Middle East and Africa • '11 Jul: Botswana       Click HERE and all the pictures will get big.
Bushways Safari, Botswana, Southern Africa

The Itinerary.

5 nights Central Kalahari Game Reserve
1 night in Maun
2 nights Okavango Delta
1 night in Maun
3 nights Moremi Game Reserve
3 nights Chobe National Park
1 night at Victoria Fall
Our accommodations, photos from the Bushways website.
Day 1 Kalahari campsite 1

I arrived in Maun, the largest town in the area, the day before Day 1 and spent the night at the Island Safari Lodge. It was a very nice place on the banks of the Thamalakane river.

Interestingly there was no electricity in Maun. The power was 'out'. The tourist enterprises run with generators as this situation is common however the source of the internet was not on generator and that's why you didn't hear from me.

Our whole group for the first five nights of the safari was on hand at the Lodge and we met that morning for our 7AM departure.
The first thing we did was stop for water as we would be in the desert with no access to supplies. The safari truck, a custom built Land Rover, and the trailer carried all the goods, everything we would need for five nights.

But wait, there was no water available because the electricity was still out and the pump didn't work. We did find water somewhere else along the way so all was well.
Arriving at our first destination in the Kalahari desert we got our lesson in putting up the tents. The tents were very heavy duty guys, and large enough so I could just stand - very spacious for one person.

I never once managed to put up the tent by myself and I think at one time or other everyone lent me a hand. Nevertheless my fingers are callused, my thumbs cracked, and every nail is broken. But it was worth it!
And here they are, all set up and settled in.

The safari included as a feature a Bushman Walk which meant that into the camp came five bushmen to take us for a walk.

It was a total tourist-a thing and the bushmen are employees of a nearby Lodge but still we all had a great time.
We drove in the Land Rover for 30 minutes to get to the place where the bushmen showed us how they gather plants for eating, washing, medicine, etc.

(I'll tell more about the bushmen people when I get to Lusaka in a few days.)
Here we all are, watching these guys dig a hole about five feet deep...
...to emerge with this plant.
Then it's back in the Land Rover (and these guys were just as cold as we were!)...
...for a drive to a made-up pretend little village with two huts and some supplies for them to show us how they eat what we had collected (and I Of Course tried it all) and how they make fire the good old fashioned way by rubbing two sticks together.

It was actually fun to watch them do this as they were laughing and talking the whole time with the women kibitzing loudly in the background all in their clicking language which was hugely entertaining.
Then they sang and danced around the fire...
...and then we drove back to camp.
Day 2 Kalahari campsite 2

We're all packed up and on the road at 7:30AM.

I have this picture here from the edge of our campsite to show you where we are not allowed to walk. We are not allowed basically to walk anywhere. The guides don't carry guns and there are predators free throughout virtually all of Botswana.

You do however need to know how to 'find a bush' which means the guide has identified a safe place for the women to pee. The men just take two steps in some direction, turn their back and pee. This happens many times each day since we are out on the road for hours on end.
Another thing we do constantly is look at the tracks. I am writing this not as usual, the next day, but many days after the trip is finished. I didn't realize at the beginning how often we would be chasing these tracks looking for cheetah, wild dogs, lions, and leopards, among others.
That's Tineke from The Netherlands, and Konrad, from Germany. Tineke was our resident bird maven. She was on a quest to enjoy new birds and Konrad took up the challenge and it was great fun to share their excitement.
For some reason during the first two days I actually got some birds to be still long enough for me to get them in focus.

Tineke says: Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill female
There were many fabulously colored birds. This is just a few of the ones we saw of course, just the ones that are not so blurry they give you a headache.

Tineke says: a Starling but I don't know which one
He was a real charmer.

