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Botswana Beauty

Botswana Beauty
No question’s, Botswana is one of Africa’s TOP destination for adventures Safari lovers, looking for something exceptional. We where privileged to spend two weeks in Botswana during of our last tours with clients. The tour started here in Upington and we firstly drive up to “Rooiputs” an unfenced campsite on the Botswana side of the “Kgalagadi Transfrontier Nationalpark” where we spend our first 3 days.

Botswana Safari

We were so fortunate that we could observe NOT ONLY the magnificent Kalahari Lions very close, we were also lucky to come close to 4 Cheetahs on their natural habitat. And we were very happy to see one of our favourite’s animals the “Meer cats”!

After this tree successfully days at the “Kgalagadi Park” we drove along the “Molopo River” one of the Botswana’s most scenic roads to the small town “Tsabong” where we overnight at “Berry bush camp”. We then left “Tsabong” and we drive on heavy 4x4 tracks to one of my “secret places” outside National parks in the absolute Wilderness of the Kalahari. We set up our tents on the edge of a large salt pan, with a magnificent view for the following two days. During our stay, we could observe plenty of antelopes like Oryx, Red Hartebeests, Springboks, Kudus and Eland coming into the pan for leaking salt and minerals.

Every evening there where a “brown hyena” visits our camp. And on one of our night safari drive with spotlight we were so fortunate to see a family of “Bad eared foxes” and a “Porcupine” on the track. And as we returned on one of the evening back into our camp 3 Lions where around to find out who is visiting there territory. We therefore decided to NOT making a fire and enjoy another glass of wine; we immediately went into our tents.

b2ap3_thumbnail_gep.jpg One the following morning we saw plenty of Lion’s track’s all over around our camp, but they were gone. Our tour continuing and we drive up to “Ghanzi” to the “Trail Blazer camp” where we overnight in traditional “Bushmen grass huts”. From Ghanzi we drive further up to “Maun” where we spend 2 nights, as our clients enjoyed a whole day “Mokoro” trip into the world know “Okavango Delta”. Our last 3 days then we spend on the banks of the “Kwai-River” with a magnificent view on the river. This where definitively the “Jerry on the top” of this tour!

On our first evening safari drive we were so fortunate to observing a Leopard just about 200 Metres far away from our camp. It was very hard to discover this beautiful animal, because he was lying in the grass, and he is perfectly camouflaged. And on the same evening we could see another two Lions. What an evening Wow!

On the following day, it was not even necessary to drive around, as we had “cinema” during the whole day on the bank of the Kwai River. It was a coming and going of plenty of Elephants, Hippos, and a large variety of different antelopes. And all the beautiful bird life along and inside the river were absolutely splendid!

b2ap3_thumbnail_cat.jpg The “Icing on the cake” were on our last day, as we could observing 7 Lions (3male and 4 females) chase 3 spotted hyenas seriously to kill them. But luckily for the hyenas they could escape before Lion’s catching them. And on our last evening safari drive we stopped near one of the “Hippo pools” to enjoy our “Gin and tonic” for “sundown, we could observe just opposite the river a really large herd of Buffalos traversing the area. I’m sure they were at least 1 000 Buffalos or more, passing us just a few hundred metres far away in a kilometre long queue. That was really a spectacular moment, and the end of this magnificent tour, as on the following day we drive back to Maun, from where clients where flying back home.

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Touched by Leopard

Touched by Leopard

During my last tour with two clients from the Netherlands we spent 3 nights at the “Mabuasehube Game Reserve” in Botswana.
 
On the first day on our morning Safari Drive we were so fortunate to discover a Lion couples on their “Honeymoon” at one of the neighbouring saltpan. We were very impressed, because we could observe this two imposing cats very close by.
 
On the evening Safari Drive in another direction we came very close to another two large black manned Kalahari Lions.  
Back in our camp we enjoyed our diner under magnificent African Stars and we were very satisfied with what we saw today - and happy.

Kalahari Desert Safari - Mabuasehube Game Reserve

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We didn’t know what kind of surprising awaits us during the following two days at our camp. On day two we spotted some of the antelopes and very nice birds. And after diner we decided to go sleep early for tonight.

But on this second night at around 03:00 a.m. big noises waked me up. I watched trough the Mosquito net of the window of my tent. I saw two mating Leopards in the Moonlight only 20 meter away from my tent doing the "reproduction thing".
 
On the following morning as we stand up, we could see Leopard tracks all over our camp. My clients became very enthusiastic when I told them what’s happened last night.

But on our last evening and during the third night the ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE was awaiting us! We were sitting around the table after diner and suddenly my guest where asking me if there are also ant bears which could be seen in this area. Yes they are, but you want see them during daylight as this animal is nocturnal? Ok they said, but how is an ant bear looks like? Just a second, I will show you how they are looks like in my book “Southern African mammals”.
 
