I respect, of course, those who seek that collaborative experience of eternal transfers combined with excursions. Also to those who do it for free, which after seeing the roads and how difficult it is to track predators, seems to me a test of self-improvement. Of course, in my opinion (humble and subjective of what I am seeing), that is perhaps possible in South Africa or Namibia, but in Botswana it is not a safari, it is an adventure with oneself. It is not what we were looking for.
Dawn in the heart of Moremi: Tomorrow's Safari
"Good Morning! Good Morning!" They are the subtle words that we will hear every morning around 6'00 to wake up ... !! in the middle of nowhere !! after a night in which lions roared in the distance, the hyenas have visited the remains of our garbage or an elephant already eats a few meters from us as we open the zipper of our luxurious store. We are part of nature, in the heart of a natural park without barriers, without cars. It is something to live to be able to transmit it.
I know that I am being very critical in these lines of my story, but I don't understand those people who make Namibia and Botswana with a mere trip to Maun where they stay one night, transfer after transfer, as I get to have breakfast with my colleagues . At 6:30 we can circulate and we will be the first to do so
And why get up so early? I've always believed, since the trip to Kenya, which is when there are more possibilities to see predators and certain scenes (even hunting), what I would not have raised were many other reasons behind. Our traces of today will focus on two differentiated areas marked on this map, the North being the one in the morning.
In addition, we are a group with great desire and great energy (I am not yet aware of the luck we have had with this). We are almost before us in the cars that Willie and Costa themselves, which in themselves are pure predisposition.
Antelopes, baboons and all kinds of birds (including the beautiful ratchet) are more active at this time than ever, something that became clear to me even at the other end of the planet in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru years ago
And what is the reason why it is also worth getting up early? Precisely that… the tracking! Without yet any car overlapping, Willie observes and identifies the tracks, follow the trails that intuits, gets in water, is oriented between paths almost nonexistent in sight.
But he also watches the animals, their gestures and even how they communicate and emit alarm signals, especially birds and squirrels.
In the first hour we move through leopard zone. Finding them without all of the above, honestly, is contingent upon mere chance, although the first scene that we had reserved for the day was going to be very different
Elephants and more elephants approach us. Willie turns off the open 4x4 engine and just waits for them to approach. He knows they will never do anything if we don't provoke them.
They approach to such an extent that they almost touch the car. There are dozens of them, even young that stick to their breasts. It is a beautiful scene because elephants, unlike other animals, come to generate very strong emotional bonds with each other.
Apparently they are heading to the water areas. An elephant can get to drink more than 160 liters of water! up to date
It is one of those scenes that we will not forget on our return ... Or so we hope, because people do not have that "elephant memory" (it is said that they are extremely intelligent and hence the phrase)
Giraffes! How beautiful they are! and what an elegant walk they have. How capricious is nature giving each animal a "superpower" to survive in this "jungle." Sometimes I think, what will be ours? because we only dedicate ourselves to destroy.
In addition to the beautiful kudus (especially females), water antelopes, topis and the "McImpala", these days we are seeing one that we had not seen in previous safaris. Its about Lechwe or Red Lechwe, a hairy antelope with beautiful horns and reddish color very common in the Okavango Delta even in times of floods, since they are able to adapt to the shallow waters they cause.
We leave the most wooded areas and water, to reach an area that sounds like us, much more similar to a Masai Mara and large open spaces. What does this mean? Cheetah area!
