In June this year PLUS provided an adventurous family holiday for the founders of Earthcare productions in India.
We saw it all from the coastal plains, deserts and mountains of Namibia to the Okavango delta, savannahs and salt pans of Botswana.
We did wild camping, stayed in luxury permanent tents and comfortable lodges; we drove, flew and cruised on dugout canoes. We saw leopards on kills, elephants shaking huge old trees and even attacking hippos, spent time with the San-bushmen in Botswana and Himba women in Namibia.
The journey lead us from Walvis Bay on the coast of Namibia, to the Namib Desert, up through the Khomas Hochland Mountains and to Windhoek, from there a short flight to Maun and then into the Okavango Delta where we camped wild on one of the myriads of islands. From the wild camping we stepped up the accommodation to luxurious permanent tents; we stayed in these in the intensively populated wildlife area of the Kwai Development Trust on the Border of Moremi game reserve. Here the sightings were outstanding!
We saw a leopard on an impala kill get chased up a tree by two big bull elephants who then decided to shake the whole tree in the hope that the acacia pods would fall down for them to eat – this very nearly resulted in more than just the acacia pods falling out of the tree! Less than 45min after the elephants had left the 10 year old boy in our group spotted a second leopard appearing from the bushes and coming towards straight towards us! At this stage we were only 10 m from the first leopard who started growling deeply with us positioned between the two leopards. As the first leopard lost sight of the second behind our vehicle he quickly got up and moved to protect his kill. The second leopard who must have been a female then went and lay down exactly where the larger male had been. She sat watching him, surely picking up his scent for a little while before gracefully moving on to the chorus of impala alarm calls erupting as they saw her.
On this same trip we saw an elephant-hippo collision when two hippos were moving quickly down a narrow channel of the Kwai river (directly towards an elephant that had started to cross this channel). The first hippo emerged just on the other side of the elephant and then for a moment nothing happened while we sat watching and wondering where the second hippo had got to… then with a shocked look on his face the elephant put his whole trunk and tusks down into the water and with a mighty heave and a grunt from the hippo proceeded to push and lift the hippo back in the direction from where it had come! The waves from this travelled quite a way up stream demonstrating the amount of force that must have been exerted to achieve pushing a 2 ton hippo around!
This tour was topped off with 5 days relaxing shopping and exploring Cape Town after a near overdose (if that’s even possible) of African wildlife.