Tineke says: the Red-crested Korhaan female
Notice the thorns on this tree. Every tree had thorns 3 inches long ready to rip the flesh off your body.
A few of the Kalahari place names. A pan is a depression that has water during the rainy season.
There are sections like the ones above with plenty of vegetation and then there are huge sections like this one - empty and flat.
On our first few days every sighting stirred cheers from the crowd and then as the days went by we laughed how we eventually didn't even stop for the springbok...
...or the oryx. Springbok and oryx, oryx and springbok. Great herds of them, and in pairs, and in family groups...
...and alone. Oryx and springbok, springbok and oryx.
Our guide OT, whose real name is Otsile but everyone calls him OT even the other guides, telling us about the fruit in his hand that no we couldn't eat since it was bitter and would make us sick.
Watching springbok from the truck.
Not a springbok and not an oryx. It's a steinbok... cute little guy, and fast.
OT was thrilled. It was fun to see how delighted he was to see these aardwolves. 'I've never seen these guys here!' he kept exclaiming.

The top is full frame full telephoto and then I enlarged a couple despite the blurriness.

In the top picture above the aardwolf is a bush and on that bush are some birds. OT could identify those birds. This is the level of spotting you need on a safari.
As the moon rises the sun's glow is gone from the landscape and we have a nice catch of bat eared fox.
Good night moon.
Day 3 Kalahari campsite 2

Oryx and springbok, springbok and oryx...until...
...Leopard! So near the truck OT missed the sighting and good thing it was that Angelika glanced down! We were holding our breath and clicking away like crazy people.

The leopard was so close and it appeared and disappeared so quickly that some people didn't even have a chance to get their camera in position so I feel really lucky for this shot.
The Kalahari desert is actually a 'semi-desert' according to Ms Wiki as it supports more animals and plants than a true desert but still there is no permanent standing water and more water evaporates than falls.

During the dry season the park service feeds water into only one or two of these artificial pans. The animals that are successful here get their water from the plants they eat.
Would'ja just look at all those birds hanging out at the water hole. This is one tree of many decorated for Christmas with singing birds and scary thorns.
Uh oh, what do we see...
...him! Thinking about a snack I'd say.
And then, off in the distance, lazing about in the afternoon shade, a couple of young lions, brothers OT thinks.
Hi guy.
Another view of the Kalahari. We are traveling down that track with the thorn bushes attacking, and when another vehicle approaches someone pulls into the bush. The drivers all seemed to know the rules although it never became clear to me.
Our basic daily schedule:

6AM rise, shine, and pack up the tents when we have to move. Might I add it is COLD at 6AM, and dark, and my stubby little fingers are brittle and disobedient.

6:30AM coffee, campfire toast, peanut butter, and honey.

7-8AM off for the morning game drive which is also the movement to the next campsite. Might I add it is STILL COLD, the sides and top of the truck are open, and I am bundled in my three jackets, sleeping bag, and two blankets.

10:30AM stop for fruit and a pee break. By now the weather is perfect.

Noon: lunch on the road - cold cuts, cheese, and bread, and a side dish or two.

3PM the ever so civilized Tea Time. By now we are back at camp taking a rest before our late afternoon game drive.

4PM off again for the afternoon game drive and sunset.

7-ishPM a most yummy and welcome cold beer, some snacks, and then dinner. I'll tell about dinner later. It's quite the extravaganza of campfire dining.
Day 4 Kalahari campsite 3

Here we are from the morning of the 4th day rolling to our third campsite in the Kalahari. This is probably a pee stop...
...and then we stopped again for our every-day-or-two collection of firewood, OT the guide on the right and Allen the cook and aide-de-camp on the left.

They bring a big axe out there and chop away. You can see the firewood collection basket attached to the truck in the picture above.

It's quite amazing to me how we manage to be entirely self-contained for days on end with just what you can fit in the trailer and the seats of the truck.
Deer in the headlights.

We see a lot of this, where the various antelopes (all the deer looking animals are types of antelopes here) stand for a split second to stare at us before they hightail it off into the bush.
Maybe a kind of mongoose, or a dormouse? sitting on a termite mound. The termite mounds were incredible - huge monolithic things that look like they were built in service to some ancient gods.

