Botswana Overland – Khwai Lodge Safari: Parliament of Owls

Botswana Overland Safari – Khwai Lodge … from Wim: Parliament of Owls

On our previous safari at Khwai we were exceptionally lucky to find Wild Dogs in the Mogotlo area. So, this morning we decided to hunt in that area for the dogs.

And sure enough, as we arrived at Mogotlo there were fresh dog tracks zig-zagging in all directions. We followed them, but always remained just one step behind the elusive pack. In fact, it happened a few times that we headed off to photograph Zebra, –


– Elephants, or maybe a Lechwe, and when we returned to where we veered off, there were dog tracks over – yes, over our vehicle tracks. Each time we missed the dogs by seconds, but spent a lot of time photographing everything else.

We came across a wonderful sight – Parliament of Owls in a large tree! It was fabulous to see! Five Giant Eagle Owls together! It was probably two adults with their three large grownup chicks – what a sighting! Just imagine how quickly our memory cards filled!

Near the Lodge a large herd of Elephants and dozens of Lechwe were visible on a large open plain. Actually, we could see them clearly from the Lodge, and spent ages photographing the scene.

This afternoon we returned to Mogotlo, but as we arrived, a call came through that a Leopard had been spotted close to the Lodge. We dashed back there – but this was clearly not our day for predators. We arrived, only to be told that the Leopard had left moments before.

We found a large herd of about 50 elephants on a big sandy pan, with not a blade of grass growing in the pan. The elephants were eating the sand, scooping up sand into their mouths – geophagia. We watched as they seemed to enjoy this sandy repast as much as a juicy, grassy meal. They looked wonderful against the setting sun, with dust swirls all around.

We found plenty of leopard tracks – it is encouraging to know that there are a number of predators in the area, which we will check out again in the morning …