Therefore I walked to my nearby vehicle to pick up the book from inside the car.
But what’s that? When I arrived by my vehicle and opened the door, I could feel a SOFT TOUCH on my SHINBONE. Completely surprised I walked two steps back and watched to the floor to see what was touching me?

WOW! In the light of my headlight I saw a Leopard resting under my vehicle. It was the Leopard who gives me a soft slap (luckily without his claws) just to let me know:
Hey Man, I’m here, be carefully where to you trap!

I immediately realised that this was a still young female Leopard, who didn’t know how handling this situation. Luckily she was not aggressive but curios!
I made another few steps back and said to my clients:
There is a Leopard under our vehicle!
Yes, yes they said and laughed because they thought I would made another joke! No it’s not a joke, it's real! Watch under the vehicle. What should we do, they ask? Move slowly back and go into your tent, but don't run!

But what about me? I could not enter my vehicle, because of the Leopard under the car. I walked back a few steps to see what’s happen further. The Leopard moved out now her place under my vehicle onto the opposite site, which gives me the chance to climb into my save vehicle. The Leopard walked all around the camp, ones very close by my clients tent and further on under our table. As she where very curios and wants to know everything what’s going on here. All the time as she walked around I was speaking to this fantastic and beautiful creature something like “you are soooooo beautiful, absolutely gorgeous and fantastic”!
I was so fascinated of her beauty, majestic and powerful moving, that I even forgot to make a picture! Then suddenly the Leopard walked back to the table where the clients “beauty case” was on the floor. The Leopard sniffed on that beauty case, and she packed this good smelling thing and walked away back into the bush.

As the Leopard didn’t return into our camp, I decided after a while to go into my tent for sleeping as well. As allways I parked my vehicle only 1 meter away from my tent entrance and the vehicles key remains in the lock, e.g. in case of an emergency like Lions visiting the camp, I could get out of my tent and enter the vehicle immediately to chase away whatever it moves around our tents.

I slept and snored like “a little baby” dreaming of the Leopard. Until around 05:00 a.m. some raindrops waked me up. But luckily only a few drops and I didn’t have to stand up to close my tents windows. I tried to sleep another hour before it’s time to stand up at sunset! But firstly I feel that a must go for a “call of nature”. So I picked up my headlight and switched it on, and the first I saw where the Leopards head again under my vehicle, only two meter away!

I don’t know how long that Leopard was there again. Possibly she was attracted by my “snoring”! However my strong headlight irritated the Leopard and she decided to move back into the bush.

The following morning we found the “rest” of the clients beauty case in the bush nearby, and guests where asking me why that the Leopard where taking away the beauty case? I joked, and explained that it was a “Female” and she where looking into the Beauty case to find a lovely “perfume like Chanel No.5”... Just in case that the male Leopard returns as at the previous night, to be a “beautiful and nice smelling Lady”! Everybody were laughing after my jock and happy to survive this absolutely crazy night we had!  

This special experience was a great privilege which happens only ones in your lifetime! But maybe some of you dear readers, think that this is only a “fairy story” from my side. Please contact me anytime, I gladly provide you with the two guest contact details, so that you can ask personal about this story. Reality and genuine truth -  word by word!

 

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Adventure in the Kalahari Desert

Adventure in the Kalahari Desert

UNEXPECTED „SHOWER – VISITORS“

During one of my previous tours with regular visitors we spent two overnight stay at the Mabuasehube Game Reserve in Botswana. The campsite is well know as a place where Lions can be observed very often and very close. Because all camps in Botswana has is no fence around the camp, and therefore we must expect wildlife visitors anytime.

I therefore start preparing our diner hourly after we finished set up our camp. We  enjoyed our diner during daylight. After our meal we went on an evening Safari drive. When we came back into our camp just before sunset, we realized that our camp was occupied by 3 male Lion’s. They are joining us for a while before they left our campsite and walked down to the nearby salt pan. This gives us the change to relax and enjoy a glass of red wine before we get tired and we decide to go into our tent’s to having a restful night.

As we walk to our tents I realised that somebody were visiting us. I switched on my torch and yes - there was a Leopard drinking water from the drain hole by our Shower facility. Wow - what an exceptional beautiful cat! We could watch them for about 5 minutes before it was satisfied and moved back into the darkness. We were very impressed by this majestic beauty.

 

Kalahari Desert Adventure

We than went to our tents, but just 10 minutes after we went to bed, Lion’s returned into our camp for drinking water from the same sources as the Leopard just before. Therefore this little water hole was empty now and the Lion’s starts completely frustrated roaring so close by our tents, that we felt vibrations on our tents. We must “enjoy” this nightly concert every 15 minutes when they starts roaring again until late night. Next morning, we're a bit tired, just to find the Lion’s not even 100 meters far away under some bushes sleeping, when we left our tents.

