Archive for the ‘Africa 2008’ Category

June 13 – to Savute

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Up early this morning. VERY early. About 2 a.m., give or take. There is nothing that gets your heart pumping quite as much as hearing a great big adult male lion roar just behind your tent. I couldn’t find the iPod quickly in the dark and the lion moved off, after giving off an even-scarier purrrrrrrrr sound, roaring twice more farther and farther away (thank heavens!) before I could come up with it, but that’s okay — all it would have recorded was the pounding of my heart, I think! (Fred says that just as the lion did his purrrrrrrrr sound, the oil light in front of my tent went out. He was convinced that the lion was sitting on my doorstep, bib around his neck, knife and fork in paws…)

Grant went looking for the tracks when it got light enough to see — not as close as we would have thought (I would have said, oh, 18-24 inches behind my tent, personally) — probably 25-30 feet away at the closest. Heart-pounding distance no matter what. (If you have a good internet connection, check out this site — cursor down to the Sounds section — to hear something of what we heard!)

Now… there’s no delicate way to discuss this… but you know… when you get scared like that, you have to go. I mean you have to go. And there was no way, no way in God’s green earth, that I am getting out of the tent with an adult male lion wandering around, possibly with bib and knife and fork. So… now what? No chamber pot issued as standard camping equipment! So I’ll tell you what — it’s called IMPROVISE!! I had packed a bunch of plastic zip bags just in case I needed ‘em for anything. So you take one one-gallon plastic bag and tuck it inside another one-gallon plastic bag, you put the whole thing on top of a towel (in case you miss…) and you aim as carefully as we female types are capable of aiming. Then you zip the inside bag, zip the outside bag, and go back to bed. (Necessity is the mother of invention after all. Nobody said anything about the father. He can just, well, stick it outside the tent flap if he has to!)

Sigh…

Khwai river bridge

Khwai river bridge

Once the sun was up, we headed off on a long hard drive from Moremi to Savute today. The first thing you face on your way out of Moremi is the bridge over the River Khwai (sorry, the reference is irresistible). It’s made entirely of mopane poles.

Then there’s the rest of the drive. The distance itself isn’t all that much — I think Grant said it’s about 180km — but though there is a nominal speed limit in the parks of 40km/h, the roads of Botswana do not permit anything even vaguely approaching that speed. Four wheel drive is essential, there is deep sand or brush or both, you never know when approaching water if it’s safe to drive through or whether there’s a hole 4′ deep hiding underneath. It’s a sure bet that I wouldn’t have wanted to drive for ten minutes on that stuff, and Grant has been driving us around for DAYS.

elephant

elephant

On top of the condition of the roads, there’s the issue of game. You never know when something is going to come out of the bush just in front of you, and you have to be aware of everything. It’s a bit disconcerting to be driving along and have an elephant suddenly decide it wants to cross right in front of the vehicle.

The first hour or two of the trip was actually a game drive in and of itself. Elephants, hippos, giraffe and more. We came to the conclusion that it would be a dog day when Fred spotted a black-backed jackal just to the side of the road.

[Note: Firefox 3 users may need this add-on to see YouTube videos.]

But once the animals thinned out a bit, it was just a long haul. Lunch was in an area where there was but a single tree, and in the tree were roughly a kazillion (or two) red-billed queleas. Grant says they’re a real nuisance, and can gather in such numbers that branches will literally break off under their weight. We were also “joined” for lunch by a warthog or two that stood within easy run-for-your-life distance and looked at us as though they were just amazed at the sight. (Sometimes I wonder if we’re not as much a spectacle for the animals as they are for us.) The lunch area was also one where Grant has seen lions before but… sigh… once again the most we saw was tracks and no lions.

Savute turns out to be even more sandy that Moremi (so the driving was even tougher) and yet more rocky as well. There are actual outcrops rising from what is otherwise a very very flat marshland. We should be able to see some Bushman rock art on our way out on Sunday. We did our usual camp-day arrival routine: dropped the trailer with Nami and Likan to set up camp and headed off for another game drive. Fred and I think this is wonderful but I’m amazed that Grant isn’t exhausted already yet with the driving.

