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This post concludes this series on the animals of Botswana. It has been quite fun searching the photos and putting these together, and I’m glad folks have enjoyed them.
About half way through our trip, we camped one night in an area with wifi. Also, I took a painkiller that night, forgetting that it would keep me awake.
I still hike and backpack as much as I can, so I read a few posts on a backpacking bulletin board. One post included photos of a pack of wolves hunting a deer, and there was some negative reaction. (I was also listening to the footsteps of something wandering through our campsite, hoping that it wasn’t a carnivore. The sound of grass tearing told me that it was an elephant.)
But the food chain was obvious every day in Botswana. Seemed that every animal except the pure herbivores were hunting something, and some of those herbivores were still quite dangerous.
A beautiful, striking bird, this goshawk flew low looking for food we could not see. But it might be:
One of these, a ground squirrel. Always close to a hole in case of danger.
Safety in numbers.
Where there are predators there are scavengers like the hyena.
I brought along equipment to take a few night photos, with Botswana nights being so clear. I intended to set up the camera, take a sample shot or two after dark, then operate it from the relative safety of my tent. Our guide really did not want anyone unnecessarily outside their tent after he extinguished the main campsite light, but thought that the five minutes it would take to take the sample shots was acceptable.
So my daughter helped me set things up. We plan three or four samples, each one to take about 30 seconds. We take two, then hear the cook say, “You have a visitor!”
Turning around we see two huge eyes moving through the trees about forty feet away. “It’s just a hyena!” he says. Just.
We were in our tents in 15 seconds.
This Yellow Billed Stork successfully caught a fish, only to have the Gray Heron drop by. Off camera, another stork and a spoonbill are watching. The black wing feathers are largely hidden when the stork isn’t flying.
Though the stork won the fight, the heron got points for looking cool about it.
Most days were spent with the beloved Black Backed Jackal……a scavenger at times.
And, as there was some mention before about the beauty of the Lilac Breasted Roller, here’s a final shot. Beautiful bird.