A Safari in Moremi when the sun warms up…
There's something that Ana is very clear about her safari concept and it is that, unlike 100% of the Botswana safari agencies that retire from 10 or 11 to their lodges until the afternoon, he wants us to only return to rest, hit a refreshing shower and eat, enjoying like thatintense days of tracking only interrupted by a morning stop for a good coffee (which is appreciated), always in an area that Willie and Costa consider that you can
I find it worth mentioning the generosity that Willie and Costa They have with us on that concept. There is no end time, whatever is necessary if we see any scene or predators. In the next few days I will tell you if really extending these schedules translates into success, although you win the group is not lacking even in kit-kat time
We continue, just like yesterday, without seeing just a car. It is something that I cannot understand because it is assumed that the few lodges that are there are full (we are in high season) and still the extent of Moremi is so great and exclusivity such that it seems that we were alone, we and the wildlife. That is why the group is so important ... and here there is a very good roll! (Except when we make the "porra" that Patxi and I have invented at night, haha)
Unfortunately, although we are in perfect condition to see it by the area in which we are and hours of the day when night cats (lions, leopards ...) flee the heat, the cheetah does not want to be seen today. Yes Warthogs, more antelopes and even some "lesser" hunting of a pretty ratchet
We take some more time but it starts to get quite hot and only small monkeys can be seen taking advantage of the fact that even the antelopes "huddle" under the shadows of mopanes and other types of trees
!! Fresh Duchitaaaa !!! Although contrary to what I thought, the night temperature is being very mild and is saved with just a sweatshirt this September (it seems that in July it was VERY cold). However almost the whole group has decided that the best time for a good cleaning is this
But how good is Gigi with the food! Variety and dishes for all tastes. Now, time for a little nap
The lions of the "4th Bridge" and the "Sundowner"
We leave the arid areas that we have seen this morning, where the effect of the drought that hits the Delta this year is more noticeable (which has its good part to see animals around the main ponds and water accumulations), to approach the area of the 4th Bridge, after having focused almost all attention yesterday on the 1st and 2nd Bridge on our way to Xakanaka
In Botswana you don't spend much time without seeing animals. Zebras, giraffes and more elephants (I had never seen so many) continue to be seen in our path without barely moving
Although the afternoon gave us two other surprises, apart from the elephant scene in the morning. What is it that is seen among the bushes?
It is a huge pack of 6 lions, including a young male and a cub. They don't even change! They ignore us absolutely in their deep nap just interrupted to look sideways at a possible near dam
Willie tells us they have eaten last night and are completely full. How do you know? For his deep breath. They will not hunt, unless something is "shot", in the next few hours
The sun moves down the horizon and seems to bother a lioness, who decides to change position
Another goes behind the car. That makes? Has no sense? Ahgggggg, now we understand. An intense smell comes quickly. At this moment we would like to have a closed car, hahaha. What a digestion. In fact, that vultures lurk around without having prey makes all the sense in the world Willie tells us again. It turns out that they wait for their carrion because they digest so fast that they still have the necessary nutrients for them
We cross the bridge to the other side and the one who receives us is a "early bird" hungry hippo. Recall that it is the animal that produces more deaths in Africa every year (after transmitting mosquitoes) so it is advisable to have a certain safety distance
On the other side, under a tree of wide shadow, we found the two that were missing. Is about 2 male lions (of the 3 territorial ones in the area).
How beautiful are the male lions. They are imposing in appearance and even that huge mane conveys a false sense of less aggressiveness. The lionesses, however, do have a much more bloodthirsty look (for a reason they are the ones that hunt in most cases)
We return with the big pack. Willie is convinced that the sun will annoy them shortly. It is in all the details ... and so it happens, although this time they take advantage of the movement to focus their eyes on an impala and some kudus on the horizon.
Willie thinks they won't hunt unless it was very simple. They are opportunistic but they are full ... and it does not fail. The scene returns to tender in a few minutes ...
Did he say two scenes? And what is the second? He "Sundowner"that every day of Africa has reserved for us every afternoon, for which we approach the best area of all Moremi, a sunset in Dead Tree, where David and I took the opportunity to see it from the top of the 4x4 with a good cold beer. It is our particular "happy hour"
It is one of the moments of the day! And many others still await us ahead ...
With the last hours of light we return to the Xakanaka area. At 18.30 we have to be inside the camp. It's a park rule and we respect it scrupulously, but Willie and Costa could even lose their permission.
Here we are waiting for the fire already lit, the room prepared (wasn't it a shop?! Really! Box spring, bed made, light, interior bathroom and even a glass for water ... we can consider it that way) and dinner in a while. It is time for Ana to open the wine that we have chosen every night to end the day. !Wonderful! It is also the time I use to write these stories. I don't want to leave anything
Something that you cannot forget and is VERY IMPORTANT, is carry a headlamp or flashlight that is held on the head with a tape sold in any Decathlon or similar. It frees your hands and allows you to have light at any time at night, although the fire, the lamp of the room and the camp itself provide enough for common areas
We said goodbye to another safari day in Moremi although I have to admit that the time of dinner has also become a good time for me where to complete the "animal club" for the next day (Isi is winning), as well as having a laugh with possibly one of the funniest and most happening groups I've had on a trip. What will tomorrow hold for us? In Botswana, every day is a surprise ...
Isaac (and Noe, Oscar, Reyes, David and Sele) from Moremi (Botswana)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 0 BWP (approx. 0 EUR)