We saw lots of different antelopes, including an impala licking a termite mound (for the minerals it has), and more interesting or impressive birds — a juvenile Bateleur eagle, a tawny eagle (which kept moving so I don’t think I got a shot), another fish eagle (they are so darned impressive), some noisy little birds called lapwings, a Meyer’s parrot (the only parrot in Botswana) — and all kinds of elephants.

eagle

juvenile bateleur eagle

Impala

Impala with termite mound

lapwing

Blacksmith lapwing

parrot

Meyer

We also saw lots and lots of lion tracks but… no lions. That doesn’t mean no CATS, however. Fred simply has the best eyes of anybody I know. We were driving through an area of grass and reeds all painted a golden orange by the afternoon sun. Suddenly he sings out that there’s something moving in the grass. Now, for the life of me, I couldn’t see it. Even after he pointed it out, I’m not sure I would ever have seen it on my own. Turned out it was a serval — a simply gorgeous cat with great big ears. Bigger than the wildcat by orders of magnitude (the wildcat runs to about 3-7 kg (6.5-15 lb.) while the serval runs to 13.5-18 kg (30-40 lb.)) and just simply beautiful, especially with its eyes catching the light and its body so very well blended with the grass until it turns its back and you see those black and white ears.

Serval in grass

Serval in grass

After spending time watching this marvelous cat, we got to see yet another spectacular sunset.

sunset

Waterhole sunset

Giraffe

Giraffe in setting sun

Maybe… just maybe… tomorrow lions????

June 12 – Moremi Game Reserve

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Awakened during the night by the sound of hyenas screeching through the camp. It is a bit disconcerting — those are BIG canids! Grant reminded us to be very very careful about leaving the tents during the night. He showed us the tracks where the hyenas had been hiding when Fred and I did our last walk down to the ablution area after dark. (The ablution area is very very basic here at Moremi: working toilets and showers just barely big enough to get clean in. Fred had the right idea, to wear swim trunks etc. down to take a shower and actually change back here in the tent. Dumb me ended up trying to change there and keep things dry at the same time: not an easy task!)

Up just at daybreak (sun not even really visible on the horizon, just a red line showing where it will be). Vervet monkeys kept trying to steal parts of meals (and managed to escape with a tomato!). Probably not much fun for the camp staff, but a lot of fun for us tourists for whom this is all so very new.

Lilac-breasted roller

Lilac-breasted roller

Two game drives today here in Moremi. This morning it was misty at first and the meadows were full of lechwe standing in the mist. Then, for the most part, it was birds birds and more birds.  Saddlebilled stork, plover, black harrier, Burchell’s coucal (who was Burchell anyway? ah… a botanist), a fish eagle that stayed in place long enough for us to make a whole photographic study of it, jacana, hammerkop, ground hornbill and more. I never thought of myself as any kind of a birder before this trip — even told Grant I wasn’t one — but he’s making sure I see the interesting birds and sparking my interest anyway. One in particular, the lilac-breasted roller — national bird of Botswana — is simply the most beautiful thing I may ever have seen.

harrier

Marsh harrier

eagle

Fish eagle

coucal

Burchell

jacana

Lesser jacana

Hammerkop

Hammerkop

vervet monkey

vervet monkey

Also saw wildebeest, hippos, elephants (including with a young one) and, finally, a vervet monkey that stood still long enough for me to get a good solid photo.

This afternoon’s drive we were around water a lot so we saw the white-faced whistling duck (I didn’t really hear it whistle, though), the pygmy goose and more. We also saw a bird that Fred insists on called the “pterodactyl bird” and so I am NEVER going to remember its name without writing it down (it is, for now and forever, officially christened the “pterodactyl bird” in our family!) — the Kori bustard. And we saw a goofy looking critter than looks, at a distance, something like a moose in its head structure called the tsessebe.

ducks

White-faced ducks

bustard

Kori bustard

And though we looked and looked and looked, and found all kinds of tracks, we still didn’t see any BIG cats. That’s in capital letters because we sure did see a cat: a cat that actually looks like it could be lolling around in anybody’s living room. Called the African wildcat, it’s a gorgeous and very aggressive small cat that can (and often does) interbreed with the domestic cat, so it’s listed as endangered in a lot of areas.

