Wild dogs hunting through camp, wild dog puppies at the den, female leopard and cub feeding on impala and lots of other predator interaction
I have been saying that game viewing is phenomenal in Botswana at the moment. Here is another report confirming this - pls if you have the chance pls join us now for an unforgettable safari experience on a private mobile safari with Unlimited Tours & Safaris! I am still waiting for photos and will add them in a day or two!
July Safari report
10 days safari with Alina x 2 guided by Kane Motswana
I met this young couple Alina and Mat from Romania at Back packers; they looked very energetic and more adventurous more especially that they had just finished two nights of kayaking in the Thamalakane River with BackPackers. I knew from the moment I started talking to them that we were going to have fun.
We started our journey to Moremi, our first campground was Xakanaxa for 3 nights. We arrived late in the evening to Xakanaka, we saw lots of game on the way, but there was nothing extraordinary though good for arrival day. When we got to Camp we were welcomed by smiling faces of Joster and Eddy the chef. The camp looked great and more welcoming. Eddy and Joster presented a lovely dinner to us that we had and afterwards we went to bed.
Our first morning at Xakanaxa was the highlight; we did not expect anything of that sort. Just after our breakfast a pack of 10 wild dogs chased an impala straight through our camp and killed the Impala about 300 meters away. My excitement erupts massively when my day starts like this in the bush, and I guess it excites the guests too, we put on our shoes in the vehicle if we did not have them on. Those guests with experience about the bush and the guides will know what I mean. Usually it becomes one of those moments you can’t just waste for another cup of coffee. We quickly jumped in the vehicle and went to where they were feeding. They finished the Impala within 45 minutes and started looking for another prey, unbelievable. I didn’t believe when I saw them chasing another Impala which we thought they have killed in the bush because the whole pack went into the bush.
The morning was fantastic followed by a great afternoon. I got the bush news from one of the guides that there were three male lions in the area; my plan was to go and spend the afternoon with the lions until they wake up. One thing I like about the bush is that you never know what’s coming, during my guiding career my plans have been interrupted many times for the better. A female cheetah walked across the road just few meters away from our vehicle, and we were the only vehicle to see this cheetah. This is what I refer to as a gift from my Gods and I know well that when this kind of a surprise happens it reminds me about the Gods of the San. After the cheetah we quickly rushed to see the lions before the park close, we ended our day with three handsome male lions.
Day two was amazing as well, on our morning drive we headed towards Dead Tree Island and further into the floodplains. We explored the beauty of Xakanaxa, wide open floodplains with lots of general game. We continued following the plains and we came across a pack of 4 wild dogs resting under a shade, this was a different pack from the one we saw the previous day. The alpha female looked like she was lactating; I even thought there was a den with puppies somewhere in the island. After the dogs we decided to get back to our camp for lunch. When we got to camp we all thought the morning drive was over and it was great, then suddenly our lunch was interrupted.
Just as we dished our lunch a leopard roared about 200 meters away from where we were having our lunch. We quickly jumped in the game drive vehicle and left, as we drove off I told Joster and Eddy that we will be back in a few minutes as we just heard leopard calling a few meters away from our campground. We found the sub adult female leopard up on the tree, we watched her move up and down the tree and she even roared a couple of times while we were there, it looked like she was on heat looking for a male. We left her when she came down the tree and went into the thickets. After all that action we now felt like we needed our lunch, we went back and finished our lunch, the lunch tested better than the first bite we got before we went for the leopard. We ended the afternoon with a short sighting of a shy leopard that was running away from us and left him in peace.
Xakanaka was on fire, most of our highlights of the trip more special in animal interaction were from Xakanaxa. We walked away with a score of 2 leopard, 1 cheetah, 14 wild dogs (2 different packs ), 3 hyenas, 3 male lions, a kill ( dogs killing an impala ) and many general game.
We left early for Khwai, this was to give Joster and Eddy time to break down the camp and to go ahead and set up in Khwai. These guys are like machines when coming to breaking down the camp and re-building it. We often laugh at other crews when we see how they do the breaking and re-building the camp very late, they have to go for training at Unlimited Tours and Safaris. I know all the time that Joster and Eddy will be ready around 12 o’ clock or latest one if our next destination is far. Wonderful team work, we were unbeatable. Just as we got to Khwai, Khwai welcomed us with a beautiful sighting of a young female leopard and 2 male lions.
Our three nights at Khwai was fabulous, Khwai never disappoints. We had a wonderful sighting of female leopard with her sub adult cub feeding on an impala kill and we also saw another female leopard with impala kill at Magotho area. The afternoon drives were great with elephants and general game along the Khwai River, there is always something to see. Our highlight at Khwai was seeing the wild dog puppies at the den; they were so cute and seeing them interacting with the adults. Our second highlight was a male lion roaring 2 meters away from our vehicle, he roared so many times. I have heard lion roar so many times and it always impress me when I hear them roaring that close. Khwai contributed with 3 leopards, a pack of wild dogs with puppies, 1 male lion and so many general game.
2 nights at Savuti was exciting as well, we watched the marsh pride trying to take down a buffalo. We saw the whole chase but the take down was far from the road in the bush, we could hear the buffalo bellowing but we couldn’t go there because of the no off-road rule. We also saw Mopane pride 2 females, 4 cubs and 2 males that afternoon closer to Marabou pan. Our stay in Savuti was short but very exciting, the guests enjoyed it.
On our last morning we headed to Chobe, Ihaha area. The Chobe river front area can win award when coming to greatest view on safari. We saw hundreds of elephants, buffalos and zebras along the river, wonderful scenery, seing elephants and buffalo heads crossing the chore river is amazing. Our stay in Chobe, Ihaha was just for one night. On our last morning we left early for a boat cruise in Kasane, and then afterwards the guests were crossing over to Victoria Falls. Just before we exited Chobe a big male lion came roaring, crossing the road. Happy ending! The safari was over; the boat cruise was just a bonus experience to the guests.
The safari ended and we said our goodbyes, the guests went on with their vacation to see another wonder of the world, the Victoria Falls, and we remained in our beloved Botswana ready for new adventures in the bush.
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