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