Botswana Part 2

Moremi – Northgate

After our holiday in Mozambique, we had to get our minds back in gear and get ready to hit the road again, first destination was North Gate. We knew we were taking a bit of a chance with this park as the rains have blessed Botswana well during the festive season but we thought we would chance it. Our highlight of this park was getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, to no fault of Thumpers though.

On the morning of our second game drive, our car would not start, we had a flat battery. After walking to the park entrance we convinced a safari vehicle to come and jump start Thumper. Off we went on our drive, we stopped for breakfast and then stopped to watch some Ele for a while. When Mike tried to start the car, our battery was flat again and no amount of pushing or bush-trick would budge dear old Thumper. Finally we phoned around on our Sat phone (that we thought we would never need) and then contacted Mr Sparky to help us all the way from Jozi. Anyway he spent his Saturday afternoon playing “Search and Rescue” and finally got the guys at the gate to rustle up a vehicle and come and save us. In the meantime we had pulled out the awning (thank goodness for the awning) and played a few games of cards. Not more than two hours later we were saved and had to make our way back to Maun to purchase two new car batteries.

Walking it!

Walking it!

The Ele we stopped to watch before battery went blrrrgh!

The Ele we stopped to watch before battery went blrrrgh!

Fixing mode

Fixing mode

We had given up by this point and handed it over to Papa Sparkes

We had given up by this point and handed it over to Papa Sparkes

Chobe – Savuti

Paradise is Savuti, at this time of the year you really don’t expect to see what you would normally see in Winter, but this is not true in a place like Savuti. There are wonderful open marsh areas and a lot of the bush is not overgrown yet. You can see way into the distance, and this makes for great sighting. On our first morning we saw a male Lion having a lazy snooze under a bush, we saw a porcupine (strictly nocturnal) at 09:00 in the morning running on the road right towards our car. Our campsite on the first evening was surrounded by Ele everywhere and did I mention that the campsite we had, had a Leopard in the tree with a kill when my folks were here last. The facilities at Savuti are really amazing and make a visit to this park and absolute pleasure. On our second morning we followed two male Lion up the road toward our campsite and around the corner to a resting place they had clearly picked out, right in the middle of the road.

Ele are everywhere you look and waiting around every corner for you, and they are all pretty darn relaxed. We watched a herd of Ele take a swim for hours and trumpet away from their trunks while they had such fun in the water that must be sucha relief for these giants.

We were sad to leave Savuti but were just as excited to see what awaited us at Ihaha.

Savuti Lion on his way to the campsite

Savuti Lion on his way to the campsite

Elephant all around in this paradise

Elephant all around in this paradise

Our Porcupine at 9:00 a.m.

Our Porcupine at 9:00 a.m.

Chobe – Ihaha

We arrived at this park only to be greeted by Sable and minutes later 6 Lionesses that were clearly on the prowl. About an hour later the skies opened and we had a severe thunderstorm. We sat it out in the car and played cards. For the rest of our time here it was rainy,cold and overcast. We wee not happy campers but made do with what little dry wood we had. On our last evening game drive as we were about to pack it in after seeing nothing, we headed down to the river road. We spotted Wild dog right in front of us and the longer we sat there the more Wild dog appeared. We saw them running into the bushes and followed and before we knew it they were chasing an Impala right toward our car. They passed us and kept up the chase. We tried to follow but the bush got quite thick. We then saw the Wild dog turning back and returning to the spot we first saw them. Their chase was unsuccessful but this did not damper there spirits at all. They all, all twenty of them, ran out onto the plain and fooled around like a group of domestic dogs. We returned to camp with big smiles and made a big fire to equal our big event.

On our way out of the park the next morning we saw all of the same 20 Wild dog tucking into an Impala, they were finally successful, although we never got to see them take the Impala down, we had front row seats to a feast like I have never seen before. They ate every last bit, the face, the skin, the tail. ALL GONE!

As we took our leave from the resting , fat Wild dog we then stumbled onto a herd of  about 13 Sable, we got quite close to them which is quite lucky until they had had enough of us and trotted off. What an awesome send off for Botswana!!!

If you are ever looking for a summer break and you love the bush – Savuti and Ihaha, basically Chobe is your answer.

20 Wild dog just incase you didn't believe us

20 Wild dog just incase you didn’t believe us

Impala skin and all, nothing is wasted with the dogs of Ihaha

Impala skin and all, nothing is wasted with the dogs of Ihaha

Our Farewell Sable

Our Farewell Sable

 

 

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