Okavango Machaba Safari: A Kill on our First Game Drive …

Brendon’s News from Okavango Machaba: A Kill on our First Game Drive …

We arrived at Machaba well in time for lunch after an ultra quick drive from Maun – thanks to the recently graded, smooth road. After unpacking and a quick briefing we couldn’t wait to get going … and our anticipation was well rewarded …

The bush is very green after the recent rains, and with wild flowers everywhere, it really looks like a sprawling garden.

We heard that Wild Dogs were in the area and decided to track them. Sooner said than done! There was simply so much to stop, enjoy, and to photograph. Plenty of Elephants …

image

Lechwe, Kudu …

image

Zebras … one scene really had our attention – two large Hippo Bulls were having a ding-dong fight in the river, while the remainder of the pod looked on with indifference.

The birdlife here is always spectacular and we stopped for Wattled Cranes and soon after came across a fairly common resident that is seldom photographed – a pair of African Hawk Eagles were perched quite low down … almost at eye level with our vehicle, giving us some great images before they spread their wings and flew away together.

Then came a visit to a Hyena Den where a mother and three tiny black balls of tumbling, unsteady fur enjoyed the afternoon sun.

Finally we turned our attention back to the Wild Dog search, and found some promising tracks. We followed these – and spotted the dogs running furiously in the distance. We caught up with them just as they grabbed and killed a kudu calf. Seven Wild Dogs started their feeding frenzy, with the accompanying yips, pulling, tugging, and gorging. When two dogs headed to the river to drink, we pulled ahead of them to get images as they trotted towards us. We followed them to the river and back to the kill, where the entire pack was starting to look more than rotund.

What a fabulous start to our safari! Because the dogs probably won’t move far during the night with those very full tummies, we plan to join them before sunrise …