They were to lazy (no wonder after all the activity during the night) and so we prepared our breakfast and enjoyed it. We left the camp for a longer Safari drive in this area, and when we came back to our camp for lunch, we recognised that Lions left the place as well and walked somewhere in the bush.

This gives us the possibility to do our daily routine in our camp and we got a shower. But I know, that this peace and tranquillity can change anytime, I prepared diner again hourly to be finished if the Lions returns. And we decided not to undertake an evening drive, because we hoped to observe the beautiful Leopard again, should he return for drinking water on this evening too. We therefore placed our chairs just in front of our vehicle and watched very carefully up to the shower facility. And just after dark, we realised some moving by the shower. We switched on our torches and we saw not a Leopard drinking water, today it was a Brown Hyena. We were very impressed once again, because this creature is nocturnal and can't be observed very easy.

 

Wildlife in the Kalahari Desert

On the next morning we bracket down our camp immediately after breakfast, as long the Lion’s were still patrolling the territory. And after we finished the work, I recommend my guest to enjoy a last shower, because on our next destination on this tour was no water available. OK that’s a good idea my guest said, and walked up to the shower. Hans enjoyed a shower first, and when he returns Anita walked up to the shower facilities as well. In the mean time we packed our equipment into our vehicle, and when I watched up I saw the two male Lion's walking on the road, directly to the shower to drink water.

The first one just past the shower without realized that somebody was in there, the second one just past Anita maybe 5 meter away from her. He stopped for a second and watched her. Luckily Anita where nearly paralysed and motionless, therefore the second Lion was not interested and walked around the shower to get some water as well. At the mean time, I said to Hans come on get into the vehicle, we must drive up to the shower immediately to rescue your love one!

I drove up just one meter far away from the shower, and we open the backseat door, and I give Anita the order, jump into the car quickly. Wow what a jump! When everybody were save, we drove around the shower facilities and we made some pictures.

 

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After that Adrenalin rush we made some jokes. I said to her that I’m very proud about here jump into the vehicle, she could participate on the next Athletic world championships and I’m sure she would be winning the Gold medal. Yes, she said, I’m very proud by myself because I didn’t know that I’m still so movable and quick with my 60 years of age.      

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Kalahari desert - weather conditions

Kalahari desert - weather conditions

What's the best time to visiting the Kalahari desert?

SUMMER:

In the Kalahari we only have two seasons. Hot summer season from round about October until April. First rain usually can be expected end of November. Peak rainy season are between February to April. But we do not having days with whole day raining, Normally we having on 2 to 3 days a thunder storm in the evening, until temperatures have dropping a bit, and then we ones again have sunny days until temperatures heats up again for the next thunder storm.
Temperatures between Decembers to end of March are up to 38 degrees, and it doesn’t cools down a lot during the night. But these high temperatures are not unpleasant, because there is always a pleasant breeze and not this high humid as around the equator happens.

WINTER:

Between May and October there is normally no rainfall. Blue sky for weeks is usual, quit warm temperatures between 18 to 22 degrees during daytime, but during the night temperatures can easily drops down to minus 7 degrees. You therefore needs warm winter clothes and important a really warm sleeping bag, for a restful sleep. This weather and temperature conditions are typically for such an arid semi desert as the Kalahari is.

 

Current Weather Conditions for Kalahari Desert at Twee Rivieren

                            

There is no common answer for this question! Generally all the year!

Deepens where your priorities are:
During winter time the possibility observing animals at the human made water holes, is a little bit likelihood, because all animals must come to the water hole if they are thirsty. Therefore with a bit of luck and passion you’ll have a good change for excellent pictures. But keep in mind that the landscape will be dry and brown.
But should you prefer to see the beauty of the Kalahari after a good rainfall, the best time then is between November to March, because the scenarios of the Kalahari are spectacular. Cooper red sand dunes, covered with yellow and violet flowers, green grass, blue sky with some with clouds gives you fantastic pictures of the Magic of the Kalahari Desert. Much Antelopes having babies from approximately November on.

Therefore it is completely up to you witch season you prefer for visiting the unique Kalahari.

 

Climate and Temperature Table for Kalahari Desert

January:  19,6 - 35,5°C

February: 18,5 - 34,9°C

March: 16,8 - 32,5°C

April: 11,6 - 28,5°C

May: 5,5 - 22,9°C

June: 2,2 - 21,5°C

July: 1,1 - 21,8°C

August: 2,7 - 23,8°C

September: 7,3 - 28,7°C

October: 11,8 - 30,9°C

November: 15,9 - 33,5°C

December: 17,9 - 33,1°C

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