph!
- Many zebras! It is funny after not seeing zebras in the morning, we forgot it was still an animal we had not seen and then all we saw were zebras on our drive out. First spotted a zebra with baby, then a larger group, then an even larger group know as a dazzle of zebra – I think dazzle was my favorite term for a group of animals.
- Giraffe – we learned of the hierarchy of wives – 1st wife is the leader, then they walk in line of the subsequent wives, when first wife dies then 2nd wife takes over. A group of giraffes is called a tower!
- Impala herd
- Baboons but we spotted a mom and a baby!
- Impala herd with kudo – the male kudo has large twisted horns and a camel hump. One a male has four twists of the antlers, it is a fully grown male.
- More impala and zebra than can count!
- Hippos that were fairly active in the water
- Sundowner time! These moments of the day are so special – African sunset are just unmatched.
- Ken received a call that lions were spotted far out on the reserve. He identified the tracks and the search was on.
- Passed dead baby elephant, presumed dinner for the lions
- Warthog, giraffe, impala, wildebeest all together in the plains
- We found baby elephant by itself, and it was very distressed, calling for the herd, and “charged” at the vehicle several times. My cry for “Can’t we call the elephant orphanage???” met with crickets. “What are the odds of another herd adopting him???” more crickets. With lions in the area, this baby was bound for food and I could not handle it! It was heartbreaking. We continued on in search of the lions.
- It started to get dark and no lions found – the tracks went to places that we did not have time to access so we decided we would try again tomorrow.
Spotlight Night Drive
- It was time for the spotlight night game drive where Ken would shine the spotlight and look for reflecting eyes to indicate an animal was there. I do not know how they do this as they are driving this enormous vehicle through sand and bush, navigating the terrain, and then also looking for animals in the pitch black of night.
- Heard jackels in the distance
- Spring hare – known as the African kangaroo
- African wild cat
- Male leopard – this was just incredible – Ken saw and heard elephant so when he flashed the light we expected an elephant but instead spotted a male leopard! We got to stay with him for several minutes and it was wild.
- Another spring hare
- Bush pig – extremely rare sighting! The bush pig looks like a wart hog but they have tail down when trotting whereas warthogs are tail up, and these bush pig are very aggressive.
- Hippo out of water! Looks so funny honestly but we learned they spend all day in the water because their skin is extremely sensitive so they need to stay submerged to protect it. When the sun goes down, they leave the water to eat – they are grazers after all. Then return to the water in the morning. I have some great photos of these hippos out of water later in the trip – it was hard to get a good shot at night.
- Stars were simply magical – I was falling hard for bush camp safari.