Botswana Safari, 15.February – 3.March 2013
Program in German from Swiss African / Wilderness Safaris. Other pages in English.
Programm auf Deutsch von Swiss African / Wilderness Safaris. Andere Seiten auf Englisch.
The safari jn Botswana went very well and I saw all the things I expected to see and more. I was not surrounded by huge herds of animals as I was in the Serengeti but I saw smaller herds almost continuously. Because much of the land is covered with bushes or trees one cannot see a big herd all at once anyway. The buffalo herd which I saw may have been several hundred strong but one could not really tell despite being in the middle of it. Elephants kept appearing but there were not normally more than 6 or 8 in view at once. Being the so called rainy season, although it actually only rained three times, the vegetation had leaves which or course reduce the view. Even the flowering grasses were in some places so tall that the animals were half hidden. However I preferred a green paradise to a burnt-up desert, as it is in the dry season when the animals are concentrated in larger numbers round the remaining water holes.
I was lucky with the big cats having several sightings of lions and leopards and one of a cheetah. Some of the lions had small cubs still having their spots which they later loose. The only leopard cub seen was nearly a year old and looked much the same as its mother. Another female leopard had just made a kill and could be seen each day in the same place with it. The cheetah was alone but could be followed for nearly two hours.
The tented lodges were very luxurious and the food excellent. Transfers between the lodges are made by small planes at least in the wet season when tracks can be flooded. Once even a helicopter was used. Most of the water comes into the Okavango delta from Angola in the North rather than falling as rain in the area. It reaches different parts of the delta at different times causing the animals to migrate. I worked gradually during the 12 days from South to North, starting in the Kalahari desert and finishing on the border to Zambia. The last 2 days were spent near Livingstone viewing the Victoria Falls and a small game park nearby where there are still a few rhinos. This completed my sighting of the big five.