Safari Day 2 – In search of cats

LOCATION: Sinde Safari Camp in NW Botswana

WEATHER: Hot. High 90

We are on a well-planned schedule. The housekeeper woke us up at 5:30 with a thermos of coffee. Breakfast at 6AM, then off for another game trip with guide Bee at 6:45. It makes sense to do the animal viewing in the early AM and late afternoons as they are resting during the heat of the day.

Today’s hunt was for cats….lions, leopards, and cheetahs. We saw many of the same animals as yesterday, including an impala with an hours-old baby. I just can’t get enough of elephant photos.

We drove by several herds of zebra. They don’t seem afraid of people.

Bee stopped several times identifying the tracks, looking for cat tracks.

He told us that a lion entered our camp last week and made his home for 3 days under one of the guest tents …unit E1. Yikes! That is our tent!

We passed this carcass of a cape buffalo. Bee said a lion killed it 3 weeks ago.

We passed another set of bones,…the remnants of 2 hippos that had been fighting.

No lions, though. In addition to the animals we saw yesterday, today we also spotted warthogs and waterbucks.

Back at camp for 11:30 lunch….One of the staff members welcomed us back with cool, perfumed towels. Lunch was a buffet with African bobboti..a kind of meat pie made from venison, along with rice, salads, and ratatouille. Just a bit of South African wine to wash it down..

Then, siesta for George; reading for me. To cool off we had a dip in the swimming pool. A great way to refresh ourselves.

Time to eat again at 3:30 – this time for high tea. Then, off for our afternoon activity. Today we did a mokoro trip down the delta. A mokoro is a native dug-out canoe. The mokoro seats 2 guests plus the driver. He steers us with a long pole – kind of like the gondolas in Venice.

It was really peaceful moseying around the river. Our guide pointed out a lot of plants and birds. He told us not to move around much as the canoe was somewhat wobbly. I certainly didn’t want to turn over, and join the pythons and crocs in the water!

We saw some beautiful birds…

There were small inlets leading from the main delta. Some are hippo paths; some elephant ones. Mostly we rode on the “hippo highway”, channels that they create walking to and from the water.

The guide pointed out interesting tiny frogs, too.

He spotted from afar a very rare animal – an aquatic antelope. We were able to get quite close to watch him a bit.

We stopped on a little island for happy hour. Magically, a table appeared and the guides brought out our pre-ordered drinks (G&Ts) along with today’s snack of kudu billtong (jerky). Yum! Luxury in the swamp!

Back to our tent to freshen up and to sip from a decanter of sherry awaiting us. We sat on our deck watching fruit bats fly around.

DINNER: Promptly at 8:00. As with all meals, we ate family style. They served dish after dish. George had pork chops; I had ostrich carpaccio and then lots of different vegetables.

After dinner, we sat around the firepit sipping amarula – a Botswana liqueur made from a nut of a tree that is common here. This is living!

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