Botswana – Days 6 and 7

This is the last post, do I hear sighs of relief, from our 2008 trip to Zambia and Botswana.  It covers days 6 and 7 of our time in Botswana.  Action for day 6 started with a long morning game drive with breakfast taken close to the river.

I now believe that this little owl was a Pearlspotted Owl.  I originally had it incorrectly identified as a Barred Owl.  It’s not a great shot, but deserves to be included, if only because the owl had risen early to get in the photograph.

Barred Owl

This cheeky looking bird is a Tropical Boubou.  He struck a number of poses for me, but I chose this one with direct eye contact.

Tropical Boubou

I think this slightly ‘grumpy’ looking bird is an Arrowmarked Babbler.  At least he didn’t hide behind the branch, even if he didn’t pay attention.

Arrowmarked Babbler

Not my best shot of a Carmine Bee-eater.

Carmine Bee-eater

You will have gathered by now that I really cannot resist including more shots of the African Fish Eagle, so here is another one.  This bird was featured quite a lot on last night’s BBC1 episode of Earthflight, which was well worth a watch.  I hadn’t realised that the Fish Eagle didn’t rely solely on fishing for its dinner, but was also not beyond scavenging, in competition with Vultures and Marabou Storks if necessary, as well as preying on Flamingoes.  I still think it is a magnificent bird.

African Fish Eagle

Just a riverside view.

Chobe River

A couple more Carmine Bee-eaters.

Carmine Bee-eater

I’m pretty sure this is a Whitebrowed Sparrow-weaver.

Whitebrowed Sparrow-weaver

This is just a record shot of a Blue Waxbill.  It was too far away and this is a severe crop just to prove that we saw it.

Blue Waxbill

More Bee-eaters, this time we have a pair of Whitefronted Bee-eaters.  They cooperated by chosing a nice perch.

Whitefronted Bee-eater

These vultures also cooperated a bit, since I usually find them perched with their backs to the camera.  It’s not obvious, but they are Whitebacked Vultures, probably fairly immature.

Whitebacked Vultures

I expect that quite a lot of the local wildlife dined on this Kudu over the last few days.

Yesterday's Dinner?

A couple of shots of a male Impala, who was probably hoping that he was not going to go the way of the Kudu.

Male Impala

Male Impala

Another angle on the Chobe.

Chobe Riverbank

Guess what, another African Fish Eagle,

African Fish Eagle

getting a fly past from a Snakebird,

Fish Eagle and Darter

before launching himself into flight.

African Fish Eagle

More Chobe river life.  I don’t know what they were up to, but I imagine that they hoped that the Hippos were further downstream.

Chobe River Life

I didn’t expect to see so many Open-billed Storks in flight at the same time.  I don’t know why they were.

Open-billed Stork

This is a Tree Squirrel, who seemed to be feeding on the leaves of this tree.  I guess that if you have no nuts, then you have no choice.

Tree Squirrel

I think we just got a radio message about the whereabouts of some lions, so off we rush through the dust to find them.

The chase!

That’s not lions.  That’s another Namibian cattle herd.  Just as well there is a river in between if there are lions about.

Namibian Cattle

Ah, here’s one.  This is one of a small group that were resting, as lions do, under a small copse of trees, which made them difficult to photograph well.

Young Male Lion

There’s not much else about.  Probably because it’s the middle of the day now.  Here’s another view of the river instead,

Chobe Riverbank

and a Baobab tree.

Baobab Tree

We have returned to the lodge for lunch and found this Warthog just outside our room.

Warthog

The afternoon was spent ‘at leisure’ as the Tour Companies say.  In reality this meant packing and having a rest to catch up from the early start this morning.  Tonight we had our ‘last night’ get together, so I finish today with two shots of the inevitable sunset over the Chobe River, taken from the bar.

Chobe River Sunset

Chobe River Sunset

After breakfast on our departure day, there was just time to have another look at the river before joining the transport back to the Zambezi crossing.

Last look at the Chobe River

Happily, we were able to dodge past the queue of trucks and people who had been waiting days for the ferry, and after a short trip in our little boat we arrived at the Zambian Border Control Post, which we negotiated without problems.

Zambian Border Control

I grabbed a few more shots of the Zambian roadside from the coach

Zambian Homes

Zambian Homes

before arriving at the outskirts of Livingstone.  This is the premises of a grain wholesaler.

Grain wholesaler

It pays to advertise.

It pays to advertise

Photo and print shops.

Photo and Print

Then to the airport.  Since there were no more half decent photos, I will finish with another sunset from the previous night.

Chobe River Sunset

We were sad that we had come to the end of this trip, and I am a little sad that I have come to the end of this opportunity to relive the journey.  It was a truly great holiday and experience.

I have enjoyed showing you some of the photographs from this trip, and hope that you have also enjoyed them.  I have worried that some of the posts have been a bit too long, with too many photos and too much repetition.  My blogging style is also very simple as I am not a natural writer.  If I continue to document our travels, which I hope to, then perhaps the style will evolve a little.  I do intend to keep the posts shorter.

If anyone has enjoyed this post, and would like to check out the whole of the Zambia and Botswana story, then the start can be found here.

I’m thinking about where I will take you next.  It may be Vietnam, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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20 thoughts on “Botswana – Days 6 and 7

  1. Fabulous! What a wonderful photo safari! Great account of your trip Dave. Even has the hero sailing into the sunset. I love you great photos too! Wonderful trip all the way, congratulations Dave! 🙂

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    • Sub Sahara Africa is certainly well worth a visit. Dee and I have been three times so far, and intend to return. At my age, I am much happier doing it on an escorted tour basis than by independent travel although many people, my youngest son included, have had really good trips at a bargain price by going independent. Not without some scary incidents though. The Carmine Bee-eater is an exceptionally pretty bird. My one regret has been my inability to capture a decent photo of it in flight.

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  2. thanks for sharing your trip. Wonderful bird photos in particular. (I vote for Vietnam next…though that make just make me way too envious) Best wishes for a great new year of travel and photography!

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    • Thank you for your kind comments Lauren. We are off to Sri Lanka in a couple of months. I see that you got close with India so I’ll study your posts in search of inspiration and guidance, hoping that there will be some read across at least. Not sure there will be much though.

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  3. Good pictures, Dave! I can’t see that owlet well enough but sitting out like that, in what might be open country, I wonder about Pearl-spotted Owlet – though I don’t even know if that occurs in Botswana. All the other bird ids are fine. The Boubou is a >>>really beautiful portrait, complete with eye highlight. With the White-fronted Bee-eaters, I’d have the top frame of the photo almost touching the top of the tree they’re perched on.

    Another picture I like a lot is “More Chobe river life”. Adrian

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    • Thanks Adrian. When I look again at my book, I’m sure you are correct with the ID on this Owl. It is exactly like the Pearl-spotted Owl. I think we must have been told that it was a Barred Owl by one of the guides, but he must have got it wrong on this occasion. I can’t think why else I would have thought it one. I will correct the text accordingly. Thanks again. Dave.

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    • Thanks Adrian. When I look again at my book, I’m sure you are correct with the ID on this Owl. It is exaclty like the Pearl-spotted Owl. I think we must have been told that it was a Barred Owl by one of the guides, but he must have got it wrong on this occasion. I can’t think why else I would have thought it one. I will correct the text accordingly. Thanks again. Dave.

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