Okavango Duba Plains Safari: A Lion Takes a Nighttime Swim

Wim Reports from Okavango Duba Plains: A lion Takes a Nighttime Swim

We arrived at the Lodge this afternoon and hurried to start on our first game drive.

And what a drive!

The whole area has been transformed … flooded everywhere with water- covered plains and small islands or termite mounds sticking up here and there. What a fabulous time we had photographing the lechwe as they dashed through the knee-deep water from little island to little island, kicking up sprays of water as they went, and leaping gracefully through the air. As they leaped, a spatter of water followed their elegant airborne transit, creating wonderful images.

Birds seemed to be everywhere – all colors, all sizes, Bee-eaters, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers .. so many more.

We tore a ourselves away from the beautiful lechwe to find the lions we had seen on our recent visit here – there they were … and still mating! Well actually the couple were still honeymooning with the brother close by. We stopped to photograph the three and then heard Francolins alarm calling repeatedly and went to investigate.

There we found a magnificent leopard in a large tree, with a glorious sunset behind him. He looked splendid, and we were able to get memory cards filled with really excellent shots.

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Suddenly the lions roared and from so close the sound was truly awesome. We thought so, and so did the leopard – he jumped down from the tree at the sound and shimmered away into the darkness.

Our final sighting for the already fabulous day was really the cherry on the top … we returned to the lions, and found the one one male starting to walk away.

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We followed him all the way to a deep water channel where he hesitated for a second or two and then plunged in to swim across to the far island. A lion swimming in the dark! Wow! Wow!

Now, delighted with the day we are ready for dinner at the Lodge – with a plan to return to the lions in the morning …