Botswana Overland Safari – Chobe: Eye-level Buffalo Kill

Botswana Overland Safari – Chobe … Wim reports:  Eye-level Buffalo Kill

The Chobe River was just coming to life as we stepped on board the unique photographic boat for our first morning excursion upriver.
2 Sunrise
We headed straight to a backwater area, where the seasonal floods have attracted the most amazing bird life.
Again, to list all would be tedious so I will stick to the few species that really excited the birders in the group. There are African Jacanas everywhere and so many tiny chicks that are so adorable to watch as they jump from lily pad to lily pad.
2 Juan Jacana Chick 31-127
The Pygmy Geese always look so stunning with their distinct orange, green and white plumage, and Black Crakes looked very handsome with their black plumage, red legs and yellow beaks.
But the highlight for everyone was the number of Allen’s Gallinule that we were able to photograph from a few meters away. Awesome stuff!
We spotted -well actually he was so huge that no-one could have missed him – a massive crocodile sunning himself on the banks of the river. At around 4 meters in length we needed to use wide-angle lenses as our boat drifted up to him. Our photos with the croc in the foreground and the Chobe vista as a background look superb.
All along the river herds of elephant and hundreds of buffalo arrived to drink, each group seeming even more photogenic than the previous one.
2 Juan Eles-127-123
This afternoon we headed to Serendela where we heard that lions had a kill!
And what a sighting this was! First of all, it was at eye-level with our boat. Secondly nine lions had brought down a buffalo and we’re still eating hungrily. Well, the adults were eating while the youngsters played, then ate before playing some more.
A fallen tree next to the kill became a convenient playground for the lions, and they climbed in and out, jumped up and down, and thoroughly enjoyed their jungle gym, now and again one or two of the lions arrived at the water’s edge for a drink.
We travelled further into the flood plains, where a staggering number of elephants arrived. Herd after herd, many with tiny babied came to the water to drink. It was so cute to watch the babies as they tried to control their trunks, and tried to learn how to drink, often submerging their head in the water as they practiced and got it wrong.
Two elephants on an island also entertained us as they put on a vigorous play-fight. Back and forth, trunks waving, as they pretended to ferociously attack. Finally they tired of the game and returned to eating.
As the sun set we found a magnificent bull elephant on one of the other islands. He looked so majestic against that Crimson sky! A suitable ending to our final full day on this safari.
Tomorrow morning we may just head back to the lions to see what they are up to …
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