I fear I might not have a suitable picture among these 10s of 1000s of pictures.
Our 10:30 fruit bowl always so welcome since we've eaten our toast and coffee at 6:30 in the freezing morning.
Giraffes, so entertaining.
All three campsites in the Kalahari were fab.
We saw two kinds of jackals a few times, the Black-backed and the Side-striped. These look Black-backed And Side-striped but I don't think they run together.
I like this view as the sun sets turning the landscape golden.
Day 5 Kalahari campsite 3

In the mornings it was just plain FREEZING, really, below zero, and with the open truck and the wind chill, yikes, but then, when we would least expect it... a sighting...
...a cheetah! And we'd all be warm with the excitement of someone finding something (it was Annelies, who was the champion sighter) and the excitement of trying to get a shot off.

This guy was far far away waay over there on the ridge.
My favorite bird, the secretary bird also known as the walking eagle. He was big and he stood around a lot and he has a fabulously colored head.
OT, the guide, taken from my seat just behind him in the truck. We had a lot of fun the whole trip and every day I learned a new expression in Tswana, the language of Botswana. I'll write the expressions at the end of this journal.

We had a lot of fun together, but for him this was a serious job with serious consequences and he was always on the alert, watching that everyone was together (guests wandering off seemed his biggest concern), keeping the truck running, keeping to the schedule, making sure the camp was all set up and safe - he was working from before everyone got up until after everyone went to bed, cheerfully and with a comforting maturity.
The Blue Wildebeest.
I wasn't going to put in any more oryx or any more springbok but something spooked these guys and they were on the run which was cool to see.

All these animals and especially in this environment make me think of cave paintings.
We had giraffes to the left of us giraffes to the right all day long...
...and into the sunset.
Just like in the brochure.
Day 6 Maun Island Safari Lodge

We left the Kalahari and made the long drive back to Maun to spend the night at the Lodge where we were meant to find showers! and electricity! and the internet! and to add four people to our party.

Some routine activities: packing up the trailer, raising and lowering the tire pressure depending on the road we were driving, lunch.
We take out the chairs for lunch and people position themselves as the spirit strikes.
Day 7 Okavango Delta campsite 4

We're up early (of course) and off for our drive to the Okavango Delta. The first views.
Stopping for lunch and preparing to ford the river in the Land Rover pulling the trailer.

We made it!

(And we were the first of the at least three Bushways tours to get to the landing which seemed an advantage at the time.

From here and for all of Moremi and Chobe there were four Bushways tours on the same itinerary. Each group had their own entire set-up including campsite that was not really near the others but we did run into each other all the time, so often that we knew all the guides and most of the other guests.)
Then in a rush of activity we off-loaded all the gear from the trailer and truck that we would need for our two nights on a very small island in the Okavango Delta.

Everything. Tents, water, cooking pots and the rest of the kitchen, everything, got put into two of these boats. That's OT and Allen...
...and here is my group. We were also going in a boat that would take us to the mokoros from which we would complete the journey.

This is not a good picture. But then I didn't take it. Everyone is here except Alaoa though so I'm using it. The 'Official Language' of the tour is English btw since that's what the guide speaks.

Left to right, forward to back:

Angelika German-living in Germany-high school teacher(I think it was Biology and English Lit?)-with Pierre
Lynda French-living in Switzerland-accountant for a Spanish speaking company-with Alaoa
Santiago Spanish-living in Spain-teaches English-with Brigitta
Brigitta German-living in Spain-teaches German-with Santiago
Konrad German-living in Germany (lived in the US for 7 years)-tax accountant
Pierre French-living in Germany-retired engineer-with Angelika
Annelies long story of nationality-living in Zimbabwe-Bushways hired her to translate for the Dutch and Germans (who all spoke English perfectly well but did I think enjoy chatting with her in Dutch and German)
Ellie Dutch-living in The Netherlands-works with disabled adults
Tineke Dutch-living in The Netherlands-Bird Maven
Alaoa (missing for the photo) French/Algerian-living in Switzerland-sugar commodities trader-with Lynda
Here we are loading up into the mokoros...
...for the journey to our island, our little patch of land in the Okavango Delta.
It looks like it should be smooth but those guys, the polers, are standing on a little plank of fiberglass that is the mokoro and every shift of weight moves the mokoro side to side.

