We have just returned from a great trip through the wild, northern parts of Botswana and the contrasting yet equally awesome southern parts of Namibia and the Namib desert. This was a customised itinerary and included a mix of wild camping interspersed with comfy accommodation.
Here are a few images from our adventure…
African Fish Eagle that had just plucked a big Tilapia* fish out of the Chobe River- they have been known to take up to 3.5 kg out of the water without any hassle.
Also on the Chobe River front we met this cantankerous old Cape Buffalo bull who didn’t take his eyes off us after we disturbed what seemed to be a five star mud bath in the heat of the day. The Cattle Egret on his back was hitching a ride in the hope of snapping up any of the insects these big animals disturb whilst wading through the long grass and marshes.
There were thousands of butterflies everywhere we went in Botswana and everyday when they weren’t resting they would all fly in a north-westerly direction, for the most part. The majority of them were African Migrants, though we must have encountered over fifteen different species in all.
Our campsite in Savute was on the Savute Channel, which is once again flowing after nearly 40 years of resembling a dust bowl. We had elephants, hyena and a very stubborn buffalo that we shared this river-front property with.
Despite long grass and many road closures due to flooding, the game viewing was good and we enjoyed great sightings of elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, lechwe etc. etc. etc.
We had a great camp closer down to Moremi in an area named after these huge Camel-thorn trees with provided us with shade in the day and a great view of our nightly routine and camp fire for the bushbabies and owls, who kept us company overhead.
Nothing like starting to feel that you are part of the environment. This very relaxed elephant bull joined us for a sundowner on our last evening around the Okavango Delta.
After leaving Botswana we made our way into Namibia and towards the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The greenery in the area was amazing as can be seen in the image above taken from Spreetshoogte Pass just before we descended from the escarpment onto the coastal plains.
Enjoying a respite from the scorching heat of the midday sun whilst exploring the cool and shady Sesriem Canyon. Although only about 30 metres deep it has a very narrow opening at the top which keeps it shaded for most of the day and allows it to hold water even into the driest months of the year.
After waking up an hour before sunrise and making our way deep into the dune fields we set off to summit the highest dune we could find. It was unsurprisingly a very tough slog but the views from the top were worth it.
The hard baked clay of Deadvlei was a welcomed change to to the collapsing sand and 45 degree dune climbing. The trees in the distance have been standing for over 800 years. They are a relic of what was once a seasonally flooded pan, until the dunes shifted the rivers course about 600 years ago. The sense of isolation being surrounded by such an ancient and inhospitable landscape is a refreshing change to the hustle and bustle of everyday life in our big cities.