BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - May 2014
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 25th May 2014
Botswana - a name that has always brought to mind the romance of wild Africa. This great trip certainly lived up to the Africa of old, in so many ways.
We were met at the Xakanaxa Airstrip in the Moremi Game Reserve by our guide Nkosi and expertly driven to our first expedition style tented camp amidst huge rain trees in the Xini Lagoon Region.
The privileged sightings from this camp included 2 lovely male cheetahs, a collection of ten different waterbird species fishing together at a small vanishing waterhole and a fantastic full moon rising/sunset scenario featuring a baobab tree.
After Xini we moved on to the Khwai area which is community owned. Off-road driving is permitted in Khwai, which added to the excitement. We had wonderful experiences with leopard here - one included a three month old cub at a kill with her mother, which was very special. Three baby hyaena entertained us when the early morning sun had lured them from their den and we were also lucky enough to encounter Cape Hunting Dogs up close which we managed to follow on a hunt until the vegetation and their speed defeated us. The camp here was delightful - situated next to the Khwai River under magnificent leadwood trees.
The Savuti area of the Chobe Game Reserve was our next stop - a wonderland of marsh, forest, grassland and sandveld. This time our camp was situated in a grove of Kalahari Apple Leaf trees and had a character all of its own. It was here that we encountered the marsh lion pride - all beautiful specimens with two sets of young cubs.
I would like to thank the Letaka team for all their hard work and great organisation. Our guide Nkosi was outstanding. His knowledge of all facets of the environment in which he works was amazing, as were his driving skills. His ability as a photographer helped so much in understanding our needs. Pula, the chef and chief camp organiser was truly phenomenal - the food he produced in camping conditions was incredible. He was ably assisted by Banda and Frans.
From Savuti we flew to the Chobe River Front for the final stage of our trip. Here we did early morning and late afternoon boat trips in a specially designed photo boat which had been cleverly adapted for photographers. Thanks to the ability of our boat captain - Shar, we got great shots of white fronted bee-eaters and yellow billed storks at their nests, fish eagles, hippos yawning and elephants playing and drinking in the river, to name a few. Many thanks to "Guts" of Pangolin Safaris for all his help and assistance in making this so special.
The "Best of Botswana" Photo safari is different to all our others in so many ways - this is the real Africa, massive remote areas away from crowds of people. The light is amazing and the smells are unique.
We will be offering a second departure in 2015 as the first departure is already sold out, please email us if you are interested in a space on the 2015 departure.
Regards to all
Enjoy some photos from the trip !!...
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Justyna and Stu - I just wanted to take a moment to express my sincere thanks for again arranging a simply marvelous photographic safari for us. It was perfect in all respects. And we were blessed with some truly amazing animal behavior to photograph. We had great skies, great camps, GREAT guides in David and Mamai, and great everything else. (including the new photo land cruiser)
Bruce Hollingsworth, USA
I have enjoyed photographic safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa but I cannot express how GREAT the “BEST of BOTSWANA” trip was. The different areas on the delta all had amazing animals and diversity of climate from Moremi to the river environment of Khwai and then to the sand and dryness of Savuti. But the the time spent on the Chobe River was the best experience I have ever spent in Africa. Stu, Justyna you are the best! Thanks also to Letaka, Pangolin and our great guides. I would highly recommend this safari to everyone. It's a buffet of Africa you will never forget.
Denny Donohue, USA