Moving day was a little different than other days. Still up well before dawn, but we’d have to pack up before leaving; with our bags loaded on top of the vehicle we’d head out for the morning game drive. Once TT, Patrick & Bonnie had the camp packed up, we’d start making our way to the new location, always behind them. Bonnie would pack us a picnic lunch and we’d stop somewhere along the way to enjoy it. After lunch, we’d do a game drive at the new location, staying out until we got the word that camp was set up and ready for us.
Our morning drive took us back to Leopard Rock (A); we had to drive almost due south, past our Savuti campsite, on a very bumpy and sandy road, to a “main” road that took us to Khwai. We left Leopard Rock around 9 and were getting close to the southern boundary of Savuti by 11 am (B) – that’s 2 hours without taking a single picture! We finally arrived in Khwai shortly after 1; having traveled a mere 80 km or so.
The Khwai Concession was formed by local Khwai villagers and is run by the Khwai Development Trust, is covers 1800 km and is located in north eastern Okavango. Of the 3 places we camped, this one felt the most like a campground. There were a lot of self-drives in the area, and we could actually see (and hear) other sites from ours. Having said that, Khwai was my favourite of the three and I’d go back there in a heartbeat.
The plan was to stop at the Hippo pond in the Khwai Conservancy for lunch, but there was something Kabelo wanted to check out first. We all agreed, and all thoughts of food were soon forgotten.
Finally – a leopard in the daylight!
For a half hour we watched him sit, sleep and yawn, but it was time for our lunch and he clearly wasn’t going anywhere! After a great meal of fried chicken at the hippo pond we returned, and there he was, right where we left him.
Leopards usually take their prey up a tree; failing to do so leaves them at risk of losing their dinner to hyenas or lions. In the tree above him was a baboon that he had killed earlier. We settled in, hoping that eventually he’d get hungry again and head on up.
This was a picture of the landscape I took while waiting; very different than Savuti…
An hour and a half later, we were, once again, rewarded for our patience.
It’s amazing to watch these animals in their natural habitat, and to watch him climb the tree and eat was an experience beyond words.
As he was moving to a shady bush to lay down he walked right up to the truck and looked up at us; I think my heart may have actually stopped for a second!
The next morning, we headed back to the tree at first light, arriving just in time to see him coming down the tree after breakfast.
After bath time, he was on the move and we were there. Even though we were following him, hoping he was heading to the river, we still lost him a few times.
Finally, after a lot of tracking and waiting, he arrived at the river for a drink and Kabelo quickly got us into position. A real treat.
How could you not love this?
He headed off and so did we, time for our coffee break and rusk of course!
After our coffee break, we came across this impala, showing off for her friends. It was pretty comical, watching her running and leaping and even more comical trying to get decent pictures of it!
One of the prettier geese I’ve seen, this was a Spur-Winged Goose hanging out with some Egyptian Geese.
Next we came upon a herd (also known as a journey or tower) of Southern giraffes. Giraffes have good eyesight, and combined with their height, it is said they can spot a lion 2km away in open grassland.
Something spooked them, and they all started running, including the zebras. This was after they’d settled down, but they all stood motionless staring in the same direction for quite a while. We never did figure out what it was, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Elephants aren’t the prettiest, but there is something very captivating about them, especially when they’re playing in the water.