(Photos from back of Dawie’s camera)
Our final morning at Khwai River started with a search for a leopard that we were informed was in the area with a kill. We were sidetracked many times on our way by diverse superb sightings. There were elephants drinking and bathing in the river, plenty of very active hippos, and a beautiful herd of Red Lechwe as they moved slowly along the banks of the river.
We found the pride of lions that we had spotted the day before, and found that some had crossed the river and were still very wet. They were all asleep, so other than a few record shots there was not much to photograph and we left them to rest for the day.
Our search for the leopard started again, and again we were sidetracked. This time we came across a lone Roan Antelope Bull, and simply had to collect images of this fairly rare sighting.
We found plenty of hyena tracks and as we could find no trace of the leopard or the kill we realised that the hyenas had stolen the kill and had possibly taken it to their den.
We took a slow, meandering drive back to the Lodge and to our surprise we found the pack of Wild Dogs. The morning was quite warm, and they chose to spend the heat of the day dozing, resting, and generally moving very little. They were in an open field and we managed some close ups and portrait shots as they gazed lazily up at us.
By the time we reached the Lodge it was time to pack up and move on to Savute. Some Tusk guests chose to enjoy the drive, while others took a short flight.
We all met up together again at Savute in time for lunch, and after we had unpacked we were ready for our first game drive.
The area is exceptionally dry, which means that the animals gather regularly at the different waterholes, including the one right in front of the camp. We saw plenty of elephants drinking at this waterhole before we even set out.
We scouted around the area, starting at Marabou Pan – an area close to a marsh. As we approached the marsh we saw plenty of giraffe and tsessebe. We stopped at the pan when we saw a whole herd of elephants rushing thirstily to the water, driven by the parched conditions. Our panning shots turned our really well.
We drove along the marsh edge, and then our guide spotted a pride of lions. We approached and found the so-called Marsh Pride, numbering twenty two individuals of different ages.
They adults were relaxed and slumbering, and totally ignored us. The young cubs played around, jumped up and down, and used the adults as obstacles to be climbed, hunted, pestered, and then to shelter from boisterous siblings.
On the way back to the camp we spotted Warthogs and later jackals drinking at different waterholes, and as we arrived at the Lodge we saw hyenas drinking at the waterhole in front of the camp.
After our busy day we are looking forward to an early bedtime in preparation for our early start in the morning …