‘We woke up early and headed down to the waterhole where there were the usual springbok and guineafowl - and the pride of lions was still under the trees watching. This was the epitome of the Nxai Pan experience, animals gathering around the only source of water for miles around - and predators lying in wait'.
© Lions ever watchful for lunch
Highlights of Nxai Pan Game Drive
- One of the hidden gems of Botswana
- Crossover park between semi arid central Kalahari and watered northern Botswana
- Only park in Botswana where both springbok and impala can be seen
- Access to Makgadikadi and Baines' Baobabs
A jackal shouted across the plain and was answered by another. Soon at least five joined the chorus in what is one of the most amazing sounds in Africa.
Springbok and Impala
An unusual happening here in Nxai Pan is the overlapping range of springbok and impala. This does not occur naturally
in many places. The only other major reserve in Africa where this occurs is Etosha in Namibia.
After leaving the waterhole saw three vehicles parked on side of road watching something. Turned out to be a lioness and cub about 150m off road. They were not very active. I have not been to Nxai pan after but every time I have seen lions although they are usually at the waterhole.
Did not watch them for long as the pax were getting restless. Drove western road. Saw a honey badger far off the road.
He was digging and minding his own business. Saw many springbok and a lot of crimson boubou. Stopped at the baobab for tea then headed back to see what the lions were doing. Not much. They were still in the same place sleeping.
It is getting very hot during the daytime. Fortunately I decided to bring a cook tent for shade otherwise there would have been a slight problem. Headed down to waterhole on afternoon drive. Found the lionesses still there. Drove up to them. They seemed a bit on edge and they were very thin. The springbok kept on coming down to drink
even though the lions were about 10m away.
Strange thing that. One suddenly got up and walked away from the waterhole. I thought it strange behaviour until I realised wat it was trying to do. It was attempting to circle and chase the springbok toward the others. They got wind of it however and moved away. She eventually lay down in the open while the other four continued to lie in the shade.
Drove eastern loop. Quite a few birds including a black breasted snake eagle. Also saw an oryx and a very young one. Strange thing that. Did not know it was the season for birth. Headed back to the waterhole for sunset. Quite spectacular, but what I could not understand was that there were two vehicles on the other side of waterhole obviously watching the lions but what with such a sunset they could watch both.
Strange thing that. I moved out of their line far enough to still be able to catch the sunset. The lions were under some acacias
in the middle of the pan (you know what Nxai pan is like, don't you) with a huge pink sun sinking over the vast expanse of Africa.
Sitting here writing this drivel, I realise how many things we take for granted. As a small example from last night a scops owl was calling
in the trees in the campsite. An object was thrown by someone in the end campsite. Obviously proud to have silenced the bird I heard "Ek het die bliksem uitgesort". The same people who dragged a huge tree down the road for firewood. Made a huge furrow in the road. It takes all types.Leigh Kemp