Lechwe Island Camp

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Zambia-Botswana safari mapLechwe Island Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

October 20, 2008 - Monday - As we arrive at Lechwe Island Camp, in addition to offering us cool towels, the staff break out into a welcome song!  This camp is located in the Moremi Game Reserve Private Concession, and is not as dry as the previous camp.  The waterways seem endless as we drive around on safari. There are lots of water birds to see (ducks, geese, herons, wading birds).

Sunrise over the Okavango Delta after a thunderstormOctober 21, 2008 - Tuesday - There was lightning and thunder just before dawn this morning, but no rain.  On our safari this morning we spot a Leopard on the far side of a clearing.  It was just sitting there looking at us, and then took off into the bush.  Victor parked the Land Cruiser and took us on our first walking safari.  He was packing a gun, and we were walking single file.  Strict instructions from Victor: don't wander off, and if an elephant charges, stand your ground.  He tells us he has never had to fire his gun, and he only armed it once.  After we were back in the vehicle, we also saw an Elephant carcass, a herd of Buffalo, and some Kudus leaping and bounding across a spillway.  I am fascinated with a pair of Saddle-billed Storks - performing for us, as they land and take off again.  They are huge water birds with bright orange beaks and beautiful black and white body colouring.

A Saddle-billed Stork landing
A Saddle-billed Stork landing
Two Saddle-billed Storks in the spillway
Two Saddle-billed Storks in the spillway
A Saddle-billed Stork taking off
A Saddle-billed Stork taking off
Joe and Victor on a walking safari passing by an elephant skull
Joe and Victor on a walking safari
passing by an elephant skull
Joe and Victor on a walking safari
Joe and Victor on a walking safari
Baobab tree
Baobab tree
Buffalo herd
Buffalo herd
Buffalo herd
Buffalo herd
Open-billed Stork
Open-billed Stork
Kingfisher perched on a log by the spillway
Kingfisher perched on a log by the spillway

This evening I decide to observe the stars from in front of my tent, since this site is so dark. It must be 1,000 kilometres to the nearest town of any size. The Milky Way  is virtually overhead and is a spectacular site. The Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud are both visible with my unaided eye.

Old female elephantOctober 22, 2008 - Wednesday - On our safari this morning we spot an old female Elephant feeding in a clearing by herself.  She appears to be near death - her ribs are showing and she has an indented forehead.  Victor tells us she is alone because she can't keep up with the herd.  Apparently her molars will also be worn out, so she will have trouble digesting her food, which explains why she is so thin.  Sad, but that's life...and death.

Impala are normally very skittish - they don't become adapted to safari vehicles like other game. Today a group of Impala were preoccupied with something other than us, so I took my best video of this animal (see below for the video). The effects of the Kalahari are never far from travelers to Botswana.  Daytime heating can whip up strong, hot winds, especially in the afternoon. After lunch such a wind happened, so I washed a few clothes and hung them out - they were dry in an hour - just as fast as a clothes dryer!

We had a special treat on this afternoon's safari.  We came upon a pride of four lions resting beside a water hole.  The sun was low in the sky, so we just stayed there and observed until the sun set.  It was a magical experience.

Lions resting beside the water at sunset

Lions resting beside the water at sunset Young male Lion resting beside the water at sunset Young male Lion resting beside the water at sunset
Female Lion resting beside the water at sunset Lions resting beside the water at sunset Lions resting beside the water at sunset

Okavango Delta Wildlife from Joe Carr on Vimeo
This video highlights the wildlife I saw while on safari in the Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana, Africa in late October 2008.
There are lots of big game featured, but I also include smaller game and birds.

For the best high definition video experience go directly to the Vimeo website
by clicking here:
Okavango Delta Wildlife
Click on the little four segment symbol near the bottom right corner of the video window
to enlarge this video to high definition size on your computer monitor.

As we returned to camp in the dark, we saw the eyes of a leopard off in the bush just outside camp.  Victor also spotted a scorpion in the road as we were driving into camp, and stopped so we could get a photo.  He wouldn't let us out of the vehicle, because he said this particular scorpion is one of the most poisonous.  There is no known anti-venom treatment.  When I returned to my tent, there was a Preying Mantis hanging out on the frame of my wash basin - a big bug at about 3cm long!

Scorpion on the road
Scorpion on the road
Preying Mantis on the frame of my wash basin
Preying Mantis on
the frame of my
wash basin

October 23, 2008 - Thursday - The morning light illuminates the spillway in front of my tent, making the scene look almost like a painting. Observing the Kudus and Impalas across the water with my binoculars makes the morning that much more sublime.  We go on a short canoe trip up the spillway before leaving to catch our noon flight to Xigera Camp.

  Morning light over the Okavango Delta
Morning light over the Okavango Delta
 
Early morning canoe trip in the Okavango Delta
Early morning canoe trip in the Okavango Delta
Early morning canoe trip in the Okavango Delta. Lechwe Island Camp in background.
Early morning canoe trip in the Okavango Delta. Lechwe Island Camp in background.
Joe in a canoe in the spillway
Joe in a canoe in the spillway
Aerial photos of the Okavango Delta
Aerial photo of Okavango Delta Aerial photo of Okavango Delta Aerial photo of a flock of Egrets on the Okavango Delta
Aerial photo of a flock of Egrets
on the Okavango Delta
Aerial photo of Okavango Delta Aerial photo of Okavango Delta

Here is an aerial video (not mine) shot along the Okavango River, north of Lechwe Island Camp: Mahangu paramotor flight

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