Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

African Dreams- pt. 5- "The Critters of Botswana"

And now what you've been waiting for! My favorite animal pics that I took while traveling in Botswana. As I had mentioned earlier this portion of the trip was mostly camping. There is a little more sense of adventure to be sleeping out with just a little bit of fabric between you and the wild. This became apparent when I woke up one night to hear a hyena slurping up water in my washbasin just outside of the tent. It's also invigorating to hear a lion roaring less than a mile away and you start to wonder if he's headed your way. The vehicle in which we were transported also provided some excitement. It was totally open on all sides. This got us up close and personal to a lot of wildlife. One of the most memorable moments of the entire trip happened when we came upon a lioness who was crashed out right in the middle of the dirt road. The driver slowly crept up on her in hopes that she would move off, but hey! she's a cat! She wasn't moving for nobody! Our driver told us to keep all body parts well within the vehicle as he slowly drove around her. He told us not to take flash photos as it might startle her and since it was just past sunset, there was no way I was going to get a picture. As we went slowly around her I could see her tensing her rear leg muscles. Would she lunge at the truck or run off? So here I was literally 6 feet away from a wild lion with nothing between me and her. Her eyes were locked on me the entire time. Do I stare at her or do I avert my eyes? To a canine it would be a challenge. To a feline would looking away show a sign of weakness? We passed, and the moment was over. The other folks on the tour commented that they also saw her totally fixated on me and wondered if I would become a meal. Now THAT would be a story to tell. Oh wait.

So have some pics!

Probably my favorite pic from the trip. We awoke to hear roaring just outside of our camp. We quickly dressed and hopped into the truck. Less than a quarter mile from the camp this gorgeous male lion appears, casually walking down the road. We pull up right behind him and follow. He pays us no mind. He just walks, roars, and sprays. At one point the guide pulls around in front of him and I get this shot as his face catches the rising sun.

A couple more shots of Mr Lion.

And here are a few shots of his pride which we found later that morning.

Another "touch and go" moment happened when we stopped to watch an elephant having lunch. He just kept getting closer and closer. Would he charge? Our guide was ready to jam it into reverse if needed. The elephant was a little perturbed, but he really just wanted to keep on eating. He walked by uncomfortably close, but it was so neat!

One of the more dangerous animals in Africa are the cape buffalo. Like the American buffalo they look slow and stupid, but you don't think that when they're trampling you to death. This fellow has an ox pecker bird on his face eating bugs. Hmmmm. Would you say that it's a male? *chuckles*

A female kudu. The males have an incredibly beautiful rack of horns. This one just had such a cute expression on her face.

My old friend the waterbuck. I do love those horns!

Another critter with impressive horns is the oryx. We actually have a population of them established in southern New Mexico.

A wildebeest. This one looks confused. Perhaps it is a bewildebeest. *rimshot*

A gemsbok. There were big herds of these guys all over. They were cute when they pronked.

Here's a couple of them doing a little dominance sparring.

The ubiquitous zebra.

My favorite giraffe picture.

The African version of the coyote. The black-backed jackal.

Impala! Not shown with optional spinners and hydraulics. *lol*

A Chobe bushbuck. Oh, plushlover! How's that for a pose?

The cute little steenbok. Didn't he write "The Grapes of Wrath?" *rimshot*

Someone asked about meerkats. Nope. We didn't see any. We did see plenty of mongoose, though.
The slender

The banded

They are weasels. He are baboon!

Finally, mama croc sunbathing on her nest.

Bird pics tomorrow, and that will be it for my trip down memory lane.
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