Villiers and Brendon from Okavango Machaba: Another Cracking Day
Our last game drive for the group started with a slow meander along the Khwai River as we absorbed the wonderful atmosphere and stopped for birds and different game arriving to drink at the water’s edge. For example there was a pod of hippo with beautiful golden light, and mist and steam rising from the water above the water – a beautiful scene!
We could hear lions roaring and started towards them, but then heard that the Wild Dogs were at the den, and we set off towards them instead. We stopped at an adjacent pan, waiting for the dogs to head in our direction and jumped out of the vehicle to photograph the Pied Kingfishers, Grey Herons, African Jacanas, a Juvenile Fish Eagle and a Squacco Heron on the edge of the pan.
Then we heard that two leopard had been spotted and we dashed there – to find the young brother and sister playing in Apple Leaf Bushes. They were a little shy, but their boisterous game made sure that they were visible as they tumbled around.
We just had time to return to the Wild Dogs for a final visit, stopping very briefly for a Bateleur Eagle right next to the road that posed beautiful and then spread its wings slowly, and ponderously flew away, giving us plenty of time for photographs.
Our coffee break on the banks of the river as we watched the hippos snorting and cavorting in the water was a perfect ending to a fabulous, eventful safari.
The new group of guests arrived quite late and after refreshments and a quick briefing we were more than ready for our afternoon adventure.
Because the Wild Dogs did not hunt this morning, we hoped that they would be hungry and keen to hunt this evening. We found them out on a large pan, and yes – they were hunting! We followed them as they searched for likely prey until they eventually disappeared into a Mopane thicket.
So we turned our attention in the direction of the two young leopards, hoping to see them again – and wow! Was luck ever on our side! We found the brother and sister lying on an exposed branch of a fallen Acacia tree.
The two were quite relaxed and the photography was simply outstanding. Out came the spotlights and flash – and we photographed every movement that the two made until they claimed down from the tree and melted away away into the night.
The start to this safari could not have been better … and besides the dogs and the leopards we also saw magnificent herds of elephant, buffalo, hippo, Wattled Cranes, A Barred Owl, Giant Eagle Owls – oh, the list goes on and on. In summary another cracking day!
Tomorrow we hope to catch up with the leopards again …
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