Chobe Pangolin Safari: Hippo Honeymoon

Wim’s News:
Let’s start with some images from yesterday when we managed to get our boat really close to the elephants.

After the elephants crossed the river to the island …

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… they checked us out when we approached, ….

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… and then, deciding that we were acceptable, they continued doing what they were doing.

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A large croc grabbed our attention …

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The first safari group had their final excursion on the river for this safari this morning. When we looked out the river was as smooth as glass, with no ripples and no wind to create ripples.

Aha, we thought, perfect for photography. And that is exactly what we experienced.

There were Jacanas all over a large patch of lilies, and it was simply beautiful to watch them moving around, feeding, jumping from lily-pad to lily-pad and occasionally flying around. What made the already beautiful scene quite extraordinary were the reflections … those perfect mirror-images in the still flat water.

Travelling further we stopped for an aerial spectacle. Two goshawks were dive-bombing a Martial Eagle.

And the remainder of the morning was spent with a pod of mating hippos. A bull would chase a cow with a dexterity that belied its enormous size. The bull and cow would then amaze us as they porpoised right out of the water. As the bull grabbed the cow, lots of immense splashes and open mouths created perfect photographic opportunities. Then, just as everything settled, another bull would go after another cow.

No wonder this kept us busy until it was time to go. What a superb ending for the first safari group.

When the second group arrived we again set out by boat. The bird life is prolific here, and kingfishers, herons, storks, cormorants … an endless list, and a birder’s paradise. We watched as a Black Heron created a tent with his wings for his successful fishing endeavours.

A small herd of about ten elephants arrived at the waterside. Two tiny babies jumped into the shallow river’s edge and splashed around, thoroughly enjoying the water. Gradually the adults joined the little ones and started a massive splashing game, with the babies running back and forth until they were exhausted.

Different animals arrived through the afternoon for a drink. Kudu, impala, zebras, and a troop of baboons up to their usual antics entertained us until late.

Sunset found us in a beautiful area on the river, with the glorious colours reflecting in the water,

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– and two separate hippo pods quietly blowing in the calm air.

Tomorrow morning, depending on the weather, we will choose whether to do our game viewing by boat or land vehicle …