In November 2005 I was lucky enough to travel, with our marketing manager Rowan, to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to investigate a problem with a customer's VHF transmitters. Here are some photos from the trip.
We stayed the first night at 'Audi Camp', just outside Maun. Hardly slumming it. However, the camp was raided a few weeks before by an armed gang who took all the valuables and blew open the safe with dynamite!
Arriving at the Botswana Wild Dog Project camp.
First view of typically African wildlife, an adult male elephant.
This was very cool to see, a dust devil.
Due to some confusion with a new collar on the same frequency, we tracked down a small pride of lions.
Eventually we found the wild dogs and spent a couple of hours watching them.
The view from my tent in the morning, typical African plains.
Courtesy of Rowans mate Grant we then flew out to Wilderness Safaris Kings Pool camp and after a rest during the heat of the afternoon we went out on a game drive.
The Okavango Delta from the air on the way to Kings Pool.
The view from the balcony of my 'tent' at Kings Pool.
A young Bateleur, not a true eagle as it doesn't have feathered legs, but a member of the so-called 'Snake Eagles'.
Buffalo grazing the plains.
Impala - or prey. Beautiful, but nervous!
Lechwe, another antelope species, and a couple of cattle egrets.
In the fading light of the evening we watched a good sized pride of lions waking before going hunting.
Up at 0500, a quick snack and a coffee, and we're off on another game drive.
Pig with attitude and nasty, pointy tusks- a warthog.
Absolutelty no shortage of hippo's in the Linyanti River.
A crocodile basking in the early morning sun. A bit sluggish as you wouldn't normally get this close.
A one and a half metre water monitor.
Safari landrover photographed when we went to see what was winding up the francolins and squirrels. Possibly a snake, but we didn't see it.
Big and beautiful, the saddle billed stork.
Another big bird is the ground hornbill. The missing link of the bird world.
After a great morning game drive it was back to Kings Pool for brunch around 1000. The chef, Antoine's, food was, as with dinner the night before, exquisite. We packed and left for our next and final destination, Savuti camp. Most people fly from camp to camp, and when they do travel in a landrover they at least have a canopy. We drove for most of an hour in an open landrover. The temperature was 42C in the shade. Much of the journey was through forest destroyed by elephants. There were, however, some long sections through stands of young mopane trees. With the heavy rain a few days earlier the mopane trees had sprouted a rich green foliage. Driving amongst them can only be described as like driving through a sauna. Or, as Rowan put it, like somebody pointing a big hairdryer at you for an hour. Within a few minutes of our arrival at Savuti camp the sky clouded over and the temperature cooled to bearable. Dark clouds could be seen on the horizon and heavy thunder could be heard in the distance. A storm passed close by and we had very strong winds raising a dust storm, but virtually no rain. Pretty impressive. After this and a quick siesta, we headed out on an evening game drive. The camp managers, x and Tammy, friends of Rowans, took us out.
Giraffes are truly improbable. Their necks need to be as long as possible to reach the highest branches, but any longer and they wouldn't be able to breath enough to run from predators. Optimised by natural selection. Same with the legs. Long as possible, but they need to be able to drink without injuring themselves doing the splits.
A pair of red billed hornbills.
Hyena outside it's den in an old termite mound.
The Savuti Channel used to feed the Savuti Marsh with water every wet season, but has not run for twenty-odd years. Not the first time it has stopped in recorded history and nobody knows why.
Enjoying a sundowner in the Savuti Channel.
After another superb dinner, and a not too early night, we were going to have a lie-in before flying out on the supply plane at 0800. However, we were woken with the news that a female leopard and her cub had been spotted near Chobe airstrip where we were due to fly from. We headed straight out and had nearly half an hour watching them before we flew.
Leopards. Seriously cool cats!
Time to start the long journey home to NZ.
A final view of Savuti camp from 8500 feet as we head back to Maun.