Chobe Pangolin Voyager Safari: Elephants Undertake the Swim across the Wide River …

Chobe Pangolin Voyager Safari: Elephants Undertake the Swim across the Wide River …

Brendon Reports:

(Photos from Brendon’s Camera Screen)

As always we left the houseboat moments before dawn to head upriver. And there we photographed more than you can imagine for just one morning.

There were African Skimmers and very busy Pied Kingfishers – the latter seem to be covering every section of the river at the moment! In fact we found an are where they are nesting – along the banks of the river. We got fabulous photos of a Pied Kingfisher pair going in and out of the hole that marked the entrance to their piece of real estate.

There were Malachite Kingfishers that added their vibrant colouring to the scene. Brown-hooded Kingfishers watched carefully.

We spotted a troop of baboons doing what baboons do best. They romped on the banks, teased each other, grabbed a prize here and there and fled with their friends in hot pursuit, or just enjoyed the beautiful morning as they played and tumbled around in the glorious morning light while the less active members sat around on dead tree stumps (with lovely backlighting for us!) to observe the more active members of the troop.

We ended up at the Savannah Backwaters where we photographed Yellow-billed Storks, Open-billed Storks, lots of Spoonbills, and Saddle-billed Storks, and Squacco Herons. In addition to all the birds there were large crocodiles that either pretended to be logs in the water or lurked on the banks of the water and we spent time photographing a nearby pod of hippos.

When we returned to the boat it was time to start a wonderful, leisurely trip up the river to Serondela while we either relaxed or watched the landscape drift slowly past us with a variety of birds and animals. We will be in this peaceful, remote, magnificent area for the next two nights. We have already seen four or five different herds of elephants undertaking river crossings – probably more than 200 elephants in total. It is always an amazing sight to watch them as they gather on the banks of the river, ready themselves to reach the far bank and then undertake that long swim across …

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We were really happy to find some White-fronted Bee-eaters as they flew in and out of the holes that marked the entrances to their nests. Pied – and Malachite Kingfishers abound in this area, too. And a Giant Kingfisher slowly ate a newly caught fish.

A handsome herd of Sable Antelope arrived at the river for a drink, followed by Zebras and Giraffe. The wildlife is really plentiful up here.

We returned to the Savannah Backwaters for sunset – an ideal spot to capture elephant silhouettes with the vibrant sunset colours around them.

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And there some Pied Kingfishers that obligingly posed on tree stump with that lovely sunset behind them.

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We used flash as the light faded – giving us a different set of memorable images of elephants … and hippos.

We have another full day here tomorrow and look forward to making every moment count …