African wildcat

African wildcat

So… dogs yesterday, the wildcat today, maybe BIG cats tomorrow! That is, if we can get any sleep. Grant had to go tell off the noisy bunch at the nearby campsite to get ‘em to pipe down. Their excuse: “But we’ve come so far!” Grant, shepherding around the pair of us, who’d come 8000 miles, was not impressed.

June 11 – to campsite in Moremi Game Reserve

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

In camp in at the Khwai campsite in the Moremi Game Reserve waiting for dinner to be served. Flew back into Maun this morning, hooked up with Grant Craig of Papadi Safaris at the airport. Because of the cold front, he decided to switch to a closed vehicle (openings in the roof for photos) and I for one am grateful. It is COLD in those open vehicles! Did some shopping for snacks and drinks (including plenty of bottled water) and set off.

The road from Maun to Moremi begins as a paved road. Then it turns into gravel. Finally it turns into sand. And it isn’t supposed to get any better until we get into Kasane at the end of the trip! Oh the roads of Botswana are a joy…

[Note: Firefox 3 users may need this add-on to see YouTube videos.]

Grant has brought along a camp assistant (I will butcher the spelling of even the short forms of names, I’m sure…) called Nami for short and another field guide who he wants to work with him in the future named Likan. So there are three of them, and two of us! Amazing…

Nami, Likan & Grant

Nami, Likan & Grant

We are not 15 minutes down the road before we feel entirely comfortable with Grant and his crew. Grant is, I think, a little younger than I am (early 50s, perhaps), quiet-spoken with a wickedly dry sense of humor. He’s obviously a perfectionist, wants things done right the first time around, and makes you feel thoroughly confident that he knows what he’s about. Likan is very quiet but with a ready smile and an easy way about him. Nami is even more quiet than Likan, but gets things done. Nice group. And even before we got into the reserve we saw elephant and giraffe and some more lion tracks. (Eventually, we are going to HAVE to see lions. At least I hope so!)

Once we arrived at the campsite, the team disconnected the trailer and took down our gear, then Grant took Fred and I off for the first game drive of this mobile safari. Here in the reserve we have seen impala, which Grant calls “moneybacks” (“we call them moneybacks because if you don’t see them, you get your money back”), red lechwe, young male kudu, zebras, pelicans, storks, guinea fowl, young fish eagle, francolins.

stork

Saddlebilled stork

lechwe

red lechwe

kudu

Young kudu

Grant took us out to a location that is frankly gorgeous to take sunset shots, and unless I am very wrong, there are going to be some terrific shots in that group.

Moremi sunset

Moremi sunset

We started back to camp and then — just at dusk when we were really late for getting back (the camps have hours for the gates to be open) — we saw a truly amazing sight: Fred spotted and we stopped and watched a large pack of wild dogs who had just taken down and were in the process of devouring a red lechwe stag. The light wasn’t good enough for photos but I got a little bit of video from the S5 where you can at least see what’s going on.

Wild dog are so rare, it was just astonishing to see them. They yelp as well as bark and demolished the lechwe in minutes (the pack was 12 dogs or more — hard to count with the lighting being so bad). (Note: we found out later that people travel for long distances just to have a chance to see these wild dogs — and we got ‘em the first night out. And with a kill! Not bad!)

There are hyena and baboon tracks throughout the campsite so it’ll be interesting to see what we find by morning, but there’s a noisy bunch at a nearby campsite so it may not be all that much.

June 10 – Okavango Delta

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Up early, and a momentary terrifying scare when I thought I’d lost the power cord to the Hyperdrive. It would have meant taking only as many pictures as could fit on the SD cards I have with me. I know that 28Gb sounds like a lot of space, but I’m shooting in RAW, each photo takes about 24Mb of space, so a 4Gb card holds only about 200 photos. For the most part, I’m shooting with a new camera that I’m not entirely comfortable with (Canon 450D XSi) and a rented lens that I’m not entirely comfortable with (though it’s gorgeous in what it can do — Canon 100-400L), so I do NOT want to be limited. Fortunately, I found the cord — right where I’d put it for safekeeping…

Nice breakfast, back onto a small plane with George and off to Maun again.

[Note: Firefox 3 users may need this add-on to see YouTube videos.]