I was riding with OT and at first I kept making little squealing sounds each time I was sure we were going into the drink, but in the end we arrived safe and dry.
Setting up on the island. That's my tent. That pile of what-not in front of my tent is elephant poo. Elephants are excellent swimmers and make their way around the islands of the Okavango with ease.

We didn't see any elephants despite that there was evidence of them everywhere. One thing before we even arrived, we got the rap about how we were now trying to avoid animals as we would be either on foot or in the rickety mokoro. Hippos are an especially big danger to the mokoros.
One of the cutie-pie polers.
Good night from the Delta.
Day 8 Okavango Delta campsite 4

We went for a walk today!
We were all so excited to be out for a walk. This is the head poler who served as a guide for the walk along with OT who had plenty to say too. OT is from the Delta so he had a special enthusiasm for this part of the trip.

It was informative and fun.
My foot in an elephant track.
The afternoon tour in the mokoros.
Lovely!
Day 9 Maun campsite 5

We'll end the day at a campsite in Maun. We had a choice, to ride five hours in the truck to get to Maun or take a small plane flight for big bucks extra. All but two opted for the big bucks, me included, not as much for the flight but to save five hours in the truck.

So it's 7AM and we're off. It's the same in reverse - mokoros to boats to the truck. So we're on the boat and the driver takes an obvious detour, turning into a channel not on our way, where within seconds we see...
...him. I was absolutely sure he was fake. This guy must have been 12-15 feet long at the least. HUGE. The biggest I've ever seen by double. And he doesn't budge. His eyes are glazed over. He looks like a purse.

And then, after a slow drive-by, we come to...
...him. HUGE. So now I'm absolutely sure the whole set-up is fiberglass for the benefit of the tourists. Annelies stands up straight, lifts her chin, announces 'we do not do that here'.

I was still sure it was fake until I reviewed the pictures and saw that, it seemed that...indeed the hippo did move his head from the first time we went by to the second when we had turned around. So ok, it's not fake. Unless...you know those Disney folk, world domination and all.
The downside of taking the flight was that we had to basically entertain ourselves for hours and hours at this place where there was not so much that was entertaining.

But they had a shower.
And we went on a guided walk. And time passed and before you know it it was time for the flight.
Our pilot explaining the route.
A view that includes elephants down by the river.
A view that includes the termite mounds I mentioned before. Notice the termite mounds are about as big as the elephants.

OT and the truck were at the airport to pick us up in Maun and drive us to the campsite. Angelika had said 'I think the tents will be already put up' in a wishful thinking kind of way and when we got to the site and tents Were already put up we were soo excited. We told Angelika she'd have to save her wishful thinking for the next really important thing.
Day 10 Moremi campsite 6

On the road again.
And now having arrived in Moremi we have traded oryx and springbok for impala. Impala impala impala.
OT was doing a drive-around to check a place where he wanted to stop for lunch. It's always been totally fine. But still, every time we check.

And this time. Lions! The big guy rolled over...
...and looked up. So we didn't stop here for lunch.
We ate lunch somewhere else. Here we are again so I'll copy the introductions:

Lynda French-living in Switzerland-accountant for a Spanish speaking company-with Alaoa
Santiago Spanish-living in Spain-teaches English-with Brigitta
Brigitta German-living in Spain-teaches German-with Santiago
Ellie Dutch-living in The Netherlands-works with disabled adults
Tineke Dutch-living in The Netherlands-Bird Maven
Annelies long story of nationality-living in Zimbabwe-Bushways hired her to translate for the Dutch and Germans (who all spoke English perfectly well but did I think enjoy chatting with her in Dutch and German)
Konrad German-living in Germany (lived in the US for 7 years)-tax accountant
Allen
OT
Angelika German-living in Germany-high school teacher (I think it was Biology and English Lit?)-with Pierre
Pierre French-living in Germany-retired engineer-with Angelika
Alaoa French/Algerian-living in Switzerland-sugar commodities trader-with Lynda
Oh those colors.
OT stopped the truck and we sat for a good long while just looking around. Birds were screaming an alert call and OT just knew there was something.

