A Quick Introduction to Botswana

This was not a trip that we are customary to – no camping and rushing around the country.

With my two sisters, Bridgette and Helen, popping into Botswana, I wanted to give them a feel for what we have experienced. Unfortunately they didn’t have much time available and they are not campers.

So the plan was 2 nights in Letlhakane, so I could take them to Lekhubu Island on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Then 1 night (yes only 1 night) at Elephant Sands and 2 nights (yes only 2 nights) in Kasane/Chobe National Park. Plus no camping.

What made things worse is that owing to Sydney’s air control not working, Bridgette was re-allocated to a different flight, which meant she missed her connecting flight from South Africa to Botswana. So she was stuck in Johannesburg for 2 nights.

Sisters, Bridgette and Helen at Elephant Sands

So the trip really only started with Elephant Sands.

We arrived reasonably early  and were disappointed that there were no elephants already drinking there.

As the waterhole here is the only fresh water for miles and miles – the rest being very salty – there is generally a constant flow of elephants throughout the day and night during the dry season.

Roughly mid afternoon the elephants started to come and we were treated to plenty of elephants of all shapes and sizes.

The day finished with a stunning sunset.

It was up early the following day to rush up to Kasane – the gateway to the Chobe National Park.

Amazing sightings in Chobe National Park to follow in part 2

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Weather Updated

Temperatures have finally got over the 40C mark and we are daily getting into the low 40’s.

We have also had our first rain of this season, we got 2.5mm here in Letlhakane and 0.5mm at The Plot.

I have updated our weather page, for those of you interested see:  https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

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A weekend of camping at The Plot

This last weekend we decided to get away, well not too far – just to The Plot. It is so quiet and peaceful there that it was just an amazing break.

After saying in my last post I was looking forward to some 40+ C temperatures, we got them; 40C and 41 C over the weekend.

The bush is looking very dry, which can be expected at this time of the year. Our winds are still blowing trying to get those last resistant leaves off the trees so new foliage can come out.

Amongst the dry bush our gardens were producing some lovely colours and our granadillas (passion fruit) are coming on nicely.

Whilst enjoying a cup of coffee one morning a juvenile gabar goshawk flew into a tree next to our waterhole. Other birds escaped quickly. It sat watching us and surveying the scene for awhile before dropping down to the water’s edge. It sat there just watching again.

There was some movement behind it that caught our eyes. It was a slender mongoose, which was making its way to the water. All of a sudden the predator had become the prey. The goshawk immediately flew into the tree above it.

The mongoose had a long drink before disappearing into the bush, which allowed the goshawk to drop back down to the water. It also had a lot to drink before lying in water and taking a bath.

It had been a lovely weekend and we had enjoyed being with our goats.

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Update

It has been a while since I have written on this blog, and I have been told such by a few people.

Since we got our goats our life seems to have just been revolving around them and The Plot. As most people reading this blog are looking for information on Botswana and reading our adventures I thought this might all be a bit boring.

Anyway let me see how exciting I can make it.

Goat attacked

I went to The Plot to water our plants and took the dogs with me. Like normal they went exploring. Whilst watering I heard a distressed bleat and rushed to our goats only to find that our dogs had dug under the fence and where on top of Pudi.

I screamed at the dogs and they ran. Pudi’s neck was covered in blood and she just lay there. Thank goodness she was still alive.

The dogs had bitten her neck in two places, hence 4 puncture wounds, they had also bitten her back leg and her ear.

Apart from that she was in shock. Lucky enough they didn’t attack our other goat.

Pudi was too sore to walk, hence she was not feeding and getting weaker. She was never a great one for being hand fed, so initially I was force feeding her both food and water. She, however, soon took willingly to hand feeding making life a bit easy.

For about a week I spent all day with her making sure she ate enough, Sue helped out after work and over the weekend. For about 3 days I thought she was going to die on us.

But slowly but surely she got stronger and her leg and neck healed and now she is just a naughty kid again.

Goat Chairs

The goats are forever jumping up on our chairs, so Sue decided that they needed their own. I’m sure you can imagine how amused our local craftsman found this whole concept.

The goats do enjoy jumping and knocking their chairs over, but still think ours are better.

Yellow Mongoose

It is almost every evening now that a yellow mongoose comes and drinks from the goats water trough. Even though it does keep an eye on us and the goats, it is very relaxed and will come within 5m of us.

We are putting down some food for it to see if it can’t be even more friendly.

Weather Update

Winter seems to be a thing of the past. Well winter was really only 1 day this year, when we dropped to a life threatening 3 degrees.

The day and night temperatures are much more comfortable now, but I am getting tired of these mild 35C – 37C temps. Come on Summer we need 40+.

I have updated the weather page see: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

A Few Photos

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July weather

July has been a very mild winter this year. Our average temperatures have been higher than all previous years I have recorded.

We even had a warmish 35C during the month and only on 6 days did we drop under 30C. The minimums for the last 3 years read 3C, 2C, 3.8C this year we only dropped to a freezing 6C.

To see the details and the updated weather page go to:  https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

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This weekend in pictures

The most difficult thing about being a goat farmer is getting to your chair first:

 

 

The next is that they want everything.

Just in case you don’t know what a Castle is – it is a popular lemonade found here.

 

 

This weekend we built them a shelter and something they can climb on.

A few more pics at https://ourbots.wordpress.com/archive-photo/two-weeks-of-being-a-goat-farmer/

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10 days of being goat farmers

When people now ask what line of work I am in, I now answer that I am a farmer. Then asked what I farm – I say a goat. Well that’s now 2 goats.

We went to collect our Toggenburg Goat the day after the auction. To our surprise we couldn’t believe how easy it was getting her in the car.

We decided that she would live at our house in Letlhakane and be part of the family. I wasn’t too concerned about introducing her to our dogs as I have already got them to like cats.

Our one cat sprinted away when he saw the goat, but not so far so that he could watch this new addition carefully.

But it was not to be and mainly because of the goat. She was petrified of the dogs and every noise around, such as cars driving passed. So we decided to take her to The Plot where we have fenced an area for our house.

She settled in well and followed us around, feeding as she went. The only problem with this was that she was going to be alone.

The “old man” that works for me has got goats so I went and negotiated with him that we could borrow a goat from him until we got a mate for our goat. She is now called Togo, after her breed name.

He agreed and it was time to reunite with Pudi. A baby, baby goat we had rescued and had got him to rear, that was about a year ago. See https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/another-rescued-animal/

The two goats are getting on very well and are always together, which makes us feel much better. Pudi is a naughty kid (excuse the pun), he jumps on everything and eats whatever.

Below is a video of Pudi climbing on a cover I was trying to put up to give them protection against the sun.

I go up every morning to check on them and then Sue and I go up every afternoon as well. As you can see below – goat farming is not that difficult.

Sue watching over our flock

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