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Lions, Hippos and Wild Dogs, Oh My!

Life in the Okavanda Delta

sunny
View SA 2015 on Lauriesam's travel map.

Our first sunrise in Botswana was sensational, what a beautiful way to start the day. We had a quick little bite with some coffee and climbed up into our vehicle for our game drive. Our eyes, ears and noses were on full alert. The birds singing and calling each other, baboons were also quite easy to hear if they were close, wild sage growing all around filled the air with its unmistakable fragrance until it was interrupted by fresh elephant dung! The sounds and smells often introduced the animals before we could see them so it was apparent to us that our senses were going to be tested in this environment. On this drive we saw so many birds which is something I hadn't anticipated, I found out that this area of Botswana is famous for birdwatching because of the amazing diversity thriving here. I tried so hard to photograph them in flight but I don't think I was successful, more on that later. The prettiest bird I saw was the lilac breasted roller, a magnificent bird that had seven colors and when the bird took flight it was truly magnificent. We also saw the red, yellow and grey horned hornbill otherwise known as Zazu in the Lion King. In addition we also saw red and yellow billed oxepeckers who were almost extinct in SA 9 years ago when we were there, but they are thriving again, now. We also saw saddle billed storks, wattled cranes, bee eaters, little bee eaters and beautiful starlings, too. Our exciting game views this morning included a herd of cape buffalo, maybe three or four hundred, they were all around us busy eating their breakfast and not interested in us at all. You can't imagine the feeling of sitting in an open vehicle and then realizing the munching and crunching sounds are all around you. No place to go, so we sat and waited from them to move around us. These big animals were rather calm and although they would look straight at us from time to time, they never lost tract of their mission, which was eating, eating and eating.
We also observed baboons going about their business, preening each other and looking after the young. There were lots of little babies that were so, so cute.
The sounds and smells of the delta change slightly as you travel away from the water, flat plains with tall grasses in one area or sandy and marshy areas closer to the water.
The most entertaining animals to watch are the majestic elephants. We saw them several times during our stay and each time was exciting and entertaining. Here are a couple of shots, for you to see, I just grabbed them quickly off my SD card. I have about 400 more and I will pick the winners over the next week to post for you to see. More about Botswana to come as soon as I get another internet connection.
photos.travellerspoint.com lilac breasted roller

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rare sable antelope
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lion cubs
_LS19468.jpgfemale greeting male lion
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_LS19316.jpgsaddle beak stork
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Posted by Lauriesam 07:53 Archived in Botswana Tagged ride botswana delta #wildlife #okavango #botswana #game #diversitybirding

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