I don't remember who first spotted it or when we realized what it was - an 8 foot long Black Mamba. At first they thought it was some other snake but then they realized no other snake was this long. Wow!
A graceful landing and a great head.
Scenery. Moremi is a fat finger of land in the Okavango and water abounds. You can see it in the map at the beginning.
The big highlight of the day, and I thought that Black Mamba was a highlight, and the lions, but the highlight was the Wild Dogs.

OT loves Wild Dogs and Leopards the best, so when there was word 'on the wire' meaning all the guides talk on the cb and always stop for each other when passing, that Wild Dogs were around we went on the chase.
They were trotting near the road for a while so we got several chances to see them.

There are two packs of Wild Dogs in Moremi and each pack can eat up to four impala per day so it's a good thing there are plenty of impala.
Some wiki facts: "There were once approximately 500,000 African Wild Dogs in 39 countries. Now there are only about 3,000-5,500 in fewer than 25 countries."

"Dominance is established without blood-shed, as most dogs within a group tend to be related to one another in some way. When this is not the case, they form a hierarchy based on submission rather than dominance. Submission and nonaggression are emphasized heavily; even over food, they will beg energetically instead of fight."

"The African Wild Dog hunts in packs. Like most members of the dog family, it is a cursorily hunter, meaning that it pursues its prey in a long, open chase. Nearly 80% of all wild dog hunts end in a kill; for comparison, the success rate of lions, often viewed as ultimate predators, is only 30%."
Day 11 Moremi campsite 6

The babies. Everyone loves the babies. The whole truck would go awwww every time we'd see a baby and in the coming days we really saw a lot of babies.
If there was one thing OT worried about as much as he worried about guests wandering off it was crossing the path of elephants. He'd had his truck charged a few times in his early years and now watches for the least little twitch of trouble.

She trumpeted and flapped her ears and we did not cross her path.
A Kudu with an oxpecker, one of the birds that picks gnats and such off the bodies of mammals.
We did the through-the-river thing a bunch of times occasionally flooding water into the truck but we always made it out with much reving of the engine and the moral support of the riders.
The local guides and lodge employees playing soccer on the air field.
Brigitta writing her journal and Santiago waiting for the campfire crowd to gather.
The nightly ritual of Angelika and Pierre going through their pictures deleting the duplicates and the 'not so greats'.

These guys were so nice and so helpful. Everyone was nice and helpful actually. It was kind of amazing how the whole everything would come together so easily every day little as I did to contribute.
Day 12 Moremi campsite 7

It was just dawn and the last stages of packing-up where some of the guys pitch in to help Allen load the trailer. The tents are hugely heavy. Someone always helped me carry mine. So they have to load up about 10-12 tents, all the luggage, sleeping bags, mats, the whole deal.

And while this is going on Alaoa calls out 'Wild Dogs!'.
And there they were in our camp. Wild Dogs. Wow. The group on the right is hovering around what used to be our toilet but was now filled in with dirt and ash from the fire.

Oh yes indeed-y they were most interested in what was That.
On our way out of Moremi on the way to Chobe we stopped at the park entrance to load up with water and eat our fruit and use the bathroom.

In the literal blink of an eye this monkey had leapt from a tree onto the trailer and stolen an apple. In the blink of an eye.

I was in the bathroom so I didn't see the apple thief and...
...I didn't see that guy on the right that jumped into the truck, OPENED my blue net bag and pulled out a small package of nuts and raisins and ran up that tree.

