Khumaga: Part 3

It was our last full day at Khumaga in the Makgadikgadi National Park and we had already had the excitement that morning of seeing a lioness with 4 cubs, which is unusual as lionesses generally have only 3 cubs at a time (average 2.6). It is, however, known that if food is plentiful you can get bigger litters. Well there was no shortage of zebra here.

Except once again none of those zebra were at the river again this morning, so we decided to head inland to see where they were.

Zebra Migration Makgadikgadi

Zebra crossing

The Zebra we had been seeing are part of the second largest zebra migration in the world. Some 20 000 animals. It actually felt like we had seen them all or more than that.

During the wet summer months they head down to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and when the water dries up they return to the Boteti River, and for some right up to the Okavango Delta.

What we were seeing was merely a daily movement between water and food (closest we have ever seen to a migration).

We headed about 15 km inland from the river before we starting seeing the zebra, they were in smaller groups but very widespread. By the time we got to them it seemed if they were already starting to move back to the river.

Zebra Migration MakgadikgadiThere was one small waterhole in the area, which we visited and were welcomed by, surprise, surprise, a further 100 odd Zebra.

As there was a constant flow of zebra to the waterhole. Most when they arrived drank quickly then moved to the side allowing others, arriving, to drink.

DSC_0317As we sat watching them a large bull elephant was approaching. As the bush in the area was low we could see him coming from some distance. Likewise he could see us, so there were no surprises.

As he came into the opening surrounding the waterhole he decided he didn’t actually like us there and came for us.


After we showed some form of movement, he went about more important things at hand, like drinking. I found some comfort in him chasing the zebra as well – so I didn’t take the whole thing that personally.

Three other elephants came to join him, they didn’t have attitude towards us, lucky enough. The first bull moved slightly away and had a great mud-bath.


On our way back to camp we saw the tracks of baby elephants. We have seen plenty, plenty of elephants at Khumaga, but never a female or a calf. We looked hard, but no sign of them.

DSC_0411We were only rewarded much later, when we were returning to camp that evening. A small herd of females and calves crossed the road in front of us. Our first breeding herd of elephants at Khumaga.

Then to round off another amazing trip to Khumaga in the Makgadikgadi National Park and another first for us. A flock of pelicans roosting in a tree as the sun was setting.


A stunning trip with the following firsts at Khumaga

  • Lion
  • Lioness with cubs
  • Ostrich
  • Breeding herd of elephant
  • Pelicans

For more pics of our trip see:




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This entry was posted in Boteti District, Khumaga, Makgadikgadi and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Khumaga: Part 3

  1. Pingback: Khumaga: Part 2 | Pete & Sue's Botswana

  2. Arthur Plint says:

    Hi Pete,
    Thanks for these fantastic posts. I have been researching the very well kept secret of the Zebra migration! Your posts are most encouraging.
    If I can get some partners, we are thinking of doing a bit of exploring in December, any tips on how to tackle it would be appreciated. If December is not a good time then when should we plan to do it.


    • PeteMorrie says:

      Hi Arthur

      Thanks for the nice comment. Hope you are well.

      I suppose it will depend on the rains, but at that time the migration should be down at the pans, getting to them could be trying. Obviously at this time of the year they are visible at the Boteti.


  3. Sue says:

    Lovely photographs. What a nice time you had. The elephant mudding , the Pelicans and the Squirrel at the tap my favourites. That is sure one lot of stripey pyjamas running around. Learning curve. never new they migrated.Wow.

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