This morning dawned bright and clear – a perfect day to venture up the river by boat to see what animals visited the riverbanks. We left moments before sunrise and in a word it was magical!
The river is high and beautiful, with water-lilies creating a watery garden that attracts all kinds of life. The lilies are open, and the sight is simply beyond description!
The bird life here is breathtaking to say the least. Different species abound with a never – ending variety of raptors, water birds, and so many colourful species that it becomes difficult to keep track of just what we have seen.
I will list a few – among the water-lilies we saw beautiful green and blue Allen’s Gallinule with their red beaks. They looked just fabulous as they wandered around the lilies. And of course wherever there were lilies we also found African Jacanas trotting on the lily pads, searching for food. There are plenty of chicks around – none really tiny, but very cute nonetheless.
(Photo: Brendon Cremer)
Different types of Kingfishers hovered above the water before diving and then flying off with a successful catch to enjoy a meal on a convenient tree branch. There were Grey-headed Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, Malachite Kingfishers, and Giant Kingfishers.
We spent quite a bit of time with hippos. We found many large pods in the river, and they entertained us with huge yawns and some splashing.
There are some green areas on small islands or along the river banks that are exposed because the water has started to drop a little. Many of these are covered with large flocks of White-faced Ducks that seemed to be in constant motion as some rested on the banks, while others flew back and forth, up and down, taking off and landing in a nonstop spectacle of motion. To add to this Egyptian Geese and Spurwing Geese seemed to be everywhere.
Any visit to Chobe is incomplete without a mention of the iconic Fish Eagles.
(Photo: Brendon Cremer)
We captured images of them flying, perching close to the river, or occasionally fishing. A juvenile African Hawk Eagle flew around, giving us all opportunities for photography.
But it wasn’t only about the birds. Along the banks Baboons came to drink at the river, cavorting and playing as they did so.
(Photo: Wim van den Heever)
Impala always look so vulnerable when they stoop to drink, ever wary of lurking crocodiles or danger from a predator on land. Elephants enjoy the water to drink, bathe, and to play.
And talking of crocodiles, we approached quite close to some that were sunbathing on the banks. Our close-up images really look quite awesome in the scary sense of the word.
After a fabulous day on the river our safari has ended and it is time to tear ourselves away from this unspoiled part of the world and return to civilisation with loads of images and very special memories. Until next time …