Botswana Notes

Vultures. Lee Kemp
Botswana is a country of stark, yet enticing, contrasts that add to the attractions of the pristine wilderness and incredible wildlife. Botswana is a place of desert and delta, a place where the laws of nature are stretched beyond the norm. It is a place of contrasting patterns, ancient and seasonal.

Ancient Patterns

The fossil floodplains lie in a place between the Okavango, Linyanti and Savuti. It is a place that echoes a distant time, a time when the many rivers flowed into the great lake, a time when the seasons were not categorized into high and low. Now the place lies forgotten between two points that mankind is rushing to with barely a glance at the path.

It is a lonely place, made lonelier by the dramas played out on its fringes. The attraction is the loneliness, a loneliness that whispers of the ancient dramas.

Seasonal Patterns

The Okavango Delta can be confusing. The water in the delta is at its highest during the dry winter months and at its lowest at the beginning of the rainy season. This phenomenon ensures a rich tapestry of patterns to be formed by the water.

During the rainy season the floodplains will be dry, creating contrasting colours of green. During the dry season when the flood waters arrive the browns on the floodplains begin to green, creating spectacular contrasts against the barren bush. It is a place of twice greening.

Temporary Patterns

In their endless search for water animals carve out trails in the earth. The trails link the water sources to the food sources. When water is a distance from territories or feeding grounds the animals will use the same path day after day. When the rains arrive water will be plentiful and the animals will not have to use the paths anymore. The unused paths will become overgrown and may pass into memory with the passing season. Some of the better worn paths will become visible again as the season progresses.

Space and Wide Horizons

The changing shades of an evening sky chorus a symphony of ages, each one played in a different mood. It is easy to become complacent and take it all for granted, but to see the appreciation in the eyes of someone who does not see it every day allows the perspective to be put back into place.

Light and Shadows

Light, in its various shades and colours, turns a moment from the ordinary spectacular to the extraordinary. Every moment in the wilderness is spectacular. You only have to look a little deeper at times.

Shadows are happening moments but are often the scene for moments that are suspended in time. A lioness waited for what seemed an eternity only to see the warthog trot away. Camouflage is the blending of the colour with the surroundings but it can also be a blend with the light and the shadows.
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