(Photos from Brendon – video thanks to UliHB)
Our final morning at Savute was outstanding. What an end! Wow!
It started when we headed out to where we left the lions previously. It was very blustery, and the wind certainly worked in the lions favour. When we met up with the cats they were gradually closing in on a herd of wildebeest. The lions were quite scattered around and we had to decide where to be – we chose to follow a few adults with cubs.
We interrupted our time with the lions when we received a call about Wild Dogs, and when we reached them we found them feeding on the remains of a tsessebe. Being a large animal the tsessebe afforded plenty for all, but that did not deter the frenetic snarling, yipping, grabbing and tearing as the dogs noisily grabbed, argued, and fed. Five pups darted in and out among the adults to grab their share of the spoils. The gusty wind added to the drama, making the scene quite chaotic and almost intimidating.
We returned to the lions, and as blustery wind whipped around, the lions had been able to were able to creep closer to the herd – and soon we saw a large thick-maned lion walking towards us dragging a wildebeest kill. He dragged the kill between his legs while the wind whipped at his mane. The images we captured were dramatic and impactful.
After all this drama we photographed quieter subjects like elephants and Plains animals as we returned to the Lodge to prepare for our departure to Chobe.
Having checked in and feasted on a sumptuous high tea at Chobe we were ready to board the boat that took us upriver. The water was quite choppy because of a stiff breeze, and the ripples caught the light from all angles.
Soon after we set out we spotted two buffalo crossing the river. It was so special to see them as they plunged into the water to make their way from an island to the mainland.
Along the banks of the river we photographed numerous elephants, waterbuck, and puku. An iconic Fish Eagle with his distinctive plumage and typical cry kept our cameras very busy, and although he wasn’t all that keen to be photographed, a very cooperative Goliath Heron posed obligingly for us.
We turned towards an area that elephants are known to congregate, and when we arrived we spotted not elephants but a lion on the bank. Because he showed no sign that he would move for quite a while we left him to rest.
Hippos put on quite a show – particularly a female with a calf. Their splashy interactions, nudging, gaping mouths, and playing around gave us nonstop action shots.
We headed back to the lion, hoping that he would be thirsty enough to drink at the river and found instead about sixty elephants as they arrived at the water to drink and bathe.
We stopped once again on the way back to the Lodge. This time we spotted African Skimmers and as they always look so graceful when they skim the water, we simply had to fill our cameras.
Wow, after that fabulous journey up the river, we are excited to experience more of the wildlife in the area …