Kalahari, Day One

The rhythm of daily game drives is set so we see the most wildlife, and they’re active at dawn and dusk. For our April safari in Botswana, sunrise was around 6:15 am, and sunset was around 6:15 pm. To start a game drive at sunrise, the wake-up call was at 5:30 am, and we started the morning game drive around 6:15. Not what you’d imagine for your ideal vacation, but a safari is costly in terms of time and money, so you want to get what you came for.

At dawn we were on game drive, and we paused in this copse of trees where the authors of Cry of the Kalahari lived. The trees have short-grass plains on three sides, providing views and food for grazing animals, with some protection from predators.

our first Kalahari sunrise
our first Kalahari sunrise

Below a lesser gray shrike is lit by the pink dawn light. The shrike sits on an acacia tree, which has sharp white thorns to fend off animals.

lesser grey shrike
lesser grey shrike

The kori bustard walks through the grasslands eating insects and reptiles.

kori bustard
kori bustard

A pale chanting goshawk looking for prey. See the long white thorns of the acacia. African birds learn to land and take off carefully.

pale chanting goshawk
pale chanting goshawk

Nests of weaver birds.

weaver nests
weaver nests

Springboks are an antelope found in southern Africa. This herd of males is grazing and hanging out.

male springboks grazing
male springboks grazing

Springboks are extremely fast, reaching speeds up to 100 km/hr and leaping up to 4 m through the air. Male springboks sometimes race and leap to show off their strength. Called pronking, here’s a shaky video, but you’ll get the picture.

A stoic gemsbok with vultures gathering, probably at a recent kill.

lone gemsbok and gathered vultures
lone gemsbok and gathered vultures

Before dusk these cheetahs waited for a springbok to come close enough for them to run it down, but the springbok wisely kept its distance.

cheetahs waiting at dusk
cheetahs waiting at dusk
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Published by

charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

3 thoughts on “Kalahari, Day One”

    1. Thank you. African birds are so colorful! I’ve tried to improve my photography since our Tanzania safari two years ago. I like your animal photos and descriptions!

      Like

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