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Who is the boss?

Elephants and lions are undoubtedly two of Africa’s most iconic wild animals. As human beings we have a fascination with power, and being in charge. It is not surprising then that I am often asked the question of which one of the two animals is the boss. It is an interesting question and, for me, […]

Cat eat Cat

Leopards are resourceful animals. Whilst on a game drive out of Chitabe Camp, in the Okavango, we spent time following a hungry male leopard. During the course of one morning he tried hunting a variety of other creatures. A herd of impala were too watchful, and caught sight of him approaching. They alarmed, and scattered. […]

The Other Side

These days the Savuti channel plays a major role in the lives of the animals that live alongside it. For the lions of Savuti, the channel provides ample drinking water. On the other hand, the rising waters of the channel create a potentially dangerous obstacle for lions attempting to cross over, particularly for small cubs. […]

Respect those old bulls

Whilst on a recent visit to Seba Camp in the Okavango, I spent some time with Kate Evans and Simon Buckingham. Together they run the charity Elephants for Africa, which supports the research project based there. Kate, who is a researcher by profession, has been studying elephants in this particular part of the delta for […]

Whatever happened to the lionesses with manes

A few months ago I posted a story with pictures about female lions with manes. The lionesses I wrote of were all seen at Mombo, in the Okavango Delta. Since then I have visited Mombo again, and was lucky enough to encounter the pride with the unusual lionesses. However, I only had one brief sighting […]

Mother leopards

Spare a thought for female leopards, and some of the challenges they face in their lives. Leopards are for much of their lives, solitary creatures. Adult male leopards only spend brief periods socializing with females living in their territories. It usually happens when there is a mating bout, and it also happens that they will […]

A year in the life of an impala

Impala are one of the most common antelope found over much of Southern Africa. This is a good thing, as they are vital components of the ecosystems that they inhabit. One of the important roles they fill is that of prey animal. Leopards and wild dogs prey heavily on impala. Healthy impala are very fast […]

One lion, many habitats

Lions are one of my favourite animals (I have a few) but one of the reasons that I find lions interesting is their adaptability. The diverse habitats that are found in Botswana illustrate this well. In the south and central parts of the country, especially the western half, rainfall is low. Dry Kalahari sands are […]

Who is following the sardine run?

This week’s blog post comes once again from the Wild Coast in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. The annual sardine migration that takes place here is happening as I write, so I thought I would describe some of the major predators that take part in this wildlife phenomenon. The sardines are only small fish, but they […]

Wildlife Watching – please be patient

I am not writing this week’s post from the bush in Botswana but from the Eastern Cape coast in South Africa, where I am on vacation with family and friends. Every year, between June and July, the annual sardine migration takes place in these parts. Millions of small fish gather together in shoals and make […]

My best leopard sighting ever

As it seems that many of the folk who read my blog enjoy reading about leopards, I thought I would share a particularly interesting sighting I had a few years ago. I was guiding out of Chitabe camp with my good friend James Weis. Our morning drive had been quiet and we were on our […]

Substitute Pack

The African wild dog is known to be a highly social animal. Pack sizes range from just a few animals to upwards of 30 dogs in the most successful packs. However, at Mombo camp, deep in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one wild dog is living a very different lifestyle. This particular female dog was part of […]

Big water and little cats

2010 is proving to be the year of the big flood in the Okavango. Water levels have reached their highest levels in the past 30 years. When it comes to experiencing the annual flood in the Delta, the Jao concession is one of my favourite areas, with its stunning, open floodplains and picturesque palm-tree islands. […]

Botswana’s photographic areas expand

Map, showing NG18 and NG20, courtesy of Wilderness Safaris Some of the most important wildlife areas in Northern Botswana are associated with two major river systems. In the very north of the country is the Linyanti River and its distributaries, the Savuti and Selinda. To the south of these rivers lies the Okavango Delta. Much […]

The banded mongooses of Jao

Jao Camp is situated on an island in the Okavango Delta. The island is not overly large, perhaps a kilometre in length, and not quite that wide again. Aside from the human occupants of the camp, the island is also home to a troop of banded mongooses. Living on the island as they do, the […]

Some lionesses have manes!

There are many opportunities to make a fool of yourself when you’re a field guide. I was once leading a group on a game drive at Mombo, when we came across a pride of lions. Mombo is well known for its healthy lion population. We spent some time with the lions, and I carefully described […]

Are male lions lazy (or just heavy)?

There’s a perception amongst people that lions are lazy. Not only lazy, but that male lions in particular are even lazier, and don’t or can’t hunt for themselves. And there are many reasons for this perception. A scientific paper once claimed that lions sleep 22 out of every 24 hours. But consider that safari-goers most […]

The Return of the Rivers

If you know anything about the northern half of Botswana then you will know that the prime wildlife areas are heavily dependent upon three, life-sustaining rivers: the Okavango, the Kwando/Linyanti/Savuti (which is in fact one river with many names), and the Chobe. In the past few years there has been a marked rise in the […]

Scrambled legs

On a game drive out of Savuti camp one summer morning, we came across a large pool of rainwater that was showing a lot of amphibian activity. As we walked around the edge of the pool, we saw that the disturbance was being caused by groups of toads mating. The water in the pool was […]

Rivers, Boundaries and the Border Boys

The March issue of Africa Geographic features a well-written article by Stephen Cunliffe describing the situation that exists between communities and conservation in that part of Namibia known as the Caprivi Strip. I found the article especially interesting as one of the parks featured in the article, Mamili National Park, lies directly north of the […]