Brendon Reports from the Ultimate Chobe Safari:
Although the morning was very windy and a bit difficult for good photos we managed to place ourselves in good positions to capture images of hippos, Fish Eagles, elephants, and buffalo along the edges of the river.
We checked on the area where we left the female leopard and her kill yesterday, but it was no surprise to find that the kill was gone, probably taken by scavengers during the night as it was stowed in easy reach under a bush. There was no sign of the leopard, either.
We photographed a number of elephants on the way back to the camp, but actually, most of our time was spent on crocodiles. There was tremendous interaction between a number of displaying crocs.
What happens is that when two or more crocs vie for the attention of a female, they swim to the shallows of the river and there they start to vibrate their bodies, shaking the large scales on top of their torsos. This causes the surrounding water to bubble and ripple – actually, it looks just as though it is boiling.
Skimmers were skimming for fish …
… while Pied Kingfishers fished and returned to their nests on the river banks to feed their chicks. That deserves another word or two. Because of the windy conditions the kingfishers hovered for ages and ages while fishing and for even longer when getting into position to enter their nests. This gave us plenty of time to get our settings just right to capture that incredibly fast motion of their wings … and the diving action.
This afternoon was another of those fabulous, memorable times on the river.
Was it the elephants that ventured so close to our parked boat that when they shook the mud and water off the grass they were uprooting, it sprayed all over us? Or was it the 6 elephants swimming across the river? Then 8 buffalo swam across followed by a lone elephant bull.
Or maybe it was the crocs sprawled out on the sandy banks of the river, with the glorious afternoon light making them look almost metallic.
The elephants were out in full force, strung out all along the river, and a large troop of baboons tumbled, played and ate on the shore. To complete the idyllic picture, Fish Eagles flew to and from their perches on dead tree stumps, in-between catching a fish or two.
What else? There were Puku, Waterbuck, Lechwe, Giraffe, Buffalo lying on the verge, Great White Herons strutted in the water, while Little Egrets fished in the golden reflection that was the river.
A pod of hippos snorted and sent spray into the air, the droplets catching the glint of the setting sun …
And this type of scene continued until we were back at camp. What a place to experience!
Tomorrow we will start with an on land game drive …