Safari Notes: Khwai Leadwood Bush Camp, Mokoro – Botswana
Our afternoon activity was the Mokoro – the traditional canoe ride.
- An elephant was spotted on land by the water and as we got closer, then we noticed a second elephant and then a baby. The mama was not pleased we were there so we took the wide route around.
- A troop of baboons but this time they were not running away from a safari vehicle – from the mokoro they were relaxed and the kids were actively playing like they were a bunch of human kids – it was so entertaining and incredible to see the human likeness.
- Water buffalo were spotted by the water and Kevin was not comfortable with our proximity. To be fair on the Mokoro in Linyanti, we did not even attempt to continue the journey and instead turned around. Here we paddled but quickly and quietly. While we were being quiet and passing by, a frog jumped right onto my leg and used it as a bounce pad. The hilarious part was the watermark on my leg was in the shape of a frog but like out of a cartoon. Kevin and I were dying trying to keep the hilarity quiet.
- Three bull elephants – I wonder if these animals thought we were crocodiles or something cause they all just stared at us. When we turned around from these guys, I could feel the sigh of relief from Kevin behind me.
- We got to see lots of birds along the water – our first and only woodpeckers of the trip and African jacana also known as Jesus birds since they walk on water.
- Another bird we spotted was a little bee eater carefully camouflaged.
- When we completed the Mokoro, we had our sundowner while we watched a storm – yes a thunderstorm will lightning and thunder – roll through the background. I could not believe we were seeing a thunderstorm.
Drive back to camp spotlight
- As soon as we left the Mokoro dock, Banda got a call that wild dogs were spotted right where we were. We returned around immediately and raced to the location and got to spot two wild dogs! Wild dogs are notoriously difficult to spot on safari. There used to be 9 pups but hyenas killed them all. Now the wild dogs have to wait until next year to try again – the wild dog population is much lower and endangered due to mating habits. So even though they are one of the most effective killers on safari with over 80% success rate, they are not in a great place when it comes to their livelihood.
- Bush baby
- Gamnex cat
- Many antelope, zebra, elephants
- On way back into camp, Banda spotted the mom and baby leopard! We followed them for a little bit and then I had the honor of getting to use the spotlight while Banda snapped his own photos. Honestly, safari with a photographer is the best thing you can ask for – we were so lucky.