Today, we ventured from the camp at Khwai River, Okavango Delta. The Khwai Tented Camp is located on a community-run concession on the eastern border of the Moremi Game reserve, on the banks of a lagoon flowing into the Khwai river, which acts as a boundary between the reserve and the community area. Besides the day-time drives which can feature Africa’s big attractions – lion, leopard, wild dog, elephant, buffalo, hippo and giraffe – guests at Khwai Tented Camp are able to explore nature after sunset with a night drive. This activity is not usually permitted in the National Parks or Game Reserves, and allows an up close and personal experience with some of Africa’s nocturnal and / or more elusive animals. The camp also provides the opportunity to explore the great stands of leadwood and mopane woodlands as well as open grasslands and banks of the Khwai River on foot.
The sunrises at the Khwai River, Okavango Delta were gorgeous as the photograph below demonstrates.
Besides the beautiful sunrise, we also saw an elephant and a leopard. Botswana is home to one-sixth of the world’s elephant population. They often are found on the seasonal fringes of the Okavango Delta, especially in the Moremi Game Reserve, which forms part of the Okavango. The Okavango Delta forms part of the home range of thousands of African elephants. They migrate in their thousands between the Okavango, Linyanti, Savute and Chobe regions. They are drawn by the need to find water and fresh food. The annual flooding of the Okavango Delta takes place in the driest part of the year when food and water are scarce; so many thousands of elephants pass through the region. There are, however, elephants that are resident all year round. Mostly small bachelor herds that stay around the swamps. These bachelor herds may only join the larger female led herds to mate when a female is in estrus.
The remainder of the day was engaged with an observation of a leopard. As the photograph below indicates, any type of cat likes their scratching post. The Moremi Game Reserve is one of the best places to observe leopards. Leopards are elusive, and a leopard sighting is always a highlight of a Botswana safari. Leopards will spend the majority of their time on the ground, and not in trees. Leopards will pull their kills into trees, however, whenever needed to keep them out of reach of other predators, which we later observed in Zambia.