There was only one hitch: our safari operator was not there to meet us. The driver brought us over to the office for Gunn’s Camp where a nice lady took Grant’s name and phone number, went inside, came back five minutes later with a white face and said they’d made a terrible mistake. Turns out we WERE supposed to have three nights, not two. She offered to have us flown back out with the night at the main (upscale) camp rather than the bush camp, where drinks are included in the tab. Let’s see here… two extra small plane rides, an upscale camp for the night, and free booze. Somehow we didn’t see this as much of a problem.

So we were flown black out to the camp.

But this time we stayed at the upscale main camp: beds, en suite toilet & shower, laundry service and more. Nice gesture by the camp and a lovely end to a totally lovely experience (including tea at 3:30, another bush walk, then sundowners (otherwise known as evening drinks!) and dinner).

One scary moment in our last mokoro ride of the day: our poler did a quick reverse and back out of the channel and then had each of us stand up to see a hippo in the channel not far away. Hippos are so incredibly dangerous to folks in these small boats… Ulp…

Despite that, it’s impossible really to describe the peace of a mokoro ride:

or the peace of the delta itself…

Lilypad in Okavango Delta

Lilypad in Okavango Delta

June 9 – Okavango Delta

Monday, June 9th, 2008
Ribs

Ribs, mokoro poler

Up at dawn this morning for a light breakfast and then a mokoro ride over to and a 3-1/2 hour game walk on Chief’s Island. Our mokoro poler and guide, Mr. Ribs, knows his stuff but it is a little disconcerting to be walking around a wild game area with a guide who has nothing more to protect us than a walking stick…

We saw red lechwe, impala, blue wildebeest, zebras, a whole troop of baboons, warthogs, a fish eagle, a whole bunch of marabou storks, a red-billed hornbill, a saddle-billed stork and a journey of giraffes. Walked forever down trails covered with elephant tracks and/or elephant dung looking for elephants and didn’t find any. (We saw them this afternoon from the deck instead!)

zebras

zebras

storks

Marabou storks

tracks

elephant tracks

elephants

elephants

Saw lion tracks and a bush with lion hair on it, hyena poop and a buffalo skull but none of the live beasts. Ribs told us to stand our ground with lions, climb the nearest tree with buffalo and run a zigzag pattern downwind from an elephant. (Gulp…)

Gunn’s Camp is fun — basic amenities but that’s really what I wanted, to get some feel for the real Africa. It’s a little scary alone in a dark tent at night, or going into a toilet that has to have a half-door to keep the warthogs out, but it is headed in the direction of the Real Thing. And it’s a very good feeling to know that Fred is screaming distance away…

Went out by mokoro to a hippo pool this afternoon. It was excellent, not so much for the hippos (which are very dangerous to these boats so you don’t go very close!), but for the elephants! Two of them were in the marsh and crossed right about the same time we poled through. Unbelievable to be so close and in such a vulnerable position. It really brings it home what it means to be out there with wild game…

Good dinner and good talk with the South African group staying in the camp, and off tomorrow back to Maun.

June 8 – Okavango Delta

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

(written 6/9, 1:20 p.m.)

We’re sitting on the deck at Gunn’s Bush Camp on the Boro River in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, sipping sodas and watching elephants cross the marsh in the distance… Sigh… it’s a rough life.

Arriving in Maun

Arriving in Maun

Fred and I left Johannesburg for Botswana yesterday. No problem with the Air Botswana flight to Maun — the camera backpack (Lowepro Fastpack 250) fit easily in the overhead and nobody bothered to weigh anything. The Maun airport is very small with a single line for passport control and another for customs. We left our big bags in the Moremi Air office at the airport, and then George, the Air Moremi pilot, flew us on a single engine aircraft up to the Delta. I managed to get some video en route and particularly of the landing — George said it was a little hairy because of some warthogs on the runway!

[Note: Firefox 3 users may need this add-on to see YouTube videos.]

We were greeted by the Bush Camp operator, Craig, and immediately had a bit of confusion. He said we were there for two nights; I thought we were there for three. The paperwork is back in Maun with the rest of our luggage… Craig said he’d check it and later confirmed it was two nights. Not what I remember, but… that’ll teach me not to bring the paperwork.