The other guy is eating something he didn't steal but I'll bet he's not enjoying it as much.
Awww, baby elephant walk.
We hear on the wire that there's a leopard kill nearby. But what's this?! Yes, leopards! There are two trucks from a different company but those guys standing are a Bushways group. It is forbidden to stand to watch predators.

You can stand for all the prey but predators they say get spooked and we must sit. OT was very strict. Well, except for maybe that one time.
Yup, Leopard kill. OT said Mama took that impala down herself and dragged it under the tree, then went to get her two cubs.

Usually leopards take their kill up into trees to save the leftovers from scavengers and to eat there for a few days but OT thinks the cubs are not yet able to eat in trees so that's why Mama left the impala on the ground.
"I told you, stop playing with your food. It's dead already, so eat it."
Little brother comes around maybe looking for a share.
Big brother is all like "no way" and mom is all like "what ehves."
Lechwe.
Vultures tree! OT told us with great certainty that when you see vultures circling they are still looking. They do not circle a kill. When they find something they immediately land in a tree or on the ground.

All these vultures in a tree - definitely a kill. We had been on our way to the 'hippo pool' but got word to take a different fork in the road because there was something big and dead.
It was this hippo that was dead for some time, probably from natural causes or illness, and man-o-man did that thing stink. PHWWW. STINKeeee.

This ratty old lion was having a snack and keeping the vultures away.
And then on the scene comes this female, sleek, well muscled, and hungry. OT thinks the male had had enough and didn't feel the need to fight over a stinky old hippo.
On the scene and ready. I saw him around a few times. There was a gyro-stabilizer on that set-up and he must have got some amazing shots.

Which brings me to my camera. Oh how I longed for a newer camera and a longer lens!
We then made our way to the hippo pool where this viewing station was available...
...and lookie here. Hippos at play.
More elephants. Check out the big elephant on the right and the little baby between her legs. Many many more elephants yet to come.
Day 13 Chobe campsite 8

Good morning! This was the day where we changed camps today and we're changing camps tomorrow.

Tonight's campsite was my least favorite so fortunately we were there for just the one night. The whole place was a pile of dirt and dust a foot thick, or actually I don't know how thick because we never exactly found any ground.
Warthogs are cute. Really, I think so, when they are trotting off in a line with their tail-flags all a-flutter. I never got a shot of a whole family with the babies and their tails, so cute.
He got close.

He's a he because females have thinner horns and still have lots of tuft on top. Males lose the tuft in fights. Males also die much younger because of the fights they're always having with their easily broken necks.
I used one of these guys before but wow they are so colorful. And apparently they hold still since two of them were in focus.
Lunch. Nice.

I didn't do the afternoon game drive but my camera did! I left it in the truck. Bummer. We had a spectacular elephant sighting and I'll be getting some pictures from Angelika and Tineke soon as they stayed behind too.
Day 14 Chobe campsite 9

We left the trailer this morning for a couple hours while we made the journey to look at these rock paintings.

From what I remember they were meant to be from the early 1800s made by the San people in the blood of animals as a means of communication. Remember that crocodile and that hippopotamus in Okavango? Well I have my doubts about these rock paintings too. Too easy to get to with too many tourists climbing up there. Still, it was an entertaining outing, and I could be wrong again!
Going back to get the trailer and lurching out way out of the sandy dirt pit that was our campsite.
But then, uh oh. A sandy dirt pit road, and, 1) we're stuck. OK, 2) everyone out of the truck and let's push it backward. 3) No joy. OK, 4) let's unhook the trailer and push the truck forward.
Success!
The Dutch ladies Ellie and Tineke on Kitchen Duty doing the dishes. Everyone pitched it with all the chores. It was a thing of beauty how easily everything got done.

I say that, and I'm pretty sure I contributed the least. By the time I was looking around for something to do all that was left was to put away the chairs.
I think we left the National Park system for a few minutes and stopped at this establishment. It came as a bit of a shock after all that camping with nothing but what we had brought.
Cute Konrad doing his journal. He had a new camera and a 300mm lens and was getting really great shots. I look forward to seeing them.
We've arrived in our last campsite and everyone was SO happy. We were right on the river and wow all what happened right in front of us was So Cool.

