Okavango, Day One – Game Walk

On our first morning in the Okavango Delta on our Botswana safari, we took a boat ride for a game walk on an island. Papyrus lines the banks of the channel.

papyrus at dawn
papyrus at dawn

We walked through tall grass on our game walk. Our guides were unarmed — Botswana don’t allow guns on game walks. In Tanzania, two of our guides carried big rifles on game walks, and both had shot and killed a charging hippo on safari.

game walk
game walk

Elephant dung, which is quite large, contains partially digested grass and marula berries beloved by elephants. Our guide is picking up some dung to show us the partially digested grass and marula berries.

elephant dung
elephant dung

We crossed this hippo trail — two tracks with a space between the tracks. Hippos clearly visit this island, but we and our unarmed guides encountered no charging hippos that day.

hippo trail
hippo trail

In contrast, elephants trample a wider trail with only one track. Note that we walked on an elephant trail. Hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. Our guide told us that animals use their only their own trail and not trails made by other animals.

elephant trail
elephant trail
day-blooming lily
day-blooming lily

When we returned to the lodge, our toothy friend greeted us at the boat landing, in case a guest misses a step climbing out of the boat.

crococile at Xugana Lodge
crocodile at Xugana Lodge
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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.

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