Elephants at the Watering Hole

Fri, Dec 14, 2018

On our last evening of the safari, we went down to the watering hole to see who might stop by.  And boy were we happy that we did.

Here they come!


Here they are filling their trunks with water…


… and then placing the trunks in their mouths to drink the water.


After drinking they would use their trunks to sling water and mud on their backs.  Look closely below.


Shortly thereafter another group of elephants arrived:


And still another group!  It was getting crowded.


Finally this bull had had enough and challenged some new arrivals to find another spot on the watering hole.




A Leopard!

Wed, Dec 12, 2018

Leopards aren’t that common so you can imagine how thrilled we were to see one.


We tracked this fellow for over an hour and although he never did go on a hunt.


He was just content to lie in the bush so I suspect he had recently eaten.


Common Birds of the Okavango

Fri, Dec 14, 2018

With plenty of water in the Delta, it’s no surprise that there’s a wide variety of birds.

Common Ostrich that is native to Africa.  It defends itself by hiding, running or kicking with their powerful legs.  They can live to be 40-45 years old.


African Fish Eagle.  We saw these eagle everyday but unfortunately we didn’t see a successful hunt.  They mate for life and live to be 12-24 years old.


African Hawk Eagle. that hunts small mammals, reptiles and birds.


Red billed hornbill.


I have not been able to identify these beautiful birds.


This Kingfisher blew by at a high rate of speed and I was lucky to capture this shot.  However, with the sun behind her, it isn’t clear enough for me to positively identify the species.  Perhaps a Pied Kingfisher?


Plains Zebras of the Okavango

Wed, Dec 12, 2018

The coloring of the Plains zebras is interesting as they have brown stripes between their black stripes.

Like a lot of the plains animals, zebras are highly social and form harems with a single stallion, several mares, and their recent offspring.  Bachelor groups also form hoping some day for a harem of their own 🙂


Drinking with a baboon incoming.


Mother and baby.


Juveniles showing their aggression.


Hippos of the Okavango

Fri, Dec 14, 2018

Hippos are a common sighting in the Okavango Delta thanks to the Okavango River that brings on ave 2.9 billion gal of water to the delta every year.

Hippos remain cool in the water by day and emerge at dusk to graze on the grasses.  They have large canine tusks and nearly hairless bodies.  With their tusks, they are king of the water and crocodiles don’t mess with them.

We didn’t see any out of the water so the only shots I have are of their heads.  This is a common scene.


And finally a close up.  See the whiskers?


Wrestling Elephants

Tue, Dec 11, 2018

On our first afternoon at the Splash Camp, we went to the watering hole and watched some wrestling elephants.  It was as unusual as it was spectacular.

Here they are getting started.


Then they separate and the guy on the left says “Come on.  Let’s do it again”.


So it was round 2 and it ended the same way as round 1:  guy on the right is bigger and stronger.


Not to be deterred, guy on the left pushes until guy on the right gets the submission.


They separate and the guy on the left reaches over and affectionately says “Thanks dude”.


And then guy on the left says “Let’s go”.


And off they went.