Brooks Falls: Bald Eagles

A bald eagle sometimes perched on a tree above Brooks Falls, across the river from the viewing platforms. This was exciting. Before this, we had only seen a few bald eagles at Yellowstone, and those were far away. Bald eagles eat fish, so they’ll perch in a tall tree near water and fish, watching and waiting.

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Brooks Falls

Brooks Falls is on the Brooks River, which connects two lakes in Katmai National Park. Shown above, a brown bear is looking at the falls and a bear upstream. We would finally get to see brown bears up close. Coastal brown bears have a rich fish diet and allows them to grow to 1200 pounds, 50% larger than the grizzly bears we saw in Denali.

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Serondella – Drive Along the Chobe River

On our Botswana safari, we drove along the Chobe River on our first morning in Serondella area of the Chobe National Park. In April we saw a lot of wildlife along the river. Later in the dry season, the animals increase near the river as the surrounding land dries up and the game migrates to the waters of the Chobe River.

In the first light of dawn, these hippos have sunlight reflecting from their ears.

hippo ears in the Chobe River
hippo ears in the Chobe River

Seeking wildlife, we drove on a dirt road covered by the river. See the crocodiles in the river waiting for thirsty animals to drink in the morning.

crocodiles in river
crocodiles in river

And, of course, the obligatory African fish eagle and a lilac-breasted roller.

African fish eagle
African fish eagle
lilac-breasted roller
lilac-breasted roller

Giraffes are vulnerable when they bend over to lick salt or drink.

giraffe licking salt
giraffe licking salt

A large pod of hippos in the Chobe River.

hippos in the Chobe River
hippos in the Chobe River

Game Drive to Serondella

On our Botswana safari, the next day we moved to another part of Chobe National Park, the Serondella area. Compared to the Savuti Channel, the Serondella area is closer to the Chobe River, with more elephants.

Yet another African fish eagle. We like fish eagles, which are similar to the American bald eagle.

African fish eagle
African fish eagle

Dwarf mongooses sunning themselves in the morning.

dwarf mongoose
dwarf mongoose

In the still waters of the early morning, the reflection of a tree with yellow-billed storks.

tree of yellow-billed storks
tree of yellow-billed storks

We visited a site with drawing of African animals, where our guide told us about the native San people and some of their customs.

200 years old
eland, elephant, gemsbok
200-year-old
 drawings of eland, elephant, gemsbok

A black-backed jackal approaching a large, bleached bone as big as the jackal.

black-backed jackal
black-backed jackal

The bushbuck is a mediums-sized antelope with sharp horns.

bushbuck
male bushbuck

In the afternoon we saw the Chobe River. A grey heron and sacred ibis.

grey heron, African sacred ibis
grey heron, African sacred ibis

The Chobe River is quite wide. Below, an elephant feeding on water plants.

elephant in Chobe River
elephant in Chobe River

The river provides water and supports much wildlife.

warthog
warthog

The cape buffalo has never been domesticated and kills or gores over 200 people a year. This cape buffalo looks quite stern. We quickly moved on.

cape buffalo
cape buffalo

Baboons are cute and fun to watch, especially the babies. Babies can hang on for a ride below or sit on top.

baby baboon holding on to ears
baby baboon holding on to ears
baby baboon clinging on below
baby baboon clinging on below

We encountered this elephant at sunset and kept rolling back to camp. This elephant approached us as we drove by, which is unusual.

ornery elephant
ornery elephant

Okavango, Day One – Hippo Pool

After our game walk, we took a boat ride to the hippo pool. A crocodile we saw in the morning had moved to a higher spot on the bank. This photo with people from the other boat shows the size of the crocodile. The boat is much closer to me than the crocodile, so compared to the crocodile, the people appear larger than they actually are.

Nile crocodile on the bank
Nile crocodile on the bank

An African fish eagle in flight over the papyrus. The African fish eagle reminds us of the American bald eagle. Both eagles have dark brown bodies and white heads.

African fish eagle in flight
African fish eagle in flight

We saw dozens of hippos. Some hippos eyed us suspiciously.

hippos eying us
hippos looking back at us

Hippos are aggressive animals. These hippos exhibited a threat behavior. The prominent lower teeth can be up to 50 cm (1.6 feet) long, and they are quite sharp.

hippo threat behavior
hippo threat behavior
hippo threat behavior
hippo threat behavior