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.
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.
The kori bustard walks through the grasslands eating insects and reptiles.
A pale chanting goshawk looking for prey. See the long white thorns of the acacia. African birds learn to land and take off carefully.
Nests of weaver birds.
Springboks are an antelope found in southern Africa. This herd of males is grazing and hanging out.
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.
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.