Brendon’s News from the Chobe Pangolin Voyager: Lechwe Undertakes a Daring Swim
We decided to try a totally different area today to see what the photography would be like there! And what a win that turned out to be!
We traveled along to Kasane where we entered the Kasai channel. Everything here looks completely different, with lots of papyrus along the banks – and more birds than I have seen on any other excursion … and that is saying something!
The Fish Eagles were beyond amazing again, –
– and although we spent ages photographing them, we were continually distracted by so many other birds as well. There were Coppery-tailed Coucals, fabulous Marsh Harriers, and plenty of sandbanks where Skimmers nested. The list goes on and on … so OK, I’ll mention some – Grey-headed Gulls, Black Egrets, Goliath Herons, Purple Herons, Squacco Herons, lots of African Spoonbills, phenomenal Yellow-billed Storks and much, much more.
Mentioning the Yellow-billed Storks, we also visited the rapids in the area where these birds nest. What an area for photography! Oh, and Rock Pratincoles are found around the Rapids as well.
So, our choice to try this wonderful area this morning was the best ever …
On the way back to the houseboat we saw a sight that totally amazed us! There are not many Lechwe here, and to suddenly spot one at at the water’s edge was amazing enough, but when it plunged into the river without hesitation and started to swim across, the sight was unusual to say the least. Not only that – he swam across the main channel, through the wide and deep, crocodile infested river!
We all held our breath as we watched, convinced that at any second a crocodile would grab him. We scanned the river anxiously and each time he seemed to pause or submerge a little in the water, our pulses raced even faster!
Was he going to make it? The swim seemed to last forever as he swam on and on – and on ..
Then, as he reached the the edge of the river and managed to gain a foothold, he started to leap through the water, creating a huge splash as he went. With our cameras still trained on him, no one could suppress a cheer!
It was an amazing end to a fabulous morning …
Back on the houseboat we sat on the deck and watched the passing show as the boat moved up to the tranquility that is Serendela.
Everyone wanted to visit the Lesser-striped Swallow nesting area that we photographed with the previous group, so that is where we started the afternoon.
The swallows were flying in and out and we collected a lovely set of images before we spotted a Fish Eagle bathing on the side of the river, splashing as it did so.
Our bird count increased here again. In addition to Malachite Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, and Coppery-tailed Coucals, we also photographed Jacanas – and let’s not forget the animals. Elephants, Hippos, Crocodiles, and another amusing troop of Baboons all kept us busy until it was time to return to the houseboat before dark.
Because it was so very successful, we would like to visit the Kasai area again in the morning …
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