Mokoro

Mokoro

We then were introduced to our mokoro poler (mokoro = singular, mekoro = plural, for what are now fiberglass canoe-type boats propelled by a single operator using a pole in the marshes of the Delta) who gave us a ride over to the camp by mokoro. We dropped our stuff off in our tents and went off for another mokoro ride before dinner. At dinner we socialized with a large group of South Africans on a safari of their own which appears to track our itinerary in large measure. After dinner we all sat around the fire talking, then watching a genet raid the kitchen and a scops owl fly in and out of the trees. Had a long discussion with Craig and his brother-in-law Jeremy, both Zimbabwean ex-pats, about the wisdom of staying in Zimbabwe (as opposed to Zambia) for the Victoria Falls part of our trip. We’re getting two very different views from blacks and whites. Blacks uniformly say not to stay in Zimbabwe, that it’s too dangerous; whites uniformly say we’ll be fine in the tourist areas because the regime has a great need for the hard dollars tourists bring in. Will have to discuss this with Grant…

Then one last trip to the “ablution block” (shower/toilet area) before bed. This is a funny set-up: open to the sky, reed half-doors (to keep the warthogs out), but plenty of hot water etc. I’m not sure what I was expecting but this is just fine. We were told to be make sure we used the facilities before we slept and to be very wary of leaving the tents after we retire (hippos may come up into the camp after dark)…

There were wild night noises — birds, frogs, crickets, hippos splashing up into camp and warthogs squealing very loudly (the camp operator, Craig, says they were either fighting each other or being attacked by a leopard!). Slept reasonably well despite being on a bed roll in a tent on a wooden platform some 18-24″ from the marsh. However, I won’t turn down Craig’s offer of a second mat to add to the bed roll.

June 7 – Johannesburg & Lion Park

Saturday, June 7th, 2008
sunrise

sunrise

It took us all a while to get organized and moving this morning so we had very little margin for error in getting from the lodge to the airport at Richards Bay. So we were all just a tad concerned when we hit some road construction en route and sat there and sat there and sat there for the longest time. It was definitely a bit hairy until we finally got to the airport and found that the plane had been delayed as well.

Another razzle-dazzle with the birth and marriage certificates, another boarding pass and another flight back to Johannesburg where we left the luggage and went out as quickly as possible to the Lion Park there. It was a lot of fun — we saw several kinds of new critters (different kinds of bok, black wildebeest, spotted hyena, black back jackal) and lots of lions, to Evan’s great delight (FINALLY the big cats!). We even got to pet and play with some lion cubs, though not for very long. VERY cool. We also got to see other cats (leopard, cheetahs) and feed a giraffe (though Gina didn’t seem quite as happy about the idea as the rest of us).

cubs

Gina Dana & cubs

cub

Evan & cub

cub

Judy & cub

lion

white lion

giraffe

Evan Gina & giraffe

A quieter dinner, knowing this would be our last meal together. Fred arrives late tonight; Evan, Gina and Dana have a sunrise balloon trip scheduled; and Fred and I will be off to Botswana before they return. I’m really sorry that the week is coming to an end. It’s been such fun to spend more time with Evan and Gina, and Gina’s cousin Dana has been the best roommate you could ever ask for.

I just hope the next part of the trip will be as interesting as this part and, most importantly, as different from this part as I am hoping. That’s sure what I’ve asked for (and I hope this isn’t one of those “be careful what you ask for; you might get it!” things!).

June 6 – St. Lucia – fishing and estuary cruise

Friday, June 6th, 2008

(written Sat 6/7 6:45 p.m.)

sunrise at Indian Ocean

sunrise at Indian Ocean

Yesterday was a long long day. Since I’m the designated waker-upper (remind me NOT to be the one with the one working travel alarm next time!), I had to get up at 4:10 a.m. to roust everyone out at 4:15 to ride 1-1/2 hours in the dark and cold to St. Lucia, board a small boat on a trailer at a gas station, drive out to the Indian Ocean in the morning chill, get dumped on the sand and pushed into the water (by a tractor!). No launch ramps for these folks!

boat

boat

tractor

pushed out

The boat was fairly small and the seas were fairly rough, so we were all very glad by the end of the trip that Evan had the foresight to bring transderm scopalamine patches for us all. The fisher-folks all got some good catches though, and the sun made at least an effort to warm up the air (everyone keeps talking about the unseasonable cold front — sigh…).

