Okavango Khwai River Safari: A Perfect Birding Day
Brendon Cremer Reports:
We headed out and right outside the Lodge we spotted fresh lion tracks … we followed these for more than 2 hours, but never actually caught up with the pride. But we saw and photographed so much else along the way.
We headed back to the beautiful Mogotlo area – lush and carpeted as it is at the moment with yellow flowers. We saw a huge elephant bull, plenty of lechwe, giraffe, – and some spectacular birding, especially water birds (not surprising with all the water everywhere). There were Knob-billed Ducks, White-faced Ducks, Egyptian Geese, Open-billed Storks, Kingfishers which included Grey-headed Kingfishers, Woodland Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, Saddle-billed Storks, and a number of different waders. And raptors included Snake Eagles and African Hawk Eagles to mention a few.
In the afternoon we started with a quick check at the spot where we left the lion tracks, but the cats were nowhere to be seen. In fact all cats were very scarce and when we returned to the area where we had seen the leopard the previous day, there were no felines there either.
But elephant sightings were spectacular, with large herds regularly visible.
They emerged from the thickets where they had spent the hottest part of the day to enjoy a mud bath, wallow in the mud, or throw mud on themselves or each other. We really enjoyed our time with them until it was late and the encroaching darkness meant that it was time to return to the Lodge.
On the way back we found a Pearl-spotted Owl in the spotlights and stopped for even more photographs.
Of course the wonderful day was suitably celebrated with cameraderie, friendship, jokes, and anecdotes as we enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks and made important decisions about where to start our game drive in the morning …