Crocodile | Botswana Wildlife Guide

Crocodile basking on the banks of Okavango River. Simon Bloomhill

Nile Crocodile [Crocodylus niloticus]

Best places to see Crocodile in Botswana

Found in the permanent water sources of Botswana - Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Linyanti Waterfront.

Observations

The crocodile is one of the oldest species on earth, predating the dinosaurs, and the question is often asked as to why the species survived the fate of the dinosaurs. The answer probably lies in the metabolism of the crocodile. It can slow its functions down to such an extent that it does not have to eat for more than two years and still survive.

The theory of the meteorite hitting earth and causing a dust cloud that blocked the sun, resulting in a die off of vegetation and subsequently many of the animals, would not have affected the crocodiles, as they would have been able to survive the phenomenon.

An example of this phenomenon occurred in Botswana when the Savuti Channel dried up to dust and two crocodiles walked into one of the nearby hills and lay under an overhang in the shade for almost a year until the rains arrived and they returned to the Channel. When the rainwater dried up they headed back to the cave. This happened for two seasons until the crocodiles disappeared.

Into the Crocodiles Lair

Recent studies of crocodiles in the northern parts of the Okavango have uncovered dramatic information of how the lairs of the large crocodiles are a maze of channels and caves under the papyrus beds. The vast papyrus beds are floating in the water and the crocodiles use spaces under the papyrus beds as lairs where they drag their prey or move to when getting away from potential dangers.

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