Botswana – Our first River Safari (Part 1)

I bought my Olympus E-520 as a kit, with 14-42mm and 70-300mm lenses especially for use on this holiday to Botswana.  I had shot previous game drives in Africa with a Sony DSC-H1 ‘bridge’ camera, and had found it ok, but not really responsive enough.  Although I knew that I had a bit of a learning curve to ascend, I hoped to do better with the E-520 and had high hopes of some good images.

Having reviewed my images from this first Chobe ‘game drive’, albeit waterborne, you can see that I still had a lot to learn.  Perhaps one excuse was that it started late in the day, after our arrival at Chobe, and a lot of the shots were taken into the sun in what was already a fairly low light.  A good few of these images leave a lot to be desired, however, that shouldn’t detract from what was a wonderful wildlife viewing experience on our first outing on the Chobe River, so I am showing them anyway.  I plan to show just a few at a time.  This is Part 1.

First off, a picture of one of the Chobe River safari boats.  Sorry, but ours was nothing like this.  Ours was single decked with a single engine bolted to the back of a platform supported by a couple of aluminium ‘hulls’.  Seating was on rows of ‘patio chairs’.  Simple but effective.  Being smaller, I think we were less threatening to the wildlife and were perhaps able to get a little closer.

Large Safari Boat

This post shows some of the birds that we saw on that first outing.

African Darter (Snakebird)

African Darter

African Darter (Snakebird)

African Darter

These first four shots are of the very common African Darter, also known as the Snakebird because it swims with its body submerged and only its neck and head showing.  There will probably be many more pictures as I think it is an elegant bird.

African Fish EagleA pair of African Fish Eagles in the grass by the river, followed by a single bird flying over us.

African Fish Eagle

Longtoed Plover

This is a Longtoed Plover.  There were quite a few Plover variants around and some of the others will crop up in future posts.

African Jacana

The last photo for this post is of an African Jacana,  also known as a Jesus Bird because of its apparent ability to ‘walk on water’ when trotting around on lily pads.

Part 2 will include some other animals spotted on this first excursion.  Please come and have a look.

The start of this story can be found here.

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6 thoughts on “Botswana – Our first River Safari (Part 1)

    • I had noticed your Kenyan connection on your blog Adrian. I’ve not been yet. We had hoped maybe to go to Kenya or Tanzania in the next year or two. I would like to have gone on a photographer led safari if possible though. Perhaps you should take it up again!

      We have only done ‘Saga’ tours so far, but they’ve not been bad. The Chobe Park has been the best for us so far.

      Dave

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      • No, my birding days are totally over, save for enjoying all birds I see, and valuing them as part of the landscape – google “A Bird Atlas of Kenya” and you’ll find me there. Adrian

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  1. I love the Jacana. There’s an Australian variety as well that I’ve seen in the Northern Territory in Kakadu National Park. It’s fantastic how they just stride across the surface plant life on the rivers.

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