On Mobile Safari in the Okavango Delta - Part II
This article is continued from Part I, located here. On day 4 of our mobile safari, the camp was broken up by the staff and all the equipment was trucked ahead of us to the next camp in Savuti. As soon as we left Moremi, the landscape around us changed completely again several times. From lush impenetrable green to dusty bush land, then awe-inspiring savannah and suddenly back to green with red rock formations and more bush again.
Being driven from Camp Moremi to Camp Savuti brought several highlights. Crossing the famous wooden bridge over the River Khwai with a 10-seater Landcruiser plus trailer was very exciting for a start. Outside the game reserve we passed through the Khwai Community and got a lot of information about how Botswana is doing in terms of sustainable and responsible tourism:
About 40% of Botswana's land area has been devoted to protected areas, with 17% being national parks and game reserves, where use by the communities is not possible. To preserve the wilderness, these areas must work closely with the local communities and include them in the benefits tourism can bring, such as generating sustainable incomes, a functioning health care and an education system. Tourism in Botswana also plays a huge part in the preservation of local culture. Your personal safari experts and safari planner will happily supply you with their individual knowledge about this and provide you with tips for a more responsible holiday.
Along the way we got to see unexpected creatures like a leopard tortoise as well as huge herds of elephants, zebras, giraffes, impallas, some wildebeest, ostriches and a variety of other birds such as hornbills and Botswana's national bird, the kori bustard.
During our coffee break we were able to gaze into the endless horizons of the savannah and become aware of the sheer magnitude of the area, this nature experience only being topped by star gazing the same night around the campfire, where the Milkyway opened up above us and provided an even grander scalethat the savanah..
The next day, all lovers of big cats truely got their money's worth. Thanks to our guide's impressive ability to spot and follow lion tracks, we found a large pride of them close to a waterhole on the morning game drive. Our patience of hanging around for long enough was rewarded when we were able to watch a young lioness trying to hunt a warthog - with the lucky warthog making a very fast exit at the end. This thrilling observation also produced great video footage and photos, with scenes like this sure to make your friends back home really envious.
Good networking between the guides inside the park that afternoon led to the second highlight of this safari day: we spotted a majestically beautiful leopard hanging out in a tree top, lazily scanning its surroundings for dinner options. Somehow, I was now losing count of the sheet volume and diversity of wildlife the guide had found for us. I was not expecting so few other safari tourists, with some many animals and sightings. We even managed to spot wild dogs, which is a nornmally a rare treat indeed.
After Savuti, the Chobe river beckoned. My memories of Savuti eclipsed anything I could have hoped for, and a visit to this wonderful landscape is a must. The route to Chobe and my experiences htere will be covered in the next article in this series.
Read Part III of "On Mobile Safari in the Okavango Delta".
Photo copyright Alexandra R