We had a full day to explore the area around 3rd Bridge and thank goodness there was a way out of camp that did not include the bridge itself. See https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/moremi-national-park-3rd-bridge/ if you missed the post on the fun and games we had.
This was much more open bushveld than at Khwai and the bush we had traveled through to get here. There were wide open plains with pockets of trees and lots of water.
We saw lots of game on our drives, herds of wildebeest (which we had not seen at Khwai), giraffe, zebra, hippo, lechwe, impala and elephants.
We were heading back in the direction of our camp on our morning drive when we came across a large, oldish, male lion lying not to far of the road. He was looking intently into the bush, were two younger males were lying.
Later that afternoon we saw all the lions again and they were all lying together in the shade and obviously now all friends.
Relaxing back in camp, a yellow-billed kite, swooped in and took a bit of meat that had dropped off somebody’s plate.
Well this started something. We had totally over catered food wise, and especially with respect to meat. We weren’t allowed to take any meat out with us, we were all full, the local camp staff had been given plenty, so what was left still was going to be used for a different purpose.
Sue focused the camera on the meat and I watched and warned her when the kites (now 4 of them) were coming in.
Between the two of us we must have taken well over a hundred pictures – thank goodness for digital. Of those photos a quarter didn’t have a bird in sight, another quarter had parts of a bird and the rest were out of focus. But what the hell – it kept us entertained.
That night as we were relaxing around the fire after dinner (more food), a hippo walked into camp and started feeding on the short grass. Knowing all to well that this animal kills more humans than any other mammal in Africa, it definitely got our attention. It is such a massive animal when he is out of the water and close. It was not that comfortable with our presence and soon moved off.
Everybody, except Sue and I, had just gone to bed, when we heard a movement in the bush just out of the firelight. With a torch I got a glimpse of a hyena moving away, Sue missed it. A short while later another noise from the other side of camp – I once again saw it moving through the long grass. But Sue still hadn’t seen it and really wanted to.
Well let me just say we couldn’t tempt it into camp whilst we were at the fire, but from tracks the following morning it had been all around our camp and had been well rewarded.
The sun rose on our last day and it was just a matter of about 50 km to the gate and then back to Maun, where we were going to spend a night. Tswinkie had to get back to work and Gavin and Jean wanted to get back to their kids so they were going to drive all the way to Letlhakane a further 380Km.
The game was a bit quiet en-route and we were desperately trying to see a leopard which none of us had seen and a buffalo which only Sue, Pam and I hadn’t seen.
Once again I was the leader and at one point a couple of roads went off and nothing was marked. I chose what I thought was the correct track, but when we swung around in a U I realized that this must be wrong. We went back and took another road that also was wrong. Gavin was short on fuel and both him and Tswinkie still had a long drive ahead of them. Neither were looking that pleased with the situation.
It was at this point I got out my cheap GPS for the first time this trip, even though it is better suited for city driving than directions in the Botswana bush. In the past it generally just showed me a dot in the middle, which was me, surrounded by a blank screen. I couldn’t believe it when it knew exactly where we were, what track to take and how far it was to the gate. If I had known this from day 1 it would have made our lives a lot easier.
As the kilometers were counting down we passed a waterhole with plenty of general game and then right in front of us, in the road, was a buffalo. It ran quickly and hid behind a bush. So the only proof we have of seeing a buffalo is the picture to the right – sorry, it is a bit of a “spot the animal competition”.
My GPS was doing a great job in leading us to Moremi South Gate. It started the count down – “you have 3km to your destination” – “you have 1 km to your destination” – then finally “you have reached your destination”. Looking around there was no sign of a gate, just bush – this was a bit of a concern, but I was confident we were on the correct road. It turned out that it was – the GPS just calculated the distance incorrectly by about 5 km.
We all had lunch together at a restaurant in Maun and it was now safe to to pass comments about being the only one not to have got stuck the whole trip, our Toyota Surf had done us proud. Not a bad driver as well.
We had survived Moremi, it had been an awesome experience in an amazing place. The trip was full of fun, excellent game viewing, stunning scenery and some – well lets say – exciting and interesting situations.
I would like to thank all, that had joined us for this adventure, for making it so special.
Who is joining us next year?
Photo’s of our trip: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/latest-photos/moremi/