Water Levels rise again in the Boteti River

After watching the level of the Boteti River dwindling over the last few months it was amazing to see the river on the rise again.

As the river had only for the last 2 years begun flowing again after a 24 year period, we were thinking the worst, so this was a ‘goose bump’ feeling for us.

Boteti 1The river gets its water when the Okavango Delta overflows, which in turn gets its water from the highlands of Angola. This takes about 6 months to reach the delta and hence even longer to fill the Boteti River.

We have so many spots we like visiting on the river, the closest of which, are just inland from the town of Mopipi. But as we drove through the village, the wind had picked up the dust from the now very arid and patched land and visibility in places was not much more than a 100m. Cows heading to drink from the river did not help either. So we headed on to Rakkops.

It is along this stretch of road that the river crosses it. It was here that we could clearly see to our joy that the river was much higher than our previous visit.

kalahariWe headed about 20km past Rakkops before turning off the road, past a view cattle posts and there was the Boteti River. A sparkling blue and lined with magnificent trees whilst it cut its way through this arid environment.

We relaxed with our binoculars, bird book and buffet picnic. Yes, there was a cool box as well.

There was a continuous stream of cows, donkeys, goats and horses coming to drink just down stream from us. The presence of elephant dung kept our eyes open as well. A group of local farmers drove down to the river to fill water containers. They inspected the river very carefully before rolling up their trousers and heading into the water.

DSC_0007They mentioned to me that a crocodile had been seen here, hence their caution. They also told us that elephants were plentiful here, but they normally came to drink in the evenings. They had a dead sheep on the back of their vehicle that they said had been killed by a hyena. So this area has got wildlife, we weren’t lucky to see any of it though.

It was so peaceful sitting on the banks and watching life go on. A pair of Fish Eagles were mating in the sky above and across the river a Red-billed Hornbill was breaking open elephant dung to find insects, grubs or even fruit.

DSC_0017Pied Kingfishers hovered above the water, dived down sharply into the water, then back to a perch, to watch the water for fish.

A Little Egret foraged in the shallows and beautiful Grey Herons flew up a down the river.

We unfortunately couldn’t stay until evening to see the elephants, but next time we will bring our tents.


About PeteMorrie

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9 Responses to Water Levels rise again in the Boteti River

  1. Anonymous says:

    sitting at my desk…….. I dream

  2. Tim Neary says:

    Sitting at my desk…….I dream!

  3. Howard says:

    Ahhh I am so pleased to hear that, like you say goose bumps.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Pete, not far from your picnic site is a small informal campsite on the banks of the Boteti, direction Motopi, the turn off is marked by a car door saying “camping – hot showers”, a Camel Thorn tree with wooden T and D in the tree branches. There is also a radio mast on the left., turn right and follow the road to the end. The site is ran by a South African couple, Thys and Dorette. They are running a feeding scheme for about 90 children in Motopi., We stayed with them at the end of June this year on our way to Namibia.

    • PeteMorrie says:

      sorry no name given – out of interest who is this.

      Will look them up – next time in the area

      • Ronel Stronkhorst says:

        Hi Pete, my name is Ronel Stronkhorst, a South African who discovered your blog in June while trying to find overnight accomodation in Botswana. When we travel I write a travel blog, http://stronkhorst.blogspot.com , unfortunately in Afrikaans. you will have to use google translate to get English, but be warned – the translation is awful. Day 2 to 4 were spent in Motopi. Regards Ronel

      • PeteMorrie says:

        Hi Ronel
        Nice to meet you – being an ex-RSA I should manage – thanks

  5. Suki says:

    The life blood of Africa….water. Amazing how alive and beautiful the world becomes when it is around. Sounds a good relaxing outing after your recent experiences!

  6. Rina says:

    I like your photo of the cattle ! Mooi een.

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