Okavango Delta, Savuti & Chobe River, Botswana - July 2022
Photo Tours to Botswana
Photo highlights from the July 2022 Photo tour to the Okavango Delta, Savuti & Chobe River in Botswana
Posted on 11th February, 2023
Photo Safaris to Botswana
Posted on 15th February, 2023
This was the third photo safari to Botswana for the 2022 season and after flying into Moremi Game Reserve from Maun, we drove out to our remotely located private tented camp, a beautiful setup in the middle of the wilderness..
On our very first morning drive, we came across a great male Lion who walked right past our vehicles. More Lions were heard in the distance and we came across a carcass that was being finished off by some Black-Backed Jackals... not a bad way to start!
We also managed to photograph Elephants, Red Lechwe, Hippos, Zebra, an African Wildcat, and a tense moment when Lions pursued a female Giraffe with her newly born baby.. the Giraffe luckily managed to melt away into a thick woodland and the Lions were unsuccessful.
Birds in Moremi were also great, we had a wonderful sighting of the rare White Headed Vulture, African Spoonbills, and of course the Botswana special, the Lilac Breasted Roller.
Our second location in the Okavango Delta was the Khwai River. The location of our camp was fantastic, right on the river itself, where grunting hippos could be heard throughout the night.
Southern Ground Hornbills, Reedbuck, Warthogs, and Bradfiled's Hornbills were all photographed, but the highlight of the stay in Khwai was the unforgettable scene of a pride of Lions feeding on a dead Elephant right in the middle of the Khwai River. The Elephant had most likely died of natural causes. It was so interesting to see how the Lions interacted with each other, the water, and the hidden Crocodiles that were gathering in their numbers.
Savuti was next and we were treated to some more amazing photo opportunities which included amazing sunsets, Roan Antelope at Harvey's Pans, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, mating Pearl Spotted Owlets, Lions, and an amazing sighting of a female leopard and her two sub-adult cubs.. all trying to share the remains of an Impala kill high up in a tree. We visited the Leopards on a number of occasions during our stay and got to photograph them feeding, climbing, and drinking from a nearby pan. On one occasion the mother Leopard disturbed a Barn Owl that flew right past her head as she was climbing the tree.. a surprise for us and the Leopard!
The sighting of all sightings was kept for the very last morning drive on our way to the airstrip.. we decided to go past the Wilddog den. After sitting with the pack for a while we noted that there were only 5 puppies, one was missing. The Apha female dog showed some interest in a tree and kept looking up at something.. suddenly and totally out of the blue, a Leopard tried to jump out of the tree.. the pack was onto the Leopard in a flash and the sounds from the battle that ensued was incredible. The Leopard managed to get back into the tree but it was clearly stuck in the middle of the Wild dog den with no easy way out...
Every time the Leopard tried to get out the dogs were onto it in a flash, attacking and biting it from all sides, and at one stage we really thought the leopard was not going to make it out of the den alive. Fighting off repeated attacks from the dogs, the Leopard managed to eventually reach a thicket where it paused, gathered its strength, and then decided to bolt for its life... on this occasion he got away.
We circled back around to the tree where it had all begun and sadly found the 6th puppy that the Leopard had killed... quite an incredible way to end our time at Savuti.
The scenes from the morning played out in our minds as we flew to the Chobe River and headed out on our first boat ride in the afternoon.
The Chobe River did not disappoint and the birds were incredible as usual. The African Skimmers were very active at their nesting beach, we got some great photos of Malachite Kingfishers and also the special Half-collared Kingfisher and the Giant Kingfisher. African Fish Eagles, Long-toed Lapwings, a Grey-headed Gull with a fish and the Yellow Billed Stork nesting site, all provided plenty of photographic opportunities.
On the mammal front, we photographed Elephants swimming across the river, Chacma Baboons, Greater Kudus drinking, and Hippos.
Thanks so much to the team at Thru-the-lens Nature Safaris, Nkosi & Offie, we really appreciated all the hard work and excellent guiding skills which were crucial to us getting the photos we got. The mobile tented camp staff team was BRILLIANT, thank you so much to chef Kelly, Moruti, Mr. T, Long John, and Lobs..... the amount of work you put in and the special care that you provide is simply the best...
Shuur, our boat captain on the Chobe river, it's always a great pleasure to work with you ... and thank you to all the amazing staff at the Pangolin Hotel for looking after us so well.
Murray, Nic, Michael, Susan and Rita, it was such a pleasure to have you all on this Botswana photo safari, thank you so much for joining us.
Enjoy some of the highlights from the July/Aug 2022 Botswana Photo Safari.