Cape Buffalo.
A baby giraffe and a baby zebra.

I know I had a good baby giraffe with his family so I'm going to have to go back and look. Later.
More and more elephants. I have 50 pictures of elephants crossing the river. Check out their trunks. Periscope Up!
And nightfall on the river.
Day 15 Chobe campsite 9

Morning toast and coffee...
...by the river. Ahhh.

It was so quiet with just the birds announcing the day and then in the distance we started to hear a low constantly building thunder and then out of the horizon...
...a thundering herd of zebras. Thousands of them, heading for the river.
The line stretched across the whole field of view and as they approached the river some would pick up speed, running...
...and others would slow the pace and enjoy a more leisurely crossing.
Soo many and soo cool.
A fish eagle. We saw dozens of them and I took ten pictures every time. That's approximately/at least 120 pictures. Finally, one that's not terrible.
Coming across the field, a hyena, my first! I did really want to see a hyena and so since none of the pictures are good, I'm using four. Make it up on volume we used to say.

He was leaving the very last remains of a baby buffalo...
...to the vultures.

OT thought it was a baby buffalo but...
...awww, a baby buffalo that's alive! And his horns don't look like the ones the vultures are pecking at.
Awww, a baby elephant. Awww.
So many elephants, here crossing for a drink. They are coming from Namibia. The river is the boundary between countries and to hear OT tell the tale those Namibians will do anything and are usually up to no good.
Last good night from a TENT!
More because I can't stop.
Day 16 Livingstone (Victoria Falls!) Zambia

This day will see us transfer out of Botswana and end the day in Livingstone, Zambia, home of the magnificent Victoria Falls. Bushways has put us up in a nicely posh hotel by the riverfront where Mindy is going to meet me.

My hope is to Catch Up in the next few days with the week that I've already been in Zambia. Hope might be the word as internet connectivity seems random, but mostly 'out'.
The last packing up.
And on the way out, what is that we see in the near-by bush? Lions, and plenty of them!
We watched a literal parade of lions pass in front of the truck. There must have been at least 20 of them. What a perfect farewell to the National Parks of Botswana and Bushways Safari.
Here we are getting on the barge that will float us across the river from Botswana to Zambia.
Landing in Zambia we take an hour or two with the formalities of visa etc. and end our day at the Zambezi Riverfront Hotel and since they must have run out of single rooms I get a suite!
Yes, a pano from Victoria Falls that of course doesn't do it justice. More Victoria Falls coming in the Zambia chapter.

FOLLOWING ARE PICTURES I GOT FROM OTHER PEOPLE
from Lynda and Alaoa.

Just there, behind MY tent, an elephant. I'm 5'2" and I could barely stand in the tent, to give you some idea of the size of that big guy.

My camera was in the tent.
from Lynda and Alaoa.

I had two mishaps with the camera both entirely my bad fault. On one afternoon drive I forgot to bring my backup battery. Rookie mistake! And I missed taking pictures of the best lion encounter of the trip.

This is a 'mating pair'. He won't let her out of his sight for a week and they go at it as many times as she'll let him. No hunting, no eating, nothing but coochie-coo time for these two lions.
from Lynda and Alaoa.

Where was I when this was happening?! Maybe it's one of those super-telephotos that I couldn't get anyway. They are Great!
from Tineke.

Tineke sent me many many pictures of myself. .cool.
From Angelika and Pierre.

It's the time I didn't go on the afternnoon game drive but my camera did. This is from where I was without a camera. Baby Elephants AWWW.
From Angelika and Pierre.

It's the lion mating pair from the time I forgot my backup battery. WOW.
From Angelika and Pierre.

Some scenes from around. The group at the rock painting, me with bed head and morning coffee, the time the elephants came into camp, fooling around with our roasting marshmallow sticks.





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