Safari Notes: Khwai Leadwood Bush Camp, Drive #2 – Botswana
Morning drive into Moremi Reserve
- Waterbuck and redback lechwe among the plains
- Dazzle of zebras
- Hyena tracks vs cats – hyena has two palm prints, nails. Lions and leopards have three palms, no nails. Cheetahs have three palms and nails which is why they are classified differently than the other cats.
- Impala, water bucks, elephants
- Impala, zebra (so so many) and wildebeest all in the same plain – safety in numbers!
- Impala breeding herd – this was a crazy new fact we learned about Impala – all the females are pregnant and give birth at the same time to increase the chances to babies surviving since they are easy prey.
- Saddle billed stork
- African Hoopoe – fun looking bird!
- Water hole – we came across a water hole that had so many different birds! Spoonbill, pelican, yellow bill stork, saddle billed stork – such cool birds.
- Tracked leopard and hyena tracks but no leopard and hyena to be found.
- Spotted southern ground hornbill
- Tssessbe antelope – fasted antelope at 70km/hr, and both males and females have horns.
- Water buffalo – the boys club often made up of grumpy old men as they cannot keep up with the pace of the large herds.
- Another water hole full of birds – Marabou stork, gray heron, yellow billed stork, waddle sacred ibis and more.
- Kite bird eating a bird – birds as a family are pretty intense.
- Giraffe and zebras
- Guinea fowl, impala, wildebeest
- Sausage tree – many animals like to eat the sausage fruit. When the tree is flowering, leopards like to hide in the tree since the flowers attract antelope and makes for an easier kill.
- And here is what a sausage tree looks like with the sausages on it:
- Vervet monkeys
- Common bee eater, grey hornbill, kingfisher
- Fun fact: Lions have had to become adaptive – swimming, killing at different times of the day, etc.
- Fun fact: Hyena call can travel several km as they spread out to find food source; lion roar can travel 10km.
- While at our coffee and snack stop, spotted kingfisher, African darter, hammer bird, black smith lapwing (named after the ping call they make).
- Lions spotted, we traveled very fast to get there. These were two sisters, one a mom, two cubs (6-8 weeks old). Banda speculated that this was probably the cubs first introduction to the vehicles as the cubs were extremely shy and mom tried to get them to come out. We sat with these lions for awhile as it was just us and the cubs were so stinking adorable.
- We took so many photos so I have them all featured here!
- Zebra with baby – often separate from the herd for baby and mom to learn each other’s stripes – not based on smell!
- Water hole with lots of hippos and crocodiles – look hard at the photo below and see how many crocodiles you can spot.
- Carmine bee eater – 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.
- “Big baby” birds – twice we identified what appeared to be a couple, potentially evening expressing mating desire but then the female would feed the male – big babies. Here are the little bee eater mom and baby we saw:
- Male leopard in the tree – amazing spot by Banda! We were in disbelief on how he spotted this leopard camouflage in a tree. It was a quick encounter and he was quite shy and ran away into the bush.
- Also, I just want to feature how beautiful the grass is here – it does not look real!
- On our way back into camp, we noticed a line of elephants trailing along and I think it made for a very nice photo – little did we know this was a teaser of what was waiting for us when we got back to camp.
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