There aren’t many places in the world where you can just turn off a main road, find a clearing and set up camp. Definitely not in South Africa. But this is one thing you can do here in Botswana and we did exactly that when we went camping on the banks of the Boteti River for a weekend.
As mention previously in my blogs, up until 2011 the Boteti River had not flowed in 24 years. The area where we camped, the river basically forms the boundary between the Makgadikgadi National Park and the Central Kalahari. So there is a chance of seeing elephants and lion, as well as other wildlife, especially in the drier months.
One animal we did see in large quantities is cows; all sizes, shapes and colours. There is definitely not a shortage of cows in Bots. They come from the more arid Kalahari side in the mornings, quench their thirst and cross the river to the more lush grasses of the Makgadikgadi Park side. Then every evening before the lions get active they cross the river back again to get to areas where lions aren’t as prolific.
We went with good friends of ours, Pierre and Elise and it gave us a chance to try out some of our new camping gear that we had acquired – such as our portable shower which was a great win and going to very useful in future camping trips. But with all our gear now, it actually looks like we are moving house rather than going camping.
The birding was great with a variety of waterbirds, Meyer’s Parrot, vultures and a large flock of Abdim’s storks that roosted for the night in trees close to our camp. We heard fish eagle, but didn’t see them.
The weekend was very relaxed and we spent most of it on the river edge, birding, watching cows and of cause quenching our thirst with a few beers. Every now and again we had to cool off in the river, hoping that there were no crocodiles.
The water also attracted an amazing number of different and stunning butterfly’s and dragonfly’s.
Another rough weekend in Botswana.
To see more photos of our weekend go to: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/photos-2013/camping-on-the-boteti/