Woke to rustling in the trees outside our tent. Must be the elephant that was hanging around the previous day.
6AM it is barely getting light. We have just enough time to get organized and enjoy a light breakfast at 6:30 before heading to the lagoon for a mokoro ride.
We leave camp shortly after 7 and immediately are told that a leopard has been spotted and would we mind taking a detour on the way to the lagoon.
We find her before I even have the camera gear all sorted. She is coming down the tree just as I get my lens up. We spend the next 30 minutes following her. She doesn’t seem to mind the vehicle following her, a movie star showing off her brilliant coat in the early morning light.
Our day was made and it wasn’t even 8AM.
Other Distractions on the Way to the Lagoon
A ride on a traditional mokoro through the delta waters is one of the quintessential Okavango experiences. However, deciding what camera equipment to use on the wobbly boat is another matter. I decided not to use the 100-400 lens as I wouldn’t be able to hold it steady enough. Instead we used the 70-200 and the 18-135 lenses. With the rest of the camera gear in back packs between our legs, I’m fearful we’ll end up in the drink as the mokoro rocks back and forth. The hippos roaring in the middle of the lagoon don’t ease my mind. Other than that it was a peaceful float through the grasses at the edge of the water.
Great for bird lovers.
Back on Shore a Few More Animals before Coffee Break
And a Few More on the Way Back to Camp
Afternoon and Night Drive
With the addition of another couple from the US, Beckie and Aiden, we are now 6 in the vehicle. Each couple gets a row.
Started slow without much activity. The leopard from this morning is sleeping in the tree. This is how we’ve seen leopards in the past.
Mostly birds before sundowners.
As we look for a spot for sundowners an elephant mock charges the vehicle with the baby following behind, charging along with mama.
Somehow we find ourselves surrounded, albeit at a distance, by elephants. We finally find our way back to the water for sundowners.
Gorgeous sunset reflected in the water.
The night drive highlight was a serval cat that stayed by the vehicle squinting into Matt’s bright search light but otherwise posing nicely for us.
August 25, 2016
For links to all the posts in this series see the Botswana/Zimbabwe page.