Chief's Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana, Thursday, April 29, 2010
We had another early game drive this morning - the animals are not active during the heat of the day. The first highlight was tracking a leopard through the brush for awhile. Rex, our guide, observed a monkey high in a nearby tree acting as a sentry to warn the other animals that a leopard (gorgeous creature! ) was hunting. We encountered the leopard and the photographs are amazing.
Soon after this encounter, we came across a family of lions and later a mating pair - yes, doing it before our very eyes! We never expected to see all this! The ride back for lunch was punctuated by a jeep breakdown - first the battery died, followed by the real underlying problem, a radiator speared by a particularly sharp stick when we were off-road. However, we got back in time for lunch and a siesta.
After a nice lunch and nap, we went off again for the afternoon game drive. There were elephants everywhere, perhaps about 40 or so total. The smallest one we had seen was so cute, and was about 2 months old. They nurse for about two years, until the mother has another one after a gestation period of 22 months! Several giraffes appeared, some lions, and finally some zebra. This was the first group of zebra we had seen.
Our final quest for the day was for rhinoceros, which we never found because our jeep hit a very deep pothole and became hopelessly stuck. After trying to jack it up and put wooden branches under it, we called for help and another jeep came after awhile and pulled us out - after Tom helped attach the tow rope using his Swiss Army Knife - what else would anyone expect of Tom! It was starting to get very near sunset, and were glad we did not have to spend the night in the bush!
Dinner was delicious and we had a nice evening and slept very well.