Gina

Gina

Dana

Dana

Evan

Evan

And then there was the beaching of the boat. We were headed in at a good rate of speed, sightseeing and paying very little attention to things and all of us, I think, expecting eventually to come to some sort of jetty or boat launch ramp. Then all of a sudden the captain revved up the throttle and I realized that we were very quickly running out of water. I was the only one who noticed; everyone else was just kind of stunned when he ran the boat, literally at full throttle, over the waves onto the beach in a barely controlled crash. Since I couldn’t move quite fast enough carrying 20 or more pounds of camera gear, I can now honestly say that I got my feet wet in the Indian Ocean.

Afterwards we took a very nice quiet boat ride along the estuary and saw hippos, crocodiles, all kinds of birds and a truly lovely sunset.

heron

grey heron

crocodile

crocodile

heron

goliath heron

hippos

hippos

Just in time for another long drive back to the lodge where, once again, we had impala but no warthog!

June 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

(written Sat 6/7 6:45 p.m.)

We’ve had such long days that I’ve been falling into bed without even picking up a pen. I’m also the designated alarm clock for this team so I’m up first and so I’m POOPED by day’s end.

Thursday we were hoping to see some big cats — lions!! — so we went to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park (pronounced Shlu-shlu’-wee Im-foh-loh’-zee) for the day. Well, not the whole day: folks wanted to do some shopping first so we got a bit of a late start and that cut into our cat-tracking time. The location itself couldn’t be more beautiful — rolling hills and deep river valleys. We saw some really cool things: a baby puff adder, a troop of baboons, an entire crash of rhino (one with the biggest horn imaginable), blue wildebeest and a little bushbuck doe who surprised us all by making a sound exactly like the bark of a dog. Plus the usual assortment of elephants, giraffes, zebras, nyalas and impalas and, of course, warthogs (who are now, the general consensus decrees, cute — but I’d still like to see how they taste).

adder

puff adder

rhino

white rhino

wildebeest

wildebeest

bushbuck

bushbuck doe

No cats, and it was just unbelievably cold driving back for more than an hour in the dark at high speeds in an open vehicle. Even hooded jackets and blankets didn’t make a dent in the cold.

cold

cold

cold

very cold

June 4 – Tembe Elephant Park

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

My eyes are full of elephants. Oh, we saw other neat things as well — waterbuck at the first hide, bushbuck at the second, a spotted eagle owl and a genet on the way back — but oh… oh… my eyes are full of elephants.

We spent the day at the Tembe Elephant Park with a different field guide, an older quieter man. I was a bit annoyed during part of the drive because I just couldn’t hear what he was saying. I forgave him everything for what came later.

Five big bulls at the first hide, one big one at the second… The guide kept teasing Gina about the pronunciation of “giraffe” (“There are no giraffes in Africa, only girahffes…”). He also cleared up a misunderstanding as to what a group of giraffes is called. We kept understanding our Afrikaaner guide to say the herd was a “jennie” — turns out what he was saying was “journey.” A journey of giraffes, a dazzle of zebra, a clash of rhino.

elephant

elephant

elephant

elephant dust bath

elephants

elephants

waterbucks

waterbucks

The hides were great places to sit and watch the animals; the weather would clear then cloud up then clear and we stayed and watched and watched.

And then, when the skies darkened and threatened rain and it was clearly time to leave, the guide decided to take one last detour onto the East Swamp Road. A family of warthogs ran out from the culvert and we were watching them. That’s when we heard the guide say in a quiet voice: “Look up. Oh, look up, now…” And there, coming towards us, were elephants. Big elephants, small elephants, babies and grizzled elders. A bull. Cows. Elephants… so many elephants. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-20 in a breeding herd. We watched and watched as they drank at a waterhole; we watched as they walked off into the forest. Then the guide said, “Let’s see if we can find them on the road.” And he did. They crossed in front of us and behind us… and each of them, big or small, vanished from sight only a few feet into the brush.

[Note: Firefox 3 users may need this add-on to see YouTube videos.]

Elephants. Amazing creatures.

On the long ride back to the lodge (in a closed vehicle so not cold this time!), the guide pulled off the road, backed the vehicle up and shined the headlights into the trees so we could see a spotted eagle owl (huge). He also pointed out a genet as it ran across the road and disappeared trailing its long banded tail into the bush.

But, sigh… no warthog at dinner tonight either.