A movement in the shadows of the huge Jackalberry caught the guides’ eye…..he looked through his binoculars…..’Painted dogs’, he smiled. We had been staring at the leopard who didn’t wish to be seen….and now the ‘dogs’ were a scant two hundred yards away. No question…we set off following our ‘sister’ vehicle.
He remained motionless until he realized we had seen him
They had killed an impala about twenty minutes ago…in fact whilst we had been trying to find the leopard! They looked in great condition, and were filled with meat. To see Painted dogs was a bonus…to see them on a kill was the ‘cherry’!
The dogs had killed the impala whilst we had been searching for the leopard
That afternoon we went on the river, on the Linyanti Queen…a cliche…but a great lazy boat experience. Birds, hippo, elephant and views across the Linyanti ‘Swamps were our reward. The sky was particularly good that evening, and we watched the night herons heading off as silhouettes across the marsh.
An afternoon boat trip was a welcome change from the vehicle
We sipped our drinks, saturated with colors, comfort and goodwill.
Kings Pool was our final tented ‘home’, and no-one expressed disappointment at the choice of venue! Landing in the middle of a dry, silent mopane woodland, one has had the benefit of at least catching sight of a ribbon of green some way away to the west. Several small herds of zebra were drinking at two of the remaining pans in the mopane, their stripes at odds with the greens and yellows of the mopane leaves.
Zebra families were using the remaining pans
The fabulous views and calming ambience of the Linyanti river was magical. Namibia was just a horizon away, a line of dark trees a few kilometers away over waving reeds and grass. Hippo, crocodiles and elephants moved in the river and around the camp continually. Warthogs rested in the shade of the cabins and under the walkways during the heat of the day.
Game drives focused along the riverine belt, such as was left of it. Decades of years of elephant feeding effects had destroyed the riverine vegetation and the majority of the trees. A few massive jackal berry and fig trees remained among the dense, scarred Croton thickets. Impala were abundant providing an important food source for leopard and Painted dogs.
Calm and peaceful, the view over the Linyanti.
One afternoon we sat entranced as a herd of elephants crossed the river in front of us, coming over to Botswana. Fabulous! In all, we counted about 150 animals, and there was another stream crossing further downriver from us. That’s a LOT of elephant tummies that needed feeding that night!
Warthogs rested in the shade of the walkways and the cabins..unafraid of humans