Okavango Photo Safari to Khwai River Lodge Botswana: On the Marsh with the Animals …

Ben Reports from Okavango Khwai River – Savuti:

We had no sooner left the Lodge this morning in the early dawn when not even a hundred meters down the road we spotted lion tracks in the road coming from the direction we had just left. We swung our vehicles around and followed the tracks. Up and down roads and tracks we travelled, drawing ever closer to the lions until our skills paid off and we found them. A coalition of four young adult males stood there, three with their heads close together and the third watching a distant wildebeest.

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We stopped next to the trio and kept watch with them. We captured some panoramic shots of the four, and with the background quite out of focus these turned out superbly. We hoped that they would actually become active and possibly go after the wildebeest but suddenly something spooked them and they slinked way rapidly into the thickest part of the bush.

Being still very early, we moved to the Marsh area, photographing birds along the way. When we reached Marabou Pan it was a little windy, but we could still see herds of zebra and we did picturesque shots with the zebras in the foreground and the lovely Rain Trees as a backdrop. We would like to possibly change these to black and white later, but the vibrant colours of the environment look stunning, so we have some fabulous options open to us …

The marsh was covered with animals, with hundreds of zebra everywhere. We stopped and practiced Hi Key photography. The zebras made stunning subjects and once again we had superb results. We hoped for a big fight between them but although there wasn’t actually a fight, there were some petty squabbles.

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After lunch we headed to where we had earlier spotted a Red-billed Hornbill nest. We past a vivid Lilac-breasted Roller along the way, so we stopped for some flight shots.

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We reached the Hornbill nest and found the male every busily feeding the female inside the nest, where she will remain captive until the chicks are ready for her to exit. Meanwhile, dad works tirelessly bringing insects that he feeds to the female in the enclosure.

There were plenty of zebra and wildebeest on the marsh and once again we saw plenty of Hooded – and White-backed vultures hanging out in a dead Camel-thorn Tree with tidy, symmetrical branches.

A beautiful elephant in front of some fig trees looked breathtaking against the late afternoon light.

Moving into the central area of the marsh, we found jackals scampering around. They were definitely worth a stop and many photographs as they scurried this way and darted that way. Too wonderful!

The sun was close to setting when we returned to the zebra, and the light shining directly through their manes looked really spectacular.

Tomorrow we may follow up on the lions again …