With all the rain, getting around Botswana was not easy, but now as it seems to be finished until the end of the year, the Easter weekend was an ideal time to get back into the bush. So we decided to go to one of our favourite parts of Botswana, Khumaga, in the Makgadikgadi National Park.
It was lovely just relaxing in this amazing setting. Our first drive was a little disappointing as far as game spotting went. It was incredible not seeing any wildebeest and zebra, as we always have seen plenty.
They migrate from the Boteti river’s thick riverine bush, where we go, to the Makgadikgadi Pans for the lush grassy plains on its edges. Once the pans dry up they move back to the river.
We did however, on our second drive have one of the most amazing sightings and that rates to me as one of the best I have ever witnessed in all my years of working and visiting the bush.
We headed out of camp late morning and the temperature was hot and getting warmer – not the time one normally goes on a game drive. As expected it was a quiet, but we did spot a herd of zebra, obviously back from the pans.
We found ourselves a spot on the river, switched the car off and just sat and watched. Hippo were in the water, two with a young calf got out of the water for a short while. Kudu drank and fed on the banks. A crocodile’s head was in the water just in front of us, being closely watched by 2 Egyptian Geese. Elephants were feeding some distance off on the opposite river bank. What more does one want. (Yes there were cold beers).
The elephants moved quickly to the edge of the river opposite to where we were and went straight in. It would seem that they wanted to cross at first, but they stopped in the deep water and started to play. There was about 10 of them. They hit their trunks on the water, blew bubbles, threw water, climbed on each other, ducked one another, jousted, submerged themselves and were just like children in a swimming pool having a lot of fun.
This continued for well over half an hour, before they got out. I had never seen elephants submerged in water before I came to Botswana and all such sightings here, have been of elephants crossing a river never of them playing. It was such an amazing and lovely sight.
Khumaga – what a place
For more pics on the elephants and our trip go to https://ourbots.wordpress.com/latest-photos/khumaga/
For more information on Khumaga