Botswana was the 13th country we visited on our round-the-world, year-long journey. It was the premiere location on our trip for wildlife viewing and photography. Our time in Botswana began when we crossed over the border from Zambia into Chobe National Park in the Okavango Delta region. Chobe has one of the largest concentrations of elephants on the entire African continent. We definitely saw our fair share, mostly as they took mud baths along the bank of the delta to ward off heat and insects. Wildebeest, giraffes, kudus, impala, hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, jackals, egrets, Cape buffalo, Marabou storks, owls, birds of prey and most dramatically, lions. Plenty of lions. We encountered one particular pride of lions on two occasions, thanks to the uncanny tracking abilities of our naturalist guide, Ollie, a Botswanan native. It was both scary and exhilarating being in an open Land Rover just a lunge away from lions battling over a zebra kill. Photographically, the opportunity to watch the lions at play, rest (which they do a lot of) and feasting made for some one-of-a-kind imagery. Just getting to and from our remote safari camp in northern Botswana was a thrilling lesson in African bush-plane acrobatics. We took off and landed on a dirt strip in the jungle that had to be cleared of wildlife by ground personnel before a pilot attempted to land or take off. In a part of the world where humans are so obviously no longer at the top of the food chain, everything seems to have an enhanced sense of drama. Like the time we were sitting in the Land Rover observing lions that surrounded us and my youngest son, seated in the rear of the vehicle, whispered to us, “I’ve got to go pee.” Our guide made it clear to him that neither standing up in the vehicle nor getting out of the vehicle was an option. Yes, he managed to wait. The experience of seeing so much wildlife was so memorable that we’ve already made plans to return to Africa for more.
Amazing photography.....amazing animals, some of which I have never seen before. Looks like they were posing for you, Stu!!!
Amazing pictures…what a wonderfully educational journey!
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© Stuart L Gordon Photography