Our Annual Migration to Kasane and Chobe

For the last 4 years we have been visiting Kasane, in northern Botswana, every Independence Weekend, and why not as it is such an awesome place. Kasane borders onto the Chobe National Park where the Chobe River forms the border with Namibia.

Heading out from home and about an hour out we realised we had forgotten our camera at behind. Can you believe it. We were going to have to rely on our friends Mpho and Thoko’s cell phones and Sue’s tablet for this amazing trip.

Chobe Safari

Thoko and Mpho – now the official photographers for the trip

The drive to Kasane is far, taking close on 7 hours, so we decided to break our trip by staying with friends in Sowa. It was here on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, at the soda ash mine, that we saw our first elephant of the trip (no camera)

Sowa to Nata is not far and it is from Nata that game viewing starts, basically 300km of game reserve. We saw plenty of elephants, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, steenbuck and ostriches. (no camera)

Camping ChobeFor us living in a desert it is always a magnificent sight, when you come over that last ridge and you see the beautiful Chobe River.

We once again camped at Chobe Safari Lodge, right on the banks of the river and its neighbour the Chobe National Park.

Once camp was set up it was time to wander down to the riverside bar for a relaxing lemonade and to take in an amazing sunset, our first of this trip, with many to come.

Chobe Sunset

Chobe lionGame viewing was of course amazing; with lion sightings almost every day.

In one case an elephant had died through natural causes and there was a pride of lions feasting off it. If you could avoid the stench and plenty of game drive vehicles, you could get a good view.

We were fortunate, when I was trying to get around the gang fight of safari vehicles, a big male strolled back from the river and walked straight past our car.

On our last drive Sue spotted a massive male lion, that was sleeping some distance from the road. His paws must have been the size of my head and he had a beautiful dark mane. He was far too far to take pictures with a cell phone or tablet and we missed not having our camera.

Chobe elephantThere is one animal you are almost guaranteed to see in Chobe National Park, that is elephant. We saw massive herds, small herds, babies, big bulls and everything in between.

Buffalo were also plentiful all along the river’s edge and on islands. We also came across a huge herd that were just off the road and even crossing the road. Their close proximity frightened some of the people in our car.

Chobe Buffalo

General game viewing was also great, with the highlight being sable and roan antelope. (sorry no pictures of them – hmmm)

One of the highlights of all our trips to Chobe has been the evening boat trip into the park. The highlights of this cruise was 2 male hippos chasing each other, some lovely big croc’s, a malachite kingfisher and a lovely sighting of a herd of elephants.

All good things unfortunately have to come to an end – well maybe just for another year.

 

 

 

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Posted in Botswana, Chobe, Kasane, Makgadikgadi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Weather Update

October is always our hottest month of the year and this year it looks like the same pattern may follow. Temperatures are already in the very high 30’s and looking to go over 40C soon.

The other day, after two very warm days, clouds appeared and we were treated to our first sounds of the thunder. In the distance you could see rain falling, but it never reached the ground as the hot earth made it evaporate before it could. The clouds soon disappeared and the scorching sun soon was very active again.

The bush is just so dry and needs some welcome relief. A few trees are showing signs of coming into leave, which makes this such a special time of year.

I have updated my weather page for those interested: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

Coming soon our annual migration to Kasane and Chobe National Park, which was once again amazing.

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Another Visit to Orapa Game Park

Every visit is very special:

Then the waterhole

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Catch-up

Weather Update:

So far we have had a very mild winter, with probably only 3 cold days the whole season. Temperatures now in August have already gone over 30C which is wonderful.

Our August winds have also already started, apparently early winds suggests good rain later. I really hope so, after the dismal rains at the beginning of the year.

To view the updated weather figures go to: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/ 

Grand Kid News:

Our baby goat is doing very well and she is already 14 weeks old. We have named her Pelo, which means “heart” in Setswana.

Her horns have broken through and resemble little devil horns.

She is so cute and loves to jump on everything. She also enjoys chasing the chickens and plays with our young rooster. Not sure he enjoys it that much.

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The Miracle of Life

Phudi our goat, who has walked a long road with us (see end), gave birth yesterday evening to a little girl.

Sue and I go up to The Plot every evening to feed the animals and to do odds and ends. It was not long after finishing our chores whilst sitting with a lemonade that Phudi got up, bleated and wandered off. She lay some distance away, but in sight.

From her body movements it was obvious that she was in labour. We grabbed the camera and went to see. She was having massive contractions and we could just make out a sack starting to emerge. With every heave more and more it came out. Slowly through the “transparent” sack you could make out the baby.

The sack fell out and burst and there was the cutest little thing. We took mommy and kid to our shed where we made them cosy. What an amazing experience.

I was there this morning before first light and both are doing well.

At last a Grand Kid.

More posts on Phudi see https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/another-rescued-animal/, https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/too-cute/ and https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/update/ 

 

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Another 2nd biggest for Karowe Mine

Karowe Mine, where Sue works, as done it again. This in recovering the 2nd largest diamond ever found after the Cullinan Diamond which was over 3000 carats.

Back in 2015 the mine announced the recovery of a 1111 carat diamond, which at that stage was the second largest diamond, now they have recovered a 1758 carat diamond.

The diamond has been characterized as “near gem of variable quality, including domains of high-quality white gem.”

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A Day to Remember at Orapa Game Park

We got into Orapa Game Park early on Sunday morning; skipping an Easter egg hunt to search for animals instead. We were soon rewarded with an amazing diversity of game including kudu, gemsbuck, plenty of wildebeest, black-backed jackal, springbuck, giraffe and lots of zebra. Rhino were however being shy.

Then as we got close to Blue Drum Waterhole (for those of you who know it) we could make out a leopard under a tree. Through the binoculars we could see it had just caught a springbuck, in fact the springbuck was still kicking. That’s how close we got to seeing the hunt happening.

The springbuck was soon put out of its misery. The leopard rested up for a few minutes before dragging the carcass into thick bush and out of sight. We believed that was that with respect to the leopard sighting.

leopards Orapa Game ParkWe went in search of rhino, without any luck and found ourselves back near the waterhole where we had seen the leopard. Something lying under a tree caught my eye – it was two leopards.

They watched us for some time before moving into some bush, which we were lucky enough to get round and continued to watch them. They then came out of the bush, crossed the road in front of us and headed in the direction of the waterhole.

leopard Orapa Game Park

We went around to the waterhole and not long after, the two appeared and lay across the water from us in the shade of a tree.

leopard Orapa Game Park

One of the leopards got up and went in the direction of the kill. It soon returned dragging the carcass and dropped it in the shade next to the other leopard which promptly started playing with it. Cats will be cats.

 

 

 

Posted in Boteti District, Orapa Game Reserve | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments