At 6am my new Botswanian (Botswanese?) friend Sadie and I climbed into our safari car, worryingly a Land Rover instead of the more reliable Landcruiser, and began the 3 hour drive to Moremi on a very badly corrugated and rutted sand road.
At first Moremi doesn’t compare well to Etosha. There’s the usual scattering of Eland, Springbok, and Impala, a handful of Zebra and Giraffe, and a few Elephants with a calf so young it can barely walk.
There certainly isn’t the density of wildlife that you see so easily in Etosha. On the other hand, it’s much more wild. The roads in Etosha offer easy driving and easy viewing, but there are always several other vehicles in sight. At Moremi, for most of the day you feel like you could be the only humans there, and unlike the well-made gravel roads of Etosha, the rough trails in Moremi look like they’ve had just a handful of vehicles along. Instead of driving down the road looking at the African wilderness you’re actually in it. Really in it, surrounded by it on all sides, part of it, not just next to it looking in.
And then two male Lions under a tree, sleeping off the Hippo they’ve recently eaten according to the guide’s assessment of the bones we found elsewhere.
Just a short distance away, 7 lionesses and 5 cubs all resting under another tree.
Later, a picnic lunch under a big baobab tree.
Also saw a load of Hippos slurping through the mud, and a troop of Baboons picking ticks off each other. And eating them.
During the drive back, I was really glad someone else was driving and it wasn’t my vehicle being pounded on those roads. More importantly, I doubt I would have found those Lions or the superb picnic spot. Our guide did a great job, and Sadie was so happy and bubbly that even the tiring parts of the day were great fun.
Now on towards Swaziland, which is a few days driving away from here. Thanks Botswana, you